I’m happy, though, that in doing so, they’ve managed to raise B’nai Brith’s ire:
I hope THAT has an impact…
I’m happy, though, that in doing so, they’ve managed to raise B’nai Brith’s ire:
I hope THAT has an impact…
Sultan Mehmed IV to the Zaporozhian Cossacks:
As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the sun and moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God Himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians – I command you, the Zaporogian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.
–Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV
The Cossacks’ reply came as a stream of invective and vulgar rhymes:
Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!
O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil’s kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil shits, and your army eats. Thou shalt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Christian sons; we have no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck thy mother.
Thou Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig’s snout, mare’s arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw thine own mother!
So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won’t even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we’ll conclude, for we don’t know the date and don’t own a calendar; the moon’s in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day’s the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!
Burger King in South Africa is dropping the word “ham” from “hamburger” to avoid offending Muslims.
The “Double Spicy Hamburger” will now become just a “Double Spicy Burger,” while the “Triple Hamburger with Cheese” becomes the “Triple Burger with Cheese,” and a “Hamburger King Jr” on the children’s menu will now be just a “Kids Burger.”
The company, whose headquarters are based in Miami, Florida, said the word was being eliminated in order “to be more respectful of Muslim customers.”
The change is being made despite the fact that the “ham” in hamburger has nothing to do with pork and relates to the German city of Hamburg, where the patties were first made.
However, the company admitted that its outlets in South Africa would be losing their “halal” certification because of popular demand for some sandwiches to include bacon.
This all appears to be a very awkward, or you could say – ham-fisted – attempt to be politically correct.
COPENHAGEN — When Rokhaia Naassan gives birth in the coming days, she and her baby boy will enter a new category in the eyes of Danish law. Because she lives in a low-income immigrant neighborhood described by the government as a “ghetto,” Rokhaia will be what the Danish newspapers call a “ghetto parent” and he will be a “ghetto child.”
Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.
Denmark’s government is introducing a new set of laws to regulate life in 25 low-income and heavily Muslim enclaves, saying that if families there do not willingly merge into the country’s mainstream, they should be compelled.
For decades, integrating immigrants has posed a thorny challenge to the Danish model, intended to serve a small, homogeneous population. Leaders are focusing their ire on urban neighborhoods where immigrants, some of them placed there by the government, live in dense concentrations with high rates of unemployment and gang violence.
One measure under consideration would allow courts to double the punishment for certain crimes if they are committed in one of the 25 neighborhoods classified as ghettos, based on residents’ income, employment status, education levels, number of criminal convictions and “non-Western background.” Another would impose a four-year prison sentence on immigrant parents who force their children to make extended visits to their country of origin — described here as “re-education trips” —in that way damaging their “schooling, language and well-being.” Another would allow local authorities to increase their monitoring and surveillance of “ghetto” families.
At this summer’s Folkemodet, an annual political gathering on the island of Bornholm, the justice minister, Soren Pape Poulsen, shrugged off the rights-based objection.
“Some will wail and say, ‘We’re not equal before the law in this country,’ and ‘Certain groups are punished harder,’ but that’s nonsense,” he said, adding that the increased penalties would affect only people who break the law.
To those claiming the measures single out Muslims, he said: “That’s nonsense and rubbish. To me this is about, no matter who lives in these areas and who they believe in, they have to profess to the values required to have a good life in Denmark.”
For their part, many residents of Danish “ghettos” say they would move if they could afford to live elsewhere. On a recent afternoon, Ms. Naassan was sitting with her four sisters in Mjolnerparken, a four-story, red brick housing complex that is, by the numbers, one of Denmark’s worst ghettos: forty-three percent of its residents are unemployed, 82 percent come from “non-Western backgrounds,” 53 percent have scant education and 51 percent have relatively low earnings.
The Naassan sisters wondered aloud why they were subject to these new measures. The children of Lebanese refugees, they speak Danish without an accent and converse with their children in Danish; their children, they complain, speak so little Arabic that they can barely communicate with their grandparents. Years ago, growing up in Jutland, in Denmark’s west, they rarely encountered any anti-Muslim feeling, said Sara, 32.
“Maybe this is what they always thought, and now it’s out in the open,” she said. “Danish politics is just about Muslims now. They want us to get more assimilated or get out. I don’t know when they will be satisfied with us.”
Rokhaia, her due date fast approaching, flared with anger at the mandatory preschool program approved by the government last month: Already, she said, her daughter was being taught so much about Christmas in kindergarten that she came home begging for presents from Santa Claus.
“Nobody should tell me whether or how my daughter should go to preschool. Or when,” she said. “I’d rather lose my benefits than submit to force.”
Barwaqo Jama Hussein, 18, a Somali refugee, noted that many immigrant families, including her own, had been settled in “ghetto” neighborhoods by the government. She moved to Denmark when she was 5 and has lived in the Tingbjerg ghetto area since she was 13. She said the politicians’ description of “parallel societies” simply did not fit her, or Tingbjerg.
“It hurts that they don’t see us as equal people,” she said. “We actually live in Danish society. We follow the rules, we go to school. The only thing we don’t do is eat pork.”
About 12 miles south of the city, in the middle-class suburb of Greve, though, voters gushed with approval over the new laws.
“They spend too much Danish money,” said Dorthe Pedersen, a hairdresser, daubing chestnut dye on a client’s hairline. “We pay their rent, their clothing, their food, and then they come in broken Danish and say, ‘We can’t work because we’ve got a pain.’”
Her client, Anni Larsen, told a story about being invited by a Turkish immigrant to their child’s wedding and being scandalized to discover that the guests were separated by gender and seated in different rooms. “I think there were only 10 people from Denmark,” she said, appalled. “If you ask me, I think they shouldn’t have invited us.”
Anette Jacobsen, 64, a retired pharmacist’s assistant, said she so treasured Denmark’s welfare system, which had provided her four children with free education and health care, that she felt a surge of gratitude every time she paid her taxes, more than 50 percent of her yearly income. As for immigrants using the system, she said, “There is always a cat door for someone to sneak in.”
“Morally, they should be grateful to be allowed into our system, which was built over generations,” she said.
Her husband, Jesper, a former merchant sailor whose ship once docked in Lebanon, said he had watched laborers there being shot for laziness and replaced by truckloads of new workers gathered in the countryside.
“I think they are 300 to 400 years behind us,” Jesper said.
“Their culture doesn’t fit here,” Anette said.
The new hard-edge push to force Muslims to integrate struck both of them as positive. “The young people will see what it is to be Danish and they will not be like their parents,” Jesper said.
“The grandmothers will die sometime,” Anette said. “They are the ones resisting change.”
By focusing heavily on the collective cost of supporting refugee and immigrant families, the Danish People’s Party has won many voters away from the center-left Social Democrats, who had long been seen as the defenders of the welfare state. With a general election approaching next year, the Social Democrat party has shifted to the right on immigration, saying tougher measures are necessary to protect the welfare state.
Nearly 87 percent of Denmark’s 5.7 million people are of Danish descent, with immigrants and their descendants accounting for the rest. Two-thirds of the immigrants are from non-Western backgrounds, a group that swelled with the waves of Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian refugees crossing Europe.
Critics would say “the state cannot force children away from their parents in the daytime, that’s disproportionate use of force,” said Rune Lykkeberg, the editor in chief of Dagbladet Information, a left-liberal daily newspaper. “But the Social Democrats say, ‘We give people money, and we want something for this money.’ This is a system of rights and obligations.”
Danes have a high level of trust in the state, including as a central shaper of children’s ideology and beliefs, he said. “The Anglo-Saxon conception is that man is free in nature, and then comes the state” constraining that freedom, he said. “Our conception of freedom is the opposite, that man is only free in society.”
“You could say, of course, parents have the right to bring up their own kids,” he added. “We would say they do not have the right to destroy the future freedom of their children.”
Bravo for the Danes! They’re doing the best they can.
Whether it’s enough, or whether they meet such resistance that they’re forced to go further, time will tell…
OPINION: Canada should say goodbye to diversity, tolerance and inclusion to rebuild trust in one another and start accepting a new norm for immigration policy — compatibility, cohesion and social trust.
Sometimes they get too much publicity, but can you blame them? The Danes just seem to get things right. But even the Danes can make mistakes.
A decade ago the fundamental belief among Danes toward Muslim immigrants was that these newcomers would see how wonderful Denmark was and naturally want to become Danish as quickly as possible.
This turned out to be naively wrong. At least half of all Muslims polled across various western European countries believe today that their Shariah law is more important than national law, according to the Gatestone Institute. In other words, a not insignificant proportion of Muslim immigrants have no intention of assimilating into any western society, including Denmark.
Danes have pushed back. Losing the integrity of their society — one of the best in the world by all measures — was on the line. Requirements to obtain citizenship increased. A new insistence that immigrant children go to Danish public schools instead of religious schools was implemented. Social benefits were rescinded for those who didn’t comply. This was only the beginning. But the Danes are not alone.
Many western nations assumed that increasing ethnic and cultural diversity through immigration would be beneficial. The dogma of diversity, tolerance and inclusion assumed that all members of the society wanted to be included as equal citizens. Yet, instead of diversity being a blessing, many found that they’ve ended up with a lot of arrogant people living in their countries with no intention of letting go of their previous cultures, animosities, preferences, and pretensions.
Let’s give the devil his due. Diversity, tolerance and inclusion was actually a commendable perspective. It assumed the dominant society was leaving people out of full participation.
It was a valid critique. In response to inequalities, real or otherwise, measures were taken that would include everyone. Affirmative action, political correctness and anti-bias training became the tools for inculcating tolerance and inclusion. Helpful? Somewhat. Yet, the most important question was overlooked: What if some did not actually want to be included?
Denmark recognized this problem long ago, and is now finding practical solutions. It knows what it was — a country that worked very well when it was homogeneous, where everyone wanted to be and was a part of the society. They spoke the same language, understood the same customs and traditions, and held the same beliefs. The result was that people trusted each other and the economy flourished.
In fact, social trust corresponds more closely than any other factor to predicting economic prosperity. Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and co-authors from a paper titled, Fractionalization, argued that greater diversity leads to stunted economic growth. In other words, diversity is a weakness as far as the economy is concerned.
In 1981 The World Values Survey began an investigation into cross-cultural beliefs, values and motivations, and has since shown that societies with high social trust are not only more economically productive but also happier. The most successful are homogeneous countries, not the diverse ones.
Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia is always at the top of those rankings. They, shine a beacon on the fact that trust is what makes society great. Interestingly, Scandinavian countries are becoming even more trusting. Canada, Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia are all going in the opposite direction. In Canada, we are becoming less trusting of one other.
If a society wants high social trust and the benefits of stability, productivity, and happiness, there are apparently two factors that stand out. According to macrosociology researcher Jan Delhey at Otto von Geuricke University in Magdeburg, Germany — Protestantism and low ethnic diversity — are the top two criteria.
Setting aside the part about Protestantism, low ethnic diversity as a single factor fits Denmark, Japan and Hungary quite well. Social trust is, unsurprisingly, relatively high in all. But not all those countries are Protestant. There are other factors at work.
So is it possible for a country to have diversity and social trust at the same time?
Studies by researchers Hooghe, Reeskens and Stolle in a 2008 paper indicate that ethnic diversity in and of itself is not inherently destabilizing, at a national level. A country can indeed have multiple ethnicities and still have high social trust. But there is a catch.
It is at the neighbourhood scale where high ethnic diversity erodes trust, according to researchers Peter Thisted Dinesson and Kim Mannemar Sønderskov from 2015. The more direct the interaction with diversity, the more social trust drops. This accounts for why people segregate themselves into ethnic enclaves. People like to be around others who are the same as them. Those overwhelmed by newcomers that are not like themselves, lose trust and soon move out.
This is quite a paradox. Diversity at a national level does not necessarily erode trust but at the neighbourhood level it does. How can this be?
Switzerland is a good example of this paradox in action. With four recognized ethnicities — German, French, Italian and Romansh — they also have high levels of social trust. How? It’s simple. Each ethnicity has its own geography and government. It does not mix ethnicities, nor does one try to control the others.
If a country wants diversity, expect enclaves to form. This may work out fine in the long run, as it has in Switzerland. Or it may turn into a bloody mess, as it repeatedly does in the Balkans. The other option is low diversity.
Denmark had the latter. It worked well. Now, it wants it back again and that will require its immigrants to integrate. Those who don’t will have to leave.
So, is excluding certain people from one’s society a requirement? The short answer is absolutely. The long and more reasonable answer is if you do let people into your country then make sure they hold similar values — compatibility. Make sure they want to fit into your society fully and completely — cohesion. With these two requirements satisfied, and with a sprinkle of Protestantism, the country will be well on its way to generating high levels of social trust.
Can Canada learn from Denmark? The jury is out. But the minimum requirement is that we say goodbye to diversity, tolerance and inclusion if we wish to be a society that can rebuild the trust we used to have in one another and start accepting a new norm for immigration policy — compatibility, cohesion and social trust.
Mark Hecht teaches human, political, and conservation geography at Mount Royal University in Calgary and has written extensively on issues of national identity and resource conflict.