From the Globe and Mail:


Three years ago, a brave Algerian-born woman named Samira Bellil went public with the story of her horrific life growing up in the immigrant ghettos of France. She described a world in which young girls are routinely brutalized by boys, and where violence against women is endemic. Young women who dare to go out on dates or wear makeup or dress immodestly can be punished by gang rape — also known as tournante, or “passing around.”


Samira was first gang-raped when she was 14, by her boyfriend and his friends. “I couldn’t say anything, because, in my culture, your family is dishonoured if you lose your virginity,” she recalled. “So I kept quiet and the rapes continued.” When her parents found out, they kicked her out; her neighbourhood also rejected her. Her book, Dans l’enfer des tournantes, shocked the nation.


[…] The plight of abused Muslim women would be regarded as intolerable if the victims were culturally French. But a pervasive cultural relativism, largely rooted in the left, has allowed France to tolerate the intolerable for quite a while. The results aren’t pretty.


The recent rise in fundamentalist Islam has made the situation even worse. Teenage Muslim girls are forbidden to play sports or to visit coed community centres or movie theatres. Young bearded men, in the role of religious police, enforce strict dress codes. [Margaret Wente,”For Muslim girls, becoming truly French is not an option“, November 8, 2005]

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