Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Islamic immigration and multiculturalism in Europe

Peter Goodspeed:

Today, the continent is attempting to cope with increasingly bitter racial and religious squabbles and is riven with doubts about its future.

Decades of open-door immigration policies have transformed Europe through the arrival of several million immigrants, mostly Muslims, from North Africa, Turkey and Southwest Asia.

But as the region became one of the most multicultural regions on Earth, its people have gradually turned against the policies that made it this way.

From Amsterdam to Paris and Brussels to Berlin, politicians want to restrict immigration and force recent arrivals to integrate more thoroughly into their new homelands.

The Netherlands, where 6% of the country's 16 million people come from Islamic countries, has found itself at the forefront of a general hardening of European attitudes toward Muslim minorities.

In the two years since Mr. van Gogh's murder, the Dutch government has adopted sweeping reforms aimed at forcing immigrants to integrate more fully into society. Immigrants must now pass a language test within five years of arrival or risk being deported. They must also take special integration classes when they apply for a visa.

Rotterdam has published a code of conduct suggesting that immigrants speak Dutch when out in public and the government runs courses to train imams in Western values.

This week, elections in the Netherlands seemed to reinforce the growing distrust between the native and immigrant populations when the Freedom Party, a previously insignificant far-right fringe group, won nine seats in parliament.

Europe Questions Multiculturalism -- Politicians and Media Become Aware

"Islam is a Different Culture"

Primatology and Immigration in the Times Of London


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