Thursday, July 05, 2018

Cry me a river!

Europe has become an anti-immigrant continent.  Germany, too, where its chancellor is fighting to hold on to her job, which is under threat because of her past strong support for immigrants, especially refugees.

Anti-immigration sentiments mostly stem from "they" being "different."  The looks, speech, habits, dresses, ... Particularly if "they" are Muslims.  Even in the tiny country that is mostly irrelevant on the global stage.  No, I am not referring to the UK, but Denmark.
For decades, integrating immigrants has posed a thorny challenge to the Danish model, intended to serve a small, homogeneous population.
So, what is the Danish approach?
Denmark’s government is introducing a new set of laws to regulate life in 25 low-income and heavily Muslim enclaves, saying that if families there do not willingly merge into the country’s mainstream, they should be compelled.
Ah, yes, compel them.  "That tough approach is embodied in the “ghetto package.”"  And then the beatings will continue until the morale improves!

Whenever I read anything like that, the old anti-colonialist teenager that I was come out from within me.  But, what am I gonna do?  Stop eating havarti?

I did the only thing that I could do as a powerless member of the public.  I wrote a letter to the newspaper.  That will send a powerful message to the Danish government!  

Oh well, I know the letter wouldn't even get published, given the volume that the NY Times receives.  But, hey, I have my own blog where I can publish whatever I want; so, here is that letter:
Dear Editor:
I read with interest, "In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’".
Every time I read one of these reports on how European countries are "struggling" to deal with immigrants, especially Muslims , I wish such reports also included reminders about the past.
While Denmark might be peaceful now, with its people being the happiest on earth, the Danes imposed themselves on places and people far away from Scandinavia.  I grew up in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the southern tip of peninsular India.  In a small coastal town, Tharangambadi, Denmark established a trading post and then a fort nearly 400 years ago.  The Danish East India Company couldn't match the resources of the British East India Company, and ended up with a very small footprint in the Subcontinent.
Whether it is Denmark or France "struggling" with foreigners with hijabs and the Koran, it is history echoing how peoples far away from Europe "struggled" with foreigners who came with guns and the Bible.  I wonder if the native Danes are being educated about this even as the "ghetto children" are being forced into assimilation camps.


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