Baring Our Selves

Reams have been written on the differences between Islamic and Western societies, but for sheer pithiness, it's hard to beat a quip by my former colleague, a Pakistani scholar of Islamic studies. I'd strolled into his office one day to find him on the floor, at prayer. I left, shutting his door, mortified. Later, he cheerfully batted my apologies away. "That's the big difference between us," he shrugged. "You Westerners make love in public and pray in private. We Muslims do exactly the reverse."

At the nub of debates over Muslim integration in Europe lies the question: what's...

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