Friday, October 30, 2009

Getting "Westernized" is generally what happens...

..when you move to the West:

Police in a Phoenix suburb say they have arrested an Iraqi immigrant suspected of running down his daughter because she was becoming "too Westernized."

I am going to refrain from casting any judgment on Iraqi or Middle Eastern culture, as the facts aren't here to make the assessment as to whether it was an attempted honor killing or anything of the sort. But no matter the facts of the case, it's only natural to wonder why Faleh Almaleki thought becoming "too Westernized" was a bad thing. I can understand him wanting to retain his homeland's culture, but if he thought Westernization was such a bad thing, well, it's worth asking why he brought his family here as opposed to staying in Iraq. It'd also be interesting to see how many liberals would defend those who refuse to assimilate into American culture and say things like this -- which look to me to be a clear consequence of tolerating those who are actively hostile to our culture and its norms -- are an aberration rather than the norm. They would be right, of course, but what do you do when you're dealing with more insidious effects of that, i.e. those of whatever nationality, for example, who refuse to learn to speak the English language? I am not against people coming to this country by any means, but if they're going to come here it'd be best for all concerned if they were familiar with and friendly to its language and culture.

UPDATE: I accidentally deleted this post, but before I did, I caught Kelly in comments saying she could not understand Mr. Almaleki wanting to retain his culture. And on further reflection I agree with that. I suppose I might have come off as a cultural relativist in the original post and that wasn't even the last thing I meant to do. No matter where you are, running down someone in your car just because she doesn't conform to your homeland's culture is just wrong, and on further reflection it also becomes quite clear that a culture that would condone that sort of thing really isn't worth preserving.