The Shafia family is typical of some immigrant families from Third World countries with strict religious cultures. They arrive in the West but never actually live here. They want to take economically from their new environment but still want to live their lives by the laws, rules, customs and values of their country of origin. They want to adopt nothing in this respect from their new society, believing in some cases their new country’s culture inferior to their own and that it even poses a threat. For them, integration is simply out of the question and no attempt is ever made, choosing self-segregation from the host society instead.
But problems often arise when their children attend school and encounter values that contradict those of the family’s, especially if a strict religious, patriarchal culture reigns at home. Girls face heavy restrictions in such homes, particularly in Muslim ones, and therefore can be especially affected by a school environment where equality between the genders is stressed, and they notice female classmates from other cultures enjoying unheard of freedoms. Wanting to fit in with the others and enjoy life, these girls then rebel against their restrictive home environments, but sometimes with deadly consequences.