Friday, August 12, 2005

Immigrant variance   posted by Razib @ 8/12/2005 01:22:00 PM

One thing that diversity enthusiasts and proud nationalists can agree on is that origin does not matter, everyone from the Third World brings the same baggage, whether it be glorious ethnic cuisine or alien contagion. But there is variation, and this is neglected in the Manichaean dialogues which dominate the debate because it is far easier to assert from black and white truths than calcuate cost vs. benefit in light of one's norms. From page 102 of Muslims in the West - From Sojourners to Citizens:

...In his sample, he discovered that approximately 50 percent of Iranian and Iraqi respondents stated that they did not believe in God, nearly the same percentage expressed that they were not interested in Islam, and very few reported that they performed the daily prayers. It is mainly in these two groups that the more highly educated Muslims can be found....

This is in reference to Sweden, which currently does have a problem with people whose recent origins are from Muslim lands. The fact that many of the Iranians were part of the secular educated elite escaping the Islamic revolution is probably a relevant fact to keep in mind. A sharp constrast to the Turkish and Kurdish wave of migration which brought a group of people whose values1 were sharply differentiated from the Swedish majority.

1 - Values can change over the generations, and the p-value of the child of an atheist doctor of Iranian origin becoming a Muslim fundamentalist is higher than the p-value of an atheist Swedish doctor becoming a Muslim fundamentalist. This p-value is probably influenced by a variety of other variables as well, the size of the local Muslim community, whether the mother is Swedish, etc. etc. Assuming a small population of highly educated Iranians it is possible that one could project that within 3 generations this group would be absorbed into the milieu via intermarriage. One would have to weight the benefits that this group's wealth and intellectual capital brought to the polity against the p-value that it might produce individuals harmful to the public order.