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Donnie Darko
Oh boy. This movie is certainly going to get somebody killed:
Fitna

It was made by a Dutch lawmaker who I guess got tired of all the death threats. I think some of the things in it border on propaganda technique, and I fear it might be hijacked by immigrant haters, but I think the Imams and Mullahs speaking in it say quite enough without the filmmaker having to say anything.

Since there were protests over that Dutch cartoon again recently, I think this is a fitting protest in response.
speedle
Well, it looks like they won, onacuz there isn't any movie there anymore.
absinthist
3 Frenchmen met. Vin, champagne, cognac. They were sitting, talking, said goodbye and went home.

3 Poles met. Vodka, moonshine, spirit. They were sitting, talking, fighting, said goodbye and went home.

3 Arabs met. Shooting to the bus, hijacking the plane, eventually committing bomb-suicide among 100 people.

This is what prohibition leads to.
Selmac
Crap, I really wanted to see that. This guy seems to nail it, at least for me:

anti-Islamofascist rant
Donnie Darko
Wow. I literally watched it two hours ago, and it's already gone. I downloaded it and converted it to quicktime, but I'll be honest that I'm not going to host it because I enjoy being alive.

For those who couldn't see it in time, it was made by a Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders who has received repeated threats of death from Islamic radicals and has to have a 24 hour armed guard. It shows translations from the Koran that justify violence against non-believers, and then superimposes footage of that violence onto the opposite page of the Koran. It also contains a lot of speeches by Imams, Mullahs and Islamic politicians slandering Jews, advocating mass murder and world domination. It also contains one very clever moment, where you see a hand act like it is turning a page of the Koran, then it cuts to black, and you hear the sound of paper ripping. It then comes up with a subtitle that says "that was the sound of a page being torn out of a phone book". It then says "It is not up to the filmmakers to tear malicious verses from the Koran, but Muslims themselves must do that".

I guess the internet is only a place where you can find videos of people eating shit out of eachother's asses, videos of neo-nazi rallies and videos of Iraqis being blown up. But if you post a video critical of Islam online, then you risk your life.

I will happily wear the label of an Islamophobe. I'm afraid of any organized totalitarian group that has the power to yank creative dissent off the internet with the push of a button.
Helfrich
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 28 2008, 08:40 PM) *

It was made by a Dutch lawmaker who I guess got tired of all the death threats.

Um, no. That guy never gets tired of anything.

I did, though.

QUOTE

that Dutch cartoon

That cartoon was Danish.
Donnie Darko
Right. Sorry. My co-worker is from Denmark and is always correcting me. To make matters worse both Denmark and the Netherlands have been sites of Islamic over-reaction to certain things and so that makes it easier to make the mistake of confusing them.

It does get tiresome to go on and on about this stuff. Those who are naturally inclined towards tolerance find it difficult to get up in arms about things, and fighting intolerance is exhausting. But when I hear these calls to institute Sharia in Muslim communities in Europe, it reminds me that 1) it's important to stay pissed off about this stuff, and that 2) I'm glad I live in America where thankfully Muslims are relatively integrated to the point where they aren't demanding we change the law to favor their religion, as we've already got our hands full of the religious right trying to do that…
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Selmac @ Mar 28 2008, 05:29 PM) *

Crap, I really wanted to see that. This guy seems to nail it, at least for me:

anti-Islamofascist rant


Me too mostly. I think it's important though to distinguish between mutli-culturalism and cultural relativism. Cultural pluralism/multi-culturalism is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged. I'm strongly in favor of immigration, and being against multi-culturalism is too often a position hijacked by immigrant haters. One website called Corrupt.org is a prime example of virulent racism being cloaked in the language of "protecting your native culture". The real problem is the notion of cultural relativism, the idea that all cultures are created equal and that any criticism of a cultural flaw is "bigoted" or "racist".
speedle
Good story about it on NPR this morning.

Dutch Film
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 28 2008, 10:36 PM) *
Cultural pluralism/multi-culturalism is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged.


I would disagree with you. Like you I am in favour of immigration, but am not in favour of multi-culturalism. A multi-ethnic society is a good thing, but a multi-cultural society is not. Immigration to a country should come with an expectation of integration within the society of that country (with obvious tolerances of various differences etc.). I would go so far as to expect that immigrants should either embrace the general cultural values of their new nation (of course they can keep their own religious beliefs, food etc. in a nation like Britain) not set up their own separate cultural ghettos (which has been the result of multi-culturalism in Britain).

Now, in Britain, there are people who have been living here for decades and still cannot speak English, because of the (politically encouraged) multi-cultural society that is today's Britain, these people have no need at all to mix with English speaking Britons, as they live within there own cultural ghettos.

Multi-culturalism does NOT encourage integration, it creates separate cultural societies within a nation and because of this a lot of people within these societies do not mix with the general population of Britain. This is not a good thing for relationships between immigrants and the indigenous people, and it is not a good thing for the security of the nation.
Wilson
QUOTE(hobgoblin @ Mar 28 2008, 06:58 PM) *

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 28 2008, 10:36 PM) *
Cultural pluralism/multi-culturalism is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged.

Now, in Britain, there are people who have been living here for decades and still cannot speak English, because of the (politically encouraged) multi-cultural society that is today's Britain, these people have no need at all to mix with English speaking Britons, as they live within there own cultural ghettos.

And these are the ones you see on the news claiming that the rest of Britain never made them feel at home. You just can't please everyone.
G&C
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 28 2008, 02:39 PM) *
Wow. I literally watched it two hours ago, and it's already gone. I downloaded it and converted it to quicktime, but I'll be honest that I'm not going to host it because I enjoy being alive.


Pussy.
Nephrite
Forget about Fitna, Google just declared "earth hour", a Climate Savers Computing Initiative… or possibly a distraction from their banning of "Fitna The Movie" on Google search results in the press?

http://www.google.com/intl/en/earthhour/

I'll be more than happy to host the original Fitna FLV file (for a limited time or until my head is removed) in QuickTime, iPod, WMV, MPEG, AVI or whatever it takes to help in a small way to make it a common airborne viral transmission over the Internet. PM me if you want a free copy. Of course there are always alternatives like Dust my Broom.

Life is to short to be a pussy and we're all going to die soon of natural causes (if we're lucky) if not sooner from whatever. Make the most of it! Love life… be at peace with death.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(speedle @ Mar 28 2008, 07:50 PM) *

Good story about it on NPR this morning.

Dutch Film


That is a good story. I'm glad they also point out what a right wing extremist the film maker is. Banning the Koran and prohibiting Muslim immigrants is exactly the wrong thing to do, and every bit as totalitarian as the practices he is railing against.

QUOTE
Pussy.


Yep.

QUOTE
Now, in Britain, there are people who have been living here for decades and still cannot speak English, because of the (politically encouraged) multi-cultural society that is today's Britain, these people have no need at all to mix with English speaking Britons, as they live within there own cultural ghettos.


Multi-culturalism works OK here in NYC for the most part. Yes, there are some "cultural ghettos", but we already got plenty of natives in this country who are in "cultural ghettos" (trailer parks, projects, etc). It has a lot more to do with educational background and upbringing than whether someone is an immigrant.
louched liver
Come to the South Hob.

There's people who can't
speak English even though
they speak English.

And multi-culti? Hoo boy.
I'm sure DD can relate.
Jaded Prole
Around here the Christers are a lot scarier than the Muslims or the local Hasids. I don't like any kind of fundamentalism but neither do I think films like fitna serve any good purpose. Seem the Muslims have inherited the mantle once reserved for the Jews in Europe.


Irony is the universal humor.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 29 2008, 09:30 AM) *

Seem the Muslims have inherited the mantle once reserved for the Jews in Europe.


I think you made a typo. I think you meant to say that Middle Eastern Islam is continuing to force upon Jews the very same mantle that was once reserved for them in Europe.

As for whether or not Fitna serves any good purpose, I think at bare minimum it raises consciousness about the popularity and actions of Middle Eastern Islam, and how those actions are easily justified by the Koran. I know it's not pleasant to hear a hostage scream as he is decapitated, nor to see an adulterous woman shot in the head through an entirely legal and religiously endorsed sentence, nor to hear a woman who is about to die panicking on the phone to a 911 operator moments before she burned alive in the Twin Towers, nor is it pleasant to see a girl no older than 7 repeat anti-semitic teachings, nor is it pleasant to see numerous Mullahs and Imams proclaim in front of cheering audiences of thousands upon thousands that Islam needs to conquer the world and exterminate the Jews, but those are VERY REAL events and it isn't just going to go away because we are inclined to be tolerant people, or because we're afraid of being labeled racist if we confront this popular movement of hatred within Islam.

We wouldn't hesitate to ridicule the neo-Nazi movement for preaching endless hate and advocating violence in front of a room full of a few angry white guys. But if you put multiple popular religious leaders in pulpits in front of thousands and thousands of cheering people spewing the exact same hate as the neo-Nazi, ridiculing that in an internet video serves no good purpose? On the contrary, it shows the reality of the horror perpetrated by Islamic fanatics and frightening ambitions for carrying out even more horror. Even if it doesn't represent the whole of Islam, it is still an enormous problem. If a movie like Jesus Camp is fine, then so is this. And you don't see those Christians in Jesus camp taking hostages and sawing off people's heads. The hate they advocate may come from the same place, but no amount of cultural relativism can whitewash the carnage called for by the religious leaders in that video.

The question we should be asking ourselves is why the outrage is being directed at the film and those who show it, when what Muslims should actually be outraged by is those fanatical fascist assholes who commit unimaginable horrors in the name of Allah.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 29 2008, 12:36 PM) *

QUOTE
Now, in Britain, there are people who have been living here for decades and still cannot speak English, because of the (politically encouraged) multi-cultural society that is today's Britain, these people have no need at all to mix with English speaking Britons, as they live within there own cultural ghettos.


Multi-culturalism works OK here in NYC for the most part. Yes, there are some "cultural ghettos", but we already got plenty of natives in this country who are in "cultural ghettos" (trailer parks, projects, etc). It has a lot more to do with educational background and upbringing than whether someone is an immigrant.


The difference is that the people who live in your trailer parks, projects etc. generally regard themselves as American. That is very different from cultural ghettos consisting of people who do not regard themselves as belonging to the country they are living in (and have been living in for decades) to the extent that they feel no need to even learn the language of the country they are living in. And our liberal political classes (which predominate here in the UK) have encouraged this under the banner of 'multi-culturalism' (and to question the validity of this would result in the 'PC-police' jumping in and branding you all sorts of names).

It does not have more to do with education than culture. Last year I taught at a school in a deprived area (those parents who owned a car of any sort were considered as being rich). The ethnic split was a third White, a third Black, a third Indian/Pakistani Asian. Each group was as poor as the other group, but it was only within the Indian/Pakistani Asian group that there were some (granted a small minority) who would not integrate. Was this the least educated grouping? No. The Indian/Pakistani group was actually slightly better educated than the White and Black groups. It is not about education, it is about a willingness (or lack of willingness) to integrate.

A multi-ethnic society is a good thing, and I am in favour of immigration, but there must be an understanding that part of the deal when being allowed to immigrate into a country is an understanding that the immigrant (while keeping his religious identity, dress, food etc.) needs to become part of that nation and culture, and not set themselves up as separate from that. I also believe that if you cannot speak the language, to at least a moderate level of proficiency within 12 months of arriving, then you should have your residency permit revoked.
Helfrich
QUOTE(hobgoblin @ Mar 29 2008, 12:58 AM) *

(of course they can keep their own religious beliefs, food etc. in a nation like Britain)

It would be inhumane to not let them have their own food in a nation like Britain.
Absomphe
HA!

It's true, though.

How else can Gordon Ramsey's restaurants remain so succesful charging those astronomical prices.

Surely, they must be the only places to eke out a decent meal in Britain.

I take it back, there's also Nigella's house.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Helfrich @ Mar 29 2008, 10:27 PM) *

QUOTE(hobgoblin @ Mar 29 2008, 12:58 AM) *

(of course they can keep their own religious beliefs, food etc. in a nation like Britain)

It would be inhumane to not let them have their own food in a nation like Britain.


I'd take that comment from a Frenchman or an Italian, but coming from someone who hails from somewhere where they stuff themselves full of meals consisting of a load of slop dumped on top of chips or bread, or where they put mayonnaise on chips, that comment really is a bit rich.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Absomphe @ Mar 29 2008, 11:34 PM) *

HA!

It's true, though.

How else can Gordon Ramsey's restaurants remain so succesful charging those astronomical prices.

Surely, they must be the only places to eke out a decent meal in Britain.

I take it back, there's also Nigella's house.


And that coming from a nation that stuffs itself with burgers and fries, a nation that has done more to spread fast food all over the planet than any other nation. A nation whose biggest food export is the Big Mac is in no position to judge the food of other nations.
Helfrich
QUOTE(hobgoblin @ Mar 30 2008, 10:24 AM) *

I'd take that comment from a Frenchman or an Italian, but coming from someone who hails from somewhere where they stuff themselves full of meals full of fat and gristle, and where they put mayonnaise on chips, that comment really is a bit rich.

Thank God I can have my own food here, although it sometimes may take a long drive to get all the ingredients. Besides, being born an Alsatian frog in the Netherlands (I still have the French nationality somewhere on paper -- does that count?) and now residing in Germany I feel kinda stateless. I'm afraid Western Europe is the smallest geographical entity I can more or less identify with.

Oh, and my mother (who is Dutch colonial) makes the best Yorkshire pudding in the world, according to her English guests. It's still Yorkshire pudding but at least it's the best in the world. Maybe I should make it available online.
Jaded Prole
I think the Brits lucked out in having and influx from India. Indian food is delicious. As for American food, it's based on the English with many influences. Cajun and Mexican influences may be the best. My own Hungarian Jewish ancestry comes with some good food but I am an internationalist when it comes to cooking and eating.



As for fast food -- it is abominable but it reflects the unbridled capitalism the we suffer from which promotes mediocrity (at best).
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Helfrich @ Mar 30 2008, 10:30 AM) *

Oh, and my mother (who is Dutch colonial) makes the best Yorkshire pudding in the world…
Nice to see that Europeans appreciate good British food. Who can blame them?
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 11:44 AM) *

I think the Brits lucked out in having and influx from India. Indian food is delicious.
You're right on that one.
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 11:44 AM) *

As for fast food -- it is abominable but it reflects the unbridled capitalism the we suffer from which promotes mediocrity (at best).
However Italy's major fast food contribution to the world (pizza) still retains some integrity (unlike the Big Mac).
Jaded Prole
True, though most of the fast-food chain pizza available isn't all that spectacular. Speaking of British food though, I like good fish and chips and also fin n' haddie. If there is one good thing about empire and globalization it is the availability of so many cuisines and cooking ingredients.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(hobgoblin @ Mar 29 2008, 02:05 PM) *

A multi-ethnic society is a good thing, and I am in favour of immigration, but there must be an understanding that part of the deal when being allowed to immigrate into a country is an understanding that the immigrant (while keeping his religious identity, dress, food etc.) needs to become part of that nation and culture, and not set themselves up as separate from that. I also believe that if you cannot speak the language, to at least a moderate level of proficiency within 12 months of arriving, then you should have your residency permit revoked.


You make some interesting points, but I'd like to see what harm is genuinely done to natives by immigrants not "integrating" and also exactly what you mean by "integration". If it's only learning the language, then I suppose I agree with you to a certain extent, mainly because it's foolish not to learn the native tongue of whatever country you choose to live in. But I am surrounded by immigrants from all over the world on a daily basis, and while the occasional snafu does occur due to an immigrant failing to integrate, it almost always ends up as being nothing more than a mere inconvenience to me (i.e. a cab driver misunderstands a street I said, or a delivery man brings the food late because he went to the wrong address). And that really hurts the immigrant more than me, as they won't get a tip if that happens.

My wife also teaches at a school with an enormous immigrant population, and while there are some problems, it has more to do with a failure of the school system to properly adapt to the changing makeup of our country than to do with the failures by the immigrants. She taught a few ESL (English as second language) literature classes, and she had several students in there who were highly intelligent in their native tongue, but who couldn't realistically get up to grade level in our language in the extremely short amount of time our school system allows, and so they'd fail. Of course there's also kids that just won't learn the language, but that seems to me to be no different than kids who just won't learn math (math is basically just a language of numbers). If they choose to refuse an education, well, that's ultimately their own fault, not the fault of them being from another country.

Since this country has always been a nation of immigrants, we've heard these arguments over and over again in regards to every wave of immigrants that they are going to destroy the country because they don't integrate. And yet our country has survived every time. And then when those immigrants have children, they eventually become more and more American until they're fairly integrated, but still retain some unique nuances of their native culture, which makes things interesting. My Grandfather in law came to America off a boat from Greece with $5 in his pocket. He never really learned the language that well, but he busted his ass in a restaurant and eventually owned the place. His kids went to school here and eventually learned the language much better than he did, had kids, and now their kids are completely integrated. It just takes time. I think those who are all upset about new immigrants not becoming like natives within a few years are just impatient.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 02:42 PM) *

True, though most of the fast-food chain pizza available isn't all that spectacular.
Although there are exceptions,Pizza Express being one of them, that do pizzas well.
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 02:42 PM) *

Speaking of British food though, I like good fish and chips
Me too, although it's not always easy to find a chip shop that does it really well, fortunately there is one 4 miles from me that does an excellent fish and chips.

hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 30 2008, 02:54 PM) *

You make some interesting points, but I'd like to see what harm is genuinely done to natives by immigrants not "integrating" and also exactly what you mean by "integration".
Not integrating leads to separate parallel communities with little or no interaction with each other, which leads to resentment and isolation, which can end uip with such communities being so separate that they want to implement their own parallel systems of law and order etc. It is very bad for security indeed. An integrated community that views itself as British is far less likely to see Britain as the enemy, therefore far less likely to attack Britain from within.

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 30 2008, 02:54 PM) *
If it's only learning the language, then I suppose I agree with you to a certain extent, mainly because it's foolish not to learn the native tongue of whatever country you choose to live in.
Why bother if there is a community in existence where little English is spoken and you do not wish to mix with those outside that community?

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 30 2008, 02:54 PM) *
But I am surrounded by immigrants from all over the world on a daily basis, and while the occasional snafu does occur due to an immigrant failing to integrate, it almost always ends up as being nothing more than a mere inconvenience to me (i.e. a cab driver misunderstands a street I said, or a delivery man brings the food late because he went to the wrong address).
Because most immigrants integrate to a reasonable extent with the general population of the country.

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 30 2008, 02:54 PM) *
And then when those immigrants have children, they eventually become more and more American until they're fairly integrated, but still retain some unique nuances of their native culture, which makes things interesting.
And that is because what America does well is encourage, and to a degree insist, that immigrants become part of American society, that they become American. In the UK the political classes have encouraged separate identities under the banner of 'multi-culturalism', to expect that an immigrant ought to learn English, or ought to view themselves as British has been seen as very 'non-PC' at best, and racist at worst. Now this promotion of 'multi-culturalism' is biting and there are whole sections of society in Britain that see Britain as the enemy (and this includes second and third generation immigrants).

A multi-ethnic society is a good thing, immigration is a good thing, but the promotion of a multi-cultural society is a very bad thing indeed.
Jaded Prole
My grandparents lived in an immigrant ghetto in NY where English really wasn't necessary but their children, attending public schools, were homogenized into the larger society.

On the other hand, there are many Hasidic people in my neighborhood and they keep to themselves and homeschool. I believe that adults have the right to choose insular communities but I also think keeping children "sheltered" from the rest of society in insular ethnic or fundamentalist communities is a form of child abuse. This gets into a sensitive area regarding the rights of children vs the responsibilities and rights of parents. One view sees children as private property of parents, the other sees them as citizens with inherent rights to healthcare, nourishment, shelter and education all of which are developmentally vital and impact society as a whole.

If fundamentalists, cults and immigrants have the right to homeschool or private school we wind up with a fragmented society in which people do not even share basic concepts much less languages. To some extent that's OK but as stated by others, it breaks down the basic cohesiveness of the society as a whole. I think children deserve not less exposure but more -- as much as possible to ideas, culture, and language if we are to have a larger (even transnational) cohesive culture in which we can have more understanding, tolerance and peace.

Thus, in placing the larger societal interest ahead of individual rights, I would advocate requiring children to attend either public schools or private schools that meet requirements for social integration and I would ban homeschooling. I'm sure to get some real disagreement here but at least it's fodder for further thought
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 03:23 PM) *
I believe that adults have the right to choose insular communities but I also think keeping children "sheltered" from the rest of society in insular ethnic or fundamentalist communities is a form of child abuse.
But taking a view that children should not be 'sheltered' within these insular societies is making a negative ethical judgement about these societies. You are in effect saying that these societies are ok for adults, but not for children. The people who live in these societies, on the other hand, clearly think that it is a good way to live and therefore will think that these societies are good for their children.

Saying that by rearing their children within these societies is a form of child abuse is pretty much saying that these societies are a bad thing. So if these insular societies are not a good thing then why not discourage them in the first place?
Helfrich
QUOTE(hobgoblin @ Mar 30 2008, 04:29 PM) *
However Italy's major fast food contribution to the world (pizza) still retains some integrity (unlike the Big Mac).

It's hard to find a good pizza around here and it's virtually impossible to find one in the Netherlands (I gave up years ago). It's quite astonishing how the Dutch manage to transform a simple dish like a pizza into an indigestible mess that tastes like shit, while I can have a more than decent pizza in Wallonia or at Soprano near Luc's shop in the heart of Paris.
Jaded Prole
QUOTE
But taking a view that children should not be 'sheltered' within these insular societies is making a negative ethical judgement about these societies.


I'm not pointing at one or two I don't personally like. It's insularity that is the problem, all segments should be treated equally and all children should have the benefit to exposure to a variety of people and ideas within the larger society they will have to live in.
absinthist
QUOTE(Helfrich @ Mar 30 2008, 08:26 AM) *

It's hard to find a good pizza around here and it's virtually impossible to find one in the Netherlands

Quite the contrary here, if Rzeszow is not such a big city. McDonald's, KFC and such are in retreat.
http://www.pizzerie.rzeszow.pl/
Helfrich
Careful! Since I'm a bachelor again I just might visit Poland this summer.
And have a pizza.
absinthist
If you wish, we will check all of them. Some are really worth it (Benvenuti, Dexter-where Tits is a habituée and always has discount on everything evill.gif , Gondola, City Pizza, e.g.). Some are overrated.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 04:59 PM) *

I'm not pointing at one or two I don't personally like. It's insularity that is the problem, all segments should be treated equally and all children should have the benefit to exposure to a variety of people and ideas within the larger society they will have to live in.


Then why just say that children should not be insulated in these communities? Surely the problem is not that children grow up in these communities, but that the root problem is the existence of these communities?

Surely the sensible thing to do is to actively discourage such communities and actively promote integration (not just of children, but of adults also) into the mainstream? However, in the UK, to propose this leads to the PC-police (lead by the political classes in the UK) jumping on you like a ton of bricks and branding with you all sorts of names. At best you'd be called intolerant and not appreciating diversity, at worst you'd be called a racist.
Jaded Prole
How do you go about "discouraging such communities" without stepping on the rights of people to freedom of association? There are advantages to living in immigrant communities of cultural cohesiveness and support. Making sure children and socialized into the larger society is another story.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 09:10 PM) *

How do you go about "discouraging such communities" without stepping on the rights of people to freedom of association? There are advantages to living in immigrant communities of cultural cohesiveness and support. Making sure children and socialized into the larger society is another story.


Well not using public money to put up street signs and public notices in languages other than English (not just alongside English, but instead of it) would be a start. Not using public money to pay for interpreters in every language under the sun to sit around waiting to rush in should anyone who hasn't tried to learn English need one at the drop of a hat. Not making constant remarks about how great multi-culturalism is. Not branding anyone who suggests that immigrant communities should integrate more as being intolerant. Insisting that immigrants learn English etc. etc. Oh and some sort of oath of allegiance to Britain would be a welcome step as part of the deal of being afforded our hospitality. Quite frankly if you are not prepared to be loyal to a nation that takes you in then you don't deserve to be taken in.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I get the feeling that immigrants to the USA are expected to develop a sense of belonging and loyalty to the USA. Over here the political classes seem to discourage this, and instead encourage separatism (although it is now dawning on them that their multi-cultural policies have been counter-productive).
Jaded Prole
Maybe it's time to move beyond narrow definitions of nationalism and regional loyalty. The world is getting smaller. Economies are inseparable and people are moving across old borders following work and resources. Helfrich is a good example. Should he pound on his chest and declare himself a loyal German or move back to the Netherlands (or France)? The European Union is remaking Europe into a more homogeneous area a little at a time, and that is a good thing. It will take much longer for the rest of the planet but a better future lies there than in the old ideas of neo-feudal competition for resources and xenophobic insistence on regional cultural purity.
Nephrite
Regarding Fitna, Ayaan Hirsi Ali sums it up beautifully here.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 11:55 PM) *
The European Union is remaking Europe into a more homogeneous area a little at a time, and that is a good thing.

Well it will be a VERY long time indeed, if ever, before the British people see themselves as being primarily (if at all) of European identity. The British people DO NOT want that (that much is very obvious) but little by little it is being foisted upon us in a very underhand and undemocratic manner. That is certainly NOT a good thing.

You are right in saying that the European Union is doing it a little at a time. They do this behind the backs of the populations of the countries of Europe. They slide through a law here, a law there, remove a bit of national sovereignty here, a bit of national sovereignty there, in a totally undemocratic fashion. The power in the European Union lies with the European Commission, which is not an elected body. The European Union is undemocratic and unaccountable, and it is intentionally so.

How can it be acceptable that power within the European Union is unaccountable to the public and unelected by the public. Would you find it acceptable if the President of the USA and the US Senate was not elected by the public, but rather appointed as a result of political horse-trading, back room deals, and repayment of 'favours'? The power within the European Union is appointed in such an undemocratic and unaccountable way, and it is intentionally this way so that the European Union can go about homogenising Europe without having to deal with the inconvenience of the electorate calling them to account and preventing them from doing so.

The European Union is pretty much a dictatorship, not so much by one person but by a select group of people, with the dictators positions being appointed by themselves on a rotating basis. The public having no say whatsoever in the matter.
Jaded Prole
QUOTE
Would you find it acceptable if the President of the USA and the US Senate was not elected by the public, but rather appointed as a result of political horse-trading, back room deals, and repayment of 'favours'?


Guess what?


Yes, we have show "elections" but then there are delegates and super delegates to an electoral college and when all else fails there's vote rigging, machine tampering, voter interference and the deciding arbitration by an unelected Supreme Court -- and plenty of favours to go around.

The Brits have always been the epitomy of ethnocentrism with their feeling of superiority but they really are part of Europe and the rest of the world. The US has inherited the mantle of national exceptionalism from England and through we don't have any illusions of cultural superiority, we figure we can just threaten and bludgeon the rest of the planet into submission by having the biggest military on the planet. Sort of a big dick, small brain syndrome.
Helfrich
QUOTE
sums it up

Making movies and counter-movies in Windows Movie Maker is the new kewl in Dutch politics.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 31 2008, 04:59 PM) *

The Brits have always been the epitomy of ethnocentrism with their feeling of superiority but they really are part of Europe and the rest of the world.

Do I detect a bit of an American chip on the shoulder here? The British do not feel superior to others, they feel distinct from others. Having a strong sense of national identity (and wishing to keep this sense of national identity and distinctness) does not mean having a sense of superiority over others. There is a difference.

And it is for the British people to decide whether or not they feel that they belong to Europe (in a cultural and/or political sense) or not, quite frankly it is nobody else's business. The British people do not feel culturally European, therefore they are not. Nor do they wish to belong to a homogeneous or politically unified Europe.

As far as British people are concerned, Europe is not somewhere they live, it is somewhere they visit on holidays.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Mar 30 2008, 12:59 PM) *

QUOTE
But taking a view that children should not be 'sheltered' within these insular societies is making a negative ethical judgement about these societies.


I'm not pointing at one or two I don't personally like. It's insularity that is the problem, all segments should be treated equally and all children should have the benefit to exposure to a variety of people and ideas within the larger society they will have to live in.


Your point about homeschooling is interesting. I grew up with a couple of girls my family was friends with, they were sisters, and were homeschooled. Their father was racist to the extreme, in favor of mass extermination of non-white ethnicities, and they were also devout Christian. The one daughter was very introverted, shy and seemed afraid that the world would poison her. The other daughter insisted on going to public school, the parents finally relented, and then she dated a black kid, got into drugs, attempted suicide and was pregnant by 18. I don't know if you can use that example to generalize about homeschooling, but I do know that isolationism of any kind is bad, and I see Hob's point about the negative effects of some immigrant communities being insular to the extreme.

The problem is that it cannot be generalized as an immigrant problem. For example, nobody is complaining about Asian immigrants. In fact, if it weren't for them, our science industries and schools would be doing worse. My Korean friends parents barely speak one word of English and stay fairly isolated within their neighborhood of Korea town, and they were a bit reluctant to let their daughter marry the non-Korean tattooed and pierced guy she chose to marry, but in the end, I think there are immigrants who are inclined to be independent, and there are those who tend to stick closely to their communities and traditions from their ex-homes. Perhaps some groups of immigrants, such as some Muslims, have a greater tendency to be highly insular and to view their adopted country as corrupting, but then all I can say is they were really foolish for immigrating in the first place. Why move to a place you don't want to be part of? If I moved to France you wouldn't see me eating McDonalds and insisting on speaking English, but that's me.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Nephrite @ Mar 31 2008, 11:52 AM) *

Regarding Fitna, Ayaan Hirsi Ali sums it up beautifully here.


Not a fan of the AEI, but the fact that they've enlisted her is encouraging, as she is a potent voice for reason.
Nephrite
QUOTE(Helfrich @ Mar 31 2008, 11:26 AM) *

Making movies and counter-movies in Windows Movie Maker is the new kewl in Dutch politics.


Yes and apparently very effective judging from Google News results.
Helfrich
That country is just, eh… extremely interesting.
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