« Poll: Majority Find Bush Dishonest, Poor Leader in "War on Terrorism" | Main | The Riots and Multiculturalism »

When Immigrants Prefer Apartheid

So, in a sense, those social commentators on the French evening news were right: there is a lamentable lack of discourse between the two communities. But the suspicion persists that it is the North Africans who do not wish for integration — much as they might whine about a lack of employment opportunities — even more than the indigenous French. The black youths I spoke to in Grigny, hooded and furtive, lurking in the stairwell of a particularly noisome concrete development, mentioned ‘jihad!’ three times in the course of a very brief and slightly scary exchange. They were entirely supportive of the rioters and made the usual contemptuous noises about the police and — when reminded who he was — the French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy (who had recently described the rioters as ‘scum’).

It may well be that the motive for the rioting was nothing more than an inchoate grievance allied to youthful exuberance and a penchant for bad behaviour, but it was Islam which gave it an identity and also its retrospective raison d’être. The political aspirations of many French Muslim organisations and explicitly of the most important political Islamic organisation on the Continent, the Arab European League, is for much greater segregation, for Verwoerd’s ideal of separate development — the very essence, to my mind, of racism. The appalling Arab European League, in fact, likens assimilation or integration to ‘rape’ and calls upon all Muslims to resist such cultural imperialism. And the director of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, who delivered that nice fatwa, has seemed to request that the French government give Muslims autonomy within the state; to, in effect, allow them to follow their own rules. So for those pundits on French TV, apologies, but au contraire: the French Muslims do not, as a whole, want greater integration. They want less integration. ~Rod Liddle, The Spectator (registration required)

Apartheid is a word liberals and neocons love to use to frighten children and "conservative" voters. It is an Afrikaans Dutch word that means "separation" or "separateness," which is exactly what it looks like it should mean. It has the same meaning as our word segregation. It entered our everyday lexicon in English probably no earlier than the 1980s, when ending the South African system of enforced racial separation became the cause celebre of the international left. Its pejorative usage today implies that, but for white-imposed apartheid or segregation, different peoples would normally mingle and socially integrate. Of course, in post-apartheid South Africa, as in post-segregation America and now on the frontiers of "Eurabia," this does not happen, because it is something that no group of people desires or welcomes. That is, of course, provided that the group in question wishes to preserve itself, and all healthy cultural and ethnic groups seek to preserve and reproduce themselves and their ways of life.

That is the normal, indeed natural and generally good instinct that artificial attempts to integrate and assimilate entire groups try to suppress and eliminate. Such integration is possible, but only at expense of much of the old identity. What we see instead in France is a case of Muslim immigrants becoming more intent on preserving their identity in an alien land, as most never had any intention of becoming French as the French themselves are if this meant ceasing to be who they were before. What is happening in France is what will always happen in the wake of unchecked, mass immigration. It is what happens when immigrants prefer apartheid.

This desire for less integration or, really, non-integration is quite understandable. Few traditional societies imagine that men with different cults or from different tribes, to say nothing of entire ethnicities and races, either can or should live cheek-by-jowl with one another. In truth, they cannot without sacrificing much of their loyalty to their ancestral cult, tribe or people, and most people, if they ponder it long enough, will realise that this sacrifice is not desirable or ethical.

The implications for immigration policy are clear enough: much as Enoch Powell affirmed decades before, small numbers of immigrants can be, and have been, successfully incorporated into their new societies, while mass influxes will create unassimilable islands of alienated ethnic and religious minorities. These minorities will, quite naturally and predictably, turn in on themselves and rely upon their own identity as a means of group protection and preservation. Mass immigration guarantees the impossibility of assimilation or integration. Mass immigration almost inevitably leads to apartheid, and this is an apartheid that the immigrants desire every bit as much as, if not more than, the natives.

Daniel Larison | November 12, 2005



Comments

You are signed in, . (sign out)


Remember me?