How exactly did they stink up the room? Well, obviously by claiming that Muslim fathers en bloc first have their daughters raped by their uncles and then kill them for dishonouring the family.1 Somehow there ought to be a severe shortfall of marriageble daughters in Muslim families so it really would be dysfunctional behaviour, but I suspect that both Langballe and Hedegaard has left the world of empirically based argumentation.
Philosophers and sociologists have tried to explain how extreme forms of thinking develop – basically we are in a closed circuit which denies all outside information and consequently any form of argumentation with people like Hedegaard and Langballe is impossible.
Still, I think it is worth considering what kind of argumentation we are offered to point out where we are leaving useful discourse behind.
Now, at the risk of offering an ad hominem-argument I will point out that Langballe’s background is in Tidehverv, a strange branch of Lutheran theology, while Hedegaard used to be on the University Marxist left. I have some experience with University Marxists2 so I will offer this proposition: Langballe and Hedegaard can be described as manichaeians (in a philosophical, not a theological sense) – they see the world as separated in Forces of Good and Evil. The manifestations of Good in the world are by definition good and the manifestations of Evil similarly evil.
This is why Søren Krarup can argue that it is perfectly okay for Christians to beat up their children (because Christianity is the manifestation of Good) while Muslims who beat their children are evil. Once you acknowledge that Krarup sees Islam as The Force of Evil, you will understand that anything a Muslim does by definition must be evil in his perspective.
That Langballe’s brain is wired like Krarup’s should come as no surprise. In Hedegaard’s case it is just that Islam has replaced Capitalism as The Force of Evil. Ralf Pittelkow, another former University Marxist, no doubt thinks in the same way.
So what about the sexual abuse and murder claims? Well, these can easily be made into variables and subjected to empirical tests – e.g. “What is the risk of a child being sexually abused in a [insert ethnic, religious or socio-economic category] family?”, “To what degree is the victim of sexual abuse blamed for the abuse by [insert ethnic, religious or socio-economic category]?”, “What is the risk of being killed by a member of one’s own family depending on [insert ethnic, religious or socio-economic category]?”, etc, etc.
Generally, the family is a dangerous place but that Hedegaard, Langballe and Krarup no doubt will do their utmost to deny claims of abuse in Christian families – well… wem wundert’s?