On Saturday, October 16, 2010, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany's attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed and called on the country's immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values. "Multikulti", the concept that "we are now living side by side," does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.
It is unclear exactly what "values" she is referring to. It appears that Merkel is attempting to clothe racist rhetoric in the guise of addressing social and economic problems.
What happened to liberal, accepting, multi-lingual Europe? Recently France outlawed the burqa, Italy expelled the Gypsies and now Germany wants to limit residents to Christians and/or to those who believe in Christian values. Why such widespread fear of foreign and cultural influences now?
Statistics show that the crime rate among those who profess to be religious is just as high as those who have no religion. Religion is one of the most divisive aspects of our modern society; yet it should be a personal private choice. To be truly even-handed in its treatment of religion, if burqas are outlawed in public, then so should all other religious identifiers, including crosses.
This kind of radicalism has frequently arisen when there has been an economic crisis, and society looks for a scapegoat.
American anti-war activist Rod Serling said it best in one of his episodes:
"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, explosions and fallouts, there are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record; prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own, for the children and the children yet unborn."
The German Chancellor should remember that Germany allowed large numbers of immigrants in 1950-60s for their cheap labor. In fact, Germany was not doing them a favor, especially after 1990 when East Germans provided much of their needed labor force. Integration is understandable but there must be tolerance for other beliefs.
Why did the western media not criticize the racist remarks of the Chancellor?
After World War II, Germany's economy was growing rapidly, necessitating a need for a new labor source; as a result, German industries sought workers from other countries, especially Turkey. Prospective laborers were carefully examined to be sure that they were strong enough to perform hard manual labor. It did not matter to these German businessmen if the laborers were not able to speak German. All they cared about was finding a cheap source of labor. These days all the Europe having economic crises and unemployment rate is rising.
I agree, immigrants should learn the language of any country where they choose to settle, however, they should not be expected to adopt their culture (e.g., religion). History has proven that when Europeans immigrated they took their culture and language with them and made no or very little effort to learn the local language or culture.
Similar thinking in Germany which immigrants must adopt Christian values gave rise to the movement that led much of the world into war. The Germans should look elsewhere to find out why their society is breaking down and solve their problems instead of blaming an ethnic or religious group.
Moreover, the Germans and other Western countries provided poisonous gas to leaders such as Saddam Hussein who used it to kill thousands of Kurds in Halabjah (http://kdp.se/old/chemical.html).
Has Europe progressed as a society? It appears it has not. Racism causes extreme groups gain supporters. If the world population does not understand this, there will be problems.
France, Holland, and Denmark have gone much further than Germany. If Europeans feel this way, that is their right. But please stop preaching to other countries about "tolerance" and "human rights". The hypocrisy of some in the West is exposed once more.
Most Western countries didn't care about the immigration issue when their economy was doing well, but that's not the case now. Banks, Insurance companies, and Military industry have ruined the quality of life throughout the world. All races have been affected, stop blaming the powerless. Address real issues such as global warming, phony money lending practices, and depletion of natural resources of third world countries. Henry Kissinger, a German used to say " selling arms to other countries will cause them to fight and weaken themselves. Again, the hypocrisy of some in the west is revealed. These wars have caused some to immigrate, so stop the wars.