Multiculturalism and the Immigration Crisis

jungle-calaisI have already had a comment in this blog to the effect that we in England and Europe should arm ourselves and prepare to emigrate by the summer of 2016. My wife this morning showed me a photo on a far-right website depicting occupying Germans arriving in Paris in 1940 and the caption telling the “socialist” reader to get used to the immigration, implying a comparison between Islamic immigrants and the Nazi occupation of 1940. Some of that stuff is really grubby! I think it’s time we tried to take stock of this problem.

We have had multiculturalism in Europe for a very long time. Every large city has its Chinatown, and I for one like Chinese food. Since the demise of the British and French empires, we have had people coming from India and North Africa including large numbers of Muslims. Mosques in our cities are nothing new. I lived in Marseilles for a few months from late 1992 to 1993, and enjoyed going to the “Arabic” districts wearing my cassock. It has always been known that most northern African Muslims respect traditionally dressed Christian clerics (I was a deacon at the time). There are sobering reminders of the volatility of those people when we learn of the murder of the monks of Tibhirine in 1996. I bought things like couscous spices in their shops in the little streets off La Canibière and felt relaxed with the men wearing the thobe or the jubba with or without turbans on their heads. I admired their courage in avoiding the western secular mould. I wore a cassock, and they had their traditional dress.

We have always had immigrants with professional qualifications like doctors, computer specialists and engineers. They came willing to work their own way and learned enough English to get on with the indigenous population, and no one thought any the worst of their keeping their own cultural identity, language and religions. I remember seeing a black girl at school for the first time in the 1960’s. Our head teacher was terrified with the concern that we would bully her. My own thought as a small boy was to ask why anyone would want to bully her. She’s just the same as us, except coming from somewhere else in the world. I began to read about Africa and became fascinated with the animals and human tribes. I find it stimulating to know other cultures. I have travelled in Europe and the USA, but nowhere else. There are many places where I would love to go. I am myself an expatriate, living in a country elsewhere than where I was born. France and England haven’t been hostile to each other for the last couple of hundred years! We are close and share very similar cultures. Any immigrant has the right to his identity as a person and what made him in his original environment.

I have often asked myself what I would do if life was made so hard that I would have to walk away from my home, leaving everything behind (perhaps after everything is destroyed) and find somewhere to go. I think I would try to come up with an original idea, completely “out of the box” and not with thousands of other people, many of them paying “people smugglers” and passers. I am fortunate to be a British citizen with a passport, and able to go many places on a tourist visa or better prospects of a temporary or permanent visa. Depending on whether I had any money, I would probably stay in Europe or even in France, and go to a more remote area like the west of Brittany (wonderful area for sailing by the way). I would almost say tongue-in-cheek that Europeans could go to Syria or Irak once the Russians get rid of the terrorists!

What are we afraid of? The big problem is numbers. I think L’Elysée would have problems with hundreds of thousands or millions of English people coming over in makeshift boats. The English immigrants would be mostly white and nominally Christian – but too many of them asks the same questions, particularly whose money… We British immigrants are few and far between in France. Most of us speak French fluently, have set up businesses to earn our living and don’t pose any threat to anyone. At the same time, we still speak English with each other, eat roast beef and Yorkshire puddings or fish and chips. We like Oxo and Marmite to the disgust of the French and remind them that Napoleon lost his war in 1815! But we are not a problem. I came to France for a number of complex reasons, but not as a political refugee or to live on benefits.

When large numbers of foreign people arrive, we in a country become concerned about whether our country can afford it and to what extent there would be less of our taxpayers’ money to provide for our own needs. Beyond a certain limit, there is a risk of civil unrest and social tension. This is happening in Germany and Sweden – and elsewhere. We are rightly livid when we hear that they complain about the service, show signs of not being destitute and in need of help, cynicism and then proclaim their intention (whether or not such is realistic) to colonise our world.

My own concern would not be the introduction of several mutually tolerant cultures in a country. If we have twenty different Christian denominations in the little market town where I was born (Kendal), I see no problem with adding a mosque, a synagogue, a Hindu temple and a Buddhist place. We had a visit by a Hare Krishna group when I was at school. They explained everything to us and we said their prayers with them. It was all very odd, but something different. But we do become concerned if they show a racist or colonising attitude towards us. That is where their rights and freedoms end! If they want to impose Shariah Law in France or England, public executions and mutilations that have been abolished since the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries after hard campaigning and political action, we are concerned to keep our humanist and cultural Christian values. Rightly!

As things are, I think the risk of Europe being colonised and made into a totalitarian Muslim regime is exaggerated. I am concerned that people can come and live in Europe without being properly regularised. If I tried that in the USA, I think I would find myself in serious trouble as an illegal alien – nothing to do with my race or religion. If I wanted to go to the USA, I would have to have a Green Card on the basis of a guaranteed income from some organisation that has legal status in that country and that has employed me for a number of years. It is different for political refugees – if they really are political refugees.

We need to relax and take a deep breath. Immigration does need to be controlled by the proper authorities as we would expect it to be if we want to go and live in Asia, Africa, Russia or the Americas. People from Africa, Asia and the Middle East are finding that Europe is going to be more difficult than they think when they will have to pay for their own housing and start applying for jobs on the open market.

Multiculturalism, whether we like it or not, seems set to stay with us, unless we revert to something like Nazism! There are those who talk of having guns and usual “prepper” paraphernalia. We need to be be cautious. Those who take up the sword will die by the sword. I prefer to be out in the country, and consider going somewhere more remote. At least, we need to stay out of the cities, because things could really start heating up.

We also need to be concerned for peace in the countries from which people are being forced to run because of jihadist and fanatical Muslims imposing their reign of terror. I hope and pray the Americans will make peace with Russia and China so that the world can be rid of this new form of barbarianism, and then start rebuilding the waste places so that people can simply go home. If we helped places where people are victims of war and are made destitute, then our countries need to help them and work for peace and dignity for all. It often takes a simple irrigation machine to enable tribes to earn their own living from farming in their own land. That’s what we need to spend money on instead of trillions on nukes and guns! Perhaps a few of us might volunteer and go and help when the fighting and killing are over.

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19 Responses to Multiculturalism and the Immigration Crisis

  1. I am glad you don’t buy the line of the fearmongers that seem to be dominating the Christian blogsphere at the moment, Father.

  2. As I am most probably the originator of the comment which you cite at the beginning of your posting, I would like to offer the following comment to your present entry.

    I believe that the facts are thus: 1) as a result of recent disastrous events in North Africa and the Middle East, hundreds of thousands of refugees are pouring into Central and Western Europe; 2) a majority of these refugees appear to be male, Muslim, poorly educated, and between the ages of 20 and 40; 3) There is an Islamic movement called Daesh (or which calls itself ISIS, etc.) which seeks the establishment of an Islamic Khalifate, and the spread of that Khalifate into Europe; 4) Spokesmen for Daesh are claiming that they are already beginning to infiltrate Europe, to the end mentioned in #3, above.

    Under the circumstances, I believe it realistic to consider that at least some, and perhaps many, of those refugees, who would be unsuited to any except menial labor in their new countries, would happily start burning or destroying, especially if it provided them with getting what they wanted, and particularly if they had a religious justification for doing so. I ask the reader to recall similar events which occurred in Paris a year or so ago. I think it likely that by next summer, those refugees now fleeing to Europe will be in a position to act in a similar manner, but on a far greater scale.

    And under those circumstances, I think it reasonable for Europeans to consider either taking steps to protect and defend themselves, if need be, or to consider emigration.

    I thus take exception to Mr. Clarke’s characterization of me as a ‘fearmonger’. I am not ‘selling fear’, nor do I take any economic advantage from presenting the facts that I do. While I would be tempted to respond in kind to Mr. Clarke’s name calling, I will refrain from doing so, because of the Golden Rule, and its application in one of the Rabbi Hillel’s maxims from the Pirke Abot: “That which you hate in another, do not do yourself.”

    • You’re hardly the only one. It sometimes seems like a lot of bloggers are actually competing with each other to see how angry and alarmed they can get about Islam and Islamic immigration.

      It’s just like the environmentalists who use fear to push their agenda.

      Maybe you don’t have an agenda to push, but plenty of people are using fear of Muslims to push for tighter immigration controls and/or exit from the EU.

      • The issue is more complex than most of us think. We get two versions:
        – Alternative news, Russia, Iran, Irak, etc.
        – Mainstream news, the US, the EU, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.

        If I believe the former, Daesh is losing. Of course, they might get out of Syria and Irak and come to Europe. They will then have to beat the western European armed forces like they did with Assad (with the help of their friends in the CIA). I wonder if they would get the same support to take over western Europe, and all the government authorities, police, armed forces, etc. The US is addicted to oil. We don’t have it. It’s going to be tough call for them.

        A suggestion has been made for us to fight (we and whose army?) or emigrate. What would be suggested as a destination country for Europeans? Apparently, western Syria is rather pleasant with lush vegetation and nice weather. Perhaps Russia? Perhaps French Polynesia that welcomed Bernard Moitessier the great French yachtsman? There are people who have decided to live at sea – I admire this guy’s resourcefulness. But, is everything taken into account? I don’t know. At any rate, Europe is not yet a Daesh Caliphate, not yet by a long chalk.

      • Dale says:

        Matthew, any conversation with a Christian from the Middle East, who by the way represent the indigenous inhabitants of that area, would make anyone wary of Muslims, especially in large numbers. Sorry that this offends you.

      • Dear Mr. Clarke,

        You seem to be doing all that you can to incite me to unreasonable activity. You start by saying, “You’re hardly the only one”, thus implicitly repeating your name-calling charge of ‘fearmongering’. You also seem to be charging me with seeing “how angry and alarmed I can get about Islam and Islamic immigration.” Please do stop trying to put words in my mouth. They leave a bad taste in my mouth, and they ill become you.

        And then there’s that “It’s just like the environmentalists who use fear to push their agenda”. I personally despise those tactics. You are accusing me of engaging in tactics that I despise. Please stop.

        Actually, all of my personal relations with Muslims have been friendly and cordial. But the church in which I worship is under the omophorion of the Eastern Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, which has been up close and personal with Muslims for the last fourteen centuries. You so far appear to betray an historic ignorance of Muslim/Christian relations for the last fourteen centuries, and more to the point, for the last century. Tell me, of the last three Middle Eastern genocides in this century (Turkish/Greek, Turkish/Armenian, and Palestinian) was it the Muslims or the Christians who killed the other?

        I will repeat, I’m not against harboring unfortunate refugees. I do wish, however, that a little more care were exercised to prevent people who could do quite a bit of damage from entering those harboring places.

      • And, Fr. Chadwick, thanks for the link as regards The Seagypsy Philosopher. Interesting chap.

        As regards the versions, what’s most frightening for me is how it is starting to come down to the alliances which are forming: Russia and Shia Iran, and the US, EU, Saudi Arabia and Turkey (in other words, North America, the European Union, and the rich Saudis), with the destablilzed nations of the Middle East and North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc.) under the control of Daesh. What happens next? Wait for the next exciting psychotic episode…

        More than anything else, what frustrates me the most is the clueless folk, such as (apparently) Mr. Clarke, who don’t seem to have any understanding as regards what is likely to happen. They appear to go on preaching peace and contentment, like Kipling’s butterfly:

        “The toad beneath the harrow knows
        Exactly where each tooth-point goes.
        The butterfly upon the road
        Preaches contentment to that toad.”

        Bah, I’m done. You will take what steps you think you need. And next summer, I plan on retaining Mr. Clarke’s weblog list, so that I can have the satisfaction of saying: “I told you so.”

      • I think we get too emotional about these issues, and that clouds our judgement. There is nothing any of us can do about what is happening. The only people who have the strength and means are the armed forces, the intelligence services and the police of our various countries. They are of course on the payroll of the political authorities. If our political authorities want large numbers of Muslims in our countries, that is what we will get. Some will be violent and many will melt into our urban landscape.

        I don’t think my blog is an ideal venue for promoting insurrection in order to get into power a political tendency that would stop or reverse immigration. People often get what they want, and in an unexpected way! I am no prophet, but I think in the space of one year that there will be big trouble in European cities, and as many of us as possible need to be far away from them. The political authorities will be faced with a choice between an über right-wing backlash and insurrection, or controlling the immigrant populations carefully and putting troublemakers into prison before shipping them back to their countries of origin.

        We are rightfully concerned, even frightened by any combination of scenarios. If we are Christians, death does not cow us and we are used to having faith in God and the ultimate victory of good in some way. Whatever happens, we are in for some big changes. What in Europe is worth defending? We need to ask the questions of ourselves.

        That being said, something very unpleasant is hitting the fan –

  3. Dale, all of us are coloured by our perspectives.

    Given the terrible treatment of Christians in the Middle East we can hardly blame Christians from that region of having a very fearful view of Muslims. That is understandable.

    Likewise Hungarians and Slovakians with little experience of Islamic immigration and distant folk memories of Ottoman aggression will have their own fears of Islam.

    Also people in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, who have seen the loss of colonial empires, the massive cultural shifts and increasingly diverse neighbourhoods will have their fears. These fears are played upon by a prejudiced and xenophobic media.

    On other other side, we have Muslims who have folk memories of the Crusades, historicall inaccurate thought they might perhaps be. These memories are evoked by Islamic media and political groups to form a narrative of western aggression and imperialism, a new crusade. We may well disagree with that interpretation, but this is the worldview that those Muslims hold.

    We all have our own cultural and historical context that shapes our perspective on events. What is vital is that we try to look beyond those perspectives and to try to understand where others are coming from and thus learn to live in peace with each other. Building up walls of trust will only inflame old tensions that have never died out.

    • Dale says:

      “These fears are played upon by a prejudiced and xenophobic media”; actually the media have been playing the normal left-wing narrative of this huge immigration being mostly composed of suffering women and children, which is patently untrue, it is overwhelmingly composed of young men.

  4. I haven’t quoted from his letters but I have put some Tolkien quotes up here on immigration:

  5. The Anti-Gnostic says:

    If Muslims are moving to Europe to be good Muslims, with the beaming approval of Christian clergy and hierarchs, then the age of Christian evangelism is well and truly over.

    Countries are not just lines on a map; national character is formed by generations of in-group marriage and cultural practices. As the numbers increase, the host countries will inevitably acquire the national character of their African and Middle Eastern immigrants. This is why Palestinians and Israelis regard each others’ cross-border migrations with deep suspicion and more often, outright hostility. Note that the Gulf Arab kingdoms have walled themselves off from the flood of their Muslim brothers in the faith.

    History is merciless. The track record of multiculturalism is one of eventual devolution into constituent nations. The Middle East is Exhibit 1 in the historical failure of multiculturalism. Africa is a disaster of polygynous/polygamous, low IQ, high time-preference society. Notwithstanding individuals at the right side-IQ distribution, the bulk of these immigrants have few marketable skills in an advanced economy; they will be net tax consumers every year of their lives. And they breed. And vote.

    Assimilation means out-marriage. If you want to aid this process, then encourage your children and other young family members to select breeding partners from the immigrant groups. I also suggest you look up a concept known as ‘regression to the mean.’

    • I suppose that doesn’t leave us with very bright prospects at all! To be fair, Christ didn’t promise us very much in this life…

      • The Anti-Gnostic says:

        That’s what separate countries are for. We are trying to re-build the Tower of Babel.

        “From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” Acts 17:26

    • Do you not believe that the Holy Ghost has the power to convert the Muslims who come to the West?

      The gates of hell cannot overcome Christ’s victorious Church

      • That’s a cynical argument. What has Christianity to offer these people? Most professing Christians in the West are of the “cultural” variety, to-night out celebrating “Halloween” with their children, merrily supporting women bishops, pro-choice, gay marriage, and so on. Then there are the competing apostasies of Christianity; the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, &c. As a devout Muslim, would you be impressed by a society that doesn’t even call itself Christian anymore (the UK is an anomaly on this point, having an Established Church), that makes no pretence of observing any kind of “rest day,” and enshrines various kinds of equality in law? People say this is the price we pay for a “free society.” Well, I call that a lawless society and it goes to explain why we’re so unhappy about everything.

        I don’t have much against individual Muslims. Like Bernard, my experience of Muslims has been, with one annoying exception, congenial and pleasant. But that doesn’t mean I like seeing them in Britain. But given the host community of sluts and brigands, I can’t exactly blame them for their separatism and desire not to integrate. In some respects, I wish Christians were more like Muslims and were not so ashamed of their Scripture and their Tradition. We have exchanged the Word of God for a lie: the lies of secularism, equality, diversity and multiculturalism.

      • Nevertheless, Muslims do convert to Christianity.

        As more Muslims come, we must pray for an increase in conversions. We have the truth and the power of God on our side.

  6. The Anti-Gnostic, that is the most sensible argument against globalisation and multiculturalism I have ever read.

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