500 To multi culture or not to multi culture ...

This blog is about yet another concept that is often misunderstood and even more often misrepresented (the other one I wrote about before is pacifism). In a recent chain email - one of those that SCREAMS at you: “If Muslims do not wish to accept another culture and integrate, the answer is simple: “STAY WHERE YOU ARE !!!" 

The subject of the ire is Holland, “The Netherlands is scrapping multiculturalism."


There are a few interesting points made in the email  (the full text of it is below)  ... but even a cursory reading makes it clear that the Dutch and many other Northern European governments misunderstand - or misrepresent - the concept of multiculturalism (the German chancellor Angela Merckel is on record saying, "Multikulti doesn't work"); and one probably must conclude their awkward stance on multiculturalism does indeed make the concept unworkable in their countries.

The first thing that needs to be said about multiculture is that it is a different thing in Northern Europe than it is in Australia ... simply because in our country multiculture is - and has been since the founding of our nation - part of the social fabric; imagine what the original Australians would make of this: "If (you) do not wish to accept another culture and integrate the answer is simple: “STAY WHERE YOU ARE !!!" 

Since the Chinese immigrated to Australia - then the Italians, Greeks, Vietnamese etc - there has been immigration from all over the world ... in fact all of us - unless we're Aboriginal - are immigrants or descendants of immigrants; all of us are beneficiaries of multiculturalism ... this fact should go a long way toward helping us accept that we live in a multicultural society and that we should welcome other minorities settling in our midst.

Yet, the arguments made against multiculture (as regards transferring the issue to Australia) are largely unreflected, the points made are irrational misrepresentations of the rules and requirements in a society that is trying to be multicultural ... the gist of the email is steeped in xenophobia; the email is a vehicle to sprout racism, prejudice, ethnocentricity, intolerance and isolationism.

The second & third things that need to be said about multiculturalism are simple:

1) ... immigrants must adapt the rules and laws of their host country, while they may maintain the specifics of their culture; 2) ... they must learn the host nation's language, while retaining their native language. That's all there is to it.

The rest - as they say - is commentary; and in the case of the email below, commentary permeated with fear ... fear that may well have fair grounds in places like Holland, where apparently Muslims are not well integrated into their society, and where - dare I say - the issue of integration is vexed: The Dutch are very conservative, not used to strangers in their midst and hence probably ready to discount the advantages of a multicultural society. Their imperialistic past may well have helped install a two-tiered society, where white Dutch probably are a different class than coloured colonials (Surinamese, Indonesians). 

It is similar with Germany ... Germans too are conservative and have never really accepted foreigners with open arms (well, they love them do their dirty work, which the Turks were good for; but when they first were imported as "Gastarbeiter" [guest workers] in the 1950s, they were allowed to stay for only five years; but, goodness, they quickly begun having German children ... oh dear). It is quite clear, to compare the Dutch or German experiences of multiculture with ours is a wide stretch.

Finally, to come to a positive definition of multiculturalism, in Australia immigrants contributed nicely to our society, this is well documented. We love our Chinatowns. And we generally are accepting of minorities from all over the world, indeed by nature and by design of our society we - as a people - are tolerant, easy-going, liberal and open-minded ... however, the case is made in the chain email below, that to pursue this course may be dangerous in regard to Muslims and Islam.

This is an issue that needs to be addressed ... the fact is, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. It will not be possible to wish Muslims away, like them or not. And the expansionism inherent in Islam is not just theory, it's reality. I have talked about the topic in my blog 496, where the point is made by Ayaan Hirsi Ali that Islam may have to reform, or even have a revolution. 

But to throw our arms up in the air and say, these issues are a good reason to discriminate against Muslims, is counterproductive (that approach may well radicalise otherwise moderate people) ... it may be seen as a necessity in Northern Europe, but In Australia we are in a good position to deal with these concerns. Indeed, for Australia multiculturalism is a fact we live with by and large very agreeably; we have proven in the past that we are a strong enough people to deal satisfactorily with issues arising from multiculturalism.

Furthermore, the rest of the world also will have to accept multiculturalism in due time; in our global economy - indeed in a world where people are moving around from country to country more and more (for whatever reasons) - a peaceful future depends on this model of people living together and benefitting from the various cultures the immigrants descend from. As I said in my blog 496, multiculturalism is one of the prerequisites for a peaceful world.

As an aside, do you know of 'Pegida'? Well, the email we're talking about could have been written by a member ... but what's this? Under the sub-header in today's Herald

"The former leader of the anti-immigrant movement says her goal is now world peace" 

... is the report about one German opinion maker changing her mind, spectacularly

(there's hope, dear friends, there's hope) ...

Only a few months ago, nobody would have imagined that one of the most emotional pro-tolerance speeches would one day come from one of Germany's fiercest critics of Islam and immigrants.


Yet it was Kathrin Oertel - once the leader of Germany's anti-immigrant Pegida movement, which drew tens of thousands of supporters at its peak - who apologised to Muslims in a video message published on Facebook.


"Those still belonging to the Pegida movement need to understand that they are advocating for the wrong cause," she said. "Asylum seekers are blamed for our problems in Europe and Germany. However, they're not the root cause of our struggle," she continued before directing her words to the immigrants she had previously condemned.


"I want to apologise to all migrants and to all Muslims among them who live peacefully and are assimilated with German society, who respect our culture and laws. They are in the vast majority and most Germans overlook this fact."

"To achieve peace, one needs to be ready for dialogue," Ms Oertel said ... "that's the only way to get rid of prejudices."


The chain email in full:


The Netherlands, where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism. 

The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create a Parallel society within the Netherlands... A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament, on June 16, 2014, reads: "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans  to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people." 

In the new integration system, the values of the  Dutch society, play a central role. With this change, the government steps away  from the model of a multicultural society. 

The letter continues: "A more obligatory  integration is justified because the government  also demands that from its own citizens." It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands. 

The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants.  


For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the  government  will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law. 

The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because,  according to Donner; "It is not the government's job to integrate  immigrants."  (How bloody true!!!) 

The government will introduce new legislation  that outlaws forced marriages and will also  impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way  they dress. 

More specifically, the government imposed a ban  on face-covering, Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2015.   

Holland has done that whole liberal thing, and  realized - maybe too late - that creating a nation  of tribes, will kill the nation itself.  The future of Australia, the UK, USA, Canada and New Zealand may well be read here.


READERS NOTE: Muslim immigrants leave their countries of birth because of civil and political unrest . . . "CREATED BY THE VERY NATURE Of THEIR CULTURE.” 

Countries like Holland, Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand have an established way of life that  actually works, so why embrace the unworkable? 

If Muslims do not wish to accept another culture,and integfrate   the answer is  simple; “STAY WHERE YOU  ARE !!!"