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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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(edited)

11 hours 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. 

Every population has individuals with the capacity for evil; no one will deny that.  Unfortunately, that point is a red herring.  In Western culture, we have generally good behavior, stability, and wealth.  In 3rd world countries, they have generally bad behavior, chaos, and poverty.  Truly terrible people exist in all cultures, but their existence does not make or break a civilization.  The average behavior of the population - that is, its culture - is what determines success or failure. 

Behavior doesn't need to be horrendous to destroy a civilization; simply demonstrating that sacrifice is not rewarded & the "common good" is a myth will do it. Convince people of that, and the thin veil of civility we call Western culture unravels.  People stop cooperating and start fending for themselves.  The best and brightest seek personal advantage instead of contributing to the community.  Inequality, crime, divorce, and stress skyrocket.  We're seeing this in the US, where it was decided that immigrants and poor children in foreign countries were more important than American citizens.

When you evaluate immigrants, you're not just screening for sociopaths.  You're ensuring that the fragile thing we call "civilization" can stand.  Thus far, no civilization that relied on imported labor has stood for long; I'm curious to know why you think yours will be different.  

Edit: my point above is that even small cultural changes can be catastrophic for a civilization, but I failed to tie that into my original point.  In Western culture, abhorrent behavior is rare and ruthlessly punished.  In other cultures, abhorrent behavior is often the accepted norm. If you introduce those cultures to your own and allow them to gain a majority, you'll see those abhorrent behaviors adopted in your own country.  

Edited by mthebold
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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. 

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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.

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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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