In that sense, Headmistress James and Mr. Justice Williams are lagging indicators. Britain is undergoing demographic transformation. According to the 2011 census, the United Kingdom’s Muslim population doubled in the decade after 9/11. In Cardiff, Yaseen’s funeral service was held in the Masjid-e-Bilal mosque, which was formerly a Christian church and was built during the Welsh Protestant revival in the 19th century. In Wales, Christian revival has come and gone. If the Muslim population doubles again this decade, Mr. Williams and Mrs. James will be joined on the bench and in the faculty lounge by Muslim judges and teachers. Would a Muslim jurist look more kindly on Mrs. Ege, at least with respect to motive? Or would a Muslim headmaster reorient teaching priorities to make Yaseen’s extracurricular studies no longer necessary?
Who knows? In Wales as in much of the Western world, we are in the midst of an unprecedented sociocultural experiment. Its precise end point cannot be known, but on the Continent its contours are beginning to emerge: In Amsterdam, formerly “the most tolerant city in Europe,” gay-bashing is now routine; “youths” busted into a fashion show, pulled a gay model from the catwalk, and beat him to a pulp. Claire Berlinski reported for National Review two years ago that in the French suburb of La Courneuve 77 percent of veiled women say they cover themselves to “avoid the wrath of Islamic morality patrols.” In Potsdam, the Abraham Geiger Theological College advises its rabbis not to venture on the streets wearing identifying marks of their faith. In synagogues from Copenhagen to Berlin to Rome, Jews are warned to hide their yarmulkes under hats or baseball caps at the end of the service. In Paris, a man wearing no identifiably religious clothing was beaten unconscious on the Métro for being caught reading a book by France’s chief rabbi. The message is consistent, from Jews to gays to women: In the new Europe, you don’t want to be seen as the other. Keep your head down, or covered.