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Thoughts on Multiculturalism in Europe

Twenty-plus years ago I lived in England, had a Sri Lankan boyfriend, an Israeli best friend who shared a flat with a Palestinian guy, and a Persian housemate. This is still my idea of multiculturalism. Yet 20 years later what I read and see about Europe -- and Turkey but that's a different question altogether -- suggests the multicultural model governments have been shoving down people's throats has begun to backfire and it is backfiring spectacularly.

Take the hidden camera film about the encapsulated Muslim neighbourhoods in Paris. This is no spin and no fake news. I have a friend who lives and Paris and she has vouched for the genuineness of these neighbourhoods. There are similar places in Germany, too, if we are to believe none other than Angela Merkel, who said in an interview such encapsulated areas have no place in the German society. Ironic, given she put a lot of effort into taking migration to ridiculous levels.

Then there's Denmark, where I saw (hopefully because I only had three days) multiculturalism still working, probably because the country, as far as I remember, limited its intake of economic (sic) refugees. There I saw people of various colors all smiling and friendly, as befits one of the happiest nations in the world. And then I saw a boy that eyed me suspiciously for several minutes until I felt extremely uncomfortable (I went out to smoke and forgot the keys to the Airbnb, okay? Don't tell anyone). That one single boy is new to the country, I'm sure. I really hope he won't look at this very typical Middle Eastern way at people in five years. Because he will have assimilated.

Assimilation is the only sensible way of actually accomplishing multiculturalism that doesn't give rise to racist extremists. I will here quote Mr. Schwarz, an expat in a country neighbouring his home one, who, after 20 years here says "We" when he talks about the locals and "they" when he talks about his countrymen and countrywomen. The only way to have a decent life in a foreign country even one that is culturally close to your home one, is to assimilate, learn the language and the culture, and make it your own. This emphatically does not suggest you need to give up your own culture or religion. What it does suggest is that if you want to live in a society you need to become a part of it, rather than an appendage that feeds from a society, operates in it, but remains a separate part of that society and, ultimately, does not contribute to the greater good. That's what encapsulation is all about and to me, it is the one single negative aspect of the recent migration waves that can bring the whole European Union down.

How did we get here? We need to thank PC gone mad and congenital human stupidity. The more you force a group of people to accept something new and unfamiliar as normal and familiar without giving them enough time to process this thing, the more they will clench their teeth and refuse to eat it. The pendulum, as I like to say, always swings. The further it swings into one direction, the further it will then swing into the opposite one. it's just one of these laws that can't be violated. And personally, I believe Western Europe is being so stupid because they have no group memory of the Ottoman empire ruling over them. We do although we won't continue to have this memory for long as history is being rewritten. Literally.

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1 hour ago, mthebold said:

O900uRM.jpg

I want to let you know, once again, that I very much appreciate the amount of data you have collected over the years, @mthebold.  If you have more images that tell a story similar to that quoted above (on ANY topic), feel free send a link!  

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20 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

A further example : 6-7 months ago I helped a somali immigrant in his 30s. He had been in Denmark for  3-4 years and just living on social benefits. I asked him what his training was. None really, just hard work in agriculture. I asked him what he had been doing to find. He said that he had been taking Danish classes etc learning to write CVs etc. In fairness his basic Danish was understandable. Far from good, but understandable.

On a lighter note, do you actually realise what a feat of courage and hard work this is? You were born with it but let me tell you, Danish for non-native speakers is so hard I'm increasingly thinking I'd need surgical intervention to be able to speak it. I've no migration plans, I just love this language, so I'm struggling on. :)

On a serious note, I'm with you on that: most people are not radicals and yes, poverty breeds radicalism as noted by Noam Chomsky and George Clooney in Syriana. But it's precisely these radicals that mess up all that's good about migration in terms of workforce and, I don't know, cultural diversity, I guess.

On a further serious note, this failure of existing immigration policies has reached Sweden, I just found out yesterday. They have been unable to form a government since September because a nationalist party (a nationalist party in Sweden!) got too many votes, if we are to believe Bloomberg. It boggles the mind how Europe allowed this. 

On a last serious note, the UK has gone way too far: it refused asylum to the Pakistani Christian woman who was acquitted in a trial there. Downing Street was worried it would make some groups unhappy. We can all guess what kind of groups these are. I am deeply appalled at this idiotic tolerance to radicalism at the expense of all other groups. Of all things to be tolerant towards, they pick radicals! Stunning.

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@mthebold

If you are serious about making this an academic discussion I forward you my brothers dissertation once he has finished. As mentioned it is English. A warning though - it will be a long and tough read. In order to put to it into context you will need a lot of of background on Danish society which I am happy to provide. If you just want to blame immigrants and crazy liberals for all that you find wrong with the world then I am not the right guy to be discussing with. 

I will ignore the insinuations about my personal motives as they could not be further from the truth. 

ps. I would also suggest you fact check at least your statements about Europe. 

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@Marina Schwarz

I agree that Europe needs more balance in their politics, particularly immigration politics. It is PC gone mad squaring off against, ehh, something frigthening. But this is a chicken and egg discussion. 

 If you are interested I can give you some background on Sweden, but it will have to wait for another day. Am a bit busy at the moment. 

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On 11/17/2018 at 6:09 PM, mthebold said:

Dissertations aren't written for the purpose of understanding a subject; they're more a proof of the student's capability.  Intellectual gymnastics, if you will.  

Is there a more concise resource or an executive summary?  

I am sorry. I got my terms mixed up. My brother is finishing his doctorate, meaning the paper he is doing is his doctoral thesis. I would assume that there will be an executive summary, but I would encourage you to read the whole thing in entirety. He should be done with it in 6-7 months.

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@mthebold

I understand where you are coming from. When I do my "background piece" on Sweden I will elaborate a little on how I think immigration policies are failing. I should have done this to begin with - it will give you a better understanding of what I point of view.

side-note : I too have seen exploitation of children & women in Africa & south America. And you are 100 % rigth, it is appaling to say the least. You are preaching to the choir. What is a sad fact though is that it almost with 100 % certainty always are poor people that are exploited. Also, sadly, there are cases of inhuman behaviour i Europe too. There was the Fritzl case in Austria where a white man held his daugther in a dungeon as a sex-slave for 24 years. A similar case in Denmark, where a man white started raping his own daughter when she was 5 and letting other do the same until she 11. She was "rescued" by a Turkish pizza-shop owner, who had been invited to join as payment for pizza. But the Turkish muslim though alerted the police and helped them find the hourse where this was happening. There are no words to describe this horror. And I only mention this to illustrate that all people have capacity for good and evil. 

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1 hour ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

@mthebold

I understand where you are coming from. When I do my "background piece" on Sweden I will elaborate a little on how I think immigration policies are failing. I should have done this to begin with - it will give you a better understanding of what I point of view.

side-note : I too have seen exploitation of children & women in Africa & south America. And you are 100 % rigth, it is appaling to say the least. You are preaching to the choir. What is a sad fact though is that it almost with 100 % certainty always are poor people that are exploited. Also, sadly, there are cases of inhuman behaviour i Europe too. There was the Fritzl case in Austria where a white man held his daugther in a dungeon as a sex-slave for 24 years. A similar case in Denmark, where a man white started raping his own daughter when she was 5 and letting other do the same until she 11. She was "rescued" by a Turkish pizza-shop owner, who had been invited to join as payment for pizza. But the Turkish muslim though alerted the police and helped them find the hourse where this was happening. There are no words to describe this horror. And I only mention this to illustrate that all people have capacity for good and evil. 

Sorry to interrupt and I hope you don't mind.  I'm following your discussion with interest and hope to see it continue.

With respect. please do not even attempt to equate the acts of those evil people you mention, or any like them, with anyone else, let alone everybody else ("all people have capacity for good and evil.").  Sometimes the herd must separate the evil ones and either put them to death or exile them.  While every society will undoubtedly have these types of cretons, not every person has the capacity for evil and will even fight against it under reality of death if confronted with it.

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9 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

Sorry to interrupt and I hope you don't mind.  I'm following your discussion with interest and hope to see it continue.

With respect. please do not even attempt to equate the acts of those evil people you mention, or any like them, with anyone else, let alone everybody else ("all people have capacity for good and evil.").  Sometimes the herd must separate the evil ones and either put them to death or exile them.  While every society will undoubtedly have these types of cretons, not every person has the capacity for evil and will even fight against it under reality of death if confronted with it.

Sorry if this came out wrong. It was not my intention to that everybody has capacity for evil. I just meant to say that evil or good is not exclusively limited to a particular culture or skincolor. I see now I could have a chosen a better example. 

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5 minutes ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

 

Sorry if this came out wrong. It was not my intention to that everybody has capacity for evil. I just meant to say that evil or good is not exclusively limited to a particular culture or skincolor. I see now I could have a chosen a better example. 

That's okay.  I kind of figured you meant as much.  And I wholly agree with the amendment.

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@Marina Schwarz and others

I still owe you some background on Sweden. In the meantime however, I would like to encourage you to watch the below interview from 15:50. 

https://www.dr.dk/tv/se/deadline/deadline-9/deadline-2018-11-23#!/ 

Essentially, a gay imam that founded an inclusive Moske in Paris. I was travelling most of last week so I have had time to do look into the background of this, but it seems that when muslims live in free societies islam develops.... There is hope!! 

I realize some of you might dismiss this as a red herring, but to me it is a clear sign that we can achieve co-existence. 

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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This is actually amazing. I still have trouble reconciling the idea of any gay people being also religious, with Christianity and Islam, I think, both pretty clear on the subject as Stephen Fry has explained at length more than once. So this is definitely a breakthrough in a positive direction. Thanks for sharing!

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So, it looks Sweden will finally get a government in early december... I think i will have post my promised and long awaited background piece just after... 

In the meantime - I spoke to a German friend yesterday. About 2 years ago he and his family returned from Singapore. By coincidence he broke down the SG system for me. And it appeared to me as a perfect example of multiculturalism working. SG has other problems of course, but multiculturalism is not one of them. Despite many different nationalities and religions living together in 1 place.

Edited by Rasmus Jorgensen

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2 hours ago, Rasmus Jorgensen said:

@Red

I would like to see your contributions under this thread. 

Thanks for the invite.

Some perspective: Displaced persons

The issues are complex and some countries have done really well from settling the various categories of displaced people.  Being Australian, and the son of a refugee, I reckon we (as a country) have done a reasonable job. 

I am not going to buy into the discussion here in any detail as some of the comments above I personally find to smack of supremacist bigotry.  My immediate neighbours are Indian and Italian, and a literal stone's throw down the street we have New Zealanders, Irish, Greeks, Scots and Chinese.  

About 30 years ago I was a federal "outreach officer" looking after an area larger than Texas and overseeing staff of various nationalities who were assisting arrivals from non-English speaking backgrounds access services.  One of my most competent colleagues was a former Iranian refugee.  I have first hand experience with a lot of what has been discussed above.  

I  have never met a new Australian who was not grateful for the opportunity our country has provided, although their joy was greater for their children.  My view is that we should eschew concepts of assimilation and instead embrace multiculturalism, with attendant support structures from every level of government.  While I see cultural integration as a natural flow-on effect, it needs not be at the expense of their religious or ethnic heritages.

I would like to think that we gave reasons for new Australians to be proud of the country they will make their home.  In recent years, however, I have felt deeply let down.  These are people, like you and me, and deserve better than to be treated like footballs which can be kicked around for political gain.  

An FYI: Australia's government  to this day remains especially pleased with the way it has treated asylum seekers who have been detained as stateless people for many years in offshore facilities.  Yet they could have spent the billions of dollars on so-called "strong borders" instead on giving them a new home and a reason for hope:  It would probably have cost less financially, and definitely would not have led to the severe psychological problems which many are now suffering.

 

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