Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Why haven't I blogged about the European Muslim problems?

As some of you might know, a bunch of Muslims got upset with some editorial cartoons published in Denmark and basically ran amok. The result: A lot of tut-tutting by the right wing of the American blogosphere along the lines of "See? Muslims are all savages and should be exterminated!", a lot of hand-wringing in the European blogosphere, and not much in the American wing of the Reality-Based blogosphere.

So the question that was posed to me was: Why haven't I blogged about it?

Well, mostly because it wasn't of interest to me. The United States has its own problems without worrying about European problems. It seemed rather obnoxious of me to start talking about Europe's problems when the problems of the United States are just as bad or even worse in some cases.

Here's the issue in a nut-shell: Europe has some serious demographic problems that it is not handling well at all.

In order to deal with those demographic problems -- basically an aging population, low fertility rates, etc. -- the Europeans have hauled in a bunch of Muslim "guest workers" from Turkey, Algeria, and elsewhere. The problem is that these "guest workers" can live in Europe for decades, marry Europeans, have children, etc... and never have any opportunity to be come citizens of the country they live in. And their children, who were born in the country, raised in the country, speak French or German or Dutch as their first language, are never allowed to become citizens either.

And the reason for that is simple: Europeans are, by and large, nationalistic racist bigots. The French believe that if you aren't of French stock, you cannot "really" be French. The Germans believe if you're not blue eyed blond haired Aryan stock, you can't "really" be German. Etc. European nations believe that nationality and ethnicity are the same thing, that you cannot be a "real" Italian if you weren't born of "real" Italian parents, you can't be a "real" German if you weren't born of "real" German parents, etc.

The end result is that you have a large number of people doing the dirty work in these societies who aren't allowed to integrate into these societies. Racial discrimination is legal in most of Europe, so the Muslim minority finds themselves restricted to ghettos in much the same way that Nazi Germany restricted the Jews to ghettos, albeit in this case it is the bigotry of the Europeans, not law, that thus confines them. And because of geography, they end up going to school mostly with other Muslims, and never integrate into European society.

The Europeans that I confront with this basically sniff and point their nose in the air and claim that the Muslims don't want to integrate into European society. This sounds a lot like the reasoning I heard from segregation-era racists in the United States, who claimed that black people didn't want to be integrated into American society, and thus it was fine to have segregated schools for them and etc. I.e., it sounds like so much self-serving bunkum to me.

Now, the reason I didn't want to really bring this up is because we here in the United States have a bad tendency to do the same thing. Our brown people are largely segregated out from the general population into ghettos, even though, formally speaking, that is illegal -- the U.S. is as segregated today as when the civil rights laws barring segregation were passed in 1966. We, too, have a large contingent of radical racists who believe our brown people are a "fifth column" who are intent upon taking over our nation and destroying our "values" (said values apparently being fear, loathing of brown people, and a desire to bomb and kill innocent women and children overseas if their dictator doesn't kow-tow to our Preznit fast enough).

So, to a certain extent, it's hypocritical to criticize the Europeans for their own hatred of brown people. So I wasn't going to do it.

But believe me, the reason I wasn't going to do it had *nothing* to do with wanting to defend bigotry and hatred on *any* side, and everything to do with not wanting to be the pot calling the kettle black.

Remember, bigotry knows no national boundaries. Alas.

So now I wait for those who will condemn penguin-Americans... hmm... glad my iceberg is fairly well stocked now, eh?

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Posted by: BadTux / 2/05/2006 08:16:00 PM  


The west has too many coyotes, Antartica has too many penguins.

Be careful of those killer whales when you go fishing or you'll become "Badtux the whale-snack Penguin"

The blogosphere would be a better place if it weren't for all the damn penguins. Go back to your iceberg and leave us normal bloggers alone. I wouldn't be surprised if penguins are planning the next "homeland attack". Your phone calls need to be "monitored".
# posted by niCk (Mem Beth) : 6/2/06 12:06 PM  

My current question.

Why did cartoons publashed early last fall, cause riots in Feb. Outrage this widespread tends to not just erupt 6 monts after the fact
# posted by John : 6/2/06 1:34 PM  

The cartoons were republished a couple of weeks ago.

# posted by Anonymous : 7/2/06 9:10 AM  

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