No one who found the Charlie Hebdo op-ed so offensive would ever suggest Morocco ought to welcome McDonalds or Wal-Mart with open arms. They would say the country is being ruined with Western culture. They want non-Western countries to remain exactly as they are—preserved and frozen in time-while the West must endlessly adapt to anyone who makes it their home.
The article highlights the important fact that Europe has failed to ask its Muslim immigrant population to assimilate. This fact was demonstrated recently when police discovered that the only surviving terrorist from the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was able to travel from Paris to Brussels and conceal himself there until a few days before the Brussels attacks. He was aided by a large community of French and Muslim Belgians whose loyalties clearly lie with their own community, not with Belgium, or Europe at large. What’s more, a 2013 study shows the shocking degree to which European Muslims hate the West.
Asking immigrants to assimilate doesn’t mean white-washing their culture and religion, asking them not to wear the hijab, or demanding that they eat pork. But it does mean asking them to accept, to some degree, the culture of the country to which they have willingly moved. These are things like women’s rights, tolerance, free speech, or criticism of religion. It also means not having to apologize for having a culture of one’s own. This is the point that Michel Houellebecq made in his recent novel, “Submission.”
Until we are prepared to resolutely defend our values and culture we will see these things slowly eaten away from within.