Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Europe Has Some Problems.

Europe Has Some Problems.

[Before reading this blog, I would to ask readers to go through it with a critical eyes. I would prefer it if someone could supply me with numbers for or against anything I am saying here. I am relying heavily on anecdotal evidence and half remembered details. I retain a lot, but that doesn't help much. In short, I'm flying blind. Any numbers for or against what I'm saying would be appreciated.]

In the Brooklyn museum, during the reign of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, there was an issue involving two piece of “art.”

One, was an image of Jesus Christ, symbol of the entire Christian faith, in a jar of urine.

The other was a statue of the Virgin Mary, symbol of at least the Catholic church, smothered in elephant dung with photos of female genitalia plastered all over.

While Giuliani went postal, and complained about the museum, nothing really happened. No one was assaulted. There were no riots. Nothing was burned down. The “artists” were not hunted down and burned at the stake by a horde of angry Christians. Though I think the “artists” should be forced to stare at their own creations for a week.

Let's go to Europe.

There was a Danish political cartoonist who wanted to note how much Muslims self-censor any condemnation of Islamic terrorists, and that you can't even do a critical analysis of Islam like you can of, say, the old testament.

And, to show that Islam could tolerate criticism and would not censor anyone ... they had weeks of riots in reaction to the criticism and tried to censor the danish cartoonist.

I will grant you that political cartoons aren't funny, but this is like Norway having a riot over Hagar the Horrible. Were the cartoons worth the lives of over a hundred and thirty nine people and over eight hundred injured in the international rioting?

Imagine if it wasn't a cartoon, but a movie. Then you can imagine Theo Van Gough being knifed to death in an alley.

Not long ago, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that creating a multi-cultural society has completely failed.

Apparently, this little bon mot was started by central bank board member saying the country was being made “more stupid” by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants.

Merkel's comment: “Multikulti”, the concept that “we are now living side by side and are happy about it,” does not work. “This approach has failed, totally,” she said, adding that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany’s culture and values.

“Subsidising immigrants” isn’t sufficient, Germany has the right to “make demands” on them, such as mastering the language of Goethe and abandoning practices such as forced marriages.....

I'm going to agree that Europe's idea of multiculturalism is stupid. Multiculturalism on the continent is more Balkanization than anything else. The Balkans were held together by Empires and dictators for centuries; there were multiple groups, with separate cultures and identities, who did not want to associate with each other, hated each other's guts, and wanted to kill each other for about a thousand years.

In France, they keep their Muslim immigrant population in glorified slums.

In Holland, government officials have suggested making sharia law officially part of the legal system of the Netherlands (sharia: stone female adulterers, cut off the hands of thieves, and a legal defense for rape ).

I live in Queens. We have 167 ethnic groups speaking 117 different languages. We get along fine. I am the whitest guy I know, yet can walk through the Barrio, Harlem, three Chinatowns, and Brighton Beach, without anyone looking at me like I came from another planet. Then again, within four miles of me, I have dozens of flavors of Christianity, a Bhuddist temple, a synagogue, and a cultural mix of Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Italian, Irish, and those are just the restaurants. We generally all speak English, or we at least attempt to, and if we can't understand each other, there is usually someone who will translate nearby.

So, what the hell is Europe's problem?

They have several. France, for example, insists on a cookie-cutter policy. If you deviate or stand out in anyway, you're a target. The only place for hajibs or yarmulkes are in Catholic schools. Wearing a cross is also banned. Most of these policies were passed under Jacques Chirac, and don't seem to be going anywhere.

Then you have the Netherlands, where the growing Muslim population are mostly young, the first generation born in country (mostly young folk) are growing up with extreme feelings of identity—to their religion. This could just be their version of being a teenager, but instead of being Goth or Emo, it's extreme religion. Unfortunately, until recently, for over ten years no one objected when they assaulted groups of Jews, or committing assorted other hate crimes.

And, recently, one of their politicians was put on trial for … being politically incorrect in a film. Since I haven't seen it, I can't say how offensive it is, but in America, CAIR could have just filed a lawsuit, and made money. People would have boycotted the film. Life moves on. In the Netherlands, you can't even say bad things about Muslims, even when there is a segment of the population that is becoming an issue?

I'm not 100% certain about Germany's problems, if their Islamic population has any specific grievances, or what trouble, if any, they may have caused in Germany in order to spark Merkel's comment.

So, I agree with Merkel that Europe has no idea what they're doing. Time for them to come to Queens.

Then there is Merkel's next line … “We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don’t accept them don’t have a place here.”

Wait, what? I'm sorry, I'm going to hit the brakes right here. Christian values? This is the same Europe that rejected anything religious in the European Union, right? The EU founded on anti-religious Enlightenment ideas? When Pope John Paul II suggested that Europe even had Christian roots, he was told to stuff it. So, Chancellor, you're a little late.

Here's where I seriously start developing problems: A recent study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think tank showed around one-third of Germans feel the country is being “over-run by foreigners” and the same percentage feel foreigners should be sent home when jobs are scarce. And nearly 60 percent of the 2,411 people polled thought the around four million Muslims in Germany should have their religious practices “significantly curbed.”

Now my BS detector is going into red alert.

Germany has already banned something labeled as a religion. Scientology has been outlawed as being fascist. But I'm assuming that there were not four million scientologists in country when they passed the law.

If this new German thought process is an indication of where Europe's policy is going, I'm worried. It is one thing to ignore, kowtow, or be afraid of a problem, it is another to blindly lash out at a whole group only because a percentage of the group is being a problem.

Maybe if Merkel's “Christian Values” are more like France's Catholic schools, we can talk. But would anyone want to place money on that?  In Europe's past, they have shown only two settings: cower in a corner, or go fascist.  I'm hoping for something in the middle.

Maybe the Brooklyn museum would like to make an image of Muhammad and cover that in excrement. If anyone complains, it can always be covered by free speech.  Should there be a riot in America, like there was in Europe, I wonder if the NYTimes would refer to it as fascist censorship, (like they said about Giuliani) or if they would call it "freedom of religious expression."

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