Immigration Politics, European Style

Europe is engulfed in an immigration debate that resembles America's in many ways.

Just as President Bush sent National Guard troops to reinforce the U.S.-Mexican border last month, so the European Union last month dispatched military units to Spain's Canary Islands to head off a growing numbers of Africans trying to enter Europe through the islands, which lie about 100 kilometers off the coasts of Morocco and Western Sahara. (See Post reporter Kevin Sullivan's recent piece on Africans attempting to reach the Canary Islands via Mauritania.)

As with pending U.S. legislation to legalize some undocumented residents, recent proposals for amnesties in Britain and Italy have provoked criticism.

While the U.S. Senate recently took a largely symbolic step to make English the national language, Dutch lawmakers established civic-integration tests that require new residents to speak Dutch and know Dutch customs. In Germany, the Bundestag is debating proposals to require immigrants to learn German or face penalties.

But there's one big difference between the immigration problems of the United States and Europe. While the heart of the U.S debate concerns what to do about illegal immigration of Hispanics, the European debate centers on the integration and assimilation of Muslims.

"According to the best estimates, Muslims currently constitute approximately 5 percent of the European Union's 425 million inhabitants," says Islam Online. "There are about 4.5 million Muslims in France, 3 million in Germany, 1.6 million in the United Kingdom, and more than half a million in both Italy and the Netherlands. In smaller countries, such as Austria, Sweden, and Belgium, Muslim populations do not even number 500,000, but still represent significant minorities."

European Muslims are much more alienated and European public opinion is increasingly polarized and pessimistic about their presence.

A conference on Islamphobia in Brussels this week likened anti-Islamic feeling to anti-Semitism before World War II. In Italy, Oriana Fallaci, perhaps the country's most famous journalist, went on trial for allegedly defaming Islam in a recent book.

Tariq Ramadan, a Geneva-based university lecturer, argues that European countries "have to rethink how they cope with their Muslim citizens" and that European Muslims have to adapt to Europe.

"The mind-set prevalent among some second and third generation Muslims makes no sense," he writes in Islam Online. "It's as if they live in a bubble. They ignore the societal context of their surroundings and haven't even mastered the language of their home country."

The result is a backlash seen in the increasingly "populist approach" to immigrants from European parliaments. This populism that threatens to undermine a long history of giving refuge to those in need, Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said last week

"In an increasing number of countries, asylum seekers - and the refugees among them - have become a tool for political demagogues, or have been turned into faceless bogeymen by an unscrupulous popular press," he said.

The problem is not demagoguery but "victimology," counters, Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that published the controversial carticatures of the prophet Muhammed last year.

"Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is undermining its liberal values," he wrote last month in Germany's Spiegel Online. An unholy three-cornered alliance between Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe and Europe's traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology. This politics drives a culture that resists integration and adaptation, perpetuates national and religious differences and aggravates such debilitating social ills as high immigrant crime rates and entrenched unemployment."

Rose noted the fundamental difference of the debate on either side of the Atlantic.

"Europe's approach to immigration and integration is rooted in its historic experience with relatively homogeneous cultures. In the United States one's definition of nationality is essentially political; in Europe it is historically cultural. I am a Dane because I look European, speak Danish, descend from centuries of other Scandinavians. But what about the dark, bearded new Danes who speak Arabic at home and poor Danish in the streets? We Europeans must make a profound cultural adjustment to understand that they, too, can be Danes," he writes.

All around Europe, however, there are signs of public resistance to the idea of accepting foreigners, especially Muslims.

A survey of 1,020 "native Dutch people found half the respondents said they are afraid of Islam and its influence on Dutch society, regarding Islam as a non-peaceful religion at odds with modern life in Europe, according to Radio Netherlands. Their story reports that "some 58 percent of Europeans regard ethnic minorities as a threat. Italy, Belgium and the Czech Republic score above the European average in their dislike of foreigners."

Sweden's Integration Board boasts the Scandinavian country is one of the world's best at incorporating newcomers into its economy. A poll released earlier this month still found 48 percent of Swedes believe it would be better for their country to accept fewer refugees, the lowest figure in five years.

Tariq Ramadan, in the same Islam Online essay, says it's time for Europe and its Muslim immigrants to break with the past and embrace a common future.

The problem with European countries, he says, is not only that they view Islam as "a looming source of instability," but also that their governments "prefer to quietly deal with the regimes of the Muslim world, many of which do not observe the law, although they give Europe security and protect their interests."

"The future of Muslim presence in Europe will come from "a truly 'Islamo-European Culture' disengaged from the Arabic culture of North Africa, Turkey, and Indo-Pakistan," Ramadan predicts.

By Jefferson Morley |  June 15, 2006; 7:03 AM ET  | Category:  Europe
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Comments

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Muslims in Europe are not the problem. We must insist, however, that people tolerate each other. That's an obligation of indigenous populations and immigrants alike.

There can be no tolerance of intolerance. Otherwise one cannot sustain freedom.

There are many ways to live a responsible life. There are also limits. Every citizen and resident in a democracy has an obligation to respect the humanity of others.

For example, if Muslims want to dress differently that's fine. It's not ok to kill one's gay cousin or to beat one's wife.

Most Muslims don't do that. Some Christians or agnostics do. When people cross those lines then then state and society have to confront inhumanity regardless of their cultural background.

Most Muslim, Christian, and secular leaders support tolerance and humanity. Those who oppose these core values are sowing the seeds of violence and need to be confronted.

European governments ought to protect Muslims that want to live their religion in a way that does not impose on the freedom of others. Preachers who teach hate, on the other hand, have crossed the line of legitimate behavior and require government intervention.

Posted by: Hellmut | June 15, 2006 08:58 AM

One thing not addressed in this piece is the fact that many, if not a majority, of Europeans are not particularly religious outside of birth, marriage and death. However, the majority of immigrants ARE quite religiously observant, to a non-christain religion at that. Culture, politics, color of skin aside, this religious division is perhaps as big as any other factor.

Posted by: ldb | June 15, 2006 09:09 AM

As an immigrant that jumped through numerous hoops to legally enter a society I found congenial, I find it bizarre that there should even be a discussion about illegal immigration. If assimilation is not a possibility for an immigrant, that immigrant has no business entering a society. That may seem to be a very hard-line position, but consider that a society has every right to maintain its identity. Muslim immigrants who find European mores incompatible with their religion should move to places where sharia is the rule of the land. Perhaps being stoned to death or publicly flogged or not educating their daughters is something they actively want. Then move to Saudi Arabia or Iran! Of course, when a society itself evolves into a theocracy as is happening in the US, those of us who did not foresee such an evolution must either work to ensure that this idiocy does not continue, or move to more suitable societies.

Posted by: immigrant | June 15, 2006 09:13 AM

Hello, I'm an immigrant of indian origin living in the united states. I have read countless articles about immigration in the US and Europe, but its surprising to me that only a few talk about how hard it is to actually be an immigrant (i.e., gain permanant resident status in your adopted country). All my friends from back home who have immigrated to the US and Europe are hardworking and law abiding people, some are religious others are not, but still secular and tolerant of others. In my opinion, the trouble mongering immigrants are those who are able to immigrate because of family connections or are granted asylum. Since they never had to work hard for being an immigrant, they often don't value the opportunity being accorded to them and to try to make the best of it. They often tend to be poorly educated (since their qualfications were never a factor in their immigration application) and hence don't get paid as much and often find succor in organized religon to find a sense of identity in an alien world and feel good about themselves. To cut a long story short, I think problems with lack of assimilation and relgious discord can be avoided to a large extent by allowing the "right kind" of people to immigrate- people from all over the world (not just those who live in adjoining countries) who are educated, secular, already speak the local language or are willing to learn and can contribute in a meaninful way to society. Family based immigration should be curtailed, while employment based immigration should be increased.

Posted by: Ankur | June 15, 2006 09:23 AM

Don't bash the governments that erect the walls to stop illegal immigration. Bash the governments who permit such exodus with their chronic statist and corrupt policies.

That said, it will be interesting to see how the self-perceived morally superior Europeans explain the contradiction of denying the opportunity of "social justice" to so many who seek for it in their land.

Posted by: matedecoca | June 15, 2006 09:56 AM

'Immigrant' made a good point. If an immigrant wants to come to a country, he/she should also want to learn about and share some of the values of that country, otherwise, they're just exploiting it. Many legal immigrants here (especially from India) keep their national identity but acept the AMerican culture and do a good job of tolerating things here that would not be tolerated in their own country. As a result, these immigrants are looked upon fairly well here and are at least marginally integrated into society.
However, in places like Holland you have immigrants who have been there for over 5 years and know three words in Dutch. There is no excuse for that.

Posted by: Will | June 15, 2006 10:03 AM

There is this attitude among some of the politically-correct that western peoples do not have the right to decide who gets to live in their own nations. In effect, they say that we must accept everyone who shows up, without question, and that immigrants do not have to assimilate at all--that they can keep their cultures exactly as if they were still in their homelands, even if those cultures are intolerant of the culture of their adopted country. Funny thing is, the politically-correct never seem to demand the same thing of any non-western country. The logical outcome, of course, is cultural and civilizational suicide.

Sooner or later, these other nations are going to have to develop, or the tidal wave of humanity that will try to flood into Europe, North America and elsewhere will make today's troubles seem like minor inconveniences by comparison.

Posted by: Blather, IN | June 15, 2006 10:56 AM

"There is this attitude among some of the politically-correct that western peoples do not have the right to decide who gets to live in their own nations."

I have never heard anyone advocate this view, so I'm not sure whom the politically correct are that you're referring to. I am, however, surrounded by people who advocate a more humane immigration policy.

If you are referring to these people, most of them also advocate UN protection of human rights throughout the world. That is, they believe that that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Or are those beliefs political correctness as well?

Feel free to disagree with that or any point of view. But if you are going to ascribe two starkly different ideas to one vaguely defined group, please be more specific. Thank you for your contribution to this discussion.

Posted by: | June 15, 2006 12:26 PM

How do the governments of Germany and the Netherlands think they'll legislate their immigrants into learning the national language if living there isn't sufficient motivation? Learning a new language as an adult is usually very hard, especially if the adult is as poorly educated as illegal immigrants tend to be.

Posted by: wondering | June 15, 2006 02:01 PM

My mother always said, "when in Rome, act as a Roman." However, she also said, "do not conform to the ways of the world but serve as one who will positively transform it." I dont know if this makes sense to anyone else, but I see the problem as leaning in both directions. As an immigrant you should be willing to adapt to your adopted society- not saying you should not be aware of the ills of that society, since every society has a negative to it- because that's how you will really be successful and accepted in that society. Even if members of the society do not seem to be considerate towards you, you should be patient with them and always remember that you are the stranger in their midst- do not consider yourself as the one in position to give orders. View yourself as a stranger visiting a household, and looking to be accepted by that household. If you do not keep an open mind about the culture, lifestyle, and ways of that household; chances are your chances of acceptance will be very slim. On the other hand the society, whether Europe or America, should also show some patience and tolerance towards people of foreign origin; immigration is something that can never be stopped,it has been in existence since the beginning of time and will continue to exist. The world needs to understand that it's human nature to migrate where the grass happens to be greener at that point in time; and the Western world happens to be the greener grass at this point in history-who knows at what time in the future the fortune will reverse.

I guess I am an open-minded immigrant who views the problem from both angles.

Posted by: Mo, Washington DC | June 15, 2006 02:48 PM

Immigration and nationality issues in the EU are indeed very different from the US.
The vast majority of people who originate from outside the EU (either in first, second or third generation)are there legally.

They are refugees, claimed asylum, were guest workers, or come from former colonies. The problem with all of these statuses is that by their very nature they are tentative and to some degree involuntary. That has a huge impact on how someone views his or her new environment. Not surprisingly, these people are less inclined to adapt, and more inclined to adhere to values they bring with them.

For example, Turkish guest workers in Germany, and often their children, too, are much more traditional than most of their peers in Turkey itself.

So Europe is faced not so much with a problem of legal versus illegal workers, but homogenous versus heterogenous cultures, as the Danish editor has pointed out correctly.

Posted by: cpwdc | June 15, 2006 03:12 PM

Wondering, if I may, I don't know how Germany and the Netherlands intend to go about it, but I can say here in Quebec, inviting adult immigrants to enroll in free quality French classes has proved to be quite successful. It seems important that the country at the receiving end make genuine efforts (and spend the money!) needed to encourage its immigrants to really become "one of us". That includes follow-up programs so as to know how the immigrants are doing and what needs be done to help them "integrate". Assimilation is quite another matter. Here, we favour integration over assimilation. It has its drawbacks too...

Posted by: Robert Rose, Canada | June 15, 2006 04:02 PM

I'm all for immigration provided it is done the correct way. However there is a double-standard that doesn't sit well with me. Many immigrants especially in Europe of Muslim desent demand the same rights as any normal citizen (as they should) from their adopted country. However many of these immigrants are not tolerant themselves. I know this is an anecdote, but I have two. The Theo van Gogh murder and during the Danish cartoon riots when a protester of Muslim descent was photographed in front of the Danish embassy in London with a sign that read "Behead those who insult Islam". I was sick to my stomach to see someone espouse that view.

For the record I don't think that I as a Christian could walk freely in Saudi Arabia or many locations in the Middle East with a cross hanging from my neck. The government would probably sanction my execution. Also non-muslims are not allowed to become Saudi citizens. I don't think there are any churches (and definitely any synagouges) in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan etc.

So yes, there is a lot of hypocrisy from immigrants with the Muslim immigrants at teh forefront of that hypocrisy.

Posted by: Fair Minded | June 15, 2006 04:33 PM

There are some similarities and differences between the European and American approaches to immigration.
The major difference is in the state's relationship to religion. Europe's approach takes the form of State Religions with minority religions being approved of for public support. Religious instruction takes place in the Public Schools, but the major state religions tend to get more attention, and special arrangements are sometimes necessary for minority religions.
In the United States, there is no state religion. Under the first Admendment, the state is forbidden to make laws respecting the establishment of Religion and cannot prevent the free exercise of religion. Freedom of religion is a basic individual civil right, which the state is forbidden to touch. It isn't a matter of toleration, because it is a civil right. Religion is not an issue with regard to immigration. Muslims can pray the way they like, and dress the way they like. The state can make no law against wearing religious clothing. it is forbidden to touch religious questions.
The similarties between Europe and the United States are economic. Through "Free Trade", here in the United States,Jobs and industries have been outsourced overseas looking for cheaper labor. To cheapen labor in the United States the importation of cheap labor either through a guest worker programs or illegal immigration are be used to further drive wages down to make them "Competetive" and "productive" with overseas labor. In other word, it is an attempt to create an underclass of workers without benefits with the wealthy and the Multinationals getting richer at their expense. The cure for this nonsense is secure borders and tariffs. Jobs and industries in the United States would be protected from competing with cheap labor and wages would again rise.
It was behind Alexander Hamilton's tariffs that the U.S. became an industrial giant and the arsenal of democracy through two World Wars. Any nation can take the same route.

Posted by: P. J. Casey | June 15, 2006 05:42 PM

IT CONTINUES TO BOTHER MY MIND DAY-IN DAY-OUT THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES, OR PERHAPS, THE WEST WILL FIND IT SO TECHNICAL,AND DIFFICULT, EVEN MORE THAT THE PERIOD THAT TOOK THEM TO CONCLUDE THE FIGHT AGAINST TERROR, OR IRAQI WAR TO ADDRESS THE REAL, AND IMPORTANT FACTOR THAT IS COURSING AFRICANS TO MOVE FROM THEIR HOME LANDS TO COUNTRIES LIKE EUROPE, UNITED STATES AND OTHER DEVELOPED NATIONS. I AM VERY SURE,EVEN MORE THAN 100 % THAT IF THE SO CALLED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH COUNTRIES THEY ARE TO ENTER ILLEGAL ON HOW THEY WILL BRING IN SOME THOUSANDS OF OIL BARREL TO WEST LEADER / POLICY MAKERS,THERE WILL NOT BE MUCH PROBLEMS ON MANY-MANY BILLS, LAWS, AND BYE LAWS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT STATUS ANYWHERE AMONGST THESE DEVELOPED NATIONS OR WEST SO TO SAY.
THE SIMPLE FACT STILL REMAINS TO WE AFRICANS,LIVING ABROAD THAT THERE'S NO WHERE LIKE HOME.
I THINK THE INFLUENCE OF THE WEST ON DEVELOPING NATIONS,OR THEIR INFLUENCE ON POLICIES MADE IN THE PAST,EVEN TILL DATE BY THE LEADERS FROM DEVELOPING NATIONS IS THE SUBJECT THAT IS IN NEED OF URGENT ATTENTION, AND IMMEDIATE CORRECTIONS.I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IF THE WESTERN STATES STOP UNNECESSARY, SELFISH, AND GREED INTERVENTION ON POLICY MAKING BY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, THE WORLD WILL BEGIN TO BREATH IN PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE.AND IMMIGRANTS WILL PREFER TO STAY BACK IN THEIR NATIVE COUNTRIES.I DON'T SEE ANY REASON WHY THE DEVELOPED NATIONS ARE COMPLAINING OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS,ESPECIALLY THE BLACK AFRICANS THAT ARE CONTRIBUTING POSITIVELY TO ECOMONIC GROWTH AND PROVIDING CHEAP LABOUR.I WANT THE WEST TO ASK THEMSELVES HOW AND WHY THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE ALWAYS FINDING THEIR WAY OUT TO EUROPE, AND THE UNITED STATES, AND WHY NOT COUNTRIES LIKE LIBERIA, SOMALIA, NIGER, SUDAN, IRAQ, ZIMBABWE,AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES LIKE THAT WHERE THE WEST HAD ONE WAY OR THE OTHER CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR POLITICAL AND ECONOMY CRISIS.
FOR PEACE TO REIGN AND MINIMISE THE HEADACH OF ILLIGAL IMMIGRANT LAW, ITS HIGH TIME THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES FOCUS ON HOW TO ADRESS OR HOW TO REDUCE INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE ON POLICY MAKING IN DEVOLOPING NATIONS. ITS TIME THE DEVELOPING NATIONS WAKE UP FROM THIER SLEEP, AND BE VIGILANT WHILE SIGNING ECONOMY / POLITICAL AGREEMENT WITH DEVELOPED NATIONS.AFTERALL THE INTERNATIONAL LAW GIVES ROOM FOR FREEDOM TO SOVREIGN STATE, AND OTHER LAWS THAT SUIT INDIVIDUAL TRADITION AND CULTURAL STYLE, INCLUDING FREEDON TO RELIGION. I AM NOT ENPHACISING ON AN ACT OF TERROR, BECAUSE I BELIEVE TERRORISM IS NOT BY ANY WAY A RELIGION BELIEVE,INSTEAD I BELIEVE ITS AN ACT BEEN PERPECTUATED BY A PERTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH UNKNOWN BELIEVE TO REASONABLE PERCENTAGE OF THE WORLD POPULATION.
IN CONCLUTION,MY OPINION IS THAT THE WEST STOPS INFLUENCING POLICY OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTRIES, AND MAKE CORRECTIONS TO PAST MISTAKE THAT IS COURSING HEADACH AND SLEEPLESS NIGHT FOR THEIR LAW MAKERS, AND LEGISLATORS.AM SURE IF THEY MAKE AMMENDS TO PAST ECONOMY / POLITICAL POLICY THEY HAD INFLUENCED SELFISHLY, THE IMMIGRATION LAW WILL NO LONGER BE PROBLEMS TO THEM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT WILL NOT ESITATE TO LEAVE EUROPE AND AMERICA ON RUSH FOR THEIR HOME LANDS.

TAYO GEORGE.
TRIPOLI, LIBYA

Posted by: TAYO GEORGE-ADEWOYE | June 15, 2006 06:27 PM

T CONTINUES TO BOTHER MY MIND DAY-IN DAY-OUT THAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES, OR PERHAPS, THE WEST WILL FIND IT SO TECHNICAL,AND DIFFICULT, EVEN MORE THAT THE PERIOD THAT TOOK THEM TO CONCLUDE THE FIGHT AGAINST TERROR, OR IRAQI WAR TO ADDRESS THE REAL, AND IMPORTANT FACTOR THAT IS COURSING AFRICANS TO MOVE FROM THEIR HOME LANDS TO COUNTRIES LIKE EUROPE, UNITED STATES AND OTHER DEVELOPED NATIONS. I AM VERY SURE,EVEN MORE THAN 100 % THAT IF THE SO CALLED ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO REACH AN AGREEMENT WITH COUNTRIES THEY ARE TO ENTER ILLEGAL ON HOW THEY WILL BRING IN SOME THOUSANDS OF OIL BARREL TO WEST LEADER / POLICY MAKERS,THERE WILL NOT BE MUCH PROBLEMS ON MANY-MANY BILLS, LAWS, AND BYE LAWS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT STATUS ANYWHERE AMONGST THESE DEVELOPED NATIONS OR WEST SO TO SAY.
THE SIMPLE FACT STILL REMAINS TO WE AFRICANS,LIVING ABROAD THAT THERE'S NO WHERE LIKE HOME.
I THINK THE INFLUENCE OF THE WEST ON DEVELOPING NATIONS,OR THEIR INFLUENCE ON POLICIES MADE IN THE PAST,EVEN TILL DATE BY THE LEADERS FROM DEVELOPING NATIONS IS THE SUBJECT THAT IS IN NEED OF URGENT ATTENTION, AND IMMEDIATE CORRECTIONS.I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IF THE WESTERN STATES STOP UNNECESSARY, SELFISH, AND GREED INTERVENTION ON POLICY MAKING BY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, THE WORLD WILL BEGIN TO BREATH IN PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE.AND IMMIGRANTS WILL PREFER TO STAY BACK IN THEIR NATIVE COUNTRIES.I DON'T SEE ANY REASON WHY THE DEVELOPED NATIONS ARE COMPLAINING OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS,ESPECIALLY THE BLACK AFRICANS THAT ARE CONTRIBUTING POSITIVELY TO ECONOMY GROWTH AND PROVIDING CHEAP LABOR.I WANT THE WEST TO ASK THEMSELVES HOW AND WHY THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE ALWAYS FINDING THEIR WAY OUT TO EUROPE, AND THE UNITED STATES, AND WHY NOT COUNTRIES LIKE LIBERIA, SOMALIA, NIGER, SUDAN, IRAQ, ZIMBABWE,AND MANY OTHER COUNTRIES LIKE THAT WHERE THE WEST HAD ONE WAY OR THE OTHER CONTRIBUTED TO THEIR POLITICAL AND ECONOMY CRISIS.
FOR PEACE TO REIGN AND MINIMIZE THE HEADACHE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT LAW, ITS HIGH TIME THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES FOCUS ON HOW TO ADDRESS OR HOW TO REDUCE INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE ON POLICY MAKING IN DEVELOPING NATIONS. ITS TIME THE DEVELOPING NATIONS WAKE UP FROM THEIR SLEEP, AND BE VIGILANT WHILE SIGNING ECONOMY / POLITICAL AGREEMENT WITH DEVELOPED NATIONS.AFTER ALL THE INTERNATIONAL LAW GIVES ROOM FOR FREEDOM TO SOVEREIGN STATE, AND OTHER LAWS THAT SUIT INDIVIDUAL TRADITION AND CULTURAL STYLE, INCLUDING FREEDOM TO RELIGION. I AM NOT EMPHASIZING ON AN ACT OF TERROR, BECAUSE I BELIEVE TERRORISM IS NOT BY ANY WAY A RELIGION BELIEVE,INSTEAD I BELIEVE ITS AN ACT BEEN PERPETUATED BY A PARTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH UNKNOWN BELIEVE TO REASONABLE PERCENTAGE OF THE WORLD POPULATION.
IN CONCLUSION,MY OPINION IS THAT THE WEST STOPS INFLUENCING POLICY OUTSIDE THEIR COUNTRIES, AND MAKE CORRECTIONS TO PAST MISTAKE THAT IS COURSING HEADACHE AND SLEEPLESS NIGHT FOR THEIR LAW MAKERS, AND LEGISLATORS.AM SURE IF THEY MAKE AMENDS TO PAST ECONOMY / POLITICAL POLICY THEY HAD INFLUENCED SELFISHLY, THE IMMIGRATION LAW WILL NO LONGER BE PROBLEMS TO THEM, AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT WILL NOT HESITATE TO LEAVE EUROPE AND AMERICA ON RUSH FOR THEIR HOME LANDS.
TAYO GEORGE.
TRIPOLI, LIBYA

Posted by: TAYO GEORGE-ADEWOYE | June 15, 2006 06:31 PM

Reading through the comments in here, I believe that the general consensus about immigration is that it is a human matter of tolerance, acceptance and discipline as much on the side of the immigrant as on that of the "natives".

As such the matter of immigration seems to be mostly an issue of sociology, economics and law enforocement but NOT one of politics. Unfortunately that's what it has become, especially here in the US.

Politicizing immigration is what makes a reasonable and logical resolution of the issue virtually impossible. Stylizing this into an idiotic "good-versus-evil" debate for cheap political gain whips up fear and hate within the followers of those political figures who abuse xenophobia and lack of information and/or interest within a large part of a "native" population. They boil immigration down to a few bumper sticker slogans, tell people to be scared of the foreign boogey-man, drape it with a thick layer of pseudo-patriotism and hope to catch votes much more than solve the problem. That goes for politcians anywhere in the world where immigration is a "problem".

Immigration is NOT the problem. People are ! The problems are discrimination, intolerance, lack of mutual respect and naked criminal intent. Individuals must not be categorized by their place of birth but by their ability and willingness to respect their fellow human beings and the laws of the land wherever they live. Hence,in my opinion, the issue boils down to punishing those who brake laws and preach hate and embracing those who act like responsible human beings no matter what the color of their skin or their accent.

One last comment to one of you who wrote that it might be hard for uneducated adults to learn a language. Learning a language requires practice and tenacity, not necessarily intelligence. I accept that there are those who just don't have a talent for languages but I wouldn't expect everyone to be perfect as long as they tried to the best of their capabilities. Everyone can learn the most basic words in any language and wherever you go in the world the locals will always appreciate any attempt to use their language even if it's just a few words. Language is the primary determinant of culture and trying to use it shows respect.

I presonally don't care what robes my neighbor wears, what color eyes and skin she has, what god he worships or whether they follow one at all. What I do care about is how they treat others, whether they are as tolerant of my believes as I have to be of theirs, whether they want to be left in peace as much as they leave others in peace, whether they juge a person by their character and not by their personal opinions or religious convictions. I do mind very much those who want to bomb, kill, maim, steal, degrade and hate, whether their white, black, yellow, brown or green, whether they're from Africa, India, South America or from Oklahoma City.

Posted by: EuroinUS | June 15, 2006 07:39 PM

The only way to end the Jew worshiping Christian inference in the Mideast is for us Muslims to be at least 30 percent of both Europe's and America's population otherwise you filthy Jew worshiping pigs will continue to murder our children in our own homes. So since you filthy Jew worshiping pigs refuse to let us Muslims live in peace in own homes, the only way for us to end the continue Judeo-Christian murder of our children in our own homes is for us to increase the Muslim population of France, England, Russia, America, and Israel. These five countries combined have their hands soaking with the blood of millions of Muslim men women and children they have massacred in the name of the filthy Jew God they worship

Posted by: Pinar | June 15, 2006 10:15 PM

The only way to end the Jew worshiping Christian inference in the Mideast is for us Muslims to be at least 30 percent of both Europe's and America's population otherwise you filthy Jew worshiping pigs will continue to murder our children in our own homes. So since you filthy Jew worshiping pigs refuse to let us Muslims live in peace in own homes, the only way for us to end the continue Judeo-Christian murder of our children in our own homes is for us to increase the Muslim population of France, England, Russia, America, and Israel. These five countries combined have their hands soaking with the blood of millions of Muslim men women and children they have massacred in the name of the filthy Jew God they worship

Posted by: Pinar | June 15, 2006 10:17 PM

Immigrants aren't the only ones who have a problem assimilating into society. Millions of people drop out of school and are functionally illiterate, lacking basic skills to perform most jobs.

If governments made a high-school diploma a requirement to hold the rights of an adult citizen, instead of some arbitrary birthday, countries and individuals would be much more prepared to deal with the challenges of the future. Make a high-school diploma or equivalency test a prerequisite for the right to work, vote, drive, drink, serve in the armed forces, or hold a passport, and people will be very strongly motivated to complete their education. Apply the same requirement to native-born and immigrant people, and it will be a non-racist way of discouraging migration of less-qualified people. Kids won't drop out of school if they have nowhere to drop out to. A more educated work force will make less demand for social services while increasing the tax base, which will result in lower taxes for everyone. People able to take ordinary jobs will be less likely to choose crime as a life path.

Posted by: lart from above | June 16, 2006 12:11 AM

Good points, lart...but the rights to work, vote, drive, drink, serve in the armed forces, and hold a passport shouldn't all be lumped together as the rights of adult citizens. I've held a passport since I was a small child. My parents didn't leave me at home when they went on vacations abroad - they scheduled the trips during my school vacations, brought me with them, and supervised me well the whole time. What's wrong with that?

Posted by: Cindy | June 16, 2006 07:37 AM

Fair Minded,

You wrote:

"For the record I don't think that I as a Christian could walk freely in Saudi Arabia or many locations in the Middle East with a cross hanging from my neck. The government would probably sanction my execution. Also non-muslims are not allowed to become Saudi citizens. I don't think there are any churches (and definitely any synagogues) in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan etc"

Most of what you wrote is false. You are spreading misinformation in here.

1- You might not be able to walk around with a big cross in Saudi Arabia but that violation of Saudi laws (that I condemn) does not equal execution. In you were a female Muslim French citizen you will not able to wear the scarf in school. It is against the law.

2- You wrote you might not be able to do the same in MANY locations in the Middle East. That is false. 10% of Egypt is Christian, Half of Lebanon is Christian, less than 10% in Syria, Jordan and Israeli occupied Palestinian territories are Christians.

3- Saudi Arabia does not grant citizenship to non-Saudis period, whether they are Muslim or not it does not matter. I as a Moroccan can not get Saudi Citizenship. Heck even if I wanted to visit I need to get a visa. In other Gulf countries, Americans and Europeans get special treatment. For instance, in UAE (Dubai), US citizens and Europeans do not need a visa to visit but Moroccans and many other Muslim-Arabs do. How about that?

4- Iran does have synagogues and Churches. There is a Jewish PM (Mr. Morris Motamed) in the Iranian parliament. Pakistan also have Churches, not sure if they have any Jews. Except for Saudi Arabia, please list the other Middle Eastern countries that you referred to in your message.

Only few weeks ago, Greece finally changed its decades-old law that basically banned anything but orthodox churches to be built in Greece. The Orthodox church had a veto power regarding places of worship and as such they have blocked the building of mosques for almost 2 centuries. Since the 1800s, there has not been a single functioning Mosque in Greece. The Orthodox Church claimed that because of Turkshi-Ottoman occupation 2 centuries ago, they were not ready to see a minaret in Athens. There are at least 200,000 Muslims in Athens (capital), yet they were not allowed to build a mosque! They had to pray in houses, basements, warehouses, etc.

And so you know, Greece is a western country and part of the EU.

How do you explain this?

Similar things happened in France even though there were no explicit laws similar to the one that existed in Greece. Counties and local governments would use other laws (such as zoning) to deny mosque building permits.

I have lived in France for a while and I saw how people prayed in crowded basements, warehouses, etc.

Posted by: Karim | June 16, 2006 09:45 AM

Moderators:

Please remove the above statements from "Pinar". They are disrespectful, rude and violate forum rules. Thank you.

Posted by: Brian | June 16, 2006 12:09 PM

Karim, thank you for the insightful comments.You did however leave the door open to some hypocrisy as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned (i.e. not a capital offense to wear a cross but still against the law), but i won't let my argument degenerate into Saudi bashing.

My overall point though is that immigration does not flow from Europe to the middle east or Africa, but the other way around. If immigrants demand tolerance, but do not have a culture of tolerance themselves, then racial religious and social polarization occurs.

I used examples of the Van Gogh murder, which you did not respond to as well as the London protester photo calling for the beheading of the Danish cartoonists. Add the 3/11 bombings in Madrid, 7/7 in London, Bali and Indonesia bombings, Eygpt, recent terror foils in Canada and the UK, and the common denominator is that all are perpetrated my muslim immigrants.

Whatever happened to immigrants being thankful for the opportunity to live a better life & provide for their family. Not use the goodwill of their adopted nations to plot terror because of fanaticism. I would not want that element in my country either.

Just think, those youths in Canada (a relatively peaceful country I might add)always had access to education, social services, food, shelter and an otherwise decent standard of living. To pay back Canada they plan to storm parliament and behead innocent people.

Posted by: Fair Minded | June 16, 2006 02:47 PM

Fair Minded,

Thank you for you reply.

I think I did condemn the Saudi government attitude towards wearing/displaying religious symbols of other religions. Please notice that I am not making excuses for them or justifying their laws even though Saudi government claims that all Saudi citizens are Muslims.

We have to be fair and reasonable though.

In your previous message, you claimed that Muslims in Europe are "hypocrites", and you justified your accusation by bringing up Saudi Arabia (the black sheep). What you failed to mention is how many of those Muslim immigrants are of Saudi origin?

Why should a Muslim immigrant of Moroccan heritage be blamed or held accountable for what goes in Saudi Arabia?

Those are the things that I don't understand.

Did you know that except for Germany and Britain, the majority of Muslim immigrants in Europe are from North Africa (Morocco and Algeria)? And except for Britain that has many South Asians, Germany has a big immigrant population from Turkey.

What do you know about Turkey? Are people not allowed to wear crosses in Turkey? Should the Turks, who are not even Arabs, be held accountable for what goes in Saudi Arabia?

Further more, Europe basically does not have Saudi immigrants. The only Saudis who resided in Europe were the former Saudi King and his entourage in Southern Spain, in Marbella.

When the former king died, the Spanish city mourned his death for 3 days.

These Saudi were not taking advantage of Europe by benefiting from its wealth, on the contrary they were pumping money into it, millions of dollars. While Spain does routinely chase illegal Moroccan immigrants out, the Saudi get a different treatment: they want them to stay.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4741027.stm

Your overall point is unfortunately founded on bigotry and and on guilt by association. Hardly anything that can be considered a "valid point".

The killer of Van Gogh was Dutch born, of Moroccan heritage. The guy was born in the Netherlands and brought up in the Netherlands. He was not a foreigner,
and he was neither Saudi nor of Saudi heritage.

You seem to treat those native-born Muslim citizens differently from native-born non-Muslim citizens.

The native-born Muslim European (or anywhere else) citizen does not owe anything to the "real Europeans". It is outrageous to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: Karim | June 17, 2006 01:52 AM

To say "Muslims" is a logical fallacy called Hasty Generalization. Muslims are diverse group and simiply put all the Muslims under one umbrella is Hasty Generalization. Muslims are made from every race and every culture and every language and therefore each Muslim group acts differently in host's countries compared to another Muslim group. So it more based upon ethic rather than religion. For example, if a Germen community is full of crime and rape, but to label that community as Christian community since the Germen are Chritians and therefore the blame goes to all of the Christians like Italians, French for the work of a Germen community is a Hasty Generalization. I always hear "muslims communities" but so called "muslim communities" is made from certain ethic groups like Arabs or Turks. Community is always based on similar language and culture. Lot of "Muslims communities" is made from ethic or language group not religion based. In the so called "muslim communties" that the common language is Arabic, you never find Indian Muslim or Nigerian Muslim or Malaysian Muslims or any other Muslims that don't speak Arabic. Since I am South Asian Muslim, I know that Muslim from South Asia wants to live with other South Asians who maybe be Hindus, Buddhist and etc not with Arab Muslims since they want to have a similar language and culture. There are lot South Asian communities like Jackson Height in New York and many in London that I been to, that have diverse religion group but form South Asian communities due to culture and language.

Posted by: tarikur | June 17, 2006 04:31 AM

The bandaid solutions are confined to actions within the victim countries: e.g., Germany, Netherlands, and Great Britain.

The right solution is for these countries to intervene aggressively in those failed societies from which millions of Africans, Arabs, and others flee to safety and sanctuary in the West. Intervention means influencing -- even controlling -- the political process of these failed states.

We must accept that fact that some cultures are failed cultures. They cannot produce 1st-world prosperous democracies.

If we continue to use bandaid solutions, the illegal aliens will overwhelm the West and, ultimately, destroy our own societies. The illegal aliens will recreate the same failed societies (without our Western nations) from which the aliens fled. 30% of Hispanics failed the California High-School Competency Examination required for graduation from high school. France has huge ghettos of Muslims who routinely kill Islamic girls refusing to wear Islamic headscarves.

Posted by: Alaskan | June 18, 2006 12:11 AM

(Below is the corrected version of my essay.)

The bandaid solutions are confined to actions within the victim countries: e.g., Germany, Netherlands, and Great Britain.

The right solution is for these countries to intervene aggressively in those failed societies from which millions of Africans, Arabs, and others flee to safety and sanctuary in the West. Intervention means influencing -- even controlling -- the political process of these failed states.

We must accept the fact that some cultures are failed cultures. They cannot produce 1st-world prosperous democracies.

If we continue to use bandaid solutions, the illegal aliens will overwhelm the West and, ultimately, destroy our own societies. The illegal aliens will recreate the same failed societies (within our Western nations) from which the aliens fled. 30% of Hispanics failed the California High-School Competency Examination required for graduation from high school. France has huge ghettos of Muslims who routinely kill Islamic girls refusing to wear Islamic headscarves.

Posted by: Alaskan | June 18, 2006 12:20 AM

(Below is the corrected version of my previously submitted essay.)

The bandaid solutions are confined to actions within the victim countries: e.g., Germany, Netherlands, and Great Britain.

The right solution is for these countries to intervene aggressively in those failed societies from which millions of Africans, Arabs, and others flee to safety and sanctuary in the West. Intervention means influencing -- even controlling -- the political process of these failed states.

We must accept the fact that some cultures are failed cultures. They cannot produce 1st-world prosperous democracies.

If we continue to use bandaid solutions, the illegal aliens will overwhelm the West and, ultimately, destroy our own societies. The illegal aliens will recreate the same failed societies (within our Western nations) from which the aliens fled. 30% of Hispanics failed the California High-School Competency Examination required for graduation from high school. France has huge ghettos of Muslims who routinely kill Islamic girls refusing to wear Islamic headscarves.

Posted by: Alaskan | June 18, 2006 12:20 AM

Why are the Washington Post and other U.S. mainstream media outlets suppressing news of the bombshell poll released over the weekend by the Financial Times of London? The poll shows that, by a wide margin, Europeans consider the U.S. a greater threat to worldwide stability than any other nation, including Iran:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/4d0ad7dc-feeb-11da-84f3-0000779e2340.html
Given the way global public opinion is moving, it won't be long before what little remains of trans-Atlantic military and diplomatic alliances will be discarded and Europe will actively arm itself against the U.S. menace.
What else can we do when an aggressive superpower openly defies international law, abducts people, holds them in secret prisons, tortures them, wages illegal wars, destabilizes and poisons the entire planet?
The U.S., today, has become the enemy of humanity.
Europe must now take the lead in standing up for human rights and international law -- even if that means arming ourselves against Washington.

Posted by: Fernando | June 19, 2006 11:10 AM

Fernando asks:
"What else can we do when an aggressive superpower openly defies international law?"

You can surrender cravenly. It is what the French, Belgians, and Dutch did in the Second World War. Or, you can cravenly sit on the sidelines, like the Swiss, Swedes, Spaniards and Portuguese did.

But who will come rescue you this time?

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | June 19, 2006 09:51 PM

"What else can we do when an aggressive superpower openly defies international law?" (commented by Jerry Bourbon)

Some may do like the Soviets did, under Stalin, to rid the world of the Brown Plague. With the help of people like Joukov, it's just a matter of first facing 75% of the enemy forces on your Motherland's front, of resisting under siege as in Leningrad, of giving them a fatal blow like was done in Stalingrad, and of finally bombing them and their allies into submission all the way back to the monster's cave.

One may of course prefer the Giap-Ho Chi Minh Vietnamese way, i.e. let the enemy understimate you all he wants, fight a protracted guerilla war, and slowly defeat the enemy morally, militarily, and politically.

In either case, be prepared to die in the millions, and to mourn.

Posted by: Robert Rose | June 19, 2006 10:52 PM

Or there's the route taken in the Iranian Revolution. Or by the Cubans, Angolans, South Africans, and now the Bolivians and Venezuelans. The resurgence of global hostility to America is just beginning.
Already, so many countries have stood up to America, and defeated America in war. Yet middle America chooses to ignore this and comfort itself in the myth that U.S. military might can solve all the U.S.'s problems. It can't. It won't. It never has.
America today is the slow-witted, overfed, dim-witted bully of humanity; you think you're powerful but in fact you're hopelessly vulnerable, and becoming more so by the day as you chase away your former allies and isolate yourselves ever more in your cocoon.
Your list of enemies grows by the month, even as your list of allies dwindles and disappears. Your arrogance is catching up to you.

(For the latest evidence of this, see www.ft.com/cms/s/7de698ba-ffb7-11da-93a0-0000779e2340.html where the final unraveling of Washington's bogus "coalition of the willing" is reported:

'Coalition of the willing' shrinks in Iraq
By Guy Dinmore in Washington and David Pilling in Tokyo

The shrinking US "coalition of the willing" in Iraq has come to resemble more a coalition of the reluctant, as allies weigh up the costs of continued involvement in an unpopular war against the benefits of backing President George W. Bush for the rest of his second term.

Japan is expected to become the latest coalition member to announce a schedule for its withdrawal in a public statement on Tuesday. Italy's new foreign minister, Massimo D'Alema, met Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, last week to discuss the Italian pullout by the end of the year, meaning in effect an end to operations by September.

Spain withdrew its 1,300 soldiers from Iraq in 2004 after a change of government. The Netherlands, Ukraine, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Honduras have also pulled out. Only several thousand foreign troops remain along side some 130,000 US soldiers.


Posted by: Massimo | June 20, 2006 03:34 AM

I think I hit a nerve amongst the Europeans and their sympathizers. The idea of any European accusing the U S of being a bully, or of war crimes is so ridiculous as to be laughable. The Germans? After Hitlers Genocide?? Please. The Belgians? After a murderous reign in the Congo? The French? After delivering up their Jews to the Germans, and then committing their own genocide in Algeria? The Spanish? Their colonial record in Latin America makes the American Indian Wars look like Kindergarden. Ditto the Portuguese, who also engaged in slavery on a scale never seen in the American South. As to the Russians/Soviets, their history of genocide, Jew baiting and empire extends back before the United States even existed.

"Some may do like the Soviets did, under Stalin, to rid the world of the Brown Plague" That would be a wonderful path for the Europeans to take. Make sure to sign a non-agression pact with us first, though.

"Or there's the route taken in the Iranian Revolution. Or by the Cubans, Angolans, South Africans, and now the Bolivians and Venezuelans."

Yes, we all surely want to be just like Iran. Especially the females amongst us. Venezuela's government exists only because of high priced petrolium, and will fall when oil falls. Bolivia has managed to trade American "imperialism" for the dubious position of the umber one lackey of Venezuela.

I doubt anyone one would argue the we (the US) are perfect, we are not. But, considering the above bunch, we are undoubtably the least imperfect of the bunch. On race relations, immigration, personal freedoms, religious tolerance, we are far less flawed than any European country.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | June 20, 2006 03:49 PM

Yeah, sure, Jerry, go on, keep yourself happy and blissfully unaware of the evil done by your country. It must make you feel better about yourself. Of course Spain, Britain, Germany, France and Portugal all have many crimes against humanity on their records -- crimes that were committed as recently as half a century ago.
In the case of the U.S., those crimes against humanity are being committed now, with the apparent acquiescence of the American people.
That is one reason why we in Europe are disgusted with Americans and have come to view your nation as the prime source of evil in the world today.

Posted by: Massimo | June 20, 2006 05:14 PM

So Jerry, is your listing of former artrocities by other countries meant to be a justification of what the US does and has been doing for the past few decades when it actively supported totalitarian governments and their state sanctioned crimes in Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvadore, Chile, Iran, Iraq, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Egypt etc., while it's officially touting democracy and selling itself as the holy Mr. Clean ?

Are you arguing that if the US does it, it's ok just because others have done it before? So in other words, you do admit that the US is commiting crimes right now but it must be accepted because others have done it before? How far do you want to go back? How about the foundation of America on genocide, slavery and stolen land?

Yes, pretty much every country has dirt on its heels. But no other country today strutts around the world claiming moral superiority, ethical leadership and pretending to be sqeaky clean in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
It is mostly this arrogance of claiming to be better than anyone whilst standing knee-deep in dirt that really irks the world so much. Nobody is better than anyone else and it's time for America to accept that and to come down from the high horse that only America still believes it is destined to be on.

If America feels it is so much better than others than it must do better than others and not conveniently use history to support its double standard and its hypocrisy. If it wants to be the land of the free and the home of the brave than it must be brave enough to accept outsiders who want to contribute and live peacefully.

And if you believe that the US is so much less imperfect in racism, then you must be out to lunch every time the racial divide in America is a topic, be it in regards to income, schooling, housing, prison population, unemployment and racial sentiment especially in the south.
And if you believe the US is so much less imperfect about immigration, then try immigrating to America just fo kicks.
And if you believe the US is so much less imperfect about personal freedom then let me know why the leaders of this country cannot wait to discriminate against gays by banning them from marriage or how much freedom you have when the government can randomly seize your library records, health information, bank records or how free those must feel that have been randomly labelled "enemy combatant" by ONE ! person, which landed them in jail for years without even having been indicted.
And if you believe the US is so much less imperfect about religion then explain to me why it is a winning ticket in presidential elections to label the oponent insufficiently "christian", how influential televangelists can freely call for the murder of a statesman in the name of god and why muslims are being profiled because they're muslims?

Dream on Jerry and continue to blindly believe in the buzz words that have been pounded into your brain from the day you were born. Continue to parrot the slogans without critically questioning them and continue to be a sheep, a lemming that follows its leader over the cliff without ever asking why.

If you really want to be better then start questioning what goes on in your name.

Posted by: EuroinUS | June 20, 2006 06:32 PM

Wow! I hit an inferiority complex bad. Sorry.

Racial discrimination? What, exactly, went on in the Paris suburbs last fall? A celebration of diversity and living peacefully together? How many black/immigrant mayors, congressmen/MPs, cabinet members, military commanders, etc can any European country boast? In the US, we have two State Governors (California and Michigan) who are immigrants, and several others who are sons of immigrants. Our former chairman of the Chiefs of Staff was the black son of immigrants, and it is not impossible that he will one day be president.

Try immigrating to Europe, just for kicks. Then, if you are in Germany, try getting citizenship for your native born CHILDREN. Good luck. If you try getting into Spain, goodluck with the barbed wire around Ceuta and Melilla. If you suceed in getting into France, prepare for police harassment and having your customs (like scarf wearing) banned by law.

Considering the sheer NUMBER of immigrants and racial groups in the US, the simple fact that we are all not killing each other is a minor miracle. Ditto the religions. Your Muslims turn into terrorists. Ours do not, we have to import them from ghettos in Germany and London.

As to our "moral Superiority". Where is it? Few Americans I know spend their time whining about how "morally bad" Europeans are. We could care less. You do not now and never will threaten us. If you want to continue in your paradise of 10% unemployment, insane taxation levels, and a level of resentment and hatred amongst your underclass that is simply not seen here, go ahead. Just please do not try to immigrate here when it all blows up on you.

We cannot wait to discriminate against gays? Try being openly gay in a Banlieu in Paris and see how long you live.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | June 20, 2006 08:45 PM

Well put, EuroinUS, you've put the pathetic "Jerry Bourbon" in his place. All he is left to do is sputter that other places are bad too. Such a stirring defense of America, Jerry.
You're quite right, EuroinUS, that the superiority complex of Americans, which has translated itself now into outright U.S. supremacism and contempt for international law, will be America's undoing.
How naive to think yourself superior to all other nations, and therefore not subject to the law that governs all nations.
And look what a mess that kind of thinking has gotten you into now.

Posted by: Fernando | June 20, 2006 10:51 PM

Funny how New York is full of European expats, seeking a better life, yet very few Americans go to Europe for employment. I wonder why? Thanks, though, you pay to educate them, we get their work.

Posted by: Jerry Bourbon | June 20, 2006 11:14 PM

Jerry Bourbon:

Sure Europe has issues with immigrants the same way America still has problems with its black community who are no longer immigrants.

While one could argue that Muslim immigrants in Europe are still in transition phase, what is your excuse for the black ghettos in America considering that blacks have been living in the country for generations?

Also please stop using Muslims for your own agenda.

Muslim immigrants in America have been arrested and held with no trial for years after sep-11.

Anyone who is familiar with the situation knows that both Arab and Muslim Americans live in great FEAR. Many people stopped going to Mosques out of fear of being accused of something. Many people no longer go see their families in the Middle East for the same reasons.

The situation is quite stressful and bad, people are just hoping that it would change after Bush.

Obviously you are not aware of this because your name is not Mohammed, Ahmed or Karim.

Europe might mistreat its Muslim or Arab immigrants but the European governments have not killed as many Muslims or Arabs as the US government did.

Killing set aside, the mistreatment and common abuse that Iraqis suffered at the hands of the US government (through its ruthless army) is of no match of what Muslim immigrants suffered in Europe.

Posted by: Karim | June 23, 2006 08:25 AM

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