Europeans worried about Islamic immigrants. Simple racism or are immigrants causing real problems?

Throughout Europe to varying degrees there seems to be a rising tide of anti-immigrant (and more specifically Islamic immigrant) feeling. In the US over time there have been serious social and cultural indigestion problems with taking in various immigrant groups, but eventually most groups become integrated into the larger culture.

Is this happening in Europe or are Islamic immigrants resisting integration into the larger society and culture more than other immigrants?

Seeing as we’re still looking at the first or second generations, whether they’re resisting integration or not is impossible to say.

There is probably a bit of each thing going on. Some immigrants want the benefits of European security and income without actually “surrendering” their cultural values. Some Europeans are probably just xenophobic and Muslims are even “stranger” than Christian immigrants, heightening the fears.

Then there are the immigrants who are quite willing to adjust to their new homelands, across a spectrum from cohabitation through aculturation to wholesale assimilation, and there are probably Europeans who are willing to accept the immigrants as long as they are not disruptive, with “disruption” being judged as simply not breaking laws to wholly assimilating.

It would be interesting to see actual sociological studies indicating genuine trends, although these threads tend to fill up with folks on one side or another waving cherrypicked incidents to prop up their prior beliefs.

Here’s a thorough analysis from the 2004 Wilson Quarterly:

Also, Europe to some degree is historically marked by its non-Islamization.

Probably not racism per se but a fear of loss of cultural identity. The nation-states of Europe are divided on approximately ethnic and cultural lines, and from northern Ireland to the Balkans you still see LOTS of friction where different groups vie for a place to call their own. Many people wonder what it will mean to be “German” for example if “German” loses all ethnic and cultural meaning and ends up referring to anybody who lives in within a certain political boundry. Europe doesn’t have the “melting pot” immigrant tradition of the United States, and even the United States has had problems with immigration vs. nativism in the past. It doesn’t help that “whites” in Europe have among the world’s lowest reproduction rates and the newly arrived immigrants among the highest.

Britain went through this decades ago when the Empire was folding and lots of non-English immigrants were flooding Britain. See Wiki’s article on the “Rivers of Blood” speech for an example dating back to the '60s.

What Lumpy said, European states are divided along ethnic and religious lines. This is a concept difficult for Americans to understand.

So how does the UK view immigrants now? Are they seen as a net boost or a drag for the culture?

2005 French riots - Wikipedia ? Swedish Welfare State Collapses as Immigrants Wage War | The Brussels Journal ? 7 July 2005 London bombings - Wikipedia ? The Engineer of Diversity | The Brussels Journal ? London protesters: 'Behead those who insult prophet' | Daily Mail Online? Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy - Wikipedia ?

Now, I am not the one to blame (one of) the victims here, certainly. The fault is not so much the immigrants as it is the government that is importing them against the manifest wishes of their people, effectively waging war against their own nations and peoples. The immigrants are just unwitting cannon-fodder in the process.

I struggle with this one. On the one hand, I am very pro-immigration, anti-borders, anti-telling-people-where-they-can-and-cannot-fucking-live-on-our-shared-Earth. On the other hand, Islam is a very dominant culture, that encourages its own spread, and there are some things about it that I really really don’t like. That said, there are some things I really really don’t like about Christianity but I guess I’ve done ok so far in a society that calls itself Christian. So who the hell knows?

What Cisco says, but noting that Europe is now effectively a post-Christian society in many ways. Having spent centuries getting the Christians off our backs, we are extremely hostile to an even worse religion spreading and demanding ‘respect’ for its ‘values’. Call that bigotry if you like, but intolerance of the intolerant is not the same as being intolerant of everything.

Back when the Pim Fortuyn foofaraw was going on, a Dutch Doper called gum was quite explicit that Muslim immigrants to the Netherlands were seeking a much more, well, Puritanical social order han the rather libertarian-leaning Netherlands was used to, and that “native” Nederlanders were firmly opposed to the enforcement of prospectively mandatory ‘conservative’ social norms that had been made optional years or decades before.

I dont know the facts or a whole lot more than gum’s admittedly opinionated views, but it’s worth noting that she(?), otherwise a middle-of-the-road Doper, was so hot on the subject.

Yup, those quaintly ethnic Europeans, who managed to get the world into two hideous wars in the last century. The Jews were another group who didn’t fit neatly into the ethnic & religious categories–but Hitler got rid of most of them, as a sideshow to one of those wars.

Are the Dutch who are bitching about the Muslims descended from their countrymen who hid Anne Frank & her family from the Nazis? Or from the ones who ratted them out?

A Pertinent Question:

How does Europe treat non-Islamic immigrants, & what is the degree of contrast?
Discussion without comparison standards is meaningless.

To start the ball rolling, the former East Germany had a Vietnamese minority, & they were treated rather crappy, I have heard.

Exactly how I feel about it.

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From reading the board, I’ve got the impression that Americans are more worried on our behalf than we are.
Of course there are real problems, but here in Germany the right-wing doomsayers are firmly in the minority.

And at least in my area, the group with the most problems are not Turks, but ethnically German, more or less non-religious Russlanddeutsche (in terms of crime rates, unemployment etc).

code_grey, you think our governments wage war against us by importing immigrants? How would that work?
The Turks were invited as “guest workers” for Industry, and greeted warmly, when Germany had a job surplus in the sixties. They stayed longer than originally intended, and their families came as well after some time, but aside from integration and unemployment issues there is no racism in the discussion, probably less than for Mexicans in the U.S.

And Bridget Burke, if you’re so suspicious of the Dutch, I shudder to think what you think of us. But the immigration we’re talking about was all after the war, the war generation is dying off and times have changed, they really did.

Here in the UK, there is a fair bit of closet racism floating around. The tabloid press likes to portray immigrants as coming here to live off benefits, whereas in my experience most immigrants I’ve met have had a good work ethic. There is probably more concern about immigrants taking jobs and driving up the cost of housing than worry about cultural dilution.

Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) is expected to win big in the June elections, with current polls indication they could well become the 2nd largest party in the country (with the 4 largest parties all very close in the polls). The PVV is explicit in their rhetoric that Muslim immigration - the so-called “Islamification” - must be stopped, since it’s the first step in an oppressive movement towards a Muslim/Sharia ‘revolution’ in Western Europe.

Personally, I think that’s a lot of crap, but it’s not an exceptional view to take anymore. What I am concerned about is the apparent contempt many (but maybe not most) Muslims appear to have for any rights and freedoms that are directly in conflict with their religion. Things like gay rights (keep in mind, Fortuyn was very openly gay, and this was one of his main objections to Muslim immigration), freedom of speech when it applies to criticism of religion in general and apostasy in particular. When you combine this with a generation of boys who already feel they’re being discriminated against, with many of them becoming more fundamentalist, then that’s a worry.

And as an anecdote, I’m not just talking about disliking gays - there are plenty of people who don’t like gay people or feel uncomfortable around them, and that’s their loss, I guess - I’m talking about intimidation and pulling all kinds of crap even against colleagues with no apparent realization that that sort of stuff is absolutely unacceptable.

As I said, those aren’t very uncommon views here.

Adrian,

what happened decades ago (when there were lots of unskilled jobs in factories to be done by migrants and they didn’t want to build factories in China / Algeria / etc) is immaterial to the present. When British government imports more and more immigrants while the British people don’t want them there and suffer from them economically and, well, violently, this is low level warfare against the British people. Similarly in France. French government is letting immigrants in, immigrants do the “civil unrest” stuff as well as just plain violent crime. The French people suffer.

Incidentally, the suffering of the target population can happen not just from the immigrants themselves but also from tyrannical governmental measures imposed to “control” the problem. E.g. witness all those surveillance cameras in England. So the artificially imposed immigrant problem is being used as justification for establishment of a police state, which is probably the real underlying goal of the folks running the show.