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Is Europe Culturally Tolerant???

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  • Shahrez Khan
    Is Europe Culturally Tolerant??? Its been almost 50 years since European Union came into being and Western Europe has weathered the storm of the Cold War,
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 8, 2007
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      Is Europe Culturally Tolerant???

      Is Europe Culturally Tolerant???
       

      Its been almost 50 years since European Union came into being and Western Europe has weathered the storm of the Cold War, living with the threat of the Soviet Union on its doorstep. Now Europe is waking up to a new threat, only this time the danger comes from within.
      From Paris to Amsterdam and from Brussels to Berlin, decades of liberal open-door immigration policies are bearing their mark on Europe's domestic politics, not to mention the demographics of the Old Continent.

      The arrival of several million immigrants — mostly from North Africa, Turkey and Southwest Asia, and mostly Muslims — has forever changed the face of a once largely white, overwhelmingly Christian Europe. Germany alone has some 7 million non-German residents, the majority of them Turks.
      This influx of immigrants has caused a knee-jerk reaction from worried Europeans who have turned to right-wing parties for answers. Witness France's National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen who came close to winning the last presidential election.
       
      England has an overwhelming population of South Asians (Pakistanis, Indians and Kashmiris), which till this day have not integrated into the English society. If you have even been to South Hall in London, you would know what I’m talking about. It feels like entering “Mini India”. So who is to blame? Hasn’t the British government done enough to make these South Asians more British and part of the English community, or is it human nature to live with people of their own ethnicity?
       
      When we talk about cultural tolerance in the EU, the case of EU enlargement is something definitely worth talking about. Romania and Bulgaria are the newest members in the EU and many people feel the EU should shut its doors to further membership. Croatia and Turkey are the next candidates for EU membership. When you talk to EU citizens about whether EU enlargement, general consensus is that Croatia is more likely to enter the EU whereas Turkey has slim chances of making it in the EU “Elite Club”. Most Europeans I have spoken to say that Turkey is culturally way too different and a 70 million Turkish population being 99% Muslim doesn’t make EU membership easier for the Turks. So can we really say EU, and Europe are culturally tolerant!
       
      The influx of migrants into the European Union over the last twenty years has forced increasing attention among EU states upon the issue of cultural pluralism. Such attempts to promote multiculturalism in Europe, however, remain deeply problematic. Thus, distinctions continue to be made in public debates between 'foreign' and 'local' populations and between the needs of the economy for more skilled migrant labor and the introduction of tougher immigration policies. Britain has made it mandatory for all potential migrants to be fluent in English, otherwise no entry into the UK.
      Likewise, both migrant groups and established ethnic minorities in EU states continue to be targets for racist groups. Additionally, it is increasingly clear that the term 'multiculturalism' itself is fraught with problems in that, semantically speaking, it suggests a discourse of harmony, bridge-building and, ultimately, inclusion. However, it is not necessary that multiculturalism is a 'natural' or positive solution to cultural displacement.
       
      The EU has a big task ahead of making a massive immigrant population feel more European and part of the European community. It will also require effort from the immigrant population to integrate into European society and adapt the Euro lifestyle.
      We do not expect Europe to be the “United States of Europe” because every country in Europe has a rich cultural past, history and national identity. What youngsters like us (Peace Child Team) would like is tolerance and acceptance of all cultures.
       
      Please feel free to send me your thoughts,
       
      Shahrez Khan, Project Coordinator
      Faith in Europe
      Peace Child International
      **************************************************
      Peace Child International
      Tel:00 44 (0) 1763 274459
      Fax:00 44 (0) 1763 274460
      E-mail: faith@.../ shahrezkhan@...
      Website: www.faithineurope.eu
      **************************************************

       
       
       
       
       

    • Benoit Couture
      Dear Shahrez, As long as tolerance remains an ideal to aim for, then distance and discomfort will prevail between cultures. Tolerance is not an ideal but a
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 9, 2007
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        Dear Shahrez,
         
        As long as tolerance remains an ideal to aim for, then distance and discomfort will prevail between cultures.  Tolerance is not an ideal but a bare minimum component of a civil society.  It allows for the flexibility of wisdom and patience to keep us in co-existance mode, while we go on learning to grow with one another from stranger to family.
        Tolerance is the limit that frames civility.  Past a certain point of descency, there is no tolerance left and what comes next must be addressed immediatly, before it becomes infectious;  that is what's called The Rule of Law.
        So it seems to me that when you ask the question "Is Europe culturally Tolerant?", you also provide your own answer when you describe the millions of immigrants from all over the world, but with a focus from Muslim areas, who moved into Europe since the 50's.
        Therefore, the question becomes  "How do we build the environment to cultivate tolerance into mutual care?"
        If we want to see caring from stranger to family to happen, each culture must adapt to grow in the justice that produces personal peace and joy, causing all parties to flourish into the movement of a mature people of all people. 
        That becomes a personal and family responsability, first of all and from family to family, we learn to go from the spiritual division of our dna and we move into the organic experience of spiritual unity.
        Such personal discipline and communal journey is the only way to secure the harmonization of cultures into a mature people of all people.
        One point of gravity to deploy such movement from local to global is "The Faculty of Living" where all human experience, knowledge, sciences and faculties meet up in the assembling of one another's relativity and proximity into the settlement of life's essence or as it is known to Christianity, eternal life.
        In more simple terms, we must grow from competing to completing, and only mutual subjection in love and truth can do that!
         
        ...may all blessings be with us all...
        Benoit Couture 


        Shahrez Khan <faith@...> wrote:
        Is Europe Culturally Tolerant???
         
        Its been almost 50 years since European Union came into being and Western Europe has weathered the storm of the Cold War, living with the threat of the Soviet Union on its doorstep. Now Europe is waking up to a new threat, only this time the danger comes from within.
        From Paris to Amsterdam and from Brussels to Berlin, decades of liberal open-door immigration policies are bearing their mark on Europe's domestic politics, not to mention the demographics of the Old Continent.

        The arrival of several million immigrants — mostly from North Africa, Turkey and Southwest Asia, and mostly Muslims — has forever changed the face of a once largely white, overwhelmingly Christian Europe. Germany alone has some 7 million non-German residents, the majority of them Turks.
        This influx of immigrants has caused a knee-jerk reaction from worried Europeans who have turned to right-wing parties for answers. Witness France's National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen who came close to winning the last presidential election.
         
        England has an overwhelming population of South Asians (Pakistanis, Indians and Kashmiris), which till this day have not integrated into the English society. If you have even been to South Hall in London, you would know what I’m talking about. It feels like entering “Mini India”. So who is to blame? Hasn’t the British government done enough to make these South Asians more British and part of the English community, or is it human nature to live with people of their own ethnicity?
         
        When we talk about cultural tolerance in the EU, the case of EU enlargement is something definitely worth talking about. Romania and Bulgaria are the newest members in the EU and many people feel the EU should shut its doors to further membership. Croatia and Turkey are the next candidates for EU membership. When you talk to EU citizens about whether EU enlargement, general consensus is that Croatia is more likely to enter the EU whereas Turkey has slim chances of making it in the EU “Elite Club”. Most Europeans I have spoken to say that Turkey is culturally way too different and a 70 million Turkish population being 99% Muslim doesn’t make EU membership easier for the Turks. So can we really say EU, and Europe are culturally tolerant!
         
        The influx of migrants into the European Union over the last twenty years has forced increasing attention among EU states upon the issue of cultural pluralism. Such attempts to promote multiculturalism in Europe, however, remain deeply problematic. Thus, distinctions continue to be made in public debates between 'foreign' and 'local' populations and between the needs of the economy for more skilled migrant labor and the introduction of tougher immigration policies. Britain has made it mandatory for all potential migrants to be fluent in English, otherwise no entry into the UK.
        Likewise, both migrant groups and established ethnic minorities in EU states continue to be targets for racist groups. Additionally, it is increasingly clear that the term 'multiculturalism' itself is fraught with problems in that, semantically speaking, it suggests a discourse of harmony, bridge-building and, ultimately, inclusion. However, it is not necessary that multiculturalism is a 'natural' or positive solution to cultural displacement.
         
        The EU has a big task ahead of making a massive immigrant population feel more European and part of the European community. It will also require effort from the immigrant population to integrate into European society and adapt the Euro lifestyle.
        We do not expect Europe to be the “United States of Europe” because every country in Europe has a rich cultural past, history and national identity. What youngsters like us (Peace Child Team) would like is tolerance and acceptance of all cultures.
         
        Please feel free to send me your thoughts,
         
        Shahrez Khan, Project Coordinator
        Faith in Europe
        Peace Child International
        ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* **
        Peace Child International
        Tel:00 44 (0) 1763 274459
        Fax:00 44 (0) 1763 274460
        E-mail: faith@peacechild. org/ shahrezkhan@ hotmail.com
        Website: www.faithineurope. eu
        ************ ********* ********* ********* ********* **

         
         
         
         
         


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