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January 03, 2003

Conceding the game before it begins

Para Pundit points me to this article in the WASHINGTON TIMES about the drift to the Right of European politics because of Muslim immigration. Once the cultural elites go into denial mode about the problems of culturally incompatible immigration and obstacles to assimilation-the populace has to turn to more rough-hewn demagogues as their only defense against the destruction of their culture.

This can lead to problems. For instance, it is clear that Muslim immigrants from South Asia are a serious long term problem for the UK. Their tendency to be found in the underclass and riot out of control is known. But to generalize to South Asians as a whole causes difficulties-because the fact is that Hindus, especially those exiled from East Africa, tend to be highly productive and law-abiding citizens. Hindu Gujarati immigrants from East Africa look much the same to a typical white person as those from Pakistan or Bangladesh. A policy that discriminated against South Asians as a whole might actually deprive England of some its most entrepenurial and socially stable individuals. With the cultural elites-who are often well aware of the nuances-refusing to tackle the geniune problems that come with mass immigration, we shouldn't be surprised if Europeans react by employing a sledge-hammer where a knife might be more suitable.

Posted by razib at 05:13 PM

Heartily agree. From what I see from a great distance, Bangladeshis appear to be the biggest problem

Posted by: John Ray at January 3, 2003 06:22 PM

The gist of the article proposed an old solution but provided no details for its implementation. How is America supposed to change (currently) socialist Europe's stance on immigration unless/until the people there want significant immigration reform as a chief priority for govt policy? If anyone knows the answer to this, please ellaborate.

Most of the Muslims I come across in this country appear more open minded than those portrayed in the article. Is this a function of the fact that a more elite class of Muslims are the only ones who can afford the trek to America or that there are not enough Muslims here to generally yield a threshold for potential extremism seen in the EU? Or am I mistaken about the Muslims here being open minded in general?

Posted by: -R at January 3, 2003 07:11 PM

1) american muslims tend to be more educated than average (among the most educated groups in fact) if you look just at immigrants (the black muslim community is less so)

2) the british muslim community is more working class-and have been hard hit by the "rust belt" syndrome.

3) as for bangladeshis, my impression is that they are more quiescient than pakistanis in the UK-because they are too new and too poor to agitate (though they are part of the bradford riots, it was mostly a mirpur-pakistani one from what i know). as usual, the most dangerous group are british-born but not upwardly-mobile-so they are pakistani as bangladeshis are more of a 1st generation community (and there are far fewer).

[also-there is a big fission between syhletti and non-syhletti bangladeshis]

Posted by: razib at January 3, 2003 08:35 PM

Why is it that South Asian Muslims have been unable to become productive British citizens, while Hindu immigrants from India and Hindu Sri Lankan Tamils to the UK have been successful and prosperous, excelling in school and in industry? Is it culture, rather than genetics, that is at play here? Or is it IQ? This question has always baffled me.

Posted by: Sen at January 3, 2003 09:53 PM

Don't forget the Sikhs. A few of them are so discomfited by Muslims and being associated w/them that they have joined forces w/the BNP!!

I have a Sikh friend who is appalled by this--being assiduously anti-racist. That said, he says that "the Muslim mind is a bloody-minded thing."

Chances for assimilating these radically disparate S. Asian cultures into one another are nil, much less assimilating huge #s of Muslims into traditional British culture. What a mess! The road to hell indeed.

As far as Muslim attitudes in the US, I have another friend who, like Razib, is a Muslim-born atheist, but of Pakistani origin. He says the attitudes towards America are pretty bad when the doors are closed and the blinds are drawn.

Posted by: Diana at January 4, 2003 08:00 AM

You're right, Razib. The Hindus and Tamils are very productive. Some Westernized Pakistanis (e.g. the ones who don't make their daughters wear head coverings) do pretty well too. But the average pint-drinking, Arsenals-watching English or Scottish bloke can't tell the difference. However, a few Hindus will stand up for Muslims on the grounds of fighting the White Power Structure. Why do they do this?

Posted by: duende at January 4, 2003 10:33 AM


1) because most white people don't differentiate. i'm frequently asked by the ignorant if i BOTH face mecca when i pray and worship cows.

one more fact, the south asians in the UK are about 50% muslim, 25% sikh (mostly punjabi) and 25% hindu. a large portion of the hindu's are refugees from east africa, and this group tends to be the most successful and assimilable.

Posted by: razib at January 4, 2003 11:55 AM

Recent official statistics for Britain (Social Trends 2002) show Muslims as 2.0% of the total population, compared with 1.0% for Hindus and 0.4% for Sikhs. In terms of ethnic groups, the same source reports the numbers of people with Indian ancestry at 1 million, Pakistani/Bangladeshi at 0.9 m, Blacks at 1.3 million, Chinese at 0.1m and with whites at 53 m. About half of all ethnic minorities in Britain live in London, where they are estimated to comprise just under 30% of London's total resident population.

Source in PDF format: click on Blue link for "contents page" at : www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_social/ Social_Trends32/Social_Trends32.pdf

Posted by: Bob at January 4, 2003 03:50 PM

"we shouldn't be surprised if Europeans react by employing a sledge-hammer where a knife might be more suitable." -Razib

I must say i find it very difficult to see any good proper reform with immigration in europe because of the leftist censorship of any proper discussion. But if a choice between a knife and a sledgehammer is to be used, the longer this issue is left to simmer the more likely the sledgehammer will be used. Also I would like to hear Razib's views on hindu assimilation? what does that mean exactly? The tendency to self segregate among groups is apparent especially in northern ireland via religion and via nationalism among scottish and welsh people, so why should the English favour Hindu's or Sikh's and just for example cap muslim immigration? Shouldnt policies towards Balkanisation be always resisted?

Posted by: Stephen at January 4, 2003 10:14 PM

well comparing hindus to muslims-the former seem much more manageable. the issue of balkanization is/has been addressed in other places. not enough time right now to give a good treatment :)

Posted by: razib at January 4, 2003 11:05 PM