Saturday, August 26, 2006

Immigration Debate Hits Europe

In the United States, it is taken as matter-of-fact that anyone who is against open-borders immigration is a racist, hate-filled, wing-nut whom doesn't respect the liberal values that allowed him/her to become an American in the first place. Is the left going to tar Europeans with the same brush? From the Brussels Journal:

The key findings on the public’s view of immigration were as follows:

1. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statement?‘Immigration is generally good for Britain’
Agree: 43%
Disagree: 45%
Neither: 10%
Don’t know: 2%

2. Should laws on immigration be relaxed, kept same, made tougher, or don’t know?
Relaxed: 6%
Kept same: 17%
Made tougher: 75%
Don’t know: 2%

3. Should the government set a strict limit on the number of immigrants allowed into Britain each year?
Yes: 77%
No: 21%
Don’t know: 2%

Granted, the U.S. debate is centered on illegal immigration by (primarily) Mexicans and the hardships thus imposed on taxpayer-provided services. In England, it it mostly about Muslim immigrants, and their inability (or lack of desire) to take on British norms and values. The British political class points a finger at Whitey while grudgingly admitting that this whole multiculturalism theology can now be discussed without charges being filed:

"There are white Britons who do not feel comfortable with change. They see the shops and restaurants in their town centres changing. They see their neighbourhoods becoming more diverse. Detached from the benefits of those changes, they begin to believe the stories about ethnic minorities getting special treatment, and to develop a resentment, a sense of grievance," she [Ruth Kelly, the communities secretary] said.
"We have moved from a period of uniform consensus on the value of multiculturalism to one where we can encourage that debate by questioning whether it is encouraging separateness."

Italy is facing some of the same problems - the New York Times reports, although finding facts between their bias is getting more and more difficult:

BRESCIA, Italy, Aug. 23 — A series of unrelated killings here this month has pushed this elegant city to the center of a national debate on the challenges of immigration and cultural integration.
The trigger was the gruesome killing on Aug. 11 of Hina Saleem, a 20-year-old woman whose family moved here from Pakistan and who was found buried, with her throat slit, in the garden of her family home in a small town about 12 miles north of Brescia.
A few days after Ms. Saleem’s body was found, a young Italian woman was found dead in a Brescia church. A Sri Lankan immigrant who assisted the priest has been arrested in the case.
On Aug. 21, an immigrant from Morocco was arrested and charged with killing a notable painter here, and this week a Pakistani man was knifed to death during what appears to have been a robbery.

The result has been a round of anti-immigrant talk....

Of course, the Times points to class elitism and racism, since multiculturalism is next to Godliness in their hallowed halls:

Some residents of this wealthy provincial capital east of Milan, in one of Italy’s most industrialized areas, have been venting their anger to the news media.
The mayor tells us we have to live with them, but the immigrants don’t reciprocate, and this isn’t their city,” said Gloria Gatta, the owner of a cafe on the Via San Faustino, a street lined with shops catering to the neighborhood’s growing African and Asian population.
Things in Brescia have gotten so bad, she said, that “people are afraid to go out after dark.”

“People used to be more tolerant; they used to be less allergic to seeing someone from a different race,” said Sajid Shah, the founder of the Muhammadiah association, which is building in Brescia what will be the second-biggest mosque in Italy.

Well, while in America we still stick to doctrine (at least for the time being - note here how over 1/3 of American Hispanics believe in denying services to illegals - God bless the melting pot!), it seems as if in Europe this misguided liberal social experiment is finally about to be examined. I wish those in the forefront luck, as the multicultural elite are getting out their tar brushes ready to smear those who dare challenge the faith...

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