India Uncut

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Lessons from Europe

With India's Southern states doing pretty well, Anand Krishnamoorthi asks, "Are we ready for immigration from the north?" He writes:
Of course, there will always be issues regarding the pace of immigration, ghettoisation, right-wing backlashes, claims of cultural erosion etc. In Tamil Nadu especially, there is an acknowledged, probably minority, opinion that the North is already culturally dominant. This mostly uninformed insecurity would certainly distort the discourse then. Yet, in Tamil Nadu, there is also the pride of having come out a fairly ancient culture, and even having been the centre of an empire. This manic-depressive duality of insecurity and pride, also find echos in Europe. The Brits who suddenly lost an empire, the Germans who lost two wars, the Italians who probably have only the past to be proud of when it comes to politics and so on.
Good post. It must be said, though, that Europe's greatest existential crises today come from immigration. And how it deals with it affects the rest of the world, parts of which are getting rather concerned. The Economist writes:
In some transatlantic squabbles, the American message has been delivered more in sorrow than in anger. We wish you Europeans would do the right thing (about labour markets, say, or farm subsidies) both for your own sake and for the sake of the global economy—but in the end it will be your loss if you don't. But when it comes to the handling of radical Islam, the argument is getting more rancorous. That is partly because Americans see a threat to their own security from a Europe whose citizens can travel easily to the United States. The September 2001 attacks, remember, were planned in Hamburg.

Europe has become a “field of jihad”, and it may be the part of the world where America faces the greatest threat from Islamic extremism.
Hmm. That's America's viewpoint, of course, and the truth is always too complex to distil into phrases like a "field of jihad." But there's something there -- do read these Theodore Dalrymple essays for more: 1, 2, 3.

(Link to Anand's blog via email from Ravikiran.)
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