Nicolai Sennels’ latest essay concerns the status of women among Muslim immigrants, and the necessity for targeting their oppression in an attempt to undermine the current separatism of Islamic communities in the West.
Muslim parallel societies: Send in the midwives!
by Nicolai Sennels
Denmark is now sending midwives on home visits in Muslim ghettos. The aim is educate and advise on contraception and family planning. Sexual education is generally taboo in sexually repressive Muslim culture, and according to the Danish midwives this allows a lot of superstition and misinformation to flourish (e.g. that women cannot become pregnant when in the period of breastfeeding).
In most Muslim societies having many children confers a high social status. Moreover, it is common within collectivistic cultures for parents to have many children in order to secure themselves economically in old age. In the West it is expensive to have kids, and kids are free to keep the money they earn when they grow up. In addition we have our welfare state and pension system to take care of us when we get too old to work.
In Western cultures we see it as important not to have more children than we have the energy to raise properly and to whom we can afford to give material security and an education. So far we have done too little in order to inform our non-Western immigrants about these important points.
Coming from a completely different culture, it is hard enough already for Muslims to integrate into our democratic high-tech knowledge societies. If the immigrants (especially the women) also have a lot of kids to take care of, it will certainly not make it easier to find the time and energy to go to language school, obtain an education, work, and generally participate in our society. Family planning is thus a necessary element for successful integration.
The view and status of women in Muslim cultures also makes it necessary to inform them about their human rights, possibilities for divorce, women’s shelters, and repatriation programmes (in Denmark our repatriation programme offers immigrants 15,000 Euros or 20,000 USD if they choose to give up their residence and move back to their family’s home country).
Many Muslim women are without certain freedoms and do not know their rights. In most cases this lack of knowledge is because male family members do not allow the women to participate in society or get an education. Muslim women are often also not free to decide for themselves how many children they want, since the family expects a woman to support the family’s status and economy (and in some cases: in order to increase the Muslim population in our countries) by having a lot of children.
Physical abuse and forced marriages in Muslim families are also a public known problem. Our humanistic societies are obliged to make sure that these women are safe, free, and know their rights. We do not want a culture of suppressing women to take root in our 21st century culture. We need to send females (men would never be able to get close to those women or get an honest answer from them) into their homes and inform them about their rights and possibilities.
If the Muslim men or the women’s families refuse, for whatever reason, they must move to another country (preferably their own), possibly with the help from our repatriation programmes.
Nicolai Sennels is a psychologist and the author of “Among Criminal Muslims: A Psychologist’s experiences with the Copenhagen Municipality”.
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