Oh how I wish I had the presence of mind to have taken a picture of her to illustrate the point of this post, not that I ever need much excuse to publish a picture of an attractive young woman… my camera was on my belt as usual but alas my brain was not in gear and moments later she was lost in the swirling post-Christmas sales crowds.
She was in her late teens or maybe early twenties, obviously from a fairly well off family, very stylish in a ‘Mayfair London’ manner (though I saw her in Kensington), beautiful in a ‘could be a model’ sort of way, dusky complexion, long legs made to look even longer by expensive looking high heeled shoes and a very short form fitting ‘little black dress’… and wearing an Iranian style hijab.
Although I can only speculate as I do not know the young woman who caught my eye, it is not hard to see the ‘domestic compromise’ at work here… her family insisting she wear the hijab whilst she insisted on dressing to kill in the manner of her adopted western culture and friends.
This little drama must get played out a million times a year across Europe and North America amongst the Muslim diaspora and in the long run, it is not hard to see which cultural force is going to win. I suspect that one of the reasons that small pockets of western Muslims have become radicalized is that it is they who are most starkly confronted with what happens in the majority of cases when the old ways are confronted by western secular individualism. No civilization based on submission to arbitrary edicts from the Dark Ages can survive contact with a civilization that essentially encourages you to find your own way and do what you will.
I suspect within one hundred years, maybe less, Islam will have about as much relevance to the life of most ‘Muslims’ as the Anglican Church does to most British ‘Christians’… something you might or might not encounter when getting married or buried and not much else.