Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Eurabia denied

Dan Gardner, a writer for the awful Ottawa Citizen (the worst newspaper of a national capital in the world?), is probably the only employee of the entire CanWest newspaper chain with an IQ over 100.  I don’t agree with everything he writes, but he is one of the best writers in the world on law and order issues (see here or here; and here, part of his brilliant series urging Canadians to continue to follow the Scandinavian model of penology rather than the deeply flawed - and thus loved by conservatives - American model).  “Losing the War on Drugs” is one of the finest series ever written on the subject of drug laws (see also here and here).

Gardner initially bought the usual right-wing and Zionist Islamophobic nonsense about how Europe is being taken over by radical Islamists.  Now Gardner has gone to Europe to reconsider some of his views (he also writes fairly sensibly about the Danish cartoons), and, unlike many writers, is willing to admit that the facts prove he was mistaken (I quote from the article which is behind a subscription wall):

“. . . I have to make a confession.

I've contributed some bleak words about Europe, too. ‘Mental walls can be found in country after country across the continent,’ I wrote earlier this year. ‘On one side is a majority that is rich, established, old and dwindling. On the other is a minority that is poor, alienated, young and growing. And all across the landscape is an atmosphere of incomprehension, doubt, suspicion and fear.’

I wouldn't write the same today, not after I recently spent some time in the Netherlands and Denmark. It's not that I was wrong. There is plenty of incomprehension, doubt, suspicion and fear in Europe. It's that there is much more to the picture than that. What I wrote was too simplistic, too extreme.

The same is true of most of the dark reports in the media. It's not that the problems don't exist. Unemployment, poverty, segregation, crime and the subordination of women are only too real. So is the growing Islamist movement and the threat of terrorism. And, yes, there is racism and a backlash.

But what's seldom mentioned is what's going right. And contrary to the relentless reports of failure and hate, there is much that's going right - and good reason to believe more will go right in future.”

and, quoting Geert Mak, a Dutch journalist and historian:

“When conservative pundits write about Europe's immigration problems, the standard narrative goes like this: During the 1980s and 1990s, leftist multiculturalism dominated and, as a result, no one dared to talk about the problems in immigrant communities and no one demanded that immigrants conform to the basic rules and norms of Europe; but after the Sept. 11 attacks, the murder of Theo van Gogh, the London subway bombings and other events, multiculturalism was discredited and now the Netherlands and other countries are demanding that immigrants live up to the best European values of tolerance, freedom and the rule of law.

Nonsense, says Mr. Mak. What dominated official thinking in the 1980s and 1990s wasn't mushy multiculturalism. It was wilful blindness - a refusal to see not only the problems of the immigrant communities, but the very fact that there were immigrant communities. ‘They didn't want to see it and were not interested at all. The Dutch government only accepted that Holland is an immigrant country in the middle of the 1990s,’ he notes. And ‘most of the neglecting was done by right-wing governments, by the Christian Democrats and Liberals. They were all involved in looking away. And that's not tolerance. It was just denial.’”

and (my emphasis in ironic red):

“. . . Europe's immigration experiment is barely more than a decade old. Writing if off so soon is absurd.

Italian-Americans provide an interesting comparison. Large-scale Italian immigration to the U.S. began in the 1880s. By the 1890s, it had spawned large, poor, Italian-speaking crime-ridden ghettoes. Italians were feared and despised: In 1891, the largest mass lynching in American history took the lives of 11 Italian men in New Orleans.

Of course, Italian immigrants ultimately did integrate and the U.S. was deeply enriched. But that process took more than half a century to come to fruition.

Mr. Mak cites another historical example, one much closer to his home.

We are having the same kind of problems now with the Moroccan people as we had with the Jewish people in the 19th century,’ he says. Most of Amsterdam's Jewish population had come from eastern Europe a century earlier ‘but they lived in ghettoes. They were really not very much integrated.’ At the end of the 19th century, Mr. Mak says, newspapers wrote ‘exactly the same way about Jews as people today are writing about Moroccans.’

The Social Democratic party, led by prominent Jews, pushed for what we would today call integration policies. Foremost among them was building social housing in middle-class neighbourhoods so the poor wouldn't be isolated in slums. And, since the poor were disproportionately Jewish, it was mostly Jews who moved in.

Along with free, integrated public schools, the new policies made all the difference. Within a generation, Amsterdam's Jewish population became a pillar of the city (a pillar later torn away by the Holocaust).

The critical element, Mr. Mak says, is patience. ‘This was not a job done in two or three years. It took a generation.’”

and (he refers in the first paragraph to the issue of turning uneducated ‘guest workers’ into permanent immigrants):

“In Canada and the U.S., Muslim immigrants are actually better-educated than the native population. That's not surprising, given that North American immigration policies, in contrast to Europe's guest-worker programs, favour skills. The massive gap in education between Muslims in North America and those in Europe is the strongest testimony to the disastrous approach Europe took in the 1960s and the lingering effect of that terrible mistake.

Another key piece of information is the level of social contact between first- and second-generation immigrants and native Dutch. That's a little harder to measure, but according to a 2005 government report, surveys taken between 1994 and 2002 show a trend toward more social contact outside one's own group - there is ‘a diminishing ethnic distance,’ as the report puts it.

The ultimate form of social contact is marriage, and on that score the news is not good. In recent years, according to Statistics Netherlands, the Dutch national statistics agency, between 50 and 60 per cent of Turkish- or Moroccan-Dutch married someone from Turkey or Morocco. Not only does such a high rate of marriage from the old country slow integration, it brings new migrants to Europe who have the same poor, semi-literate, tribal, ultra-conservative backgrounds as the original guest workers.

But here again, there is reason for optimism. The figure above includes first-generation immigrants, but when young Turks and Moroccans are asked, Statistics Netherlands notes, only 10 per cent ‘think it is important that their partner grew up in Turkey or Morocco. Only time will tell whether they will actually opt for a partner who grew up in the Netherlands or prefer a partner from Turkey or Morocco.’”

and, on alleged segregation:

“Sako Musterd, a geographer at the University of Amsterdam, looked at ethnic segregation - the degree to which members of an ethnic group live in neighbourhoods with disproportionate levels of that ethnic group - in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2004. He found that the great majority of immigrants, including Turks and Moroccans, do not live in even modestly segregated neighbourhoods.

He also found that levels of segregation have not generally increased or decreased over the last 21/2 decades. ‘Remarkably, in Rotterdam, where populist politicians make a lot of noise about increasing levels of segregation, segregation levels appeared to be decreasing steadily,’ he writes in a forthcoming paper. ‘This happened from way before the populists started their campaigns.’

Mr. Musterd has also compared segregation levels in Europe with those in the U.S. and discovered that the problem is far worse on this side of the Atlantic. Even if American blacks are removed from the calculations - because of their unique history - segregation in most cities of continental Europe is ‘still clearly lower’ than in the U.S.”

and (my emphasis in red):

“Not surprisingly, social scientists have found that migrants, particularly Muslims, are far more conservative in their attitudes toward women than native Dutch. Only three per cent of natives ‘completely agreed’ that if a man does not want his wife to have a job, she should accept it, compared to 27 per cent of Moroccans and 29 per cent of Turks. Sixteen per cent of native Dutch said a woman should quit her job if she gives birth, compared to 39 per cent of Moroccans and 38 per cent of Turks.

What's interesting, however, is that large majorities of Turks and Moroccans did not strongly support these views. That hardly supports the common claim that Holland's Muslim communities are awash in brutal sexism.

Another positive sign is the fertility rate of Muslim women. As a general rule, uneducated women living in a society where women have little control over their lives will have four, five, six or more babies. As women become better-educated and take more control of their lives, fertility falls.

Not surprisingly, older Muslim women - all first-generation immigrants - gave birth to far more children than do native Dutch women. Not so second-generation Muslim women. Their fertility rate ‘hardly differs from that of native Dutch women,’ notes Statistics Netherlands. Falling Muslim fertility also puts the lie to claims routinely heard in conservative circles, and often in mainstream publications, that Rotterdam (or Amsterdam) will soon be Europe's first majority Muslim city. Not true, according to Statistics Netherlands. As of 2004, Muslims were only 13 per cent of the total population of Greater Amsterdam and 14 per cent in Rotterdam. The two big Dutch cities are indeed close to having immigrant majorities but Muslims make up only 54 per cent of all non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands. In 2006, Muslims in Holland are expected to top one million, or six per cent of the total population of 16.4 million - hardly the ‘Eurabia’ feared by some.”

Gardner article is one of the most profound anti-Zionist things ever published in the Ottawa Citizen, and we no doubt owe it all to the fact that the Zionist editors and owners of the paper are too stupid to realize its implications.  Zionism as a political philosophy is now completely based in Islamophobia, so any attack on Islamophobia is a direct attack on Zionism and the disaster that is Israel.  Europeans need to chill out, and realize that integration takes a little time.