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Author Topic: Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed  (Read 7162 times)
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: October 17, 2010, 09:42:14 pm »


Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany's attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the weekend, calling on the country's immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101017/wl_afp/germanymuslimreligionimmigration
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« Reply #1: October 17, 2010, 10:14:45 pm »

Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed

From the article:

Quote
"We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don't accept them don't have a place here," said the chancellor.

Err, like the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s? Perhaps it is wrong of me, but whenever I hear a German leader say some religion doesn't have a place in Germany and there is a popular book espousing the view that 'the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants with headscarves" I get flashbacks to the rise of the Nazi Party to power in the late 1920s/early 1930s.
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« Reply #2: October 18, 2010, 04:25:25 am »


Please, we are not Nazi-Deutschland.
Just because they are stupid people around with the wrong kind of attitude.
They are not the majority.

Merkel should really have said, the German constitution is the thing to be accepted if someone wants to live here.
But I guess she thought she ought to say Christian, because she is part of the Christan Democratic Party, whatever.
(I am not a fan of her anyway, she is a turncoat.)

Fact is, to live just happily together does not work out.
Because prejudices exist on both sides.
Learning the language (which most part of the article is about) seems like a good start to me.

What solutions can be found to the other problems, I dont know. But I dont think the problems are much different from the ones any other country with immigration has got. Neither are the voices of the stupid people. So I really dont think the Nazi reference is necessary.
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« Reply #3: October 18, 2010, 06:06:00 am »

What solutions can be found to the other problems, I dont know. But I dont think the problems are much different from the ones any other country with immigration has got. Neither are the voices of the stupid people.

For the record: I know that the general consensus here (that is, in the Netherlands) is that Germany's stepping into the same discussion we've been having for the last 8 years. And it is a complicated discussion, because it does tread on historically sensitive ground. I do think Merkel is blundering into it. But then, having lived in Germany, I've found there's a tendency there to avoid these discussions BECAUSE there is this fear of (being accused of) falling back into nazism, which means Germany, as a country, has no mode for discussing these things.

It's an enormously bad idea to frame this as "us good Christians versus them Muslims" for a great number of reasons. The whole discussion *is* a minefield, especially for Germany with its history, but here in the Netherlands as well. It *does* get abused by people for a variety of reasons and occasionally turns into something that makes me very nervous - Wilders scares me in a lot of ways. But none of the above change the fact that this is a discussion that we need to be having, because even if the problem is a purely prejudicial one - which is a gross oversimplification at best - we need to talk about things in order to do something about them.

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« Reply #4: October 18, 2010, 06:12:26 am »


*nods*
That is exactly it.
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« Reply #5: October 18, 2010, 08:10:05 am »

Please, we are not Nazi-Deutschland.
Just because they are stupid people around with the wrong kind of attitude.
They are not the majority.

They weren't the majority in the 1930s either. The Nazis were a minority, but one that managed to take power anyway.

Quote
Merkel should really have said, the German constitution is the thing to be accepted if someone wants to live here. But I guess she thought she ought to say Christian, because she is part of the Christan Democratic Party, whatever.

That would have been far less upsetting than the "only Christians welcome here" comment she made.  And you'll note she said "we feel tied to Christian values" not "Judeo-Christian" values which is what first sounded the alarm bells in my head -- Jews apparently aren't welcome in her Germany either. 

Of course, this ignores the fact that the values instilled by all three JCI religions are very similar for the most part. Your average non-extremist versions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam teach very similar values in their holy books, probably 80% overlap. Most of the cultural difference between people in Western countries and Muslim immigrants from the Near East have little to do with religion and a lot to do with fact the non-religious culture of the areas these immigrants are coming from is very different from European-based Western culture. Blaming it on religion is counterproductive, IMHO, unless one is trying to stir up religious hatreds.

Quote
Learning the language (which most part of the article is about) seems like a good start to me.

Agreed, but the "speak it without an accent" bit makes even this common sense "learn the language of the people you live with" statement sound like an extremist position.
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« Reply #6: October 18, 2010, 08:30:22 am »

Agreed, but the "speak it without an accent" bit makes even this common sense "learn the language of the people you live with" statement sound like an extremist position.

I had a really pissy comeback for that one. I believe her English is accented, IIRC. That and the "Christian values" comment set off every alarm bell I have.

Coupled with that study I told you about yesterday about a good percentage of the German people wanting a very strong leader, and, well, what Merkel said bugs the ever living hell out of me.
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« Reply #7: October 18, 2010, 08:34:32 am »

Make that 13% of people polled.

Survey findings on far-right views give Germany its latest Führer furore

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2010/1015/1224281154659.html
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« Reply #8: October 18, 2010, 10:32:44 am »

What solutions can be found to the other problems, I dont know. But I dont think the problems are much different from the ones any other country with immigration has got. Neither are the voices of the stupid people. So I really dont think the Nazi reference is necessary.

I'm not sure if I agree with that. Because I do think that an open debate in these matters do need an open debate on how to avoid the events of the 1930's. I agree it has nothing to do with Germany per se - I am thinking more of the events in my own country (The Netherlands). But I do feel that the singlefocussed antipathy towards other religions or cultures and pointing a finger deliberately at one group is setting us up for a situation we really wanted to avoid.

If we want to address the issues I think it involves both thinking of where you want to go and how to get there, and of thinking about which things you really need to watch out for. The reference to WO II is important, not to invalidate the discussion and shout "oh, see, you're all nazis" but to spot the parallels so we can choose a different path this time and try to solve the issues in a different way.
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« Reply #9: October 18, 2010, 01:21:48 pm »

The reference to WO II is important, not to invalidate the discussion and shout "oh, see, you're all nazis" but to spot the parallels so we can choose a different path this time and try to solve the issues in a different way.

Bingo. There are a lot of parallels between the economic and cultural issues that are happening today and those that happened in the 20s and 30s. And it's not just in Germany or other parts of Europe. The US is beating the anti-immigrant drum, too.

Learning from past mistakes and history are imperative if you want to choose a different road.
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« Reply #10: October 18, 2010, 04:00:30 pm »

I believe her English is accented, IIRC.

But her German probably isn't.  I kind of wonder how she'd react to the idea of taking lessons to remover her accent if she ever wanted to emigrate to England, though.  I've found that people who are reasonably fluent in other languages often don't hear their own accent, and react badly to the idea that they even have one.

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« Reply #11: October 18, 2010, 05:37:16 pm »

But her German probably isn't.  I kind of wonder how she'd react to the idea of taking lessons to remover her accent if she ever wanted to emigrate to England, though.  I've found that people who are reasonably fluent in other languages often don't hear their own accent, and react badly to the idea that they even have one.

Absent 

Exactly. There just aren't that many people around who, while very fluent in other languages, are fluent without an accent...and if they are, I'd wonder what government agency they were working for. Smiley
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« Reply #12: October 18, 2010, 06:18:01 pm »

That would have been far less upsetting than the "only Christians welcome here" comment she made.  And you'll note she said "we feel tied to Christian values" not "Judeo-Christian" values which is what first sounded the alarm bells in my head -- Jews apparently aren't welcome in her Germany either. 

I'd note that a lot of Jews I know consider "Judeo-Christian values" to be basically "Christian values but we know we need to acknowledge that Judaism exists because Hitler".  Apparently, from their perspective what gets put forth as "Judeo-Christian values" is often contrary to their practice of Judaism.

I've tried to remember to remove the word from my personal vocab as a result, and when I need to refer to the collective Abrahamic monotheisms I do so with "Abrahamic monotheisms".
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« Reply #13: October 18, 2010, 06:56:37 pm »

I'd note that a lot of Jews I know consider "Judeo-Christian values" to be basically "Christian values but we know we need to acknowledge that Judaism exists because Hitler".  Apparently, from their perspective what gets put forth as "Judeo-Christian values" is often contrary to their practice of Judaism.


Yeah. I was thinking about that while I was painting this afternoon.

Merkel most likely just told it like it was w/r/t the values bit. I've often thought that it was BS for the most part when people here in the States refer to it (unless maybe it's Judeo in the sense that there are some pretty offensive laws that are handy to trot out when the RR is in the process of hating on someone).
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« Reply #14: October 18, 2010, 09:44:58 pm »

I've tried to remember to remove the word from my personal vocab as a result, and when I need to refer to the collective Abrahamic monotheisms I do so with "Abrahamic monotheisms".

You can use that if you consider Muslims to be "other."  And I expect German leaders to say "Judeo-Christian" because of Hitler -- saying "Jewish or Christian values" might be better (if one has to leave out Muslims) but that's probably asking a bit much of political speech writers.
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