This pot's for melting: Geert Wilders, Muslims, and Assimilation - Macleans.ca
 

This pot’s for melting: Geert Wilders, Muslims, and Assimilation


 

Some of you might have caught wind of self-described Islam-hater Geert Wilders’ little jaunt through Ontario last month, during which the controversial Dutchman performed his usual routine, viz., warning of increasing Islamicisation of Europe thanks to the failure of European multiculturalism to assimilate immigrants from muslim countries.  He also warned Canadians that our own multicultural model was similarly doomed to fail:

Wilders, noting that Canadians recently elected a majority Conservative government, said that if Canadians want to conserve their way of life, they need to pressure the Tories to adopt certain policies: curbing immigration from Islamic countries, expelling immigrants who turn to crime, stopping the construction of mosques and closing Islamic schools, where, he said, hatred against western values is promulgated.

That is from a disappointingly credulous report from my old colleague at the Ottawa Citizen, Robert Sibley.  However accurate Wilders’ views may be of Holland, and perhaps of Europe in general, when it comes to Canada (and the United States as well), they appear to be considerably at odds with the facts.

One of the longest-standing myths about immigration in Canada is that while America has always been a “melting pot”, insisting that immigrants assimilate to American society, Canada – at least since 1971 – has promoted a multicultural “mosaic”, which encourages immigrants to retain their social customs and cultural traditions from the old country. It’s not true, and probably never was – I wrote a column debunking this way of thinking about things a while ago.

In fact, a new study by Duke University economics professor Jacob Vigdor, conducted for the (decidedly right-wing, it might be emphasized) Manhattan Institute, suggests that when it comes to assimilating immigrants, Canada is the most successful in the world, followed closely by the United States. (With the caveat that Portugal actually has higher assimilation rates than the US, which is skewed quite heavily by the fact that almost all immigration to Portugal consists of Portuguese speakers from former colonies, where the immigrants are given immediate citizenship).

But according to Vigdor’s paper, the patterns are clear:

1. Across all major immigrant groups –Indians, Asians, Africans, Eastern Europeans – immigrants to Canada are the most assimilated in the world, followed by immigrants to the United States.

2. This pattern holds for muslim immigrants, who are most integrated in Canada, followed closely by the United States.

3. Even when it comes to America’s stickiest immigration problem – the low assimilation rates of Mexicans and Central Americans – “Muslim immigrants in Italy and Switzerland are much less assimilated than Mexican and Central American immigrants are in the United States. Muslim immigrants’ standing in Spain is roughly equal to the standing of Mexicans and Central Americans in the United States.”

For Vigdor, “assimilation” is a measure of the degree to which immigrants become indistinguishable from native-born members of a society, based on a handful of economic (e.g. employment rates for men and women), civic (e.g. naturalization rates), and cultural (marital status, home ownership,) indicators. When you drill down into the data a bit, the differences that emerge between Canada and the USA on the one hand, and Europe on the other, are pretty remarkable.  Take the gap between immigrant and native employment rates for males:

In most countries, native-born males are more likely to be employed than male immigrants. The most striking gaps occur in the Netherlands, where natives are more than 20 percentage points more likely to be employed than immigrants, and in France, where the gap stands at 10 percentage points. In the United States, native-born males are 5 percentage points more likely to be employed—a gap similar to those observed in the U.K. and Switzerland.

Or since we’re supposed to be worried about them, let’s consider muslims. Muslims in Canada have a higher assimilation rate than any other country in the world. When it comes to a comparison with Europe, the gap is enormous. And the USA is close behind Canada; in fact “In the United States, immigrants born in predominantly Muslim nations are more assimilated than the rest of the foreign-born population, and this is true in the United States alone.” (my bold). Another interesting nugget from the data: The female employment rate for muslim immigrants in Canada is 49%, and is 50% in the USA. Compare this with a female employment rate for native-born women in Greece (40%) Italy (44%) and Spain (42%).

Vigdor attributes Canada’s success in assimilating immigrants to three main factors: First our relatively easy three-year path to naturalization. Second, our wide tolerance for dual citizenship. But third, and most crucially, our points-based system for selecting immigrants based on workplace skills. That system is being widely studied and adopted by other countries such as Australia (who is putting its system in place this summer) It is certainly controversial –Canada has been accused of poaching the best from the immigrant pool.

This is certainly worth debating, as are other questions such as the merits of assimilation in the first place. But when it comes to bringing people to our country and turning them into Canadians, our system works extremely well. Whatever problems Holland and Europe may have, with muslims or people from any other country for that matter, when it comes to Canada, Geert Wilders simply doesn’t know what he is talking about. The people who brought him here, promoted his talks, and reported on his views without criticism should be ashamed.

 


 
Filed under:

This pot’s for melting: Geert Wilders, Muslims, and Assimilation

  1. An excellent piece….thank you for this!

    The Geert Wilders of the world are just opportunists, who’ll say and do anything to get themSELVES ahead….and it usually starts with a rant to bring out the ‘fear of the other’ in human beings. There is always a certain portion of the population this ignorance appeals to.

    • I’m just glad no one brought up the Lutheran plot to blow up Parliament and cut the head off of the Prime Minister. Oh wait…

      • You mean the kids who hung out at Timmies most of the time, and didn’t know who the PM was, or where he was?

        Or this Lutheran plot?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e81JNkpQ-p8

  2. I think the assimilation concern goes beyond labour force participation. Seems to me that the Dutch are more concerned about the difference in values.

    • Value differences tend to disappear by the second and third generation.

      • Not really. Many of the most conservative Muslims and Sikhs in Canada are the children and grandchildren of secular, liberal immigrants.

        • Some…torn between 2 cultures….check out their original ones. Most don’t.

          • The problem that some European countries feel they need to address is not immigration. It’s integration of communities that have lived for generations without assimilating.

          • Very true…some European countries brought them in as guest workers after the war….several generations on they still haven’t allowed them citizenship, or the benefits that come from that and they still live in restricted areas…..ghettos. Then Europe wonders why they’re not content with that. No attempt has been made to allow them to assimilate.

  3. Presumably Wilders just did his stock speech, collected his fee, and took off for next engagement. Does not sound like Wilders did much research at all.  

    Two differences between Europe and here: local people, and their descendants, have been in Europe for centuries and they have preconceived idea of what country should be. When new people come in, natives start to freak out. 

    We don’t have that here in Canada – besides stealing land from Natives, North Americans are from elsewhere and descend from people who left their natural country. We don’t have large group of people who have preconceived idea of what ‘Canada’ represents. 

    For example, many English have pub/cricket/village ideal in their minds but I don’t believe we have something similar in Canada.

    Also, we get different kinds of immigrants here. Europeans get all sorts from Africa and Middle East, mix of good and bad, because they are connected by land. A few of the immigrants who show up in Europe have been expelled from their country for revolutionary/ criminal behaviour. 

    We don’t get the ruffians and gangsters here in Canada, like they do in Europe, we mostly get people who are motivated to build better life. 

    “At 84 per cent on average, Canadians report the highest community tolerance of minority groups – ethnic minorities, migrants, and gays and lesbians – in the OECD, where the average is 61 per cent,” the report said. Residents of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and the Nordic countries were among the most tolerant, while those in southern and eastern Europe, as well as Japan and Korea, were less tolerant.

    “The study also showed Canada, despite having a higher number of foreign-born residents than most countries, has a relatively modest rate of immigrant growth. The proportion of foreign-born residents in Canada grew by 3.5 percentage points between 1995 and 2005, just above the average of 3.2 percentage points. Among countries with higher increases were Spain (11.1 percentage points), Ireland (9.8), Austria (4.2) and the United Kingdom (3.9).”

    http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/article/1397766

    • “We don’t get the ruffians and gangsters here in Canada, like they do in Europe, we mostly get people who are motivated to build better life.”

      I’d agree, except for the preponderance of immigrant on immigrant violence here in Edmonton. Case in point- the Somali population here,

      • Not what I meant. There are gangsters in every culture and ethnic group, it is not limited to just one or two.

        EU is close to North Africa and EU authorities are mostly certain that authoritarian governments in North Africa round up the worst of worst trouble makers, send them to Libya and then into Europe.
         
        It would be like if America rounded up a few thousand of its most troublesome citizens in secret every couple of years and then dispersed them in Southern Ontario. Not helpful.

  4. As a gay person, I have grown very concerned about the whispering campaign going on in this country that suggests that gays should support restrictions on Muslim immigration because Muslims oppose gay rights and women’s rights.  I’m not sure where these people were 20 years ago, but back then, I was reading headlines about Christians murdering abortion doctors, harassing women trying to access abortions, and bombing the gay book stores.  I haven’t heard of a Muslim doing any of those things in North America yet.  As a society, we successfully fought back against the hatred of the dominant religion in our country through peaceful dialogue.  I have zero reason to believe we need to trample anybody’s human rights — or their right to a better life in our country — to make our point this time.  I took a course not long ago during which the subject of gay rights came up, and one of my strongest advocates was a woman wearing a hijab.

    • Any thoughts on why Canada is experiencing a “surge in anti-Semitism”?

      It’s difficult to comprehend the alarming increase in hate crimes in Canada reported by Statistics Canada this week ….. 

      Of the 1,473 incidents substantiated by police as hate crimes – that is, criminal offences motivated by hate towards an identifiable group – 283, roughly 19%, targeted the Jewish community, an increase of 71% from a year earlier. 

      There are more offences against Jews than any other group, including blacks (272) and homosexuals (175). The number of hate crimes targeting Muslims was up 9% to 36.

      Canada’s surge in anti-Semitism leads the general rise in prejudice and intolerance that has infected Canadian society. Just over half of hate crimes were motivated by race and ethnicity, followed by religion and sexual orientation.

      http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Rise+hate+crime+alarming/4923456/story.html

      • No, although I’d be curious to see a breakdown of the stats, as hate crime stats include things like verbal assault.  And I’d be curious to see what counts as a verbal assault.  The reason I say this is that some advocates for Israel accuse virtually ANY critic of Israel of anti-semetism when nobody would ever think of defining a similar criticism of, say, China as racist.  I’m not saying that IS what accounts for the rise, but I’d like to see more data before making a judgement call.

        There could also be some backlash against actions taken by some Israel advocates such as lobbying the City of Toronto to defund Toronto Pride unless it censors the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.  Asking the gay community to choose between funding or censorship is not going to make you very popular.

        I’m not suggesting that it’s appropriate to start hating Jews because of the actions of a few, but I can see where a not-so-balanced person might be incapable of a more nuanced view. …and let’s face it, balanced people are not the ones committing hate crimes.

        • I’m not suggesting that it’s appropriate to start hating gays because of the actions of a few, but I can see where a not-so-balanced person might be incapable of a more nuanced view …. ”

          Would you have a problem if I wrote this? 

          If you are against bigotry, you should be against all forms of bigotry, not just the ones you approve of. You are an apologist for appalling behaviour.

          • It would depend on the context.  I have no problem with the proposition that those who were sexually assaulted by members of the same sex would be homophobic, just as I have no problem understanding that women who have been sexually assaulted by men may have a hate-on for men.  I also don’t have a problem understanding how members of religious groups get upset with gays over the fact that some gay activists have tried to censor their publications. Sorry Tony, but throwing around accusations of bigotry doesn’t help anybody have a grown-up conversation about reducing tensions between minority groups.

          • – As a gay person, I have grown very concerned about the whispering campaign going on in this country that suggests that gays should support restrictions on Muslim immigration because Muslims oppose gay rights and women’s rights.

            There could also be some backlash against actions taken by some Israel advocates ….. 

            – …. but throwing around accusations of bigotry doesn’t help anybody have a grown-up conversation about reducing tensions between minority groups.

            Which is it? 

            Why do you treat gossip you’ve heard like gospel truth while demanding to see breakdown of stats when I present StatsCan info about actual hate crimes and not the ones in your imagination. 

            And then you say you would not be surprised if a few Jews were bashed because they probably deserved it.

      • Anti-semitic attacks are more frequent thanks to (surprise!) increased Muslim immigration.

        There is a lot of inter-ethnic animosity between immigrant groups (e.g., Sikhs and Hindus, Muslims) and this is playing out in Canada now.

        Also, diversity breeds animosity. The sharpest increases in ‘hate crimes’ are occurring in places in Southern Ontario that have experienced large waves of unassimilated immigration, mostly from India.

        • I live in S Ont, and there is no increase in hate crimes….there are always a few idiots, but since we experienced waves of immigration from the beginning it’s not a big deal here.

          When my family came here signs said ‘no dogs or Irish need apply’

          • Hate crimes rose dramatically in 2009, lead by the southwestern Ontario region of Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.

            Police-reported hate crimes in Canada jumped 42 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008, according to a new study released by Statistics Canada.

            And the worst areas per capita are all in Ontario.

            Ottawa had 83 more hate crimes, a more than 250 per cent jump, while Toronto had 79 more, a 30 per cent increase.

            http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybrew/ontario-region-highest-number-hate-crimes-per-capita-185040076.html

          • Which is meaningless unless you know what 42% represents. Could be a couple of spray cans..

          • Emily lives there, and she didn’t see it, so it didn’t happen.

          • Answering you here, since it won’t let me hit reply above for some reason.

            You said:  Why do you treat gossip you’ve heard like gospel truth while demanding to see breakdown of stats when I present StatsCan info about actual hate crimes and not the ones in your imagination. 

            I say:  What are you talking about?  In one sentence I was talking about people lobbying me personally to oppose immigration by Muslims.  That’s not gossip.  It’s happened to me personally.  In another, I was asking for more information from a second-hand source.  You say:  And then you say you would not be surprised if a few Jews were bashed because they probably deserved it.

            I say:  Clearly, you’re one of the people I was talking about when I spoke of those incapable of a nuanced opinion – because that’s not what I said at all. 

          • Your problem is that you think this is all about you.

            ‘It’s happened to me personally’ does not equal “whispering campaign going on in this country”. 

            I provided stats from StatsCan and then you demand numbers on how they reached conclusion because you think you get to decide what is hate crime and what isn’t.

            And whoever told you to be wary of muslims knew what he was talking about.

          • The Arab masses admired Hitler in the 1920s and this admiration broke out with great enthusiasm after he seized the government in 1933.

            http://www.afsi.org/OUTPOST/96JAN/jan6.htm

            Most of the Arab countries of the Middle East exclude Palestinians, which is why the Palestinian refugee camps are still filled 63 years after the 1948 war.

            There were 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab states as a result of that war, but they have all been re-settled in Israel. 

            The head of the Palestine Authority has said no Jews will be allowed to live in the Palestinian West Bank. But there are more than a million Muslim Arabs who are citizens of Israel with more rights than the Arabs of any Arab state. 

            Israel is the only place in the Middle East where an Arab who is gay can live without fear, and the only place where he can march in a Gay Pride parade. There are 57 Muslim countries but not one in which gays can hold gay pride parade. 

            http://frontpagemag.com/2011/05/24/confronting-the-anti-israel-jihad-on-campus/

            Of the 1,473 incidents substantiated by police as hate crimes – that is, criminal offences motivated by hate towards an identifiable group – 283, roughly 19%, targeted the Jewish community, an increase of 71% from a year earlier. 

            First they came for the Jews,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

            Then they came for the trade unionists,
            and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

        • And your proof of this is where?

      • One wonders how many hate crimes go unreported.

    • As a woman I have the same unease.  The whole veil banning movement, is just the flip side of making veil wearing mandatory.  Intolerance of Muslims seems to be the motivator, not the concern for anyone’s rights.

      • Yes, Jan that is true about the veil.  I assumed people could not wrap their heads around the possibility that a woman wanted to wear the veil but the truth is they want to control muslims by denying them the right to wear it.  It is just a reflection of their bigotry.

    • you should watch this and you might change your mind re: do Muslims want to destroy gays.  And by the way, show me when Christians have EVER committed an honour killing? 

      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=216_1207467783

  5. Potter: Thought of you other day. Was reading Will Wilkinson and he wrote very interesting post about article at NY Times. You might be interested if you have not read it yet. Ever so interesting, humans are more political than we realized. 

    NY Times, In Search Of True Self: 

    “Mark Pierpont used to be an important figure in the evangelical Christian effort to help “cure” gay people of their homosexual desires …..  There was just one problem. Mark Pierpont himself was gay …. in the documentary film “Protagonist,” Pierpont movingly describes his inner conflict …… We might tell him that what he really needs to do is just look deep within and be true to himself …..Yet, though there is a great deal of consensus on the importance of this ideal, there is far less agreement about what it actually tells us to do in any concrete situation. ” 

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/in-search-of-the-true-self/

    “This shows just how thoroughly ideological we are. Our broadly political commitments reverberate even in our judgments about the metaphysics of the self. The authentic self is the ideologically-validated self.”

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/06/ideology-and-self

    • Again replying to you here because it won’t let me hit reply above:

      You said:  “And whoever told you to be wary of muslims knew what he was talking about.”

      This statement entirely speaks for itself.  I do not fear anybody based on their religion, race or anything else.  I will consider people on the entire content of their humanity, thank you very much.  It is people like you, who refuse to do so, who frighten me dearly.

      • ” …… these people were 20 years ago, but back then, I was reading headlines about Christians murdering abortion doctors, harassing women trying to access abortions, and bombing the gay book stores.  I haven’t heard of a Muslim doing any of those things in North America yet. As a society, we successfully fought back against the hatred of the dominant religion ….”

        “I do not fear anybody based on their religion, race or anything else.”

        Again, which is it. Do you get to smear Canadians today for actions in America twenty years ago or do you judge people individually?

        It is people like you, who think it is all about them, who frighten me dearly because you are ignorant of the world around you. 

        Do you notice any patterns in hate crimes in North America?

        Do you have a problem with all hate crimes or only the ones you don’t support? 

        And what hatred of dominant religion are you talking about?

        Religious seem useful to me because they are helping their communities while atheists, not so much.

        Canada:

        Of the 1,473 incidents substantiated by police as hate crimes – that is, criminal offences motivated by hate towards an identifiable group – 283, roughly 19%, targeted the Jewish community, an increase of 71% from a year earlier. 

        America: FBI List of Hate Crimes:

        Religion: 1,606 
        Anti-Jewish 1,055 
        Anti-Catholic 75 
        Anti-Protestant 60 
        Anti-Islamic 123 
        Anti-Other Religion 212 
        Anti-Multiple Religions, Group 67 
        Anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc. 14 

        http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2008%5D

        Last summer, Statistics Canada released a survey on Canadians and their charitable habits. While less than one in five attend church regularly, those who do are far more likely to give to charities, and are substantially more liberal in the size of their gifts to both religious and non-religious organizations. The average annual donation from a churchgoer is $1,038. For the rest of the population, $295.

        With respect to volunteer effort, two-thirds of churchgoers give their time to non-profit causes while only 43 per cent of non-attendees do likewise. And churchgoers put in twice as many hours volunteering.

        http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/06/do-atheists-care-less/

        • Your quoting my earlier statement is ironic precisely because it was made in support of the point I just made that you take issue with.

          There were Christians 20 years ago committing all kinds of atrocities in the name of God including plenty of atrocities against my own community – the gay community. 

          But I never became so affraid of Christians that I demanded their rights be trampled or that we prevent members of certain churches from emigrating from Canada. 

          So if you’re suggesting that Muslims should be banned from Canada because you say they’re responsible for hate crimes against Jews (you offer no stats on who the perpetrators are, I note), you’ll get no sympathy from me.

          Women and gays and lesbians worked peacefully against the actions of violent Christians without trampling anybody’s rights.  And we recognized that if we resorted to stereotyping all Christians based on the actions of a few, then we would be guilty of the same bigotry perpetrated against us.

          If, notwithstanding the copious human rights laws in this country, you are so terrified for your rights and freedoms that you can’t even allow people of another religious background in this country, then you’re on your own and you’ve got no business going around calling anyone else a bigot.

          Man up.

  6. My semi-informed impression of Robert Sibley is that he appears concerned to be fully in line with orthodox right wing American conservatism.  I’ll not soon forget his positive review of an Ann Coulter book in the Citizen.

  7. Potter is positioning himself as yet another multiculti elite who refuses to see what the ignorant rabble winesses every day: immigrants from third world societies refusing to integrate, either socially, or linguistically. As Salafi Islam becomes the dominant sect in even formerly secular Muslim societies (e.g., Bosnia, Turkey), culture clashes are getting worse, along with the threat to public safety. Sikh extremism, all but extirpated in India, is firmly rooted in Canada. And then there are the waves of wealthy Immigrant Investors, setting up parallel societies in Canada. This is especially acute in the case of Chinese immigrants, with Canadian-born children unable to function in English. These people are NOT integrating into Canadian society, and no amount of multiculti propaganda can gloss over that reality.

    The fact remains that mass immigration, in Canada as well as Europe, has only been beneficial to certain powerful business lobbies. In this country, it’s the banks, real estate investment trusts, developers and construction companies, for which a neverending supply of warm bodies and foreign investors to keep the demand for new housing and associated infrastructure ongoing (these lobbies had the Mulroney government set Canada’s current 250,000+ annual immigration ‘target’). Meanwhile, the assault on Canada’s environment (sprawl, water consumption), healthcare system (the actuarial effects of tens of thousands of elderly, sickly family reunification cases), public safety (foreign organised crime, terrorism) and European/Judeo-Christian culture continues. It’s time to kill both mass immigration and multiculturalism, and admit both have been disasters.

    • Kinda like the way it was when your family came over eh?  Yet we’ve survived and thrived and been richer for the immigrant additions.

      • No, not like that at all.

        • Exactly like that.

    • So who do you suppose is going to pay for our health care system, our pensions, etc. if not all those immigrants working in banks?  Cuz it’s like not us good Judeo-Christians have been very fruitful in the multiplying department.

      • Quit typing and go make a baby. :)

  8. Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children.  Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.
     
    The British Government is planning to make it easier to schools to “opt out” from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim.
     
     There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries.  Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.
     
    None of the British Muslims convicted following the riots in Bradford and Oldham in 2001 or any of those linked to the London bombings had been to Islamic schools. An American Think Tank studied the educational back ground of 300 Jihadists; none of them were educated in Pakistani Madrasas. They were all Western educated by non-Muslim teachers. Bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models.  A Cambridge University study found that single-sex classes could make a big difference for boys. They perform better in single-sex classes. The research is promising because male students in the study saw noticeable gains in the grades. The study confirms the Islamic notion that academic achievement is better in single-sex classes.
    IA
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

    • State-funded religious schools are a bad idea. It’s one thing to teach children some religious ideology as a part of their week, but to put every part of their education through the filter of their religion is a bad idea. Science, in particular, is especially vulnerable.

      • Yup, keep it at home and in your place of worship.  We’ve had quite enough of faith-based schools.

      • The funny thing is the Catholic school does teach evolution in science.  The other thing is that in Calgary it manages its money far better than the public.  The public school board built a new expensive building for itself and is laying off 500 teachers.  The Catholic board is not laying off any teachers.  Even non-Catholics go to the Catholic school because they get a better education and much higher test scores.  I attended Catholic school and I can tell you that religion is a separate 3 credit class.  There is no religious “filter” as such.  You learn the ciriculum laid out by the Provincial education dept.  I cannot tell you what goes on in private religious based schools though.  There are also many immersion options offered though the public board in Calgary – French, Spanish, Mandarin and possibly soon to be Arabic.

        • I attended Catholic schools, and I agree that they are relatively innocuous. In the UK, these schools are largely self-regulating, and some are really appalling.

          The only problem I had with religious dogma filtering into non-religious topics was in my grade nine science class when we had to write a short essay on the ethics of human cloning. I said that as long as the clone is treated as a full human being (and not treated as some organ bank as in some bad science fiction), and not exposed to undue health problems through imperfect cloning technology, I thought it was perfectly fine. It’s just a delayed twin, after all.

          I was floored when at the bottom my teacher’s only comment was: what about the soul?

          Some religious schools in the UK are deliberately undermining the teaching of evolution, geology, cosmology, etc. Anything that disagrees with a strictly creationist dogma. This is extremely dangerous. It’s more important that we teach students effectively than allow religious groups their own taxpayer-funded indoctrination centres.

          • Well the children that are educated in the schools denying evolution are not going to prosper in university science courses.

          • I hope you’re not letting these schools off that easily. They should be made ineligible for public funding if they will not meet minimum curricular standards. I see no reason to have religion in schools. Religion is for the home and house of worship, properly in the private sector.

          • I have to reply to your comment below here due to no reply…I am not sure about the UK and what goes on in schools there or how taxpayer funding is applied to private schooling.  All I really know is about Alberta.  In Alberta, the govt will provide you with approx. $2k per year to educate your child (the cost of a seat in public school).  It is your choice where you place your child, including home schooling.  Religious beliefs are completely acceptable but beliefs based on hatred cannot be taught (holocaust denial).  I have never heard of anyone not teaching evolution, even if it is only as an alternative belief to the biblical explanations for man’s existence on the planet.  You do not have to embrace the theories of any scientist including Charles Darwin but you must acknowledge they exist.

  9. “We don’t get the ruffians and gangsters here in Canada, like they do in
    Europe, we mostly get people who are motivated to build better life.”

    Have a look at this joint CSIS/RCMP report, which was quashed by the Chretien government::

    http://www.primetimecrime.com/Articles/RobertRead/sidewinder.pdf

    In addition to the well-connected Chinese triads, check out the Jamaican and Tamil gangs in Toronto, Haitians and Central American gangs in Montreal, Punjabi, Iranian and Lebanese gangs in BC and Alberta, East and North African gangs in Calgary and Brooks, Vietnamese gangs in the Lower Mainland, along with MS-13, which has been setting up shop in most major cities.

    As a gangster, you can ‘build a better life’ in Canada. And, CSIS has admitted, the annual immigration intake is too large to permit thorough screening of more than a fraction of applicants.

    • OMG….how do we ever manage to survive and prosper then eh?

      • Yeah. Our society has done nothing but improve for the last 100 years.

    • Don’t forget the First Nations gang at Hobemma in Alberta.  The kids can’t even go out after 4pm.  Oh but they were here before any of us so they don’t count.

  10. Would Ezra Levant sponsor the same freedom of speech for someone advocating banning synagogues? Churches? Sun newspapers?

    • Yes, I’m sure he would. That’s what makes free speech advocates free speech advocates.

    • Yup. He has supported many people he disagrees with. Free speech is free speech.

      • Depends on if it was his synagogue

        • Not sure exactly what you mean by that, but I have heard him defend the lowest of the low’s right to speak.

          • ?? Ezra is Jewish

  11. What do you think of preteen girls kitted out in hijabs, or incidents like the Aqsa Parvez honour killing? How about ‘women’ wearing niqabs through airport screenings, and in banks?

    • Flash dude…the Virgin Mary wore that garb, and women here wear veils. We also have honour killings….we just call it by a different name….domestic violence.

      • HAHAHAHA! Oh man, you’re serious?! Sorry.

      • Domestic violence = honor killing. That isn’t even a stretch. That is well beyond a leap. It is just silly, really.

        • Actually, it’s quite a common occurrence….women beaten,raped, killed

          It’s a power and control issue.

          • Well aware that domestic violence occurs. Your equating it to honor killings that is incorrect.

          • It’s the same thing…we just have a different name for it.

          • I suggest you don’t know my culture. You still haven’t addressed (nor do I expect you to) this –

            “So are you telling me that when a Canadian man beats/kills his wife it’s because he’s trying to protect his families “honor”?”

            “You do know that women commit domestic violence too right? Is that an “honor” killing too?”

            Let’s hear what leaps of logic you perform to defend your stupid position that “domestic violence” and “honor killings” are the same thing but just differentiated by name.

          • So are you telling me that when a Canadian man beats/kills his wife it’s because he’s trying to protect his families “honor”?

            You do know that women commit domestic violence too right? Is that an “honor” killing too?

            I suggest you take a deep breath and give your head a quick shake.

          • I suggest you are in deep denial about your own culture.

          • I suggest you don’t know my culture. You still haven’t addressed (nor do I expect you to) this –

            “So are you telling me that when a Canadian man beats/kills his wife it’s because he’s trying to protect his families “honor”?”

            “You do know that women commit domestic violence too right? Is that an “honor” killing too?”

            Let’s hear what leaps of logic you perform to defend your stupid position that “domestic violence” and “honor killings” are the same thing but just differentiated by name.

          • Oh we’re all familiar with your culture….loud-mouth schnooks.

    • Did it ever occur to you that the girls want to wear the hiijab because it is their traditional dress?  They feel comfortable in it.  They don’t like men looking at them….whatever.  Why does it bother you?  You are not being asked to wear it.  As for the honor killings…yes, there are a few reported but Canada has what 700k to 800k Muslims.  What I think Emily is trying to say is that we have men in our culture who kill their whole families out of resentment toward their wives.  Maybe it isn’t about honor but rather about payback.  We don’t seek to paint the whole white male species because of a few sociopathic personalities.  Even if honor killing is acceptable in Muslim countries, people know when they immigrate to Canada it is not acceptable.  It is illegal.  Female circumcision is not allowed here either.

  12. And don’t forget that there are more dimensions to ‘culture’ than songs and dances. Different cultures simply have very different–and non-negotiable–norms concerning core issues, from gender relations, to the role of women in society. And POLITICAL culture is a factor, too–something which is altering Canada’s political system for the worse:

    http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=3bfc8592-85c7-4c1a-a567-505e7c00b16d

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2011/04/28/calgary-northwest-indian-apology.html

    http://www.calgarybeacon.com/2011/04/shory-and-stewart-supporters-clash-at-calgry-n-e-liberal-campaign-office-tuesday/

    Is this something we’re supposed to ‘celebrate’?

    • The drycleaners phoned….your hood is ready.

      • And the name calling begins. Lost for an argument today Emmy?

        • Your robe will take longer….so many stains.

        • She resorts to that when she has a lack of words. It is surprising, cause it seem she never has a lack of words. . . Perplexing, really. :)

          • Who’s the one zipping through here attacking me again?

          • Not when you make factual statements.

            When you start with the Nazi, KKK stuff, I support anyone who calls you out.

    • Voting irregularities in the civic election in Calgary involved a white candidate.

  13. Welfare states create their own problems by handing out free money. They will therefore also attract people that rather live of free money than those who want to work for their living. As Islam teaches that the free West is an evil place and part of the House of War most Muslims will have no problem sucking the life out a welfare state that hands out free money rather than work and contribute to the ‘evil empire’.

    Canada should stay away from becoming a welfare state and they will avoid attracting these kind of people. Their problem, however will be with the more affluent followers of Islam that will use lawsuits in a bid to silence criticism of Islam and impose the laws of their favorite ideology, but problems there will be nonetheless.

    As long as the Koran is taken as the literal word of god and not the figment of the imagination of a fallible human being there will be problems where ever the free West (based on personal freedom) meet the followers of Islam (based on sacrificing personal freedom and submission of one’s will to an almighty being).

    Wilders’ Dutch experience does not exactly match Canada’s but it would be foolish to disregard his warning about Islam as irrelevant as there is no doubt that the teachings of Islam are diametrically opposed to the ideas the free West is based on.

    The Free World would do best to keep close tabs on any totalitarian ideology that might come along with it’s new immigrants.

    • Obviously you’ve never read the bible….it says the same things.

      • Obviously you are living in the past, maybe some 500 years ago when the RC church did have the same kind of stronghold on Western society Islam is currently having in the Middle East with clear intentions to expand its influence to non-Islamic territory (UN resolutions and wars).
         
        Luckily some 500 years ago people started to educate themselves (printing press) and challenge the ridiculous claims of the RC Church. One can only hope that a similar protest movement will put an end to the same ridiculous claims on worldly power (Sharia laws) by Islam. And my hope is that the free West will provide true freedom and safety to anybody trying to escape the throngs of this totalitarian ideology, which it hasn’t done very well so far. The success of protest movements in Islam will be greatly influenced by the position the free West takes regarding the intolerant ideas within Islam.
         
        PS Why do you think Canada was bypassed for a leading role in the UN for the more Islam-friendly Portugal through the vote as one block by the 57 states of the OIC?

        • Obviously you aren’t even living in the present when protestant fundies here and now abide by biblical law, and want everyone else to do so as well.

          No Muslims are not about to take over the world, nor do they want to.  They want the US out of the ME so they can run their own countries….you know…freedom.

          There are over a billion Muslims in the world btw…probably some right down the street from you.  Some of our earliest settlers in fact.

          Canada was bypassed by the UN because of our treatment of many countries in the world….Muslims don’t have that many votes at the UN. As far as we know, even the US voted against us.

          PS The printing press was invented in China a thousand years ago…it was reinvented in Europe

      • Nobody regards the bible as the literal word of god containing orders to be followed except maybe some fringe lunatics and even out of these there will be only a handfull that would be willing to sacrifice their lives to submit the rest of the world to their twisted ideas.

        The Koran however IS taken as the literal word of god with clear instructions how to deal with non-believers and the HOLY ORDER, COMMANDED BY ALLAH to spread Islam until there is no place on earth left that is not ruled by Sharia law.

        • Millions of people believe in the literal word of god in the bible….they’re called born-again….Sarah Palin is one.

          And lots of Muslims take the Koran with a grain of salt….in fact lots of people in the ME are atheists

          No, we aren’t going to be ruled by Sharia law….get real

          • Not while there are freedom loving Canadians willing to stop it. If the lib lefties have their culture killing way, then all bets are off.

          • Oh yeah, so brave you are…ho hum.

          • A trend started 1300 years ago would urge one to seriously reconsider that last statement. And for a reality check I would advice you to look at the way this ‘religion’ is able to ‘persuade’ non-believers into becoming muslim: non-muslims pay 2x more tax but have less rights and less freedom than muslims in Islamic run countries and at the frontline (wars waged against non-believers) it just becomes a matter between life and death, with ferocious muslims (thinking they are just carrying out the orders from the Koran) following their eternal example of the perfect man: their butcher warlord prophet. 

          • Stop reading idiotic rightwing sites….they’re feeding you BS.

          • “Millions of people believe in the literal word of god in the bible….they’re called born-again….Sarah Palin is one.”
            Not true.

            “And lots of Muslims take the Koran with a grain of salt….in fact lots of people in the ME are atheists”
            Not true.

            Emily, it is the “Millions … born again … literal word of God” that you are wrong about.

            You didn’t say ‘a few’ you said ‘a lot’. Also, it depends on the country, and whether it is under sharia law. Some countries put your religion on your passport. To say that Islam is a religion that accepts and tolerates atheism is wrong.

          • Yes, it’s quite true about Palin…and yes there are atheists in the ME

          • “in fact lots of people in the ME are atheists”I smell BULLSHIT! Present your “facts”.

          • Since you know nothing about the ME….

          • You claimed: “in fact lots of people in the ME are atheists”  

            No there are not LIAR. The Middle East contains the most religious people in the world.

            Then you attempt the classic strawman fallacy with this stupid statement –

            “and yes there are atheists in the ME”

            No one said that there weren’t any atheists in the ME. We just call you on your lies that there are “lots”.

            The only place that has “lots” in the ME is Israel.

            Here are -Top 50 Countries with Highest Proportion of Atheists Agnostics 

            Only Middle Eastern country that placed was Israel.

            Top 20 Countries With Largest Numbers of Atheists /Agnostics

            No Middle East country placed.

            Top 10 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists

            Only Middle Eastern country that placed was Israel.

            Ta-da. Surprise. Surprise. Sure doesn’t look like “lots”. Liar.

            http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_atheist.html

          • Sorry. That link does nothing to show there are “lots” of atheists in the ME. All these links show is that there are atheists in the ME, which I never disputed.

            There are NOT a LOT of atheists in the ME. Nice try though.

          • @MSwagger:disqus 
            If you can’t read, I can’t help you.

  14. Has anyone considered that the reason that America and Europe differ so much is because of space,  and the proximity of people. I would imagine that, because of the lack of space, and the number of people, that Europe has areas that are X immigrant only. (whatever the culture). I would imagine that it would be easy to find out. If there were areas like that in Toronto or Vancouver, just separate them from the National stats, and see if it is the case.

  15. @modster99:disqus 

    We probably have the best media coverage in the country….if we were awash in hate crimes, I’d know it

  16. @modster99:disqus 
    I call Nazis and KKK….Nazis and KKK

  17. Do you folks realize these exact same things were said about the Jews before WWII?

    And you know where that got us?

    Muslims are the Jews of the 21st century.

    • The Arabs’ identification with the Nazis is normally explained in terms of a common enmity to France and Britain but this is only a partial explanation.

      The Arab masses admired Hitler in the 1920s and this admiration broke out with great enthusiasm after he seized the government in 1933.

      The day after he was appointed chancellor, the first telegrams of congratulation Hitler received were transmitted by Wolf, the German Consul in Jerusalem, followed by those from Arab countries.

      http://www.afsi.org/OUTPOST/96JAN/jan6.htm

      It’s difficult to comprehend the alarming increase in hate crimes in Canada reported by Statistics Canada this week ….. 

      Of the 1,473 incidents substantiated by police as hate crimes – that is, criminal offences motivated by hate towards an identifiable group – 283, roughly 19%, targeted the Jewish community, an increase of 71% from a year earlier.

  18. I don’t think Wilders limits his criticism of Islam into one of migration and the general socio economic backwardness of it’s followers.He argues Islam cannot be reconciled with Western values and freedoms.That doesn’t mean a Muslim cannot be of a higher social status.In fact there economic position within society makes them all the more dangerous.It’s only the left that looks at every problem as a class issue.What does it matter if Muslims in my community are all doctors and engineers if my local city council enforces gender segregation and persecutes the open expression of alternative non-Islamic lifestyle choices? Fine if you are a wealthy and successful doctor you’re still a 7th century fascist.

  19. So lose the chip, eh?

  20. time will tell… by then ..all too late for most   … sadly, but there is hope .  Bible prophecy = [clearly prophecises the demise of all fake religion ]    blah , blah , blah…  so     ..to all  would-be hopeful survivors… i strongly suggest  …open up your hearts & minds like children & seek the essence of true salvation … not the evil poluted & diluted  ‘ man – made ‘ contaminated false/corrupted religious lies ..out there ; hijacking  the simple loving message . SIMPLY   IMPOSE ” GOOD SELF ESTEEM ” FOR STARTERS  THEN START BY SINCERE PRAYERS TO  ‘ THE REAL GOD ‘  FOR YOUR ” DIVINE GUIDANCE ” TO THE ESSENTIAL FACTS ASAP…WITH GOD’S ETERNAL BLESSING…ACCORDINGLY…

    • All I can say is – WOW.

      • Well….that does about cover it.

  21. Most unfortunately for Andrew Poter, his perspective on this issue is factually wrong. 

    A just released study by the Middle East Quarterly reveal that an overwhelming majority of American mosques (81%) promotes the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari’a-based political order

    http://www.meforum.org/2931/american-mosques

    Canada’s ability to integrate good intentioned immigrants or refugees remains exceptional  when compare with any other countries. However, the unchallenged exposure to supremacist religious-based propaganda within the mosque environment (see Dearborn, Mi) can only lead towards non integration patterns which, in the end, as Geert Wilders always states, harms both the host country AND the good intentioned Muslim immigrant who wishes to flee from his former totalitarian society.

    Reality is not as we wish, even though the temptation is strong to perceive it as such (couldn’t we just,… get along?). This is what distinguish the likes of Winston Churchill to the Nevile Chamberlain of this world.

  22. All you have to do is live in Europe for a while like I did (7 years) and you will understand that Geert is not a raving racist or whatever convenient bracket one wants to place him but he is speaking the truth.  In Ontario all one has to do is travel through Toronto, especially Scarborough where you see nothing but muslims walking around (why don’t they work?) in droves going to their mosques and just wasting time.  You’d have to be an idiot and ignorant of the history of Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey…I could go on…before you realize that we have been colonized like many other parts of the world. Then when it comes time for the next rash of cartoons or issues in their countries, or something else to raise their blood pressure, then you will see what Geert is speaking of.  Give it time.  It will happen.

  23. Just allow moslem women into Canada.  It would afford them far greater opportunities than at home, in all likelihood.  They wouldn’t be seen as much of a threat.  In any case, up till now at least, the large majority of moslem immigrants are men.  This might address the imbalance.

  24. shut up Andrew! you elitists and media types won’t admit that you were unstudied on the middle east until you let a half million Arabs into Canada like returning war heroes in the 90’s. Some immigration should be based on cultural affinities Mr. Potter. Or I guess unlike the Dutchman, you won’t defend your culture because you are a product of a censored post cold war out look
    : arrogant intellectual idealism backed by the pathetic manipulation by corporate media; grotesquely ignoring historical and economic realities. Translation; you feel safer with your big ears in the sand. We have never mixed with the Arabs unless by power of force. The Andalusian golden age ended in deportation.
     Russians and east Germans weren’t moving here during the cold war. We are related more to those cultures. They weren’t migrating here is all I’m pointing out, yet a generation later people who we have nothing in common with us and who at least half of us don’t like so easily migrate after 911?

  25. Some people on here really need to cut loose their bigotry.
    New data from polling firm Gallup shows that out of all the religious groups in the U.S., Muslims are most likely to reject violence, followed by the non-religious atheists and agnostics.Through interviews with 2,482 Americans, Gallup found that 78 percent of Muslims believe violence which kills civilians is never justified, whereas just 38 percent of Protestant Christians and 39 percent of Catholics agreed with that sentiment. Fifty-six percent of atheists answered similarly.When Gallup put the question a bit more pointedly, asking if it would be justified for “an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” the responses were a bit more uniform. Respondents from nearly all groups were widely opposed to such tactics, with Protestants and Catholics at 71 percent against. Muslims still had the highest number opposed, at 89 percent. Seventy-six percent of atheists were also opposed.The Gallup survey, conducted over the course of a year, was designed to measure religious and non-religious attitudes toward violence 10 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Perhaps most tellingly, 92 percent of Muslims surveyed said they did not believe any Muslim in their community had sympathy toward al Qaeda terrorists, but just 56 percent of Protestants and 63 percent of Catholics said the sameJewish Americans were also the most likely religious community after Muslims themselves to view Muslim Americans as loyal US citizens. But while 80 per cent of Jews saw Muslim Americans as loyal citizens, only 56 per cent of Protestants and Mormons and 59 per cent of Catholics felt the same, with significant minorities among each saying the statement that “Muslims living in this country were loyal to this country” does not applyThe poll finds that respondents were generally divided over whether Americans were prejudiced against Muslims.Again, Jews were most likely to believe this, followed by Muslims themselves. But Christian respondents hovered at about 50 per cent, and one of the recommendations of the study was that the the US government properly assess the extent of anti-Muslim sentiment in the US.Significantly more Muslims than any other religious community in the US report feeling they were targets of discrimination, and the study’s authors say there was evidence of correlation between Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Among other recommendations, they urged the US State Department to expand its report on anti-Semitism to include Islamophobia.
    Also
    Raw Story (http://s.tt/1dcRg)

  26. Also for those saying that Muslims and Arabs were the biggest supporters of hittler! where do you get this info from? islamophobes lol.
    Faith Matters developed the Role of Righteous Muslims Booklet in order to document the stories of Muslims, driven by their faith and the code of honour (BESA), to protect the lives of persecuted Jews in the Holocaust. The code of honour or BESA was fundamental to Albania and many Albanian Muslims protected fellow Jewish Albanians from persecution because of this code and because of the heightened value of life which was fundamental to Quranic teachings. From Morocco through to Paris and Turkey, and Iran many Muslims stood up and protected the lives of the persecuted through the Holocaust.Many of them were persecuted Jews.

    The story of Muslims in the Holocaust is deliberately and micheviously being re-written post 9/11 as though Muslims supported the efforts of the Nazis. The vast and overwhelming majority of Muslims supported the war efforts against the Nazis and fought for the liberation of France, for England and King and Country and in the battlefields of Burma, South East Asia and Italy. There were those in the minority who misguidedly supported the Nazis who won their support by manipulating local tensions and issues. The Bosnian brigades are an example of this and these elements cannot be written out, nor should they be. Localised tensions and ethnic divides were used to manipulate groups to join the Nazi effort and 60 years later, many Bosnian Muslims were they themselves persecuted and killed in a genocide by Serbs who created death camps and who used rape as a weapon of war against many Bosnian women.
    We also take this opportunity to honour those, regarded as ‘Righteous’ by Yad Vashem, who were Muslim and who have been honoured for risking their lives and the lives of their families in protecting the lives of persecuted Jews. These are their names. May their names and the names of others live on in history and be a source of pride for Muslims and people who believe in the value of life.
    Just search Arab rescue efforts during the Holocaust or muslim rescue efforts during the Holocaust dont listen to people like Tony Adams who are ill minded.

  27. The first mosque in Canada was in Edmonton in the early 1930’s

  28. Religionor should NEVER matter! When your dead seriously is your so called religion or etc is not gonna matter then. Life is what is important! Improving the quality of life for all humans is what is important! We are all the same! Just because we come in different shapes sizes in colors and born in different parts of the world doesn’t mean we are different, we are all the same! Relgions,cultures, traditions, preferences are meaningless. Do you not realize all Religion is man written not a creator, god or etc which ever you believe. These religions were only created as stories to help guide you into helping you to live a better life by reading a story about different situations teaching you how to come up with soluntions or conflict resolutions or etc. Bottom line is You don’t KILL you don’t LIE you don’t Steal you don’t cause any harm to anyone. Laws in the best interest of the people and were created to keep peace in society so everyone can live a safe life and enjoy life for the limited time that we are here on earth! But so far theres nothing but foolishness people behaving badly and misinterrupting their own religions. Any religion that states people must be forced to adapt to their’s or they are to die is NOT a Religion! The so-called relgious wars? What the heck are these people really that stupid? Whomever your religion follows is not in approval of these unethical wars! Your accomplishing nothing but killing yourselves over a man written story book! When you arrive at your destination when your dead I can guarnette your not getting in! and your gonna to suffer worse then the horror you caused when you were on earth! People involved in starting wars promoting them and using excuses to try justify them are the ones who need to be wiped off the face of this earth! They are EVIL! and are not of the human race! No one should ever be force to believe in any man written regilion!