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Hindus and Pakistanis from similar cultures???

Reader comment on item: Making Culture an Element of Immigration Policy
in response to reader comment: Religion v. culture India and Pakistan

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 3, 2014 at 10:41

There is something wrong with your criteria, if you consider Hindus and Pakistanis to be of a similar "culture". Also, I am ever skeptical of the use of the term "assimilation" nowadays.

On the first point, if one's definition of "culture" does not distinguish between Hindus and Muslims, that definition is meaningless. In the UK, the term "South Asian" is used as a blanket term for Hindu Indians, Muslim Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sikhs, Buddhists and others. Behavioral factors between HIndus and Muslims in this "group", however, could not be starker -- especially when considering rates for terrorist killings and honor killings (zero for Hindus). The states of India and Pakistan were originally separated from one another entirely on the basis of religion. In other significant cultural factors, such as race, language, script family, history, etc., India is extremely inclusive: There has never been a successful separatist movement based on any of these factors. Only religion was considered a divisive enough factor, that the subcontinent was split along these lines.

As for "assimilation", I seriously question how meaningful "assimilation" can take place between two groups which do not intermarry. British Muslims from the Middle East tend strongly to marry their close cousins; and Muslims in general tend not to marry outside their religion. Hindus also tend to marry within their own caste.

In sum, the difference between Hindus and Pakistanis in the UK does not seem to be due to any difference in "assimilation". Rather, it is due to the fact that they come from entirely different cultures.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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