Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ayaan Hirsi Ali (cont)

Christopher Hitchens on the judicial expulsion of Ayaan Hirshi Ali from her protected flat. (See this post.) He concludes

In these circumstances, she is considering resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether. This is not the only example that I know of a supposedly liberal society collaborating in its own destruction, but I hope at least that it will shame us all into making The Caged Virgin a best seller.
In another interview, she points to one of the unintended consequences of the welfare state.
In part, says Hirsi Ali, the problem is economic. Europe’s regulated economies prevent immigrants from working their way up the economic ladder. “In the United States,” she says, “an immigrant can start a nail shop, and save money. In the Netherlands, you need a diploma to open a nail shop and you must navigate 1,001 rules and regulations. So migrants go on welfare, which kills your dignity and makes you resentful.”
I remember a young Lebanese man working in a London hotel with whom I had several long conversations. Articulate, hard-working and ambitious, he looked forward to being able to return to his home country and was very lonely in London. But weren't there many Lebanese there, I asked. Yes, but he didn't get on with them. "They take money off the government, and then they swear about government and all the people of this country. They say the government owes them this money." "Why does it owe them money?" "Because the West is corrupt and imperialistic. They lie about their incomes because it's their right, they say. I don't like them."

On tolerance.
Hirsi Ali also blames Europe's immigrant problem on concepts of European tolerance that have gone too far. Memories of the Holocaust made Europeans especially sensitive to the stigmatization of any group. "We never want to draw distinctions between us and the other," says Hirsi Ali, "but in the process we went overboard. For example, we don't register the number of honor killings [in Muslim communities], because we don't want to stigmatize any group. We don't keep records of [immigrants by] ethnicity or religion."

... For her the issue is clear -- Europeans value free speech and separation of church and state, and immigrants must learn to accept those values if they want to be part of their adopted country. That is the line she wants Europeans to draw.

(via Hot Air)

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