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World & Current Events > Immigrants and Refugees or Merkel vs Fico

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Ok, as a spin-off of some other discussions, I thought we might as well touch the issue that tears Europe apart and hear some opinions here.

We have different immigrations policies in the world. There are countries that accept and sometimes encourage immigration under certain conditions, like US, Canada and Australia and there are countries that don't.
And that even before the refugees, that they are governed by international conventions.
While watching Euro football championship this summer, I couldn't help noticing that, for example, French squad didn't contain that many traditional French names and the German one also. It just demonstrates the on-going change in European demographics.
There are countries that are based on historic land and ethnicity and there are countries that are based on former settlers and immigrants arriving from elsewhere.
Now, with the migrants and refugees we have on the one hand 'open-arms' policy of Germany's Merkel and on the other Slovakian PM Fico, who says something like: Slovakia won't accept Muslim refugees, because we don't have Mosques and they won't feel comfy. Well, obviously a lame excuse, but still.
I say, if you accept someone, give him/her all the rights and all, make him/her feel welcome and at home. Moreover, I believe refugees deserve every help.
But do you actually have to open your doors to everyone? There are nations that believe that their own ethnicity is of value. If you have a homogenic ethnic society should it be viewed as racism not to open your doors to others? Or you still can admit whoever you want to your home or refuse whoever you want?
What do you think?


Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I think it is inhumane to deny refugees safety and security within your borders. But I also admit i don't know enough about other immigration concerns to validate my opinions. I just don't understand why a country can't find ways to make a good life possible for those who need it most.


message 3: by Tim (last edited Jul 29, 2016 03:27AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Col Gaddafi once said: "We don't need to invade Europe, simply move in." He has proven to be right. There is a figure, can't remember the exact figure, but basically it outlined how Europe will be predominantly Muslim in 50 years time. The reason is birth rates. The European birth rate continues to fall whilst the middle eastern birth rate continues to rise and in 50 years there will not be enough people of working age to sustain the economy and support pensioners. Apparently we are already over the threshold of reversing the problem. So, we face a problem. I have no problem with Britain being populated by people from north Africa. But there will be a problem if you try to force me to convert to Islam and live under Sharia law.

Thankfully I won't be alive in 50 years time, but members of my family will. This is the reason I believe we need to stamp out religion, all religion, now. It is a nonsense. Let's just bin it. :D


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Tim wrote: "But there will be a problem if you try to force me to convert to Islam and live under Sharia law.
This is the reason I believe we need to stamp out religion, all religion, now. It is a nonsense. Let's just bin it. :D ..."


But then you convert everyone to atheism, no? -:)
I'm an atheist myself, but I certainly respect other people's believes and won't press mine on anyone. Like yourself, I'd be strongly opposed to anyone converting me...
I think we just need to respect other's views without imposing our own on others...


message 5: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I agree with you absolutely, Nik. I'm happy to tolerate them. But Islam does not tolerate unbelievers.

Which brings us to another question: should we tolerate ignorance? we can't and shouldn't tolerate racism, it is ignorance. We can't and shouldn't tolerate bigotry because it is ignorance... So why should we tolerate religion because it is nothing more than... do I need to spell it out... :D

Tolerance we should reserve for the small stuff - spilt milk, a dent in the car etc... But we should be intolerant of the big stuff, and I include religion in that...


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Tim wrote: "I'm happy to tolerate them. But Islam does not tolerate unbelievers...."

Hmm.. you don't sound that happy -:(
I'm not sure your assumption about Islam is true and I hope it isn't.

Anyhow, I don't think it's a good idea to continue into an anti-religious direction here, as people's feeling might get hurt.

I'm totally convinced that people are entitled to worship and believe whatever they want, be it God, Lenin, matrix or aliens, but any act of violence or coercing their believes on others in the name of religion or anything, shall be firmly opposed/prevented.


message 7: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Nik, I'm happy. I love debating this stuff. But I respect the fact you don't want to take it any further. I know, people do get upset, which is why I placed a warning on WTF.... :D


message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11764 comments That sort of immigration is a real problem because we know that if a country takes in a large number of Islam refugees, a number of Jihadists will accompany them. For that reason, I am sympathetic to countries wanting to limit the number coming in.

New Zealand takes in a very limited number, but what it does with them is, assuming they don't have family here already, have them in a "camp" for a while where they are introduced to our way of life, their English checked, and then they are assisted to find employment, etc. To my mind this is an improvement, but it does not solve the mid-east problem


message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments I think it's ethical and obligatory to help refugees and let them weather out rough times. 'Where' could be a question. But do you have to let them stay, obtain citizenship and all? I'm not sure the answer is unequivocal and providing them a free ticket back home and maybe even some cash when the situ stabilizes and their lives aren't in danger anymore doesn't sound as such a monstrous idea.
You can give shelter at your place to someone in need, but you kinda expect him/her to leave when the worst is behind, no?
It's not practical, but ideally the desire to help shouldn't be on account of hosts' safety. The small (I hope) radical element or even determined hostile infiltrators alienate lots of people that initially felt obliged to help. Sure thing, some start to see all Muslims as a threat, while the vast majority of newcomers are probably just nice regular people


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11764 comments Yeah, the problem is there may be only 0.001% there who are basically bad, but identifying them is the problem, and people like the idea of going to a restaurant and not getting bombed.


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Ian wrote: people like the idea of going to a restaurant and not getting bombed."

Preposterous really. Giving up on restaurants, concerts, movie theaters and visiting public places is the least you can do to help -:)


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11764 comments My, Nik, you are a tough one. However, I have largely given up on restaurants (since my wife died, I am not very interested in going out and eating at a restaurant by myself.) so it can be done


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Regret to hear, Ian.


message 14: by Tim (last edited Jul 31, 2016 02:54AM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I agree with Nik in that it is the ethical thing to do, but I do understand and share Ian's concerns. In my view it is for the Muslim community to point out and have arrested the individuals they know have been radicalised, then we'll all feel safer. Sounds simple, but I also understand the fear of innocent Muslim men and women. But, had the majority of Germans not remained fearful and silent during Hitler's Third Reich, maybe 6 million Jews would not have been slaughtered. It is time for the silent majority of Muslim men and women to stand up and say no to their sons and daughters. Then I might agree to opening the doors wide.


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments I hope it's like pushing at an open door and the communities should be willing to cooperate with the authorities, be it through publicly denouncing the acts of terror or willingly providing info on any imminent attack, instigators or radical groups... It's in their best interest, I believe..


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11764 comments I think the best thing the Muslims could do is to ensure that Imams preach religion and peace, and get away from radical politics. Part of the problem is that anyone can be an Imam. The mosques should also preach the need to integrate into whatever country they are in. If you immigrate to another country, you live by their rules; if you don't like it, you can always go home.


message 17: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments I'm not sure if it's a problem strictly with Islam - here in the States with our freedom of religion, anyone can be a priest, pastor, etc., and anyone can start their own church. Seems like around here, you have more churches than Starbucks. The only restriction though is that you still have to get people to follow you and donate to the "church," or it folds.

I would say the problem is not necessarily that anyone can be an Imam, because if people didn't agree with them and follow them, they would simply fade away and go back to a real job.


message 18: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Tim wrote: "Col Gaddafi once said: "We don't need to invade Europe, simply move in." He has proven to be right. There is a figure, can't remember the exact figure, but basically it outlined how Europe will be ..."

"The problem?" Only if you believe that Muslims immigrating to Britain are doing so with the agenda of trying to force conversion and Shariah law on people. This seems to me to be in the best traditions of fear and xenophobia. I also seriously question that stat that claims that Europe will be predominantly Muslim in 50 years.

Similar fears and anxieties were expressed in the 1970s, saying that if people from India kept moving to Europe, it would becoming predominantly Indian, which was seen as a terrible threat. Pluralism and multiculturalism are wonderful things, and to assume other people don't share these values based on their religion or where they come from is sheer ignorance.


message 19: by Matthew (last edited Aug 02, 2016 05:29PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Tim wrote: "I agree with you absolutely, Nik. I'm happy to tolerate them. But Islam does not tolerate unbelievers.

Which brings us to another question: should we tolerate ignorance? we can't and shouldn't tol..."


Also, "Islam does not tolerate unbelievers"? Unless you count the roughly thousand-year period in which Muslims, Jews, Christians, Shias, Sunnis and Sufis all lived side by side throughout the Middle East, then you're quite right. This is yet another myth emerging from modern prejudices about Muslims, which is the frightful myth that they are hostile to non-Muslims or support sever punishment for apostasy.

You asked if we should tolerate ignorance? I'd say the greater question is how to do we address ignorance, which seem to be coming largely in the form of accepted assumptions.


message 20: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Matthew wrote: ""The problem?" Only if you believe that Muslims immigrating to Britain are doing so with the agenda of trying to force conversion and Shariah law on people. This seems to me to be in the best traditions of fear and xenophobia...."

I think to assume any common agenda or absence thereof would be a mistake. There are hundreds of thousands of newcomers: some/most seeking shelter from war, others immigrating for economic reasons, some others (hopefully small #) are Islamic state infiltrators and undercover terrorists. People's concern in the face of inability of their governments to ensure that only bona fide dudes make it through is legit. And it's not something hypothetical - hundreds of people in Europe are dead from terror attacks of radical islamic terrorists.
As of imposing Sharia law, how can you know what will happen when (I'm not sure there is 'if' anymore) Muslim community will become largest in some countries in Europe?
Take Muslim countries and you see that many of their own civil wars and revolts are exactly on this backround. Religious forces ousted Mubarak in Egypt, after a short while to be replaced by army general reinstating secular rule. Secular government in Iran was overthrown by Ayatollahs religious rule. The recent coup in Turkey is also on this background - secular vs religious.
There are facts like birth rate in Muslim communities is considerably higher than in traditional European. Will it remain so, nobody knows, but you can calculate what happens if it does.

The most popular male baby name in London for 4-5 recent years is Muhammad. Yeah, it could be that 1000 Muslim all name their children Muhammad, while 1 mil non-Muslim all go with different names, but it makes you wonder.

And my basic question is this: whether you must admit anyone to your home/your country or is it legit to say no, just because you cherish your own culture, values, history, ethnicity? Because if the answer is yes, then the entire concept of emigration policy becomes superfluous and you basically need to open your borders.
Is it racist if traditional nations don't want to hear Muezzin in their neighborehood or generally let another culture interweave with their own?


message 21: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: ""The problem?" Only if you believe that Muslims immigrating to Britain are doing so with the agenda of trying to force conversion and Shariah law on people. This seems to me to be i..."

How do I know? I don't, but I'm not going to assume that a European state that is predominantly Muslim is going to impose Shariah Law, which is precisely the argument that is being made. Every day, Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East emigrate to Europe to take advantage of the freedoms and pluralism that are promoted there. To assume that their goal is to emigrate in numbers as part of a plan of forced conversion is paranoia. And you check the stats on this issue, you're right, there is no "if". The majority of Muslims living in European countries do not support imposing Shariah law on non-Mulsims.

http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/th...
http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/th...

Second, every terrorist attack that has taken place in the past few months has been predominantly by radical men who had European citizenship. With the exception of one man posing as a refugee, they were NOT refugees coming in since the Syrian civil war began. And the reason these terrorists have been conducting these attacks is to encourage European states to clamp down on refugees and Muslim communities in the hopes of alienating them and turning them into new recruits. They are acts of desperation and the worst thing anyone can do is oblige.

Still, Muslim extremism continues to make up a tiny percentage of terrorism and Europe in North America. And yet, people live with the active illusion that the majority of terrorism is Islamic and the majority of terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims. Does this not show how perspectives are skewed?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles...
http://www.globalresearch.ca/non-musl...

If you seriously want to calculate what will happen, you need to consult actual statistical data, not believe in myths being circulated around Youtube and political blogs. Here is some of that very information, which shows that Muslims populations remain in the single digits all across Europe (with the exception of Bulgaria). The idea that "they are going to overtake us soon" is pure hysteria.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/...


message 22: by Matthew (last edited Aug 03, 2016 09:47AM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Take Muslim countries and you see that many of their own civil wars and revolts are exactly on this backround. Religious forces ousted Mubarak in Egypt, after a short while to be replaced by army general reinstating secular rule. Secular government in Iran was overthrown by Ayatollahs religious rule. The recent coup in Turkey is also on this background - secular vs religious."

Okay, claiming that Islam or Muslims are a problem because they have civil wars raging in their countries is facile in the extreme. These wars are due to poverty, abusive governments, and a total breakdown of infrastructure. They have as much to do with religion as the American Revolution had to do with Protestantism. And claiming that letting people from these nations come to our on countries will threaten the fabric because they are going to create those same situations here is just plain wrong! It's like saying Mexicans coming to the US are going to create poverty in America (something which is argued) because where they come from is poor. It's bigotry parading around as concern.

Also, Mubarak was not ousted by religious forces, he was ousted by a common revolt. The Muslim Brotherhood was ELECTED into office, and then overthrown by a military coup. They did not force religious rule, nor did the army force secular rule.

Having a ruling party that is religious in nature does not mean fundamentalism. That was a convenient assumption made by people who feared having a popular government rather than a dictatorship in Egypt. What's more, the Arab Spring was about ousting dictatorships for the sake of creating democracy and human rights in the Middle East. People perceiving this as an attempt to force fundamentalist rule were either not paying attention, or are too clouded by their own preconceived notions.

Iran was overthrown (again) by a popular revolt because of the abusive and corrupt nature of the Shah. The Ayatollahs came into power based on popular vote (again). The imposition of Shariah law was something gradual, and it occurred as a result of radicalization due to the fact that the country was at war with Iraq - which was bombing the hell out of them using chemical and biological weapons they got from the US.

And the revolt in Turkey was nothing like either of these. Ergodan is a secular ruler, who happens to be rather tight-fisted. The military attempted a coup which was motivated by officers claiming he had "eroded their secular rule".

"And my basic question is this: whether you must admit anyone to your home/your country or is it legit to say no, just because you cherish your own culture, values, history, ethnicity? Because if the answer is yes, then the entire concept of emigration policy becomes superfluous and you basically need to open your borders."

That depends. Does this cherishing of your own culture entail thinking it is superior to others? Do you believe that having other people around will "taint" it, or water it down? Then yes, it is racist, because it is based on fears of miscegeny and mixing.

"Is it racist if traditional nations don't want to hear Muezzin in their neighborehood or generally let another culture interweave with their own? "

Again, that depends. Does the presence Meuzzin make you nervous or uncomfortable because you're not comfortable having another culture in your neighborhood? If so, I would say that it is either the result of bigotry, or more likely, ignorance. Fear of what we don't understand is natural. But allowing that to turn into intolerance is just plain wrong.


message 23: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Hysteria, you say, Matthew. Go and visit Birmingham or Manchester or areas in London where it is literally like entering the middle east. In Cardiff, my home town, the Muslim population had burgeoned in a very small space of time. Halal Superstores opening in every neighbourhood. There are areas in Birmingham Manchester and London where Sharia patrols are roaming the streets seeking anyone breaking Sharia law and ordering them to stop - gays holding hands, for instance. A man and a woman kissing, a drunk drinking on a park bench. The police are not intervening for fear of being labelled racist. This is happening everyday now. Mosques are being built or old building adapted. There are five being built in Cardiff at the moment. Every week there is a muslim rally somewhere condemning western culture as evil and calling for Sharia law. They now have members of parliament to argue for Sharia law and they are doing so. At the moment they are petitioning for Sharia law to govern Muslim communities only, but if we allow that, what do you think happens next...

The dubious information you are posting may apply to the USA, but it does not apply to the UK. We used to have the IRA as our main terrorists, but now we have radicalised Muslims who are the main if not only source of terrorism.

And on a final point, I see the growth of the Muslim population everyday in Cardiff and they are becoming increasingly aggressive. Openly they are stating we will soon take over this area.

I used to live in a place called Canton in Cardiff which is an area that has become increasingly dominated by the growing Muslim population. I often talked to many who I would see regularly and most are really nice people, but increasingly many are not. It is clear that soon the nice ones will be too afraid to talk to white people because of pressure by fellow Muslims not to.

You have a wonderfully big heart, Matthew, I suggest you argue for the Canadian government to take Britain's share of refugees as well...


message 24: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Matthew wrote: "Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: ""The problem?" Only if you believe that Muslims immigrating to Britain are doing so with the agenda of trying to force conversion and Shariah law on people. This seems t..."

Ok, Matt, I appreciate that you try to operate facts rather than believes and assumptions and I certainly respect your opinions.
Can't agree with some of them. You rightly admit that you don't know what would happen in a country with Muslim majority. Nobody does. As you shouldn't assume they would impose Sharia law, you equally shouldn't assume otherwise. I argue the authorities can't act on optimistic assumptions. They need to make sure the pessimistic ones don't happen! And you certainly can't blame the people that fear such eventuality. Exactly as you say, nobody knows what would happen!

Matthew wrote: "Second, every terrorist attack that has taken place in the past few months has been predominantly by radical men who had European citizenship.."

Not the data I see here (didn't bother to check earlier than 2010):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrori...
How does it matter whether Muslim terrorists already acquired the citizenship or haven't done so yet?

Matthew wrote: "And the reason these terrorists have been conducting these attacks is to encourage European states to clamp down on refugees and Muslim communities..."

Really? Their message is "Dear Europeans, save yourself from us?"

Matthew wrote: "Muslim extremism continues to make up a tiny percentage of terrorism and Europe ..."

It depends what you compare it to. If you compare with death toll from road excidents than maybe, but if you look at list of terror attacks, you can arrive at your own conclusions. Can the data be exaggeration or played to either side? Of course, but look at the list. Is a single terrorist attack a problem? Of course, people die. Are many terrorist attacks a huge problem? I think yes too. And I totally believe that the vast majority of Muslim population anywhere are regular, benevolent people.

Matthew wrote: "Here is some of that very information, which shows that Muslims populations remain in the single digits all across Europe (with the exception of Bulgaria). The idea that "they are going to overtake us soon" is pure hysteria. ..."

Agree with you there is hysteria. Moreover, nobody knows the exact numbers.
Here is one example:
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/...
I've randomly checked data on Belgium and Germany and in Belgium it varies between 5.9% to 8.1%, in Germany from 2 to 6%. But that's a huge inaccuracy?! Millions of people behind these single %. I'll tell you my own experience. In 2014 I've traveled with RV through 16 European countries and except for landing and departure in Budapest a/p, I hadn't been asked even once for a passport!, incl crossing through Switzerland, which isn't even EU. Once you enter, you get anywhere, easily, unchecked. Borders are(?)/were completely open inside Europe.

Matthew wrote: "The imposition of Shariah law was something gradual, and it occurred as a result of radicalization due to the fact that the country was at war with Iraq - which was bombing the hell out of them using chemical and biological weapons they got from the US. ..."

I bet no one cares whether imposition of Sharia laws was gradual and whether those imposing it were elected or came as a result of popular revolt. Stalin also came to power in the aftermath of popular revolt and is claimed responsible for death of something like 20 mil people.
Here is where Sharia laws are applicable and to what degree:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applica...
It's equivocal, isn't it? I wonder why you mention US supplied arms to Iraq. Is it from popular habit take the blame upon your own country for what's happening elsewhere?
Matthew wrote: "That depends. ..."

Do you really think Slovakians consider themselves superior to anyone else? I doubt it. In my opinion there are countries that the nations are formed from different ethnicities, immigrants, religions, like US, Australia, Argentina and others, while there are still countries that are based on their ancestral land, culture and ethnic group. Why as a minority somewhere you can preserve
your culture and tradition, while as a separate country - not? Finland was like 500 years under Sweden and then Russia and Fins preserved their traditions and culture. Now that they are independent, can't they, if they so decide?


message 25: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: ""The problem?" Only if you believe that Muslims immigrating to Britain are doing so with the agenda of trying to force conversion and Shariah law on peop..."

I respect your opinions as well, But I would caution again certain things. It's one thing to base security concerns on a pessimistic appraisal. Its another thing entirely to base them on base prejudices. Demanding we curb Islamic immigration because we believe they will impose Shariah Law IF they become the majority is both a hypothetical and a prejudiced assumption. And using security as a reason to impose prejudice is no excuse, especially when the fearful predictions about them becoming the majority soon are not based in fact.

//Not the data I see here (didn't bother to check earlier than 2010):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrori...
How does it matter whether Muslim terrorists already acquired the citizenship or haven't done so yet?//

That data does not indicate that Islamic terrorism is in the majority. It says "religious" which includes right-wing Christian extremists. As one of the earlier links I provided showed, this is the cause of the majority of terrorism in the US, which motivates the bombing of abortion clinics and other symbols of what they see as the "atheist agenda".

//Agree with you there is hysteria. Moreover, nobody knows the exact numbers.
Here is one example://

Breibart is the perfect example of an unreliable source. The one I provided is a statistic based on government-accumulated data. Such stats are the only ones worth considering, as they are not likely to be inaccurate or exaggerated for the sake of a political agenda.

//I bet no one cares whether imposition of Sharia laws was gradual and whether those imposing it were elected or came as a result of popular revolt. Stalin also came to power in the aftermath of popular revolt and is claimed responsible for death of something like 20 mil people.//

That is an example of a false equivalency. The Red Revolution was not a popular revolt, it was a revolt by a minority against the majority. The Arab Spring demanded the establishment of democratic franchises. To assume it would automatically mean that Shariah Law will be the law of the land simply because it happened in a Muslim-majority country is again and example of a prejudicial attitude. Iranians have been fighting for reform for decades, as are the Saudis. Believe Muslims across the Middle East support the imposition of Shariah Law anywhere is inaccurate.

//Really? Their message is "Dear Europeans, save yourself from us?"//

No, there message is "please keep fighting us and PLEASE overreact by persecuting Muslims." Because that's the only way we can continue to justify that there "jihad" is a fight with foreigners who are trying to impose dominion, rather than just them killing their fellow Muslims.

//Do you really think Slovakians consider themselves superior to anyone else? I doubt it.//

Why not? Ethnocentrism is an immutable human instinct, as is the desire to preserve your culture from the "outsiders". But it doesn't change the fact that its primitive tribalism. If people want to come to your country and embrace the culture there, not allowing them out of some "preservation" instinct only shows that the people in question - which claims to be all about pluralism, tolerance and freedom - are hypocrites.

Immigration from Latin America is also being opposed for the same reasons of "cultural preservation". Assuming your culture cannot survive immigration, or that outsiders don't share your values, is yet another form of ethnocentrism. It's sugar-coated, but strip that away and you see the tribalistic, racist core.


message 26: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Tim wrote: "Hysteria, you say, Matthew. Go and visit Birmingham or Manchester or areas in London where it is literally like entering the middle east. In Cardiff, my home town, the Muslim population had burgeon..."

Tim, you've assembled here are some false assumptions and misinformation, not to mention a whole lot of fear at the prospect of growing Muslim community. You need to sort fact from fiction before you start talking about this issue.

For starters, the Shariah Patrols were shut down in 2014 after operating for just over a year. Only a handful of volunteers were involved, and the Muslim community denounced them as "thugs". You claiming that they are acting with impunity or are somehow representative of the Muslim community is entirely false.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknew...

Second, the opinions of Muslims in the UK are varied. The minority supports Shariah Law being adopted in Muslim communities (not imposed on others). But in these cases, the people who support it cannot agree on what would be adopted. See for yourself:

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenso...
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...

While I agree that there are undeniable issues of assimilation vs. multiculturalism here, further marginalizing Muslim immigrants - as has been historically the case in countries like Britain, France and Belgium - is NOT the answer. Nor is cutting off immigration.

Third, the sources are not "dubious", they are factual, which is more than I can say about your personal and heavily biased personal experiences. And if you read them, you would see that they absolutely apply to Britain and the EU. And they show your claim that Muslims are "the main if not only source of terrorism" to be complete nonsense. Let me post the relevant one again so you can read it this time:

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/0...
http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/...

Last, but not least, I have more than a big heart. I have an open mind that can discern fact from fiction, and doesn't react to changing conditions around me with instant fear and condemnation. I believe you do too, so I highly recommend you address some of the attitudes you've allowed to form. Otherwise, you are just adding to the problem.


message 27: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments It sounds to me as if you are being hysterical, Matthew. Your so concerned, you have them all in Canada.

Fact from rumour, myth and speculation... Don't talk such nonsense until you've to come to the UK and seen for yourself.


message 28: by Tim (last edited Aug 03, 2016 03:11PM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments Actually, considering Matthew has be so disparaging, I will share something with you all. This time last year I was involved in a fairly big project for the government. It was called Understanding Society, and I was just one of a number of social researchers sent to seek out ethnic minority families living in the UK. My area was Acton, London. My job was to interview members of the family and find out how they afforded to live in the UK and how they found life in Britain and whether they found our justice system fair. I knocked on hundreds of doors and spoken to very many, but only two families decided to take part. An afghan family and a Pakistani family, who were both really nice. I managed to screen many families at the door, but mostly spoke with the male head of the household and, yes, many were lovely and invited me in to eat with them. One of the screening questions was: do you think the British justice system is fair. The results of the whole survey was that the majority said yes, but about 20% said no, that they would prefer Sharia law. According to Matthew's Telegraph post, that figure has now gone up to 40%. It has apparently doubled in a year. Worrying. Remember, historically, the silent majority are overrun by the vocal minority.

But out of the hundreds of heads of households I spoke to, the majority were hostile, some not opening their door, just shouting through it. I'm 6' 3', so a fairly big guy, but I was threatened on a few occasions as groups gathered around me asking what I was doing. A lot of the researchers were women and some were elderly women and they were told they should cover their heads and other such nonsense...

So I do have hands on experience as well as observing my own neighbourhood.

BTW, Matthew, there is a difference between "there" and "their".


message 29: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Matthew wrote: "Demanding we curb Islamic immigration because we believe they will impose Shariah Law IF they become the majority is both a hypothetical and a prejudiced assumption. And using security as a reason to impose prejudice is no excuse, especially when the fearful predictions about them becoming the majority soon are not based in fact..."

I'll tell you this much. I don't live in Europe and I don't demand to curb anything. I just say I understand people's concern, especially when their governments can't say clearly how they can prevent radical elements penetrating with refugees.
Is the purpose to help refugees or to let everyone who wants live in Europe?
I say you want to help - fine. Soros (not the worst businessman in the world) estimates 30B are needed. With this kind of money, you can do a lot to help refugees with alternative solutions.
And I do believe most Muslims are excellent people.

Matthew wrote: "That data does not indicate that Islamic terrorism is in the majority...."

Sure, it isn't, thanks God or Bush or whoever -:) But it's one thing to deal with whatever crime, radicals and so on, you have at home, and it's another to admit thousands of people, even if 1% of them are radicals to your place without taking all possible precautions to protect your citizens. One might forget, but it's government responsibility to ensure safety of their citizens first and foremost. The government is not responsible to refugees beyond international conventions, it's responsible to their citizens.

Matthew wrote: "The Red Revolution was not a popular revolt, it was a revolt by a minority against the majority. The Arab Spring demanded the establishment of democratic franchises...."

Really, you mean 90% of workers and peasants is a minority vs 10% of capitalists and nobility? These are just two erroneous assumptions. Pls, re-check the facts, not propaganda. And it looks like there are not so many democracies in the Middle East in general:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democra...

Matthew wrote: "The one I provided is a statistic based on government-accumulated data...."

Yeah, but how you explain the discrepancies? It's not even about Muslims. It looks like any data is unreliable, because you just don't control where someone who entered EU ends up, which makes the things even worth.

Matthew wrote: " Ethnocentrism is an immutable human instinct, as is the desire to preserve your culture from the "outsiders". But it doesn't change the fact that its primitive tribalism....."

But who are you or me or anyone to decide what's primitive or what's advanced? I like my tribe, but you also like my tribe not yours, right? Make yours better, rather than join mine. There are entire countries in Europe that think differently. Would I, a great liberal, call them all primitive?

Matthew wrote: " Assuming your culture cannot survive immigration, or that outsiders don't share your values, is yet another form of ethnocentrism...."

But why should I survive anything? It's my home, I decide whom I want to embrace and whom I don't, no? Some centuries ago, the indigenous population didn't have a choice in Americas and Australia, but some people do today. I believe they are entitled to welcome or refuse whoever they want.

But on a general note I want to mention this:
One shouldn't fear Muslims in general. But don't assume they have the same mentality with one who grew up elsewhere.
It's noble to help refugees, but I'm not sure that let them intigrate is the best solution.
PS: Read Tim's comment now. Well, you know you can't negate personal observations unless - with your own


message 30: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin Dropping a bit late on this thread, as I just joined the group.

I believe that immigration, if controlled and selective, can be positive for a country, especially in the case of countries where low birth rate and ageing population calls for an influx of young blood. Some countries that have an ageing population but refuse to take in immigrants for whatever reason (Japan, because of ingrained xenophobia, for example) will in my opinion pay dearly for it in the future, when their social net and national budget will crumble under the weight of pension payments. Canada just accepted a wave of 25,000 Syrian refugees, selected and vetted after months in refugee camps around the Middle East, and the results have been quite positive and encouraging. That success was mostly due to: careful selection of the immigrants to be accepted (families with young children were prioritized); detailed vetting process; coordination between the Canadian government and local ethnic communities and aid groups in Canada (helping to find accommodations and jobs for the newcomers) and support programs for the immigrants.

What we saw and keep seeing in Europe is however totally different and much less positive. First, the influx is mostly uncontrolled, with refugees washing ashore without warning (many of them without papers), making it very difficult to deal with. Second, the lack of prior selection and vetting allows many individuals who would otherwise be deemed undesirable to enter Europe. Third, the sheer numbers are overwhelming the attempts at bringing some order to that chaos. Despite the obvious human distress and misery of the great majority of those refugees, I believe that European governments now have no choice but to take some tough measures to stop this humanitarian disaster. First, European navies should concentrate all their resources to start patroling intensively just outside of the territorial waters of the countries from where the mass of refugees come from, to stop cold those boats overloaded with humanity and turn them back. Second, deal harshly with the traffickers who encourage that mass emigration and profit from it (arrest and imprison those found on the refugee boats, strike the traffickers in their port bases to eliminate them and destroy their boats and the hell with the hypocritical protests of the local governments who should be taking them out in the first place but are too corrupt or incompetent to keep order on their own shores). Third, turn away immediately young or fit middle age unaccompanied males, as they often are the sources of most troubles afterwards (if they claim that they are fleeing war while militarily fit for service, then let them fight rather than flee without resistance). That last point is especially irksome to me. Too many times around the Middle East, local men fled when faced with attackers, even when they enjoyed superior numbers and weapons (remember the Iraki Army abandoning their equipment and running away from Mosul when ISIS advanced on the city). Some groups have shown a lot more combat valor (notably the Kurds) and kept their territories mostly intact, thus prevented the creation of waves of refugees. It is high time that the local people of the Middle East start putting order in their own houses and stop blaming their problems on others. I spent two years in Lebanon during the civil war there and the Israeli invasion and blame/buck passing and claims of foreign plots was the biggest sport around. If Europe truly wants to stop that crisis, then it will have to find the balls to take the necessary measures.


message 31: by Nik (last edited Aug 04, 2016 02:11AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Michel wrote: "Dropping a bit late on this thread, as I just joined the group.
I believe that immigration, if controlled and selective, can be positive for a country, especially in the case of countries where low birth rate and ageing population calls for an influx of young blood..."


You are not late, Michel, as the refugees' stream, immigration and all the rest are ongoing as we speak.
I pretty much agree with what you say. Cynical and gritty as it is, immigrants are usually a cheap labor force, eager to undertake any job to stay afloat in the initial phase. Unromantic, I know, yet I believe - true. With the tendency to outsource production elsewhere, it can be an incentive to leave few things 'inhouse'.

Michel wrote: "Canada just accepted a wave of 25,000 Syrian refugees, selected and vetted after months in refugee camps around the Middle East, and the results have been quite positive and encouraging...."

Sounds like a pragmatic approach. And I argue if you can have refugees safe 'for months' and probably fed, then you can likely provide for their safety longer and pump big money into reconstruction of their country once the violence stops. Isn't it a real help? Then, per country's regular emigration policy you can either satisfy their application or deny it without endangering their life.
For all I know, Canada, US, Australia all accept immigrants based on criteria, which I believe is indiscriminating, and US even makes green card lottery (if it's indeed genuine).
'Emigration to Canada' is a big biz in some places and I hear lawyers and others specializing in this field fare well -:)

Differently from Canada, Europe is often denied the liberty of vetting anyone, as refugees and not only make their coming a fact and often you can't deport them to where the war rages


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Sustainable migration sounds like a pragmatic approach.
We'll try to use synopsis


message 33: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments ... Instead of a full-length stuff -:)


message 34: by Tim (last edited Aug 05, 2016 01:39PM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments I agree. The movement of people is essential to the nature of evolution - the mixing of genes to strengthen etc... Although the migration of white Europeans to North America, South America, Africa and Australia hasn't been too healthy for the indigenous populations... But that aside, personally I would like to do away borders full stop. Personally, I would like to do away with a national identity and return to a more intimate communal identity, and I'd like to do away with ownership and take on the social philosophy of the Maasai people, which is sharing... But opening up to a percentage, however small the percentage, of individuals whose only desire is to blow me and my family and my neighbours up is nothing short of stupidity and as a man I am failing in my duty to protect my family and community...


message 35: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments A contentious subject, but actual as ever, if anyone would want to offer an opinion...


message 36: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Immigration and refugees are two different things. It seems some have blended them together. Immigrants are people not native to their current country. Refugees are people fleeing their country and seeking asylum. I wanted to clarify because it seems Americans have a problem deciphering immigrants and illegal immigrants, too.

That said, about a month ago, I was watching a Chicago White Sox game and I couldn't believe how many latinos were on the team. Some don't even speak English. Since sports are so big in the U.S., they'll do anything to find players in other countries and bring them over. That bothers me because I'm sure there are plenty of good native players.

And now I'll get to the actual question. Countries have their own agendas. People keep comparing U.S. liberals and conservatives to Europeans liberals and conservatives but they are different. They have to be because their laws and goals aren't alike. As much as it would pain me if Germany kicked me out, I have to say that countries have a right to decide as to who comes and goes. Private companies have that right, all the way down to society. We each choose who we want in our lives.

As for refugees, I think ALL countries should open their doors to people who are being slaughtered in their own country. From what I read, Saudi Arabia and other well-to-do middle east countries didn't take in many. They counted those passing through. If a refugee does something illegal in their hosting country, then they should be sent back. Problem with some countries is they refuse to take back their own citizens. I can't remember which country it was that my husband told me, but they won't take them back.

In regards to cultures that live life according to religion, they either need to integrate or stay in their own country. The world isn't required to convert and accept a religion that isn't tolerant of other religions. Plus, the separation of church and state should be just that. There should be no discussions or teachings of the Islamic religion in public schools, which has already started.

Did I even answer the question? I'm a bit tired.


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Denise wrote: "Immigration and refugees are two different things. It seems some have blended them together. Immigrants are people not native to their current country. Refugees are people fleeing their country and..."

I think it's a fine distinction between immigrants and refugees. In some cases - impossible to determine who's who..

A substantiated and elaborate answer, Denise


message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11764 comments I think there is another issue, namely whether the country has the means of accepting refugees? The issue is big in NZ at the moment, where some think we should do more, but thanks to lax controls on immigration, the infrastructure is bursting, with housing in Auckland totally inadequate for the numbers already there. It is wrong, in my view, to bring in more people when there is nowhere for them to go and have a reasonable life. After that, I agree with Michel above - you should vet them and make sure they are suitable. The last thing you want is to put young males in some sort of ghetto, and let them fester away and become criminals or terrorists.


message 39: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Ian wrote: "I think there is another issue, namely whether the country has the means of accepting refugees? The issue is big in NZ at the moment, where some think we should do more, but thanks to lax controls on immigration, the infrastructure is bursting, with housing in Auckland totally inadequate for the numbers already there. ..."

It's sort of a Titanic dilemma - with a limited amount of lifeboats, if you take all aboard - all sink... Each choice is cruel.
I say if a country accepts immigrants, invest an effort to make them feel comfy/welcome and help them absorb


message 40: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2328 comments Ian wrote: "I think there is another issue, namely whether the country has the means of accepting refugees? The issue is big in NZ at the moment, where some think we should do more, but thanks to lax controls ..."
I've been thinking about the issue in this light since the French election. Where France and Germany were supposed to be the economic powerhouses of the EU, I was a little surprised to hear the unemployment rate in France was still at 10% going into the election. With unemployment that high, I can't imagine a country like France being able to take in immigrants right now when they don't even have the jobs for the people they have.

In contrast, the rate here in the US is below 5% and we've shifted towards a more isolationist attitude. We on the other hand have jobs available. There are complaints a lot of employers can't fill jobs - can't find workers. We in the US have the room right now to take in more immigrants, and unemployment data suggests we need a bigger labor force, especially as the baby boomers retire and leave the workforce.

It is a strange reversal of attitudes and realities...


message 41: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3685 comments Now I have joined this discussion. On the other threads, I have made my position clear. I will add discussion here once I read all of the post.


message 42: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments Michel, very well reasoned and well stated. Immigration is such a complex issue, but we have to be practical. I agree with you that immigrants, if they choose to live here, should accommodate themselves to our way of doing things, not the other way around. Coming here to form isolated communities that have nothing in common with our values defeats the purpose of becoming Americans. Why even come here? Our country has always been a melting pot: that means being absorbed into our society, not forcing schools to teach values that are contrary to the principles on which our country was founded.


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments With Swiss system of binding referenda, rarely but people do sometimes surprise the political echelons - this time with burka ban:
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss--b...
Islamophobes? Some - probably, some others - maybe just want to preserve their tradition and way of life.


message 44: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3685 comments Nik wrote: "With Swiss system of binding referenda, rarely but people do sometimes surprise the political echelons - this time with burka ban:
https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss--b......"


Maybe, but it can be seen as a shot across the bow about nonacceptance of a new way of life. As a way of forced integration.


message 45: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3685 comments Scout wrote: "Michel, very well reasoned and well stated. Immigration is such a complex issue, but we have to be practical. I agree with you that immigrants, if they choose to live here, should accommodate thems..."

New groups in America have always banded together in trying to find common comfort in new strange places. There is a reason for Chinatowns and Little Italy's in every city. In the end , it is not about generation zero becoming Americans, but their children and certainly their grandchildren. This is a time honored tradition every group performs.


message 46: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Papaphilly wrote: "....Maybe, but it can be seen as a shot across the bow about nonacceptance of a new way of life. As a way of forced integration...."

The ideal solution would be to not force any group into anything, like residents into acceptance of the newcomers, and newcomers into integration. Luckily a country "shopping" is somewhat available


message 47: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 3685 comments Nik wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "....Maybe, but it can be seen as a shot across the bow about nonacceptance of a new way of life. As a way of forced integration...."

The ideal solution would be to not force any..."


This is tough stuff. Every new group has both hassles and hard times. They also have to understand they will have to adapt to the new way of life.


message 48: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 6151 comments I'd ask if what's happening on our southern border makes any sense. Letting people in without vetting them, releasing them to go anywhere they want. What will be the consequences? Or is this a good thing with no negative consequences?


message 49: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 16032 comments Scout wrote: "I'd ask if what's happening on our southern border makes any sense. Letting people in without vetting them, releasing them to go anywhere they want. What will be the consequences? Or is this a good..."

Prepare some room - you might have half of Latin America to host :)
Somewhat absurdly, I hear visa requirements and immigration interviews may be quite thorough for those arriving by air travel


message 50: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 4563 comments Nik wrote: "Somewhat absurdly, I hear visa requirements and immigration interviews may be quite thorough for those arriving by air travel"

For the Democrats, immigration is about bolstering their demographics and providing cheap labor to their corporate patrons.


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