Immigrants should integrate into our existing culture

I would like to comment on various letters written by others about the sensitive and overwrought subject of organized religion, specifically Islam. My attitude has always been “Switzerland,” meaning “neutral.” Really don’t care what people believe in, as long as they don’t try to cram it down my throat, or physically and emotionally hurt anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs.

But what I don’t understand is why people are so ready and eager to embrace immigrants whose traditional beliefs clearly abuse and oppress women, widely considered to be un-American and violating human rights. And I find it hard to believe that those immigrants will drop such beliefs and integrate into our existing culture — as did immigrants from centuries past.

During my real estate career in California and responding to an inquiry about one of my listings, I once saw it with my own eyes when hearing a man scream at his wife when she dared open the front door without wearing a hijab, and running off to another room. It was so shocking, I actually felt unsafe and left. Not really being familiar with the Muslim culture, I did some research online, seeking educational sites. And while there are Muslim women who wear hijabs and even burqahs willingly on religious grounds or fear, many appear to be forced to do so.

While Wikipedia includes pages of confusing explanations and interpretations of Sharia law, it appears to be a family law based strictly on religion. Many primarily Muslim countries follow various versions of Sharia law, and according to Wikipedia even some European countries like Germany and the U.K. are allowing some aspects of it. But I can’t even imagine anyone in the USA finding such judgments (some truly barbaric) to be acceptable. In light of the ever evolving “fake news” phenomena, I think everyone should be diligent in doing some fact-checking before believing everything they see and hear through the media.

As an immigrant and naturalized citizen myself, I accepted and adopted my host country’s culture, customs and laws without reservations, or expecting anyone to adopt mine. And I am incensed by immigrants to this country who go out and protest — some violently — against everything America stands for, just because they can, claiming First Amendment rights without even being a citizen.

Gitta Brown