15 January 2007

Muslim Integration

Most nations around the globe are quite strict about immigration, not neccesarily from a racist standpoint, but rather from one of cultural harmony. As such a would be immigrant faces governmental and/or serious social pressure to fit in. As a world traveler, I try to be conscientious as to the local customs and laws, and though I would never sacrifice those values I hold most dear, small steps to adaptation go a long way in foreign lands. If I were to relocate to another nation, I would learn the language, dress the way they do, and fully integrate myself into my new homeland. Anyone should do this, it is quite simply basic respect and common sense.

There are a few nations in the world that readily take in floods of immigrants every year. Unfortunately, this is usually not done for such noble purposes as humanitarianism, sheltering political refugees, or creating a 'melting pot' of all the peoples of Earth. This massive immigration floods are caused by greedy corporations seeking cheap (almost slave) labor to fill lower tiered jobs. Many immigrants are happy to be working illegally for these wages, as they are much higher than in their homelands.

Unfortunately, this often creates an artificial division in society, where there are 2 distinct classes, such as the case with Latino immigrants (mostly Mexican) in the United States. This takes a deeper twist however in Europe, an immensely diverse subcontinent that is in the process of adopting the American model of increased economic gain via massive immigration.

European immigration flows in from all parts of the planet, but a majority of the influx emanates from Muslim countries. Starting with France a century ago and Germany following WWII, most of Europes nations are now becoming saturated. Many Europeans consider these immigrants as temporary guest workers, who hypothetically will leave someday. However, generations later, they persist, and just to tie this back into my original message, they have yet to significantly integrate themselves into their new cultures.

Don't misunderstand me, there is a degree of adaptation, but not nearly enough to not be a problem. Lets take Germany for instance with its estimated 4 million Turks (among millions of other muslims). They speak German, dress like Germans, yet retain a strict Islamic way of thinking, which is oppressive to women, intolerant to others in society, and inconsistent with Western customs of freedom of expression. When they are questioned, violent protests often erupt.

Thats why its a good idea for integration to take place. The BBC reports that, "Germany's interior minister has called for an EU-wide dialogue with Muslims in an effort to integrate them better.

The points I am trying to make are:
1. Massive population migrations cause social dischord and friction
2. Immigration numbers should be kept to a low, manageable number
3. Economies should not be dependent on cheap foreign labor
4. New citizens should be encouraged to integrate