Why Angela Merkel is wrong about ‘multiculturalism’


by Imran Ahmed    
6:55 pm - October 17th 2010

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In Germany, Angela Merkel has stated that multiculturalism has “failed, utterly failed”. That the idea of people from different backgrounds living happily side by side does not work.

Further, that it is for immigrants to integrate and, by implication, not for the state that they live in to either accommodate or provide succour and encouragement.

This comes against the backdrop of rising racial tensions in Germany, a country with 3 million Muslims and senior officials publishing books accusing Muslims of lowering German intelligence.

To be fair this has been going on across Europe at a ferocious rate: Geert Wilders Wilders in the Netherlands; the rise of the Islamophobic English Defense League; government-sanctioned suppression of religious freedoms in France; Berlusconi in Italy.

As a religious and cultural atheist that grew up in a Muslim family I admit to being somewhat torn.

Torn between meh, it’s not me they’re targeting and oh crap, it’s my mum they’re targeting. What is clear, however, is that the inflammatory words of craven politicians hoping to exploit fear of another to secure their arthritic grasp on power misses the damn point.

I grew up in a society that allowed the son of an immigrant to turn potential into ability and into achievement. It did so, broadly, free of any prejudice based on my religious upbringing or ethnicity.

However, I was an exception. On the road I grew up on most of my friends ended up criminals, some in jail, or in menial employment. They weren’t encouraged by the society around them, they were actively persecuted by the police and other institutions (I work in politics and still instinctively put my head down and try to look innocent every time I see the machine gun-toting police in the Palace of Westminster) and many of them were abandoned early on by educational institutions pressured by Thatcher’s cuts into focussing on the few bright pupils they felt they should nurture.

In the election I worked for Labour against Shaun Bailey in Hammersmith. Shaun argued that for young ethnic minorities to succeed they need drive, focus and to be taken away from their own culture. It is an argument patently similar to those of conservatives throughout Europe.

My experience was different. I speak my mother’s languages fairly well. I cook a mean curry. And I deeply enjoy aspects of South Asian culture. But I had breaks too. A Caribbean NHS nurse was assigned to the ward I spent much of my childhood in, hospitalised as I was with serious childhood asthma. She was an inspiration.

Teachers that took a raw and often angry child, confused by cultural dissonances within his identity, spent time identifying those tensions and then helping me to resolve them.

A beneficent state system that let me go to university and then demanded with the Race Relations Act and now the Equalities Act that employers treat me as anyone else. The challenge for our societies isn’t to destroy immigrants’ culture but to tolerate it where it wouldn’t hurt any other reasonable, tolerant person (as opposed to pandering to xenophobes and cultural supremacists) and to provide them with hope, inspiration and the chance to convert their potential into ability and then into achievement.

Lefties in general will get that argument and need little more encouragement. But to the conservatives, I’ll finish the argument. By liberating untapped potential we create opportunities to create productivity, intellectual advancement and filthy lucre. Win-win folks.

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About the author
Imran is an occasional contributor and Labour party activist. He blogs here and is on Twitter here.
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Reader comments


I fail to understand this refusal to integrate and can see where Merkel is coming from. She wants immigrants to learn German and to fit in in society. Their refusal to do so has repercussions for both Germans and the immigrants – Germans feel they are being taken for a ride, the immigrants feel that they are being vilified.
‘Multiculturalism’ does not work. How on earth could countless cultures with vastly differing beliefs ever get along?
I don’t begrudge immigrants their customs and their language, but it needs to be balanced with the culture of the place they are living in.

Of course I’m not saying all immigrants don’t integrate; I’d say the vast majority do, but it’s the ones that refuse to that stand out, and it is that that has helped fuel the anti-immigrant feeling of Europe.

I intend to move to Stockholm in a few years and you can bet your ass I intend to integrate as fully as possible. I am already learning Swedish with moderate (read: amusing) success.

2. alienfromzog

Thanks for that article.

I find it particularly chilling to hear a German politician making this statement.

Germany’s approach to multiculturalism hasn’t exactly been the most sensible method of implementation.
There’s the rather famous court case where a Muslim women was denied a divorce from her abusive and violent husband, due to the white Christian Judge having recently read the Koran and deciding that women divorcing men “wasn’t part of her (the Muslim women’s) culture”, and instead ordered both to attend marriage counselling.

So; perceived culture of group that a person has been arbitrarily pigeon-holed in > rights of the individual.

Angela Merkel is quite right about certain immigrants and that applies as much to Britain as to Germany. Over the years, having worked with many people who are from recent immigrant stock, I have found that some I haven’t liked, the majority were OK and a few became friends. In other words a normal cross-section of people. However, the defining characteristic of the majority of those I haven’t liked and gotten along with is that they do not want to accept our way of life and our laws. They want to push their laws and religion on to us. I for one, do not accept that. Our ancestors fought many long hard battles for our freedoms and laws and that will not to be handed over to some alien influence.

It all depends upon what is meant by ‘multiculturalism’. If it means that the population is made up of people of different cultures, then I don’t mind, even if I don’t like certain cultural manifestations.

But with what’s called ‘multiculturalism’ the word ‘culture’ is used as a by-word for race, nationality and/or ethnicity. Each person is put into a specific box of his or her specific ‘culture’, and the range of ‘cultures’ is peculiarly ethnically, racially or nationally defined. With the exception of the ‘white working class’ — and even that is a by-product, albeit unintended, of the ‘multiculturalist’ agenda — the vastly important question of social class disappears in this ‘culturally’-defined morass.

Also, by appealing to people to identify with ethnically, racially or nationally-defined ‘cultures’, this inevitably leads to the strengthening of conservative trends within the ‘cultural’ groups. This impacts upon those who wish to leave behind, for example, peasant practices of having one’s partner provided for one, from within one’s own ‘cultural’ group. The horrific matter of so-called ‘honour killings’ are a direct result of cultural conservatives applying peasant cultural norms to people, especially women, who want to live in a modern world and choose their own partners. (Oddly enough, although racists don’t want other ‘cultures’ in ‘their’ country, their attitudes are based upon this very same theory that ‘cultures’ are discrete, immutable historical factors.)

The continuation of such obsolete trends is actually encouraged by the official dogma of ‘multiculturalism’. After all, if it’s in one’s ‘culture’ to force one’s daughter to marry a stranger, then who’s to object to that? And if it’s part of ‘British culture’ to be rude to foreigners, then who’s to object to that as well? The idea of positive social change, overcoming racial problems, is in danger of being lost as each ‘culture’ looks inwards — and backwards.

Yes, ‘multiculturalism’ has been a failure, not because European countries are full of ‘foreigners’, but because the theory that was supposed to overcome racial differences has actually inadvertantly but inevitably accentuated these differences, dividing people rather than bringing them together.

From the opening post

In the election I worked for Labour against Shaun Bailey in Hammersmith. Shaun argued that for young ethnic minorities to succeed they need drive, focus and to be taken away from their own culture

I think Shaun Bailey would disagree with that strongly.
”their own culture” – what on earth does that mean? It seems heavily loaded.

@2 – “I find it particularly chilling to hear a German politician making this statement.”

You know what? Fuck off.

Why, unless you hold prejudices against a nation for no other reason than ‘some shit happened generations ago’, would you find any comment “particularly” chilling just because it was made by a German?

How far back do you want to go? Does Britain’s shameful imperialist history invalidate any attempt at modern diplomacy? Does Japan’s treatment of POWs during the war encourage suspicion of Japanese “in particular”?

Grow up – move on.

Assuming that the translation of Frau Merkel’s speech is full and accurate, it’s interesting that there is no mention of Muslims or Islam in it, yet Imran Ahmed immediately interprets her words as referring to Muslims. I don’t have the insight into your mind and motivation which you claim to have into the mind and motivation of Angela Merkel Mr Ahmed, so I’ll have to ask you a question or two. What makes you think she means Muslims? If she did in fact mean Muslims, why, in your eyes, did she not specify Muslims openly?

“the idea of people from different backgrounds living happily side by side does not work”.
It depends on what you mean by different backgrounds, or more specifically, the degree and nature of difference. And I am assuming that by background, you’re talking about profound cultural differences. After all, we all share some similarities of background. You should use either “culture” or “background”, and use it consistently, if you genuinely want to put your case, without obfuscating.

If my culture says that X is a marvellous thing and should be encouraged to the utmost, and your culture says X is a dreadful thing and should not be tolerated in any circumstances, it would seem obvious that the representatives of each culture will have trouble in rubbing along. (For X substitute any particular cultural phenomenon you like: human sacrifice, wife-swapping, public nudity, drinking alcohol – whatever). It’s simply common sense, and anyone who disagrees is either (a) being dishonest or (b) unable to acknowledge to themself the reality or (c) have some cognitive disorder. Often I think of a mix of two or more.

Given Germany’s own attempts to make citizenship about blood lines – they are the last people to lecture anyone about failed integration.

@7
Absolutely agree (except for the “fuck off”.

alienfromzog’s comment is blatantly Germanophobic, or should that be Teutonophobic?

I’ve got a phobia of Germanophobia, yes, Germanophobiaphobia.

Germans are the “last people” Sunny? Seriously?

I grew up in a society that allowed the son of an immigrant to turn potential into ability and into achievement. It did so, broadly, free of any prejudice based on my religious upbringing or ethnicity.

However, I was an exception. On the road I grew up on most of my friends ended up criminals, some in jail, or in menial employment.

I very much hope that “most of my friends” came from a cross-section of ethnicities and included a preponderance of native Brits. Otherwise I don’t think you’ve provided an argument for immigration, let alone multiculturalism.

It’s typical of LibCon to take issue with Merkel’s statement, because (a) her point is not pro-multicultural and (b) she is on the money.

Nothing surprising, nothing original, nothing but outdated, tired old lefty dogma here.

Nothing to see folks, MOVE ON.

Shaun Bailey, Katherine Birbalsingh, Tony Sewell- that’s where the inspirational ideas are to be found. Not on LibCon.

Surely this is a mute argument? How can we measure if ‘multiculturalism’ has failed or succeeded? Whether or not it ‘works’ or not? You may as well argue that evolution is not working or gravity has failed. ‘Multiculturalism’ is not an ideology, it merely describes the concept that people of different cultures exist in a defined geographical area. Multiculturalism is the inevitable consequence of a diverse, pluralistic, free society. The only way you could stop ‘multiculturalism’ is to somehow impose one single, monoculture on the entire society. How you would do that and how it would look, I have no idea, but I suppose Star Trek’s ‘Borg’ would be the model.

@10 – well, the language is colourful, but only because “Germanophobia” (or whatever the technical term is) really, really annoys me.

LibCon is happy to rail against the Daily Fail (“… declares war against Germany!”) – and indeed, rightly so – but apparently permits the more insidious creeping xenophobia of comments such as zog’s.

Jim @ 14 you need to do some more reading. State Multiculturalism is the now discredited official tactic of allowing immigrants to settle and ignore the majority population and culture. It is not like evolution, more like cultural sterilisation.

@7 “@2 – “I find it particularly chilling to hear a German politician making this statement.”

You know what? Fuck off.”

Oh yes. Superbly put. Merkel was born 9 years after Hitler died. The nazi party (and anything remotely resembling it) has been illegal since 1945. Anyone who was old enough to play any serious part in the nazi movement would have to be in their mid to late eighties by now.

So what kind of utter twat finds some statement “particularly chilling” because a German makes it? I would suggest that it would be the kind of twat who thinks that it’s a reasonable idea to describe (without any actual evidence to support such a description) large, ethnically or culturally defined, groups of people as having certain shared, negative, characteristics. People who do things like that may be called prejudiced, bigotted, racist and many other things but my personal favourite is utter twat. You konw, as in the well known phrase “alienfromzog is an utter twat.”

Several of the comments indicate a misunderstanding of the debate in Germany. Firstly, there is no general resistance towards immigrants. The discussion is about muslim immigrants from Turkey and arabian countries. Although, there are several examples of succesfull integration there is a substantial minority of muslims rejecting the basis of german society, like democracy, human rights (especially the rights of women and gays), free speech etc. In some areas where muslims are in majority there are very ugly examples of racist behaviour towards the german (and other immingrant) minorty population. The teaching of sharia-law and muslim-supremacy in the mosques, through satelit-TV channels and within the ghetto-communities have no created problems that are too big to be ignored. As far as I can see the major message from Angela Merkel is that everyone must learn the german language and respect and adapt to the german constitution based on democracy, human rights, free speech etc. Freedom of religion and the right to excercise cultural practices are granted 100% as long as they are not against the constitution. Multiculturalism defined as the idea that it can and should apply different standards and different set of rules to individuals depending on the cultural or religious background is rejected – and that is vindicated because it violates the principle of individual right and the principle that everyone is equal before the law. This is different to the part racist principles applied in UK, where woman are treated as second class citizens in the many sharia-courts that the government have allowed to operate in that country.

Omega Red @ 16

Seriously mate, you need to get out more. These conspiracy theories are nice distractions, but should not deflect us from the real World. The ‘official tactic’ of allowing immigrants to ignore the majority population and culture? What does that mean? Come on; apply this to the real World for a second. Surely we can all ignore the ‘majority culture’ without an ‘official tactic’ (discredited or otherwise). I ignore the ‘majority culture’ every day of my life. Or at least I think I do, because I do not know of a single all encompassing cultural reference guide. However, assuming that there is an ‘official’ culture that I have missed, I can confidently admit that I make no effort to conform to it.

My best effort of defining the ‘majority’ culture would be, ‘live how you want’ because as far as I can see, there is no dress code, prescribed religion, political belief system, cuisine or even required reading list or TV shows that we must watch.

20. alienfromzog

I apologise if I’ve offended anyone, but I think you misunderstand what I mean.

I am not for one second suggesting that Merkel is a neo-Nazi.

My point is this, such statements – assuming the reporting/translation are accurate – tend to incite racial divisions within communities and tend to be very dangerous. The BBC report notes that a recent survey reported 30% of Germans think their country is ‘overrun by foreigners.’

It is, in my view, extremely unwise for any leading politician to be making such statements.

It is chilling in Germany because Germany, more than any other nation in Europe is conscious of the dangers of seeing a section of the population as ‘different to us.’ That has certainly been my experience of the Germans I’ve met.

Whatever we mean by ‘multiculturalism’ and whatever the issues about integration, the comments as reported by the BBC, only further fuel the perceived wisdom of this ‘invading people.’

I think that political leaders should know better. I think that German political leaders have more reason than most to know better.

@14 Sorry, but what on earth are you talking about?

Firstly, I think you mean “moot” not “mute.”

Secondly, why are you comparing measuring something (the success of multiculturalism) with arguing against something (gravity and evolution)? Not only are you comparing two different processes, but the examples you chose aren’t particularly good. The questions of whether multiculturalism exists is not the same as the question of what policies with regard to multiculturalism are appropriate or effective and the examples you cite demonstrate this, contrary to the point you seem to be attempting to make. Do you actually think there is a single theory which consistently explains gravity and which all Mathematicians/Physicists agree on? I haven’t heard many arguments against the existence of the gravitational force, but there are many different models of how it works, some of which have been shown to be inaccurate through measurement.

Jim,

You don’t know what Multiculturalism is or means, so here’s a link. No conspiracy theories, just a bit of basic political knowledge for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiculturalism

[deleted for abusive language]

Apathy @ 21

Multiculturalism is a fact of life where you have free, open societies. People if free societies are able to follow whatever ‘culture’ (however we define it) they please. There is no need to implement special ‘multi cultural’ laws to enforce ‘multiculturalism’; it is an inevitable extension of the free society we live in.

We have no requirement to follow Christianity, for example, we have no legal duty to observe Easter or Christmas. Nor are we expected to support the National cricket or football teams, dress in a certain manner or eat certain foods etc. In short there is no ‘official’ culture to observe as such. The term ‘multiculturalism’ describes the state of affairs that exist in our legal framework; some people insist that the term ‘multiculturalism’ describes an explicit attempt to dilute or change our culture to accommodate an immigrant culture, which is palpable nonsense. I doubt any right minded person would support the legislation necessary to impose a strict mono-culture, even if such a move was even deemed desirable.

Omega @ 22

An essay on Wikipedia? You must be having a laugh!

26. Just Visiting

Imran

> senior officials publishing books accusing Muslims of lowering German intelligence.

If that was a reference to Thilo Sarrazin – then it’s pretty misleading. His references to genetics seem to have been quoting real research by real geneticists – and Sarrazin has been supported by people like German-Turkish sociologist and author Necla Kelek, who said Sarrazin addressed “bitter truths” in his new book and that ‘the chattering classes have judged it without reading it’.

I have some contact with Germany, and it does seem that for too long, there was self-censorship going on, with nobody asking any calm questions about immigration or some of the problems of the Turkish population – to do so was felt racist and wrong.

But with the fact that the 911 folks had links with Hamburg – and just this year a Mosque there was actually closed down by the authorities because of it’s continued support for terrorism, and some native-German-born converts to islam becoming involved in Jihad together with other Turkish-culture Germans – means that a debate in the open – without racism, but able to look at the facts and the statistics, is now vital to ensure a calm, evidence centred approach to the future is possible.

What’s a laugh? The idea that you can read??

Nobody would say German politicians are disqualified through their history from expressing an immigration opinion. However, statements that encourage German nationalism are to be regretted. The Allies at the end of the last war were not just defeating Nazism. They were defeating the very concept of German militaristic nationalism itself. Moreover, it was important for the people of Germany to understand that it was not just the Nazis who were being defeated. Hitler was not just some sort of accident that happened to Germany. He was a product of and elevated by German nationalism. Contemporary politicians who encourage nationalism from their speeches even inadvertently are not doing much good that I can see.

@26

“a debate in the open – without racism, but able to look at the facts and the statistics, is now vital to ensure a calm, evidence centred approach to the future is possible.”

The same approach is needed in the UK. Don’t count on LibCon to nurture that debate though.

Jim @ 14 -

The only way you could stop ‘multiculturalism’ is to somehow impose one single, monoculture on the entire society.

Er, no it isn’t. Sure, to some extent if you’ve accepted mass immigration multiculturalism is a fact of life but one could still promote a common identity through schools, allocation of state funds, engagement with communities and so on. For example: language. Having a shoddy grasp of english ain’t a criminal offence but we might agree that a society in which we can communicate freely is a better one for all. So, one may endorse the provision of services/the acceptance of it as a condition of citizenship or so on. That’s no more authoritarian than demanding that children be educated to a certain level.

@24 I know what multiculturalism is. I didn’t mention anything to do with laws to enforce it. I did make reference to “policies with regard to multiculturalism” but I did not suggest it has been, should be or could be in any way enforced. In fact, I didn’t actually mention legislation, at all. Policies and laws are not always (usually?) the same thing. I don’t think your post @24 actually has any relevance to the points I made.

Richard -

I believe that Daniel Goldhagen had to write a whole book to make that case, and even then people were unconvinced.

OR @27

Are you seriously suggesting that an entry in Wikipedia should be taken as some kind of definitive description of anything, far less, multiculturalism?

34. Just Visiting

Hi Omega

I’ve been on LC plenty long enough to know that those trying to start such discussions in that positive spirit haven’t always been allowed to continue!

But LC has changed quite a bit in the last year or so.
I remember that back than many commentors here expressed surprised when they were challenged about lack of evidence for their claims – claims such as:
* Jesus and Mohammed did equally violent things
* Jesus and Mohammed commanded their followers to do equally violent things

I think LC has moved on now, and recognises (paraphrasing Richard Dawkins) that the decline of active Christianity in this country is to be regretted as it is a ‘bulwark’ against Islam which is something ‘worse’.

“The only way you could stop ‘multiculturalism’ is to somehow impose one single, monoculture on the entire society.”

Something like British culture, perhaps?

Definitely an approach that left wing politicians like Jon Cruddas would support…

@33 no but it’s a good enough definition for someone at your level of ignorance to start at. Assuming you can read as I’ve said above.

Promotion of a “culture” can be as simple as teaching english literature in schools. If you share a) a language and b) an understanding of the tradition that shaped that language you have unifying factors within a society.

Just visiting @ 34

Eh?

I think LC has moved on now, and recognises (paraphrasing Richard Dawkins) that the decline of active Christianity in this country is to be regretted as it is a ‘bulwark’ against Islam which is something ‘worse’.

Where did he say that?

32. BenSix

Richard -

‘ I believe that Daniel Goldhagen had to write a whole book to make that case, and even then people were unconvinced. ‘

I must confess I have not read the book but it seems obvious to me. Pretty unremarkable that historians disagree, they never seem to agree with each other about anything.

40. Just Visiting

Douglas

Dawkins said it in The Times newspaper:

“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7085129.ece

I agree with Angela Merkel..in Britain is the same; we have too many unproductive financial migrants coming into the country, putting a great strain on our already over- burden wellfare system. In general they have a higher birth rate and without any will to integrate problems are inevitable. The reason they have been able to settle here is because of our Christian tolerance which is now in jeopardy. Tolerance and the need to accept the language and custom of the host country does not seem to be part of their culture.

42. Just Visiting

Some of the multicultural things we have done in this country that we might question now:

i) Produced leaflets for councils and the NHS is many of foreign languages. Instead of putting the money into encouraging use of English.

ii) an anecdotal one from my town – a KidzKlub organisation run entirely by volunteers with no state funding, that even transported kids in from some of the poorer estates in town – ended up having more kids going through them weekly than ALL the council-funded ones, with professional staff, PUT TOGETHER :<)

The guy who ran it a couple of years back, had a meeting with the council. They were all very supportive and impressed, and wanted to encourage it
He asked if they would have any funds anywhere, that could contribute to the costs of the transport used to bring in some of the poorer kids.

The answer was no.
They said – " if you'd been linked to a Mosque or Muslim group, we'd have had money for that under under an inclusion budget. But because you're linked to several churches in town, then no, we have no money to help".

Omega Red: “State Multiculturalism is the now discredited official tactic of allowing immigrants to settle and ignore the majority population and culture. It is not like evolution, more like cultural sterilisation.”

Having thought about this, I now feel terribly culturally sterilised by the fact that the state allows the continued existence of people in my street who ignore my culture, like goths for example. Or is it only foreign people who are capable of causing “cultural sterilisation” by merely hanging about ignoring my culture?

Unbeknowst to me, is my occasional visit to the open mic night actually being insidiously ruined by that Pakistani family across the road fiendishly *ignoring* it? It might be, but I haven’t noticed.

I’m trying to source a copy of the original German version of the speech – but the word I’m getting from some sources seems to be that there’s a degree of mistranslation at work.

When she says “Multikulti” has failed, it is being argued that she is referring to a specific social policy – or lack thereof – which provided little or no assistance to aid the process of integration. If this is the case, much as I hate to say it, we’re seeing some serious journalistic laziness on the part of the BBC.

I remember back in my A-Level German days (we’re talking over a decade ago, mind) being asked to answer questions on an article which referred to the “Gaestarbeiter” programmes set up to encourage foreign labour in German industry. Certainly in its early days, it seemed the expectation was that the majority would return to their home country at some point, and as such these communities of workers would be separate from existing local communities – obviously a major barrier to integration. It’s likely this has changed somewhat since then.

As for the quasi- and fully xenophobic contingent who have latched on to this as a validation of their opinion, I can’t say I’m surprised, but we need to get a few things clear:

Firstly, even if there is “teaching of sharia-law and muslim-supremacy in the mosques, through satelit-TV channels and within the ghetto-communities”, then it is certainly not something restricted to the Muslim faith or communities, and these extremists should be (and are) treated in the same way as extremists of other stripes (like the BNP) – allowed to express their views, but roundly pilloried by the vast majority of the race or community they claim to represent, who by and large want nothing to do with them. It’s a gross insult to Muslims to suggest that they are more susceptible to the extremists in their community than any other religion or culture – which is the logical conclusion of that way of thinking.

Secondly, it’s a logical cul-de-sac to blame immigration for “taking away all the jobs” and “placing a burden on our over-stretched welfare system”. Which is it? Even then, the ire should be directed at the industries who pay wages that will support an immigrant worker in overcrowded shared housing, but are not sufficient to support an individual or a family. Also, I have real trouble buying the overstretched welfare system argument too – tax evasion costs the Treasury considerably more year on year than benefit payouts, legal tax avoidance by the wealthy even more – and that’s based on fairly conservative estimates!

Circling back on the origin of the term “Multiculturalism” and how it seems to mean different things to different people… Redefining a term to mean something different from the original intent and then promoting that misinterpretation as representing the term’s actual meaning is a technique that’s been around as long as propaganda itself, but its most refined form has been perfected by right-leaning media organisations. One need only note the way that “Socialism” has become almost a dirty word in the West – a synonym for Soviet-style control and repression and/or enforced redistribution of funds from the (subjectively) “deserving” to the “undeserving”. This despite its original intent being no more than fairer distribution of the proceeds of labour coupled with a desire to promote social responsibility to one’s fellow human beings. The sad thing for those who err on the optimistic view of human nature is that it seems to work, because it’s easier to believe a convenient lie than an inconvenient truth.

Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Merkel does have a certain ring to it.

Still, unfair to blame the Aunty Adolf. As everybody who’s ever read a Commnado comic knows it was only ever a matter of time before the Hun reverted to type.

I wonder what their final solution to this problem will be?

Good article and well reported. Having lived in Germany for three years, Merkel is probably right in a broad sense only.

What I’ve noticed in most of Europe is that there are peoples of all nations seeking to build closer ties in all ways with other countries whilst being undermined by those who have their own reasons for maintaining divisions in society.

When we allow any particular religion to influence our behaviour in someone else’s country, we are immediately judged as invaders seeking to impose our culture in some way or another.

All religions and cultures should be left at international borders if we want to live in other countries. Failure to learn a host nations language when residency is sought is pure ignorance and should not be tolerated by any country.

“Torn between meh, it’s not me they’re targeting”

When the EDL come into town looking for wogs to bash, they won’t make a distinction between those who believe in the sky fairy and those who don’t.

Does your mum know you’re not Muslim? Or is she not integrated enough to read a website like this?

Think the answer to the question is simple, in London we have the Bangladeshi cricket club, in my area they tried to get the Muslim only football league, this was stopped on the grounds that we have a league which allows all faiths cultures to play within one league.

We have the black police federations the Muslim Police federations, if we had a white Police federation all hell would break lose.

We have Muslim area Chinese area China Town in my area we have Little Pakistan. You know the country is not one happy go lucky, it’s split, we now have a group who want to open a Muslim only school.

we are in fact more fractured then any time.

This week the leader of the Sharia courts talking about his dealing with rape cases you cannot be raped in a marriage.

What the hell is he doing dealing with rape, do we have two or three laws in the UK, or one law for all.

@ 48

So the German Chancellor has made a very good point ?

50. Mike Killingworth

Cross-posted from “Picckled Politics”

International comparisons take us only so far. The existence of slavery for the first ninety years of the USA means that it is not directly comparable to any European country.

The UK (and France) had large, long-lasting colonial empires and their white populations were told that non-white immigration was the price that had to paid for the past benefits of imperialism. (Of course, there are also significant differences between the British and French experiences – the latter had a coherent integrationist policy from the start of its imperial adventure, while there is no British equivalent of the pieds noirs.)

Germany only had a (small) empire for thirty years or so, and it made no cultural impact at home. Their alliance with the Ottoman Empire may have left traces of warm feelings towards Germans amongst Turks, but I doubt that works the other way round. Immigration there is purely a matter of cash. That being so, the only wonder really is that it has taken the German political class so long to say what Merkel is now saying.

And, to be fair to her, she is also acknowledging that (white) Germans were in denial for generations in supposing that the Turks and so on would go “home” at some point. I doubt they were alone in this. After all, the West Indians who came to England on the Empire Windrush expected to return to the Caribbean within a few years to flaunt their new-found wealth.

Perhaps the most pernicious assumption is that the choice between “multi-culti” and integration/assimilation is within the control of politicians, or at least of politicians who have any regard for liberal values.

Even such interventions as they make often have unintended consequences. The Balfour Declaration wasn’t intended to accelerate the assimilation of Jews into British culture but it undoubtedly did so by providing those Jews who wished to preserve their Jewish identity first and foremost with an alternative to the ghetto in Zionism. It was only after it was long gone that leftist intellectuals started to romanticise London’s Jewish ghetto.

We need too, to distinguish between first-generation immigrants and their descendants – but that is so big a subject that I will start a fresh comment to discuss it.

51. Mike Killingworth

Cross-posted from “Pickled Politics” (2)

One of the most interesting facts about each of us – but one, I suspect, that we don’t think about very much – is how far back in our family tree we have to go to meet the first (more or less illiterate) peasant. In other words, how many years’ experience (cultural cpaital) has your family got of urban or suburban living in industrial and post-industrial society?

For white people in western Europe – even, to-day, the Irish and the Portuguese – the answer is “enough so that we know how to do it, and it seems to us the right and natural way to live”. I’ll name the process “de-peasantification” although I daresay socioligists have more elegant labels.

For non-whites in western Europe, the answer varies from “as much as whites” to “none at all – I’ve just got off the plane”. In the UK at least there are black and brown babies being born to-day who are “fifth generation” Brits, even if all sixteen of their great-great-grandparents share the same ethnicity. To suppose that any single policy can appropriately address such huge variations in cultural capital – well, the answer is in the question, isn’t it?

History suggests that if members of an ethnic group move from A to B, whether as conquerors, economic migrants or any status in-between, they will, in the fullness of time become assimilated with those they found waiting for them when they first arrived. This is as true of the sub-continent as it is of England.

But what is “the fullness of time”? Do we need “multi-culti” as a kind of cushion for the first few generations – and how many is “few” in this context? Those whose sense of selfhood requires them to be members of an ethnic majority will take the economic hit, and return whence they came. But they will be few – just as few white people retire to the county of their childhood if they’ve lived elsewhere as adults – the past is, after all, another country too.

To sum up, I think Merkel probably used the wrong tense. “Multi-culti” is the right answer where the overwhelming majority of non-whites are first-generation immigrants from peasant communities and their children: eventually, however, the de-peasantification effect of time (which “multi-culti” also promotes by discouraging ghettos) means that it begins to fray, that it is harder to keep going, and more and more takes on the tinge of “living in the past”. It fails – if becoming decreasingly relevant to the felt needs of those it is supposed to help counts as failure. And perhaps it does.

@ 50 and 51

Excellent (accurate) social analysis. The only problem is, we now have ‘globalisation’ in the fullest sense. Put another way, ‘flash-to-bang’ for any aspect of human endeavour occurs in a mere fraction of time compared to only 30 years ago.

53. Flowerpower

I’d have more sympathy with Germans complaining that Muslims haven’t integrated if the Germans hadn’t classed their immigrants “guest-workers” originally, with the intention that they’d all be going “home” (= back to Turkey) in the fullness of time.

OR @ 35

Something like British culture, perhaps

What the fuck is British culture? The right to follow the religion of your own choice perhaps? The concept that we can live our lives in any way we see fit? The ability to dress in a way you find appropriate? The ability to cook our own food following whatever cuisine we like?

You just don’t get it do you? ‘British culture’ is practically non-existent in any real sense. There is nothing ‘anti British’ in anything these people do, because British culture is eclectic enough to encompass almost anything. No-one is considered anti British just because they enjoy French wine, Italian food or German opera, so why is it so hard to accept that people eating curry, or ‘not drinking’ or whatever are not ‘refusing to integrate’, merely ‘doing their own thing’, same as 60 million other British people.

OR @ 36

no but it’s a good enough definition for someone at your level of ignorance

Er, if you read back fairly carefully, or get an adult to help you, you will see that it was you that linked to this Wikipedia link, not me. I need no definition from wikipedia, because I perfectly understand the term. You are forced to look for confirmation of the definition you need to peddle your backward ideology. You may find it difficult to believe, but some of us actually are able to think for ourselves and do not rely on wikipedia for inspiration.

Why not think for a couple of minutes and come back when you constructive to add? So far, all you have managed to do is make an arse of yourself by projecting some paranoid little fantasy regarding a multicultural ‘policy’ been driven through at the expense of British culture.

@ 53

Wrong. A formal ‘gastarbeiter’ programme was introduced in the 60s / 70s to help the Turks. Terms and conditions were fully understood by both sides.

56. Chaise Guevara

This idea, as a blanket statement, that “multiculturalism doesn’t work” (as espoused in the first comment in this thread, for example) is demonstrably false. Come to Manchester, hang out in Rusholme. Watch as people of different races and faiths inexplicably fail to firebomb one another.

The declaration that multiculturalism doesn’t work is a stalking horse for racism and what the OP calls cultural supremacy. Xenophobia in both cases, obviously. Unfortunately, it’s now being picked up by non-xenophobes such as the poster at comment 1.

Jim@54

“No-one is considered anti British just because they enjoy French wine, Italian food or German opera”,

And they do exactly the same in Denmark, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain.

Ipso facto: the concept of a national culture no longer exists, at least in Europe. There is no Danish, Swedish, Slovakian etc culture, and therefore all cultures are the same. So when a person travels from one European country to another, there is no difference, apart from language. That’s true, isn’t it?

58. Chaise Guevara

@ 54

I’ve been reading back through this conversation of yours. I LOL’d at the idea that someone suffering so much logical illiteracy that they base their ideals on the undefinable concept of ‘British culture’ says that YOU can’t read simply because you don’t use his idiosyncratic definition of ‘multiculturalism’.

By the way, it’s worth listening to Thinking Aloud, still available on BBC iPlayer, on international migration and happiness:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v820t

Dr David Bartram, on of the contributors has this to say:

International Migration, Open Borders Debates, and Happiness
David Bartram
International Studies Review
Volume 12, Issue 3, pages 339–361, September 2010

Arguments for “open borders” typically assume that migration from poorer countries to wealthy countries generally makes the migrants themselves better off; indeed, many discussions of ethics concerning immigration policy depend heavily on this assumption. But there are several grounds for wondering whether it is at least partly unfounded for economic migrants (if not for refugees), particularly if “better off” is specified in terms of happiness. Research on happiness casts doubt on the notion that increases in income contribute significantly to happiness; this article extends those doubts to the notion that one can increase happiness by gaining more income via labor migration. Certain processes (for example, adaptation, social comparisons) might work in counterintuitive ways for immigrants, perhaps inhibiting happiness despite ostensible economic gains. Arguments against immigration restrictions might therefore need to focus more on the dysfunctions of restrictions themselves and less on putative benefits to migrants from migration.

guevara @ 58

Ah, chaise guevara: do you know what logic is? Come on, let me have a definition without looking it up. Incidentally, I see you are citing one of the commonest fallacies rolled out by lefties, that if something can’t be defined then it doesn’t exist. That’s rich for a bloke citing “logical literacy” as a prerequisite for intelligent debate. What’s your definition of happiness, by the way? Or, say, love? How do I know your definitions are the right ones?

61. Chaise Guevara

@ 57

“Ipso facto: the concept of a national culture no longer exists, at least in Europe. There is no Danish, Swedish, Slovakian etc culture, and therefore all cultures are the same. So when a person travels from one European country to another, there is no difference, apart from language. That’s true, isn’t it?”

Of course cultural differences exist. In Barcelona you can’t get a saus-egg-’n’-bacon fry-up for love nor money. But cultures change, just like language, and like language this happens due to both internal progress and drift and external influence. It’s also very worth noting that cultural difference between London, Paris, Cairo and New Delhi take the form of trends, not cast-iron rules.

Huge parts of our culture, now accepted, were brought in due to Empire and immigration. Curry, for example, is our de facto national dish. The fact that this process continues is no cause for alarm.

62. Mike Killingworth

[52] Thankyou kindly. It applies to all of us, does’t it – “silver surfers” yes, “silver tweeters”, well maybe not…

[59] Indeed. A classic case would be the Irish community in England. Many of their seniors, having supposed that they would return “home” in retirement, now find that the Irish Republic is so different from how it was in their youth that they feel more at home in Kilburn than Kilkenny.

Merkle is right … multiculturalism is a pernicious stupidity fostered by leftist liberals that has predictably failed miserably!! And it has failed throughout western civilization for a very valid reason! I call your attention to Arthur Schlesinger’s insightful little book: “The Disuniting of America.” He provides an excellent insight into the absurdity and dangers of multiculturalism and points an accusing finger at university “intellectuals” for promoting the nonsense of “feel good history” designed to distort the truth about backward, uncivilized, non-democratic, barbarian cultures.

64. Chaise Guevara

@ 60

Of course I know what logic is, it’d be a bit silly of me to cite it if I didn’t. The idea that the indefinable is non-existent may be a fallacy but is not, as far as I’m aware, a particularly left-wing one. And I’m not committing it anyway.

The point is that ‘British culture’ means different things to different people. Certainly particular trends exist and can be demonstrated, but that doesn’t mean we share them as values. I don’t feel particularly united with my countrymen by the fact that we eat a lot of cereal compared to most other countries, for example.

As such, appealing to ‘British culture’ is really just a way of saying “the world should be the way I like it”. And people who fetishise the concept are generally happy to oppress or harm real people in the name of defending this internally defined idea of theirs. You surely can’t deny that the ‘heritage and culture’ argument tends to be wheeled out when people run out of real-world reasons for opposing multiculturalism.

chaise guevara @ 64
“The idea that the indefinable is non-existent may be a fallacy but is not, as far as I’m aware, a particularly left-wing one”.

I think it is. Look back at any discussion in the archives on the subject of Britishness, or Englishness, or British identity etc. I think you’ll find that the idea is constantly rolled out by those on the left that such concepts are absurb because they can’t be defined. Those who consider themselves experts in “identity politics” regularly resort to it.

Zyklon B:

‘Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Merkel does have a certain ring to it.

Still, unfair to blame the Aunty Adolf. As everybody who’s ever read a Commnado comic knows it was only ever a matter of time before the Hun reverted to type.

I wonder what their final solution to this problem will be?’

Seriously, how xenophobic towards the Germans are posters allowed to be on this site?

67. Chaise Guevara

@ 65

“I think it is. Look back at any discussion in the archives on the subject of Britishness, or Englishness, or British identity etc. I think you’ll find that the idea is constantly rolled out by those on the left that such concepts are absurb because they can’t be defined. Those who consider themselves experts in “identity politics” regularly resort to it.”

I’ll agree for the sake of argument, because there does appear to be some truth to what you say. But if this is generally a leftist disease, then isn’t it possible that the cause is right-wingers defending their policies using ambiguous and poorly defined terms? Think of people who say that we should oppress homosexuals because they are ‘indecent’ and ‘unnatural’. Meaningless expressions are likely to be dismissed as meaningless. In the specific context of this debate, however, I agree that it’s an illogical leap from undefinable to non-existent.

The left/right thing in post 60 is something of an aside, though. My central points stand.

Trofim @57

I suspect there is an element of truth in this. However, it is not because there is a deliberate Government led conspiracy to destroy ‘individual cultures’ as some of the more deluded among us feel.

Let us face up to the fact. No-one is really concerned about the concept ‘Multiculturalism’. Not really. The term ‘multiculturalism’ only really exists as a euphemism for ‘multi racial’. Now that is it is seen as socially unacceptable to attack people based on race, the racists have moved their agenda onto ‘cultural’. A pretty awkward transition, granted, but we are where we are.

Show me someone complaining about ‘multiculturalism’ and I will show you a racist. They may use different terms, but it is the same mindset. The term ‘multiculturalism’ only exists because immigration is controversial. You could invent dozens of other terms to describe this Country, but most of the concepts are pretty self evident that no-one would even see the need to do so. We could describe ourselves as a ‘multi-generalional culture’ to describe the fact that we live with several generations intertwined, but it is not an issue. No-one is likely to say ‘I am against intergenerationalism’, or ‘intergenerationalism has failed’ or even that an old lady being mugged is proof that the Government’s shameless promotion of this misguided experiment need s to be stopped’ would they?

Britain has been truly ‘Multicultural’ (in a real sense) for most of last hundred years and, in some ways even longer. Relatively few of us find it outrageous that some of us are positive atheists, vegetarians, pacifists, gay or even non football fans. No-one will ever complain that anything other a Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings is undermining British culture and that ‘The Government’ are shamelessly promoting pizzas to dilute our culture, or whatever.

In a free society, people are free to follow any culture they see fit and there is NOTHING a Liberal Government can or should attempt to do about it.

‘chaise guevara @ 64
“The idea that the indefinable is non-existent may be a fallacy but is not, as far as I’m aware, a particularly left-wing one”.

I think it is. Look back at any discussion in the archives on the subject of Britishness, or Englishness, or British identity etc. I think you’ll find that the idea is constantly rolled out by those on the left that such concepts are absurb because they can’t be defined. Those who consider themselves experts in “identity politics” regularly resort to it.’

It’s not indefinable, it’s discursive.

Trofim @ 65

I think you’ll find that the idea is constantly rolled out by those on the left that such concepts are absurb because they can’t be defined.

To be fair though, I think it is the Right that is caused so much problems in this regard by attempting to think of different ways of saying ‘They come over here for our benefits and our women…’. When the Right are asked to define ‘Britishness’ they have to be careful not draw those lines in such a way that means you may appear to be critical of concepts that they broadly support.

This not so much an exercise in preserving British culture as excluding the ‘fuzzy wuzzies’ reasonable claims to be included in it. It is always going to be about the burqa, but it is never going to be about Abercrombie and Fitch. It is always going to be curry and never about McDonalds’s, isn’t it?

@51

“The UK (and France) had large, long-lasting colonial empires and their white populations were told that non-white immigration was the price that had to paid for the past benefits of imperialism. (Of course, there are also significant differences between the British and French experiences – the latter had a coherent integrationist policy from the start of its imperial adventure, while there is no British equivalent of the pieds noirs.)”

What on Earth does this mean? “You colonized us so now we get to colonize you, and whilst your colonization was evil, our colonization is a moral imperative.” Are you serious?

Incidentally, this would seem to be a tacit admission by you that immigration is a destructive policy for the people of Britain. Indeed, it is a policy we must swallow because of our evil “imperialist” past. I never imperialised anyone so I think I’ll take a pass on this absurd notion.

I suppose Angela Merkel ought to gas herself for what the Nazi party did during the holocaust? Does she carry “blood guilt”, much the same as we apparently should for “imperialism”? Grow up.

I think you will find that the British people were never “told” that “non-white” immigration was the “price” for imperialism. They would not have accepted such a thing nor voted for it (as you well know), hence the reason why a policy of mass immigration has never been an openly stated policy of any of our main political parties (though it has, unfortunately, been a policy).

Mass immigration and multi-culturalism have never been popular policies, even amongst newly arrived immigrants, and remain enduringly unpopular. The sooner the policy is abandoned, the sooner the damage it has wrought can be limited. We on the left are going to have to accept this sooner or later. The evidence is starting to get irrefutable.

Hi Jim

The term ‘multiculturalism’ only really exists as a euphemism for ‘multi racial’.

Not true I’m afraid.

Multiculturalism can mean many things but it has been has been promoted by some on the liberal left as an opposing philosophy to integration. The point of the “diversity” agenda has been that we have been asked to celebrate the differences between the indigenous cultures of immigrant groups and operate a policy of cultural apartheid and a philosophy of moral relativism.

Show me someone complaining about ‘multiculturalism’ and I will show you a racist.

That’s just a rather crude attempt to shut down the debate.

@ 66

“Seriously, how xenophobic towards the Germans are posters allowed to be on this site?”

Tut ….tut…if you’re trying to be Politically Correct, forget it. Here is one definition of PC !

‘Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.’

Now we know why several nations refer to us as ‘The Island Apes’ If the Germans are reading this thread they’re having a huge giggle at our lack of knowledge about them. NB I go there 2-3 times a year on holiday.

Merkel is definitely coming out on top now.

74. Chaise Guevara

@ 71 Joe

“The evidence is starting to get irrefutable.”

Please provide a link to the near-irrefutable evidence.

It is always going to be curry and never about McDonalds’s, isn’t it?

Eh??????

76. Chaise Guevara

@ 73

I think you need to re-examine the definition of ‘definition’. What you have there is something between a ‘critique’ and an ‘insult’.

When she says “Multikulti” has failed, it is being argued that she is referring to a specific social policy – or lack thereof – which provided little or no assistance to aid the process of integration. If this is the case, much as I hate to say it, we’re seeing some serious journalistic laziness on the part of the BBC.

Given that the word ‘multiculturalism’, in English, has a range of meanings that stretch so far it can be used as it’s own antonym, it would be hard to see how a translation that ended up with that with that word can ever count as an error.

Unless she actually said ‘dumpling’ or something…

78. Chaise Guevara

@77

Yes, but it makes a difference whether she meant “racial integration has failed” or “an official policy of ghettoisation has failed”.

71

“Mass immigration and multi-culturalism have never been popular policies, even amongst newly arrived immigrants, and remain enduringly unpopular. The sooner the policy is abandoned, the sooner the damage it has wrought can be limited. We on the left are going to have to accept this sooner or later. The evidence is starting to get irrefutable.”

Mass immigration may never have been popular, but it was patently never so unpopular, or a matter which so exorcised the puclic, that they saw fit to vote the likes of Enoch Powell into power. Newly arrived immigrants sometimes would like to see the ladder pulled up after them, but that’s hardly a good basis for policy.

The fact that you can so glibly write off mass immigration and multi-culturalism as something which needs to be abandoned and which has caused damage, with no countervailing positive aspects, or possible advantages, makes one wonder if you’ve had any exposure to either….. or indeed if you actually have a conscience.

Are we supposed to deny entry to immigration from EU states in breach of our treaty obligations? Or only to non-EU immigrants… or only non-culturally similar immigrants? Should we deny entry in the case of people fleeing persecution or war or ethnic cleansing?

The days of the windrush and mass immigration from S. Asia are over… but were prompted by labour shortages at home, and the fact that “subjects” of the Empire weren’t seen as people who should be kept out.

You seem to have some beef with that past policy, and see it as a mistake. I’d disagree, as I suspect most people in here would… your views certainly don’t strike me as representing those of someone “on the left”…or at least not the kind of left I’d want to associate with.

@ 76

Like I said @73, “Here is one definition of PC !”

The other definitions I have are far less complimentary and not suitable for this board !

@75

What the comment is getting at is that all the talk of “dilution of indigenous[sic] culture” seems to be firmly fixed on opposing things that come from sources who are a different colour and/or speak a different language, but we can import as much cultural crap from America as we like, because gosh-darn it, the Yanks at least are the same colour as us and speak the same language…

*sigh*

Jim, above and ibid:

The world is an extraordinarily complex place and human beings are extraordinarily complex, and, I’m glad to say, contradictory and paradoxical entities.
The world isn’t the clear cut, reducible to discrete categories that the left thinks. Most of our decision and judgement making is based on subconscious, subliminal, inexpressible data not susceptible to logical analysis or even verbalisation. We know who and what we feel comfortable with, don’t we? It astounds me, that one of the most obvious and axiomatic realities about human beings is very rarely voiced or acknowledged explicitly. It is that in order to feel psychically comfortable, the overwhelming majority of human beings require a large degree of familiarity, regularity, even predictability in their environment and in their lives. Sure, we all like a holiday in another country, a stay in a hotel, a visit to a curry house in Sparkbrook, a fling with a floozie, but at the end of the day we start to want something familiar. What else is the phenomenon of home-sickness but simply a longing for the familiar? And we derive a feeling of comfort and security from this having familiar places, people, customs and things around us. This concept is highly uncool, highly unvibrant, highly out of synch with the left’s view of society, highly inconvenient for many, but it is a reality, and if you ignore it or deny it, as the Labour party did, you’re in trouble. If you doubt it, study people’s behaviour. Why is there such a concept as a “quarter” or area where one nationality or culture is concentrated? Because people gravitate to where there are people like them. What has been the predominant pattern of internal migration in Britain in the past couple of decades? From the cities to the country, where there is the least diversity. Two million people left London over about 15 years from 1990 onwards. They didn’t, overwhelmingly, move to Manchester or Bradford or Birmingham. They moved to the country, to provincial cities, market towns, villages. In 2008, for instance, twice as many people moved to Herefordshire from London as the other way round. Whether this is reprehensible or not is an irrelevance. If you want to understand what motivates human beings, isn’t human behaviour a good starting point?

83. Chaise Guevara

@ 80

In fairness to the person you were originally replying to at 66, they were being PC in the sense of “avoiding bigotry” rather than the sense of “don’t you dare say ‘blackboard’”.

84. Chaise Guevara

@ 81

I don’t think that’s true of curry and McDonald’s, though, quite the opposite in fact. Oh, there are plenty of people who watch hours of American TV a day and then act as if the existence of the Asian Channel is inherently racist, but I think curry is better-accepted in this country than homogenous American fast-food chains. It’s not a great example.

On the other hand, the existence of the burger (separate from McDonald’s, BK et al) is even less controversial than that. Nobody buying a burger at a cafe thinks of themselves as eating ‘foreign food’.

“Are we supposed to deny entry to immigration from EU states in breach of our treaty obligations? Or only to non-EU immigrants… or only non-culturally similar immigrants? Should we deny entry in the case of people fleeing persecution or war or ethnic cleansing?”

Well let’s be pragmatic here. Of course the plight of people fleeing persecution or ethnic cleansing is awful, but it cannot be solved by immigration. This argument is logically flawed, the United Kingdom is an island in the North Atlantic, allowing every one of the billions of people who are persecuted or fleeing ethnic cleansing in the World to seek a new life here is not practical. The only viable solutions for these people are in their countries of origin. My issue is not with humanist principles which I admire, but destroying the United Kingdom with these principles in a futile humanitarian effort to solve overseas problems is not a good policy for anyone on the political spectrum.

People who complain about “PC” usually strike me as the same types who complain that “you can’t even call a black man a negro anymore, it’s a disgrace.”

The concept of “political correctness” was invented by the Soviet Union and was co-opted by the so-called New Left (in the ’70s) as a form of self-satire. It was then debased by the so-called New Right (in the ’80s) who used it as a weapon to bash people who liked to promote equality for blacks, women, gays etc – which is where we are now, with Richard “I ? the BNP” Littlejohn being the prime propogandist for the apologists for racism.

For myself, PC just means not being a twat to other people and having some respect.

~

On-topic: what does Merkel intend to do about “multikulti”? It often appears to me that the Righties love to bash multiculturalism but they have no answers about what they intend to do to end it. Deport everyone who doesn’t speak the native tongue? Sterilise immigrants on arrival? Or – more mildly – as one commentator on here implies, stop funding foreign language leaflets for public services? The first two are clearly disgusting (tho’ there are some on here no doubt who think that’s a good idea) and the latter would be entirely counter-productive in that it would stop even the tiniest bit of integration into society by those who may struggle at first with English.

Oh and @45: You are an idiot. You’re entitled to your opinion (although I think it falls foul of the comment rules), but it is an idiotic one.

[further to my conmment @86: the ? in "Richard “I ? the BNP” Littlejohn" was supposed to be a heart. Althought the rendering of it as a question-mark is I suppose more acceptable to the legally-minded... ;) ]

@82

They did that in 1990 because they were encouraged to buy their own houses and reasoned that they’d be able to buy a larger place outside of the big cities than they would if they remained within them – not because they yearned for something with which they could identify. Of course Black Wednesday a couple of years later rendered their “investments” somewhat moot, but hey-ho.

Also, did you mean Herefordshire or Hertfordshire? I could see a sizeable number of people moving to suburban Bishop’s Stortford or somewhere and commuting into town for work, but Herefordshire would require a major uprooting.

@84

I think it was intended as a metaphor rather than explicitly comparing our reaction to curry vs. McBKFC – and possibly not the greatest metaphor – but I got it anyway. ;)

85

Destroying the UK with what principles?! You are seriously asking us to believe that you think the UK is now (or ever has been) in danger of being destroyed by multi-culturalism or mass immigration? Oh please… it’s not a sin to be ignorant and swallow such right wing clap trpa whole, it IS a sin to be proud of it and expect us to believe you’re on the left if that’s the kind of views you have!

“Destroying the UK with what principles?! You are seriously asking us to believe that you think the UK is now (or ever has been) in danger of being destroyed by multi-culturalism or mass immigration? Oh please… it’s not a sin to be ignorant and swallow such right wing clap trpa whole, it IS a sin to be proud of it and expect us to believe you’re on the left if that’s the kind of views you have!”

Well OK, enlighten me, what are the benefits? Let me qualify, what are the benefits specifically for the people who already live here, you know, the electorate? Quantifiable benefits only please, shiny happy anecdotes do not count.

And don’t preach to me. The most valid arguments I’ve seen in favour of mass immigration (with data to back them up) involve capitalists who seek to drive down wages. Not exactly a leftist world view to my mind.

There are no arguments in favour of multi-culturalism which are not ideological.

91. John Smetham

We would not be discussing the problem of multiculturalism were it not for naive politicians meddling in social sciences instead of getting on with the job of simply running the country which is all they were elected for. They did not ask their electorate if they wanted millions of people from half a world away to fly in and fill up their countryside. Angele Merkel is the most senior leader to recognise that her people do not like the situation they have found themselves in and that she and future politicians will have to unpick it.

Pagar @ 72

I agree that the term is used by the Left, but surely that is only because the language of racism has moved on from the crude ‘darkie/Paki etc’ name calling into a slightly more subtle ‘it’s not their colour we object to, it is their culture we object to’.

Multiculturalism can mean many things but it has been has been promoted by some on the liberal left as an opposing philosophy to integration

A philosophy of integration, Pagar? What is that when it is at home? No-one would succeed in telling either of us that we MUST attend church, cheer on England during the Ashes, attend a bonfire night, read Shakespeare or any other activity designed to facilitate ‘a philosophy of integration’. Everyone in this Country has the right to decide how much we integrate or not into the ‘majority culture’ and if some people want to keep that to a minimum, then there is currently no mechanism to rectify that, nor should there be.

I am not going to defend the ‘celebrate diversity’ language, but I will accept that if we are all free to follow the religious/culturally significant dates in our calendar, then I can see no consistent argument for not celebrating those dates in a civil sense. You could argue that we should not celebrate ANY religious/cultural dates of course.

That’s just a rather crude attempt to shut down the debate.

The fact of the matter is though, Pagar, that this is a race/Nationality debate. When someone says ‘Multi Culturalism has failed’, they mean ‘immigration’. You know it, I know it. The people who make such statements know it and they know that we know they know it too. No-one on this thread, not even Merkel is referring to a cultural shift in society to the extent that ‘British Culture’ (within the white race) has become meaningless. This is never going to be about, say, middle class downshifters failing to integrate into rural communities, or, dare I say it, Americans learning to integrate with our culture. I have NEVER heard any ‘cultural defender’ demand that Americans stop celebrating the 4th July or never watch basketball, nor stop referring to ‘soccer’ when they mean football. This is always about race, plain and simple.

Of course, I may have missed the bit in Merkal’s speech regarding the NFL Europe’s German teams have contaminated the proud German identity, but I doubt it…

91 John Smetham

“They did not ask their electorate if they wanted millions of people from half a world away to fly in and fill up their countryside.”

That’s not the way it works tho is it? Even at the height of the Windrush, or when people from S. Asia were being encouraged to come to the UK, the electorate would have been quite at liberty to vote for a party which vowed to stop all immigration, but they didn’t did they? They were coming here because there were no restrictions on Empire immigration, in an era of full employment and labour shortages, to do jobs that the locals wouldn’t do.

…”that she and future politicians will have to unpick it.”

Unpick it how? Who says it needs unpicking apart from those odious creeps prone to start their nimbyish rantings “I’m not a racist but…..”?

94. Chaise Guevara

@91

“We would not be discussing the problem of multiculturalism were it not for naive politicians meddling in social sciences instead of getting on with the job of simply running the country which is all they were elected for”

Yes, I remember well how my geography and history lessons kept getting wrecked when Blair wandered into the classroom and tried to change the lesson plans.

I think you mean “social engineering”, which is code for “anything the government does that I don’t like”. Most of the things involved in “simply running the country”, as you put it, can be described as social engineering.

Hi Jim

I don’t think we’re too far apart here, but let’s see.

A philosophy of integration, Pagar? What is that when it is at home?

That people living in the UK accept our laws, learn our language (so that they can generally communicate) and do not insist on living in closed communities. That they do not continue to advocate illiberal standpoints founded in foreign cultures or religions that are at odds with our basic values.

I have NEVER heard any ‘cultural defender’ demand that Americans stop celebrating the 4th July or never watch basketball, nor stop referring to ‘soccer’ when they mean football.

Our culture is greatly richer for having absorbed the best bits of the cultures of the people who have come here over the centuries. However misogyny and homophobia, arranged marriages, honour killings genital mutilation and suicide bombs are not things we should be prepared to absorb or tolerate and we must not be too polite to say so.

This is always about race, plain and simple.

Sometimes for some it undoubtedly is. But it is not usually about race.

I think everyone is missing the point, and going off track in asserting that what Merkel has said translates to an anti-Islamic, xenophobic statement.
I think the essence of her argument, one that has been overlooked on all sides of the spectrum, is that Mulitculturalism, as a project aimed at establishing a integrative society, has indeed failed.
Multiculturalism in sociology and in politics was a specific project, endorsed by such writers as Kymlicka who saw Liberalism as inadequate in dealing with increasingly heterogeneous societies, Kymlicka and his advocates attempted to devise a response to increasingly diverse socities and establish a coherent argument for group rights.
I believe this is what Merkel is referring too, the idea of Multiculturalism as some sort of political project!
At the height of these debates many liberal writers strenuously opposed the mulitcultural project on account of it being at odds with the ideals set forth by Western democratic nations, that of freedom of religion, of the rights of individuals being paramount regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or beliefs. The leading exponent of this thought was the late Brian Barry who gave a succint account of how liberal-egalitarianism was more adept at dealing with issues of today’s multi-faith, diverse societies.
Merkel’s comments have been blown out of proportion and i think the only way to judge her comments is to have an idea of the political and social arguments that have been debated for the past two decades around the ideas of multiculturalism and how to deal with integration .

@95

Our culture is greatly richer for having absorbed the best bits of the cultures of the people who have come here over the centuries. However misogyny and homophobia, arranged marriages, honour killings genital mutilation and suicide bombs are not things we should be prepared to absorb or tolerate and we must not be too polite to say so.

Straw man alert. No-one defending multiculturalism or immigration is defending “misogyny and homophobia, arranged marriages, honour killings genital mutilation and suicide bombs”. Nice try, though.

98. the a&e charge nurse

Merkel’s comments on ‘multiculturalism’ are as meaningless as Cameron’s recent guff on ‘fairness’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/06/david-cameron-fairness-people-deserve

They are the sort of phrases that can be taken to mean almost anything, or nothing at all (in both cases).

Is Merkel comparing the failings of ‘multiculturalism’ in Germany to other European states, or Germany’s expectations about the advantages/benefits that were expected to arise from it – I doubt if Merkel knows herself?

Pagar @ 95

That people living in the UK accept our laws, learn our language (so that they can generally communicate) and do not insist on living in closed communities. That they do not continue to advocate illiberal standpoints founded in foreign cultures or religions that are at odds with our basic values.

Not too much to argue about there, though I am not too sure that I have too much against living in a ‘closed community’ unless I completely miss-understand what you mean by a closed community, of course. If by ‘closed’ you mean barricaded streets, no go areas for police etc, then fair enough, but remember you don’t need to be from a ‘foreign culture’ to engineer a ‘closed community’ either. I could take you into towns and villages within ten miles of where I live where the white indigenous are not too welcoming to ‘outsiders’. Such behaviour is undesirable, irrespective of what is driven by.

However misogyny and homophobia, arranged marriages, honour killings genital mutilation and suicide bombs are not things we should be prepared to absorb or tolerate and we must not be too polite to say so.

These things are wrong in themselves, irrespective of which culture generated them. I see nothing wrong with allowing Muslims to practice Islam and condemning homophobia when we can identify it. I will happily condemn the nutcase who attacks a mosque with a petrol bomb and the person who set alight to a gay bar. Both may be products of ‘multi-culturalism’*, however that does does not make them immune from criticism.

To be honest, I am unaware of anyone who is advocating that we legalise ‘forced’ (as opposed to arranged) marriages, FGM, honour killing or any other unsavoury practices that go against our natural justice systems. Let us not kid ourselves here; it wasn’t a ‘foreign culture’ that generated the hero worship for Raul Moat or even that of the Kray twins, either, but no-one would suggest that our culture should be judged on those terms. We could quite easily condemn the camp followers and facebookers who leave messages of support, but that does not mean we wish to condemn that entire culture either.

*Let me further clarify my position here. I believe that a free, open, democratic Country with a large population will have a wide range of cultures within it. Be that distinct, ‘ready made’ cultures imported via immigration/trade, to ‘in built’ cultures as well. I have no problem in believing that rural communities share a distinct culture when compared to mining or fishing villages or that urban culture can be as diverse as any other. I am not ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ multiculturalism per se, but I recognise that such a State is an inevitable consequence of a modern Country.

100. Chaise Guevara

@ 95

“However misogyny and homophobia, arranged marriages, honour killings genital mutilation and suicide bombs are not things we should be prepared to absorb or tolerate and we must not be too polite to say so. ”

All those in favour of misogyny and homophobia, arranged marriages, honour killings genital mutilation and suicide bombs put your hand up now!

Ah, thought so.

Of the above, we should indeed not tolerate honour killings, genital mutilation or suicide bombs. Fortunately, we don’t. They’re very illegal. We do, however, have to tolerate misogyny, homophobia and any other personal opinion. Arranged marriages are fine with consent, illegal without.

This is all by-the-by though, unless you’re claiming that all immigrants are mysogynistic, homophobic, genital-mutilating, honour-slaying, marriage-arranging suicide bombers. I think we’d have noticed.

To be honest, I am unaware of anyone who is advocating that we legalise ‘forced’ (as opposed to arranged) marriages, FGM, honour killing or any other unsavoury practices that go against our natural justice systems.

If nobody thought they were the right thing to do, it would hardly be necessary to outlaw them.

@6

I quote Mr Bailey.

“I never went to school in our locality. A deliberate ploy not to leave me alone among too many black children… that means you can’t go forward.”

Page 2, No Man’s Land, Centre for Policy Studies

The words of a deeply troubled and confused man.

103. Chaise Guevara

@101

Well, yes. Point being?

104. Just Visiting

Chaise

You may wish to discount Pagar’s pount by saying:
> Of the above, we should indeed not tolerate honour killings, genital mutilation or suicide bombs. Fortunately, we don’t. They’re very illegal.

But you are ignoring the fact that they are now happening. And increasingly.

Just today, literally, in my small market town, one of my friends was attacked in college – by a Muslim – who is angered that my friend has given up being a Muslim.

In the last 12 months, 2 other ex-Muslims I know were attacked twice – first GBH then attempted murder and had to move away altogether to start a new life.

All those attacks were illegal – but so far no one has been caught let alone sentenced.
It won’t be reported in the paper, because my friend is frightened, so the residents of the town here certainly don’[t know how often it happens. When I talked to our MP about it – he knew of other cases – again they were unknown to me because they never reached the local papers.

Would you know how often ex-Muslims are being attacked in your town?

Why do the perpretators get away with it? One reason is the less than full cooperation of the Muslim population in the area.
Because mainstream Islam says that apostates deserve to die.
That is a multi-cultural fact that the folks here who keep repeating that there is no such thing as british culture are in denial about.

And even if you’re a non-religious moderate Muslim – are you going to risk becoming the target of the same attackers, if you stand up in public to condemn the attacks, and say that you want apostates like them and like yourself to be left in peace? Ha ha. Only the bravest do that.

JV @ 104

No-one is defending this. No-one has suggested that attacks on Muslims by other Muslims is justified, so what is your point? Women get raped by men every day and everyone agrees that is wrong, but few sane people would suggest that proves that male/female culture has failed, do they? What are to get from statement?

106. Chaise Guevara

@104

What Jim said. Also:

“But you are ignoring the fact that they are now happening.”

Bollocks am I. I’m just managing not to get hysterical about it to fuel pre-existing prejudice.

And increasingly.”

Data, please.

“Just today, literally, in my small market town, one of my friends was attacked in college – by a Muslim – who is angered that my friend has given up being a Muslim.

In the last 12 months, 2 other ex-Muslims I know were attacked twice – first GBH then attempted murder and had to move away altogether to start a new life.

All those attacks were illegal – but so far no one has been caught let alone sentenced.”

There are all sorts of crimes all over the place, so what point are you making? This is what we call an ‘anecdote’. It has no wider bearing on the state of society at large, unless you think no atheist or Christian ever hurt anyone. Come on, this is pretty basic stuff, and I think you know it.

“It won’t be reported in the paper, because my friend is frightened, so the residents of the town here certainly don’[t know how often it happens. When I talked to our MP about it – he knew of other cases – again they were unknown to me because they never reached the local papers.

Would you know how often ex-Muslims are being attacked in your town?

Why do the perpretators get away with it?”

Because your friend didn’t report it? That’s the single reason you need for crimes to remain unsolved: not getting reported. The police help those who help themselves, so to speak. And I know you get onto the ‘culture of fear’ issue later in your post, but that’s generic, not especially Islamic.

“One reason is the less than full cooperation of the Muslim population in the area.
Because mainstream Islam says that apostates deserve to die.”

I’d like evidence for both statements there. And your definition of ‘mainstream’. Saying apostates deserve to die arguably puts you in the ‘extremist’ category by default.

“That is a multi-cultural fact that the folks here who keep repeating that there is no such thing as british culture are in denial about.”

LOL. Yeah, I forgot about Britain’s unique social convention against violence.

“And even if you’re a non-religious moderate Muslim – are you going to risk becoming the target of the same attackers, if you stand up in public to condemn the attacks, and say that you want apostates like them and like yourself to be left in peace? Ha ha. Only the bravest do that.”

Sure, fair enough, but the same could be said about, say, someone attacked by a well-known local hood. You’re describing a symptom rather than a cause.

107. Just Visiting

Chaise

Hey, steady on old fella.

> Bollocks am I. I’m just managing not to get hysterical about it.

Hysterical? No one accused anyone of that so far.

> There are all sorts of crimes all over the place, so what point are you making?

Well, that 40 years ago no one in the UK was being attacked as an apostate. Now they are. That is a change. No one denes that do they?

> Because your friend didn’t report it? That’s the single reason you need for crimes to remain unsolved: not getting reported. The police help those who help themselves, so to speak.

Why make the crazy assumption that they didn’t report it?
Of course my friends reported it to the police! It was GBH + attempted murder for goodness sake – they were under police protection for a while.

This smacks of blaming the victim Chaise….not good.

>> One reason is the less than full cooperation of the Muslim population in the area.
>> Because mainstream Islam says that apostates deserve to die.”

>I’d like evidence for both statements there. And your definition of ‘mainstream’. Saying apostates deserve to die arguably puts you in the ‘extremist’ category by default.

Chaise, this has been thrashed to death on LC before.
Mainstream Islam does sanction the death penalty for apostates (and adulters and ..).

Just open your eyes and read the news and do some googling.
You’ll find the Islamic scholars explaining the practicalities (there are it seems 2 sch0ols of thought -whether to wait 3 days to give the person change to come back to Islam, or just to ask them 3 times before killing them).

You will find an absolute silence of respected islamic leaders and theologians condemning the practise of killing apostates.

If it wasn’t true, someone on LC by now would have found some sources to prove it – because I and others have said it many times here now, and no one yet has come up with anything.

> Sure, fair enough, but the same could be said about, say, someone attacked by a well-known local hood. You’re describing a symptom rather than a cause.

Yes, you’re right.
The cause is the violent threats inherent in mainstream islam theology.
The symptom, is that dissent, and liberal discussion about the good and bad parts of Islam is silenced within Muslim communities.

I thought pretty much like where you maybe are now, about 2 years ago. I thought Islam was another monotheistic religion – with lots in common with christianity + judaism.
But after my friends where first attacked, I made the effort to read up – read Islamic scholars, look up the verses when they quote from the Qur’an. Read books by those who have left Islam. Books by those trying to be moderate Muslims (whatever that may mean in different circumstances).
Now I know that islam today is fundamentally different to christianity or judaism today.
And that the death penalty is valid for apostates + adulters. Always has been, because of the explicit instructions of Mohammed – which makes it an unchangeable part of Islam.

108. Just Visiting

Jim

> No-one has suggested that attacks on Muslims by other Muslims is justified, so what is your point? Women get raped by men every day and everyone agrees that is wrong, but few sane people would suggest that proves that male/female culture has failed, do they?

I think you answer your own point. Here on LC rape is an issue that is raised from time to time, thre is a calm debate about it, about measures to reduce it, about making society a better one.

But as soon as Mulsim violence comes on, several LCers come on and want to shut the debate down immediately

Eg folks like Chaise, suggest that as soon as we have said that killing is illegal, the debate is over. Stop, nothing to see here.

Whereas in contrast, the debate about rape is allowed to go on and explore the details even though the first post will have said it’s illegal.

And rarely will someone be called a man-hater for bringing up rape.
But in this thread we read:
> Show me someone complaining about ‘multiculturalism’ and I will show you a racist.

Accusations of racism – another way to try and stifle debate before it has happened.

So Jim, have you asked yourself why you have such a different response to the two areas?

109. Just Visiting

Chaise

Here’s a fresh quote – hours old – for you on death penalty for apostates – being preached among not the poor in a undeveloped nation – but by and among well educated Muslim students in London!

Think tank Quilliam said they had evidence of hard-line Islamist ideology being promoted through the leadership of the university’s student Islamic Society at City University in central London.
… openly preaching extremism during a prayers held on the campus during the 2009/10 academic year.

They said the president – Saleh Patel, was recorded saying: “When they say to us ‘the Islamic state teaches to cut the hand of the thief’, yes it does!

“And it also teaches us to stone the adulterer.

“When they tell us that the Islamic state tells us and teaches us to kill the apostate, yes it does!
“Because this is what Allah and his messenger have taught us and this is the religion of Allah and it is Allah who legislates and only Allah has the right to legislate.”

“When a person leaves one prayer, one prayer intentionally, he should be imprisoned for three days and three nights and told to repent.

“And if he doesn’t repent and offer his prayer then he should be killed. And the difference of opinion lies with regards to how he should be killed not as to what he is – a kafir or a Muslim”.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jdk3j1Puace2_Ay2w2_g1K1d55-w?docId=N0314541287308927605A

110. Chaise Guevara

@107

“Hysterical? No one accused anyone of that so far.”

I don’t mean you’re ranting and raving and tearing your hair. I mean you’re making too much out of something. ‘Hysteria’ is, I admit, a rather hysterically over-the-top way of describing that. Fair enough.

“Well, that 40 years ago no one in the UK was being attacked as an apostate. Now they are. That is a change. No one denes that do they?”

Well, no. But people were being attacked for essentially the same reason, for being seen as an outsider or traitor. For being gay, for example. Xenophobia has always been with us. It wasn’t invented by mullahs.

“Why make the crazy assumption that they didn’t report it?
Of course my friends reported it to the police! It was GBH + attempted murder for goodness sake – they were under police protection for a while.

This smacks of blaming the victim Chaise….not good.”

Misread you there. You said the papers didn’t know about it because your friend was frightened, I assumed that meant your friend hadn’t told anyone about it, including police. I’d never blame the victim for the crime committed against them, but I would call it silly to keep schtum about a crime then complain that it hadn’t been solved. However, this is irrelevant because I misunderstood what you said, so disregard my previous comments on that topic.

“Chaise, this has been thrashed to death on LC before.
Mainstream Islam does sanction the death penalty for apostates (and adulters and ..).”

Techinically, the same can be said about mainstream Christianity. I wouldn’t say that myself, because I don’t judge individuals by the texts they apparently live by.

“Just open your eyes and read the news and do some googling.”

Yes, yes. I do do these things, you know. That’s probably where this argument comes from. I try to pay attention to the world around me, read the news every day, meander through the internet like the world’s laziest explorer, but I just don’t see Islam as something to fear. Different sources, maybe.

“You’ll find the Islamic scholars explaining the practicalities (there are it seems 2 sch0ols of thought -whether to wait 3 days to give the person change to come back to Islam, or just to ask them 3 times before killing them).”

Yeesh. Sure, every person it’s possible to call an ‘Islamic scholar’ is divided on exactly when you murder an apostate. If you believe that, you’re not only paranoid; you greatly misunderstand the law of averages.

“You will find an absolute silence of respected islamic leaders and theologians condemning the practise of killing apostates.

If it wasn’t true, someone on LC by now would have found some sources to prove it – because I and others have said it many times here now, and no one yet has come up with anything.”

I can’t demand you prove a negative, so I guess you’re right that the burden of proof is on my side. However, it’s gone midnight. Mind if I take a little time to research this? The only caveat I ask is that you don’t immediately dismiss any source I found as not being a proper “respected islamic leader”, because that’s subjective.

“Yes, you’re right.
The cause is the violent threats inherent in mainstream islam theology.
The symptom, is that dissent, and liberal discussion about the good and bad parts of Islam is silenced within Muslim communities.”

Nah. The cause is violence and power. The symptom is repression. This is a very, very wide issue.

“I thought pretty much like where you maybe are now, about 2 years ago. I thought Islam was another monotheistic religion – with lots in common with christianity + judaism.
But after my friends where first attacked, I made the effort to read up – read Islamic scholars, look up the verses when they quote from the Qur’an. Read books by those who have left Islam. Books by those trying to be moderate Muslims (whatever that may mean in different circumstances).
Now I know that islam today is fundamentally different to christianity or judaism today.”

Agree there, actually. In this country (fuck it, this continent), Islam is currently doing a lot more damage to humanity and freedom of speech than any other religious faith, at least directly. It’s at the top of a very worrying bell curve. But that’s not a reason to condemn what is clumsily called multiculturalism, not a reason to turn your back on your fellow man because some of his mates are scary.

“And that the death penalty is valid for apostates + adulters. Always has been, because of the explicit instructions of Mohammed – which makes it an unchangeable part of Islam.”

Have you any idea how many things you can be executed for under biblical law? I know that Islamic violence and murder exists in this country, but I see a general lack of people being killed for sleeping around by either Christians or Muslims. Is it possible, do you think, that people of any religion don’t actually follow their holy book’s rules to the letter? I’m sure, if we ask around for long enough*, we can find a Christian who doesn’t believe the world was made in six days.

*About 3.5 seconds.

It’s also deeply disingenuous to suggest that the tendency for one’s nearest and dearest to cover for the perpetrator of a criminal act is anything to do with either Islamic or immigrant culture. For example – the family and friends of the toerag that shot that poor kid in Merseyside a few years ago closed ranks for as long as possible and I’m prepared to bet any money that if the case hadn’t had such a high media profile, they’d likely have succeeded in helping him get away with it.

112. the a&e charge nurse

[105] “Women get raped by men every day and everyone agrees that is wrong” – no, not everyone, some remain ‘shocked’ at the concept of marital rape.
http://atheism.about.com/b/2009/01/28/imam-samir-abu-hamza-ok-to-beat-force-sex-on-wives.htm

JV @ 108

I am not sure what you are driving at here. Are you suggesting that people on LC do not condemn Muslims who commit crime? That is odd; I see no end of people who condemn such acts when they are reported. I am sure I speak for the entire membership (in so far as we are members) when I say I totally condemn any rape, honour killings or any other act of violence, no matter the perpetrator’s culture or race. I have never read a single entry saying, ‘actually, I think the bitch had it coming to her’.

Though having said, I do remember when Raul Moat when on his killing spree, people did set up a face book page where many of his fans recorded those types of sentiments. So, does that mean that ‘British Culture’ is a diseased culture, or merely that our culture produces pretty sad puppies at times?

A @ E 112

I am sure you are correct that ‘some’ remain ‘shocked’ at the concept of marital rape, and the rest of us can condemn these people and challenge them, but we do not need to know what culture they come from or what holy book they are quoting before deciding if they are wrong.

Show me someone, anyone, who thinks it okay for a man to rape his wife and I will show you someone with a pretty sick attidude towards sex, women and life in general, I do not to be told what their religous beliefs are, thanks, they can be condemned in the terms the express their vile views.

The question in Germany is not so much if Multiculturalism has “failed” as what they mean by multiculturalism. The German post-war immigration policies had nothing multicultural about them, a permanent “guest-worker” status was kept up by making access to German citizenship very difficult, and even by attempting to create an apartheid-like school system for children of immigrant families (that were supposed to be schooled in their mother&father tongue- in order to be ready to return, and not enter into German society as adults).
The multicultural idea was thus an attempt to break from this past. But if “something” has failed, is it multiculturalism or is it the whole mass of policies that were in place from the early 50′ss to well into the 1990′s?


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