Shabnam Assadollahi
Shabnam Assadollahi

Immigration without assimilation will eventually destroy every fabric of our Western Democratic Values

Many countries in the West are seeking to accommodate radical Islamism following the flow of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants to Europe and the New World in the name of multiculturalism and cultural relativism. This sentiment was expressed by the Hijab Day that was held in Ottawa, Canada and Islamic law being enshrined in the British legal system.

This trend in the West is problematic. Under Islamic law, in some countries, thieves face the punishment of having their hand and leg severed; females who commit ‘adultery’ face death by stoning, beheading, or hanging. In some countries, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. Are these cultural values morally equivalent to Western values? In Islamic countries ruled by Sharia Law, they limit equality on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education. Is forcible female genital mutilation that is practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries a morally equivalent cultural value? Are different cultural values morally equivalent?  In my opinion, multiculturalism/equality in cultures has failed in the West.

In Iran, women have resisted over the past 39 years these very Sharia laws that are being incorporated in the West in the name of “multiculturalism”. From the beginning, the women of Iran resisted the Islamic Republic’s introduction of Sharia Law, a medieval and barbaric legal framework that is incompatible with modern values and basic human rights. Iranian women have been demanding changes to the laws that set the legal age of maturity for girls at 13 years old and 15 years old for boys. This means that 13 year old little girls can be married off to men a number of decades their senior, with merely the consent of her male guardian, as provided by Article 1041 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Civil Code. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s laws allow a girl to only receive half of the inheritance a boy receives and the inheritance that a wife receives from her husband is even less than half. Such laws cannot be condoned by women who, by official counts, occupy 70% of the university seats in Iran.

Iranian women have suffered much due to Sharia Law.  A 16 year-old girl was hanged for having had sexual relations with a 50 year-old married taxi-driver. Under Islamic law in Iran, the cheating husband would be executed by the reprehensible act of stoning; however, he was not punished. Yet, the 16 year old Atefeh Sahaaleh was executed. Rape is systematic in Iran’s prison system and It is common for young girls and virgins to be raped, even as a final indignity right before being executed.

However, the West, instead of fighting against Sharia Law, are standing in solidarity with the victims of Islamist oppression and enabling the integration of Muslims into the West is actually defending misogyny in the name of standing up for the perceived underdog. Even the possibility that Sharia Law could supplant or become part of a two-tiered legal system is a strong indicator that multiculturalism is a huge failure. The entire foundation of multiculturalism was based on a theory that if we allowed immigrants to keep their culture, the assumption was that it would end after their generation. Their children would obviously want to be Western and would neatly fit themselves into our societal norms. We didn’t count on radical or fundamentalist Islam.

These kids not only don’t want to be westernized (although they like to enjoy the benefits of the western world). Sadly, they are NOT identifying as Canadians; they are identifying as Muslims and are loyal to the country that their parents came from, not Canada. People aren’t even bothering to identify as hyphenated Canadians anymore; they are just straight-out identifying as something else. There is no patriotism. Given that all most people think of when they think of Canada is diversity, it’s no wonder that we can’t find a women’s organization to stand up and take a hard line against Sharia. They’re not used to it. They are all so used to bending over backwards for minority groups.

The Western democratic world has a moral obligation to stand up for the voiceless women whose human rights are systematically taken away from them. The West must stand for those whose blood is crying out for justice from their graves, the women and young girls who are tortured, raped, and executed. Let us send a clear message to repressive regimes, such as the Islamic Republic in Iran that continues to violate women’s rights. This must stop and it is our duty as human beings to stop it.

However, the way to stand up for the voiceless women of the Muslim world is not to hold a Hijab Day, or Hijab fashion runways, Hijabi makeup models on fashion magazine covers, or adopt Islamic law as part of British law. It is to integrate Mulim immigrants rather than bending Western culture to fit their Islamist worldview. In Europe alone, not to mention Australia, Canada, and America, immigration without an emphasis on integration and assimilation is birthing disaster. Crime is skyrocketing like never before. The incidents of rape, murder, theft, and bullying are increasing daily. The people are speaking out, but are being gagged for the agenda of a few. This is not decent, ethical, thoughtful, or moral in any way. Governments and the elite politicians that have the privilege to represent the people must listen to the free expression of the people for the common good of all. This careless trend of elite politician decision making apart from the people, history tells us, is very dangerous and must be stopped. The exercise of our individual consciences and the safety of our citizens must once again be preserved.

We the people must hold our authorities accountable. It is good to encourage immigration with integration as we have always done, but carefully, with proper discernment and prudence. And, if we act wisely in this way, this goodness should spread throughout every nation on the face of this beautiful planet, our earth. Then, and only then, will we not feel betrayed by our governments.

About the Author
Shabnam Assadollahi is an award-winning Canadian human rights advocate and freelance writer/journalist of Iranian origin. She has a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology and has worked extensively helping newcomers and refugees resettle in Canada and has distinguished herself as a broadcaster, writer and public speaker. Shabnam was arrested and imprisoned at age 16 for eighteen months in Iran's most notorious prison, Evin. Shabnam’s primary and heartfelt interest is to focus on the Iranian community and world events affecting women and minority communities.
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