School Days

by Mark Steyn

The other day, members of Boko Haram, a group of (surprise!) Muslim “extremists,” broke into an agricultural college in Nigeria and killed some four dozen students. The dead were themselves mainly Muslim, but had made the fatal mistake of attending a non-Islamic school. “Boko Haram” means more or less “Learning is sinful,” this particular wing of the jihad reveling more than most in the moronic myopia of Islamic imperialism.

But hey, that’s Africa, right? What do you expect? Up north, in the crucible of liberal social democracy, City Hall in Copenhagen held hearings earlier this year about the bullying of Jews in heavily Muslim public schools. Seventeen-year-old Moran Jacob testified:

In eighth grade, his teacher told him to say that he was Palestinian and that his mother was Russian. “I had to lie about who I was,” he recalls. But it didn’t work. They knew. Eventually, a group of his classmates ganged up on him and stabbed him in the leg. “You can’t go here anymore,” his teacher said. “I have scars,” he told the hearing. “Not on my body, but on my soul . . .”

“Jews have learned to keep a low profile,” Max Mayer, president of the Danish Zionist Federation, told the hearing. “To not exist in the city…” And they teach their sons to do the same: wear the skullcap at school, but take it off when you leave. This, Mayer said, has become standard practice for Danish Jews: “Don’t see us, don’t notice us.”

This is liberal, multicultural Europe in the 21st century. As part of his thanks for raising the subject, young Moran Jacob was subsequently set upon by “Arabic kids” on Strøget, the main pedestrian street in Copenhagen, and forced to move away from the neighborhood in which he’s lived all his life. He’s now considering leaving Denmark.

Oh, well. Could be worse, could be like Nigeria, where even Muslim students at Westernized agricultural schools are insufficiently Muslim for the local Islamic enforcers. If Danes are lucky, it’ll just be the Jews, and the gays, and the uncovered women who have to scram. If they’re lucky . . .

Unlike Nigeria, Denmark is embracing this fate voluntarily. There is no reason for it to do so, and more than enough evidence for a prudent political class to conclude that further Muslim immigration is not in the nation’s interest. But listen to how cowed the school principals sound in the Copenhagen story and then figure the chances of anyone addressing the issue honestly. Boko haram, indeed.