January 30, 2008

Can crescent and cross keep the faith together?

Posted in Ireland · 35 comments ·

Of all the big questions facing rich societies like Ireland, immigration is perhaps one of the most vexatious.

Your tolerance or otherwise of mass immigration depends on many factors. Are you threatened? Do you benefit economically? Do you believe that multiculturalism is a good thing? Do you believe that this is our responsibility to the poor?

Most of us do not take extreme positions on immigration and are typically somewhere in the middle.

It is normal to hear people saying that the success or otherwise of immigration depends whether they “fit in”.

Integration is what politicians call it, but to most of us the expression “fitting in” does just grand. Integration is Orwellian-sounding. It is the sort of term a European Commission bureaucrat or one of Hillary Clinton’s “kitchen cabinet” would come up with.

So immigration is about fitting in, being one of us. No matter how different the parents are, most of us assume that the children will become Irish and share our values. In this scenario, immigration does not lead to segregation. In other words, time heals all.


We Irish are the living embodiment of this. In the US of the mid-19th century, mass Irish and German immigration, particularly Catholic immigration, prompted the virulently anti-Catholic Know Nothing movement.

In New York in 1855, 52pc of the city’s 622,925 citizens were foreign-born. Of these foreigners, 28pc were Irish and 16pc were German. In all, from 1847 to 1860, 1.1 million Irish immigrants docked at the Port of New York, as well as 900,000 Germans.

The Know Nothings claimed that these Catholics could never fit in. We were seen as foreign and un-American. They called for a 21-year naturalisation rule to be introduced to prevent the Irish from voting, stating that only after this time could the immigrant be American enough for such a lofty responsibility.

In the end, the opposition to Catholics — and later Jews — proved to be transitory. Both fitted in eventually. So the ability of the immigrants to fit in is crucial.

Now with the new European constitution up for grabs and the issue of culture and immigration in the mix, the question is what kind of Europe do we want?

The Catholic Church, acting like the anti-papist Know Nothings of pre-Civil War America, have demanded that the Constitution refer to the Christian character of the continent.

This, together with the widespread opposition to Turkey’s inclusion in the EU club, is a manifestation of mainstream Europe’s concern about multiculturalism in general and, Muslim immigration, in particular.

However, if Muslims fit in like all previous immigrants before them and if the children of Muslim immigrants become just like the locals, surely this opposition will be transitory?

Now this is where things get tricky, because a recent paper published by respected economists in Germany and based on up-to-date evidence from the UK, suggests that Muslims are an exception.

The Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn has recently suggested, in research entitled “Are Muslim Immigrants different in terms of Cultural Integration” (www.ideas.recpec.org), that indeed Muslims are exceptional.

This territory — as we all know — is a minefield, so it’s best to stay as close as possible to the data.

Using the UK Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities, the German researchers arrive at definitive but explosive conclusions.

In a nutshell, Muslims integrate less and considerably more slowly than non-Muslims and a Muslim born in the UK and having spent more than 50 years there is likely to have a much stronger, separate identity than another non-Muslim immigrant who has just arrived. This includes Chinese, Caribbeans and non-Muslim Indians.

The first finding of the report, which is based on comprehensive survey data and interviews carried out across the water, found that “Muslims do not seem to assimilate with the time spent in the UK, or at least they seem to do so at a much slower rate than non-Muslims”. For example, 79pc of Muslims stated that religious identity was very important to them as opposed to 42pc of non-Muslims.

Seventy per cent of Muslims said that they “would mind very much” if one of the family married a white person as opposed to 37pc of non-Muslims.

The second finding blows a hole in one of the central economics arguments about financial progress and fitting in.

Most economists, social scientists and political commentators say that integration is a matter of opportunity.

But this finding reveals that for British Muslims, “education does not seem to have any effect on the attenuation of their identity; and job qualification as well as living in neighbourhoods with low unemployment rate, seem to accentuate rather than moderate the identity formation of Muslims”.

Bizarrely, therefore, the richer the area, the more “Muslim” the Muslim resident becomes.

The third observation, which is particularly interesting as it goes against the presumed wisdom, is that “for Muslims more than for non-Muslims, there is no evidence that segregated neighbourhoods breed intense religious and cultural identities”. This is relevant because it is normal to hear politicians warn (whether they mean this or not) against “creating ghettos”. This report suggests that ghettos don’t matter in terms of the dilution or concentration Muslim integration.

Finally, and not surprisingly, “discrimination, which turns out to be more frequent in less segregated neighbourhoods, generates intense identity in all immigrants but this feeling is more acute for Muslims”.

This casts further doubts on the “no ghettos” idea as it suggests that mixed estates heighten discrimination.

The evidence from the UK is pretty definitive. We have no such data on Irish Muslims and maybe they have different attitudes.

However, as the debate on immigration and Europe warms up, this type of economic research, no matter how unpalatable to some, can only be helpful. The more information we have, the less likely we are to mess up.

  1. John Q. Public

    To ‘keep the faith’ we must learn more about each other.
    I agree that the jews ‘fit in’ in America, in fact so well that they have their fingers in quite a few pies out there. They have no problem with socialising or doing business with other religions however they tend not to marry outside their own and do not go into the melting pot.
    I doubt if Muslims are any different in Ireland than in Britain, in fact they need a kick in the arse. I respect their religion but I would like to see them take more of an interest in our way of life, take the odd drink in the local, go to a gaa match, whatever. I would even like to hear their criticisms of us.
    The main question for us on this island as I see it is: how do we feel when we crunch the numbers? So few of us bother. Socially and economically as a nation we are fairly ignorant of the crucial statistics. There is not enough debate on any of these issues with the exception of Kevin Myers. David, your last sentence is definitely one to bear in mind.

  2. VincentH

    The tolerance of the Irish depends on whether or not money is involved. Having the odd spare house or two, gives a grand love for the Pole. While having a bed or two of strawberries with a polytunnel or twenty puts a smile of benign glee to be sent in the direction of the nimble fingered Lit Lat or Est. On the other hand, Fassaroe and similar are in exactly the same position employmentwise as they were in the eighties. All that has changed is the % relative to a population increase, more or less. These are the people at the life interface that matter. The NY landlord or employer at any point, never-mind the 1860′s, have an agenda and it has little to do with integration, and I find it hard to believe the Irish will be different here. God help anyone who had as a landlord or employer, when working in London, NY or Sidney, one of the last generation of Irish. The people who built Egypt had better.

  3. geoff dickson

    Check out this posting from http://www.amren.com. There is another excellent article posted on the 25th January entitled “Holland driven by fear of Islam”.
    Both the USA and Europe are starting to understand why integration with Muslims will never work!


  4. Glen Quinn

    Hi David,

    Very good article but you can’t compare Irish and German immigrants of the 1800′s going to America compared with Muslims going to Europe because the Irish and German immigrants were Christian and they were emigrating into a Christian country. Also since the Old testamony of the Christian bible is taken from the Jewish religion. This then means that the Jews will also be able to see similarities with there religion and Christianity. So they can fit in as well.

    The difference between Islam and Christianity is mainly the following:
    Christians believe (All Christian religions) that Jesus is the son of God and that he was crusified on the cross for our sins.
    Islam believes (Sunny and Shia) that Jesus was a prophet (a normal man) and that he was NOT Crusified on the cross, instead when Jesus was in the garden of olives and asked God to take the cup from his hand at this point God took Jesus away.

    From a religious perspective this is a serious difference and must be addressed because Muslims are very very very Religious and they take there religion very seriously.

    John Q. Public:
    A few things you should note about Muslims because what you wrote would really offend alot of Muslims and they would be calling for your head.

    please note the following:
    Muslims can’t drink alcahol
    Muslims can’t go to the theatre or cinema (The GAA match would also be a no go for them)

    I currently live in Kingbury in North West London in the UK. I have been over hear for over five years and I work in the city.

    Kingsbury is now a Muslim area and I will have to move out soon, why? you may ask, well the reason is that all the services for me is gone like the butcher and shops to buy food.

    All the butchers all sell Halal meat and I refuse to eat it because I don’t like the way the animal are killed, I think it is very cruel. All the food shops (I’m taking about 30 shops here in the entire town) sell middle eastern food and I’m not use to all the spices or the food. My basic diet is potatoes, peas, cabbage and fish or meat. This has also happened in East London as well. In order for me to find a food shop I have to go to Sainsburys which is now 3 miles away in Finchley road, basically I have to get the bus and then the tube.

    All the writing in the shops and shop signs are all written in Arabic and not English and plus they all talk in Arabic as well. In order for me to buy the financial times I have to resort to pointing as none of them know English. These Muslims are third generation and in the streets I do see Muslim women teaching there young children to speak Arabic and none of them learn English. I was told by a Muslim friend of mine that because of there religion they have to learn Arabic as a first language because they must be able to read the Koran in Arabic.

    Also in work now I’m going on a course to learn all about Islamic finance (I have to do it). I have to do the course not because I’m going to the middle east but its for the Muslims in Europe. Aparantly thay find our ways of doing business very sinful and they resent it, this is why all the banks in the UK and in Europe are now introducing Islamic mortgages and current accounts. I must also be noted that the Islamic population in Europe is now 10% of the European population. Don’t worry though it’s only after talking them 20 years to do this.

    Also if you go to Brussels in Belgium (Capital of Europe) you will see that Brussels is really an Islamic city and this is the way all citys in Europe are going. All you have to do is pick a major European city outside of Ireland and go there for a week or two and ask yourself do you want our cities in Ireland to be like this. I don’t.

    I want to be able to go home and not have to worry about offending any one because of my religion.

    Ps: David, I have a question that I think you should investigate. Why is the European Union preventing news on Islam being published or shown on TV?

    I say this because during the cartoon riots, the riots were all over the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. I only know this because I have friends in each of these countries and we all informed each other on what was going on. From the newspapers here in London I would have only got an image that the riots were happening only in London and there was a complete news black out on what was happening in the rest of Europe.

  5. JJ Tatten

    Hi David,

    Could you please clarify if your reference to
    A) ‘a recent paper published by respected economists in Germany and based on up-to-date evidence from the UK, suggests that Muslims are an exception’;


    B) ‘the Bonn-based Institute for the Study of Labour’s research entitled “Are Muslim Immigrants different in terms of Cultural Integration”’;

    are one and the same, or two distinct pieces of research.

    Also, could you provide a specific web-link to this research as my – albeit cursory – browsing of the http://www.ideas.recpec.org site and, indeed, the Institute for the Study of Labour site has borne little fruit thus far.

    Many thanks.

  6. geoff dickson

    to Glen,
    The real difference between Islam and Christianity is this:-
    Jesus preached and obeyed the 10 commandments; Mohammed broke 7 of the 10.
    Jesus healed the sick, restored sight to the blind; Mohammed beheaded non Muslims.
    And all Muslims are required to follow Mohammed’s example.

    The words “fight” and “kill” appear more times in the Koran than “pray”.

    Look at the countries today under Sharia Law.
    Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    There are human rights violations, violence and terrorism, oppression and persecution, and most of these countries are economically bankrupt!

    The largest Islamic country is Indonesia who released Abu Bakr Bashir after only a few years in jail for masterminding the Bali bombings. And then he is seen on TV in prison laughing and joking with the Bali bombers on death row!

    Consider this from the President of Iran and his attitude to Jews.

    There is no doubt, Islam is the most dangerous CULT on the planet.

    to David,
    Let the debate on CULTure begin.

  7. Thaigah

    Let’s not lump all Muslims together. A Muslim citizen from Uzbekistan is different from many ways from, say, a Sudanese, having experienced some 80 years of Communism. Also, one is Asian, one is African, the native languages are totally different, etc, etc. We don’t usually lump together the Vatican oligarch with the Irish businessman and the South American peon, just because they’re Catholic.

    Secondly, let’s not forget that many Muslims in Europe are not economic migrants but political refugees from their oppressive regimes at home. Many were educated by our best universities and would welcome our business if they were allowed to return to their own countries to work there in peace.

    Why should we expect Muslims in our countries to stop following their faith in order to integrate? And why should we be upset that some parts of our cities look more like downtown Cairo? The same thing has happened in favour of English-speakers in many places all over the world (parts of Thailand or the Costa Brava, for instance). I wouldn’t want to live there either, but that’s just a matter of taste.

    What is really scary for me is the mobility and ability to network of people like the al-Qaeda terrorists. But they are no more Muslim than the thugs of the IRA or UVF were Christian. Yet, unfortunately, because they invoke Allah and claim to be Muslim, they are lumped together with other Muslims and the whole lot are feared.

    I agree that many Muslims seem to adhere to their book and its edicts more doggedly (sometimes too much so) than those of some other faiths. But the extent to which they do this varies greatly according to many other factors (Sunni or Shia, country of origin, etc). So let’s take each Muslim, as we’d take anyone else, as an individual human being and sum him or her up on this basis. I’ve spent over 12 years in 4 different Muslim countries and this was how I was always treated, very humanely and charitably, because this is how a true Muslim is taught to behave, even in Sudan. Blame the perversion of their faith on corrupt politicians, preachers and terrorist groups, not on its origins and essence.

  8. Jim

    Excellent article David – great to see a non-crazy person approaching this topic.

    “Blame the perversion of their faith on corrupt politicians, preachers and terrorist groups, not on its origins and essence.”
    A friend of mine has married a (now Christian) Kosovar girl – after her conversion, her uncle said to her “if you were my daughter, I would have killed you”.
    I have been in contact with 2 people who were afraid they would be killed by their families for not believing in Islam – one in a Western country. I actually wrote an email to him basically saying “if you are still alive on Monday, email me back”.
    Please do not tell me that this is not “true” Islam – every school of Islamic law calls for the death penalty to those who stop being Muslim.
    Look at the Hegazi case in Egypt, the Lina Joy case in Malaysia, the Abdul Rahman case in (post occupation) Afghanistan for recent trends in the Islamic world –

    Islam is not being “perverted” by politicians, preachers and terrorists – any true Muslim must seek the imposition of Sharia law.
    Even the Islamic Cultural Centre in Ireland states categorically that Sharia must be applied in all countries with an Islamic majority – (and that it is their duty to bring about a majority by any legal means). Also look into the Al Azhar University in Egypt – the most respected source of Sunni Islam.
    Al Qaeda et al merely quibble a little regarding the application of the rules of Jihad when there is no caliphate. (Basically the argument is “if there is no caliphate [and technically only the caliph can declare jihad], can any Muslim seek to impose Sharia through jihad?”)

    There is an Islamic section of boards.ie – why don’t you go and ask them if they want to bring about Sharia?
    Alternatively perhaps you should support the British Council of Ex-Muslims at councilofexmuslims.com

  9. Glen Quinn

    The problem that I see with Islam is that the state and church (mosque in this case) are not seperated. All laws are developed under Sharia law and I do know in the UK that British muslims are using Sharia law instead of going to the British courts to resolve disputes between Muslims. British Muslims have already called out for Sharia law to be recognised in the British courts.

    The other problem is that muslims don’t allow integration with there siblings e.g. An Islamic daughter wants to marry a Christian man, the outcome is that the man must convert to Islam and if he doesn’t and the daughter goes ahead with the marraige then the father will do a deed called “An honour killing” because he sees his daughter in bringing disgrace to his house and in this case its better to kill your daughter or son.

    Also Islam never went through a period of enlightenment the way Christianity did. Since 1979 Islam became Politicised and became known as “Political Islam” after the Iranian revolution.

    Islam today does not allow the following:
    Non-Muslims can’t visit a mosque
    Muslims are not allowed to depict there prophet Mohammed in a picture or a statue
    There are a few more but I want to keep this list short

    However Islam in the past DID allow the following:
    Non-Muslims were allowed to visit a mosque in fact mosques were multi-denominational and even had jews, christians and muslims praying in them together.
    Muslims were allowed to depict there prophet Mohammed in a picture or on a statue and this were proved with excavations found in Turkey and Egypt.

    It seems to me that Islam in the past (around 900AD in Spain before they took Spain over!) were more multi-cultured than what Islam is today. I’m not saying that we should embace Islam with open arms what I am saying is that political Islam has an agenda and its not about making peace but about talking over the World especially the western World and it seems to me that they are half way there, they basically have Europe.

    It’s common knowledge that when a group of people become more prominanet then they start to take over as they demand greater things. It’s exactly what happened to Spain in about 1000AD. Islam took over Spain without a fight it took decades for it to happened but it all happened through large migration of Islamic people into Spain.

    Lets learn from history and not repeat the same mistake. After all I want to return to Ireland that has a Chrsitian way of life and values and I don’t want it to be like the UK were you have to watch what you say in case you offend a muslim. The first month I was here my manager kept giving out to me that I kept saying ‘Jesus’ and I was offending both Muslims and Jews. I told him that being an ethnic (Celtic) migration minority myself that my culture and religion also has to be looked after or I’ll cry discrimination. After that my manager never bothered me but I don’t want to go through this crap in Ireland.

  10. Jim

    What is really scary for me is the mobility and ability to network of people like the al-Qaeda terrorists. But they are no more Muslim than the thugs of the IRA or UVF were Christian. Yet, unfortunately, because they invoke Allah and claim to be Muslim, they are lumped together with other Muslims and the whole lot are feared.

    The IRA and UVF did not invoke their religion in fighting their battles. Al-Qaeda does. The IRA and UVF did not claim to be trying to overthrow every government in the world and establish a new world order – Al Qaeda does.
    Furthermore, in what way do the aims of Al-Qaeda differ from those of every other Imam and school of Islam? As I stated in my last post, the Islamic Cultural Centre in Ireland agrees with their aims – it merely quibbles somewhat with the strategy.

    “And why should we be upset that some parts of our cities look more like downtown Cairo?”
    I am upset when my friends face death threats. I am upset that areas of our cities might turn into the “no-go” areas for non-Muslims seen in Britain, Holland, Sweden, France – not to mention anywhere in the Islamic world.

  11. Jim

    Something for David:
    Perhaps you should look into the history of the Hui in China Before the 16th century when China looked inward, it had much trade with the outside world, and ended up with a number of Muslim traders – these married into the local population, becoming (relatively) indistinguishable except for their religion (and its resultant effects on their culture -e.g. no eating pork) . The Hui are ethnically Chinese, but regarded as a separate group due to religion.
    There is a significant amount of ethnic tension between the Han and Hui – with possible genocidal results at some stage.

  12. Glen Quinn


    “Secondly, let’s not forget that many Muslims in Europe are not economic migrants but political refugees from their oppressive regimes at home. Many were educated by our best universities and would welcome our business if they were allowed to return to their own countries to work there in peace.”

    The way we do business in Europe is very sinful to Muslims. Ursury is forbidden in Islam and for you to do proper business with a Muslim you will have to do it through Islamic law. As an Irish business man would you feel comfortable doing business through Islamic law. Just because a few muslims were educated in Europe does not give them the right to reside here.

    “Why should we expect Muslims in our countries to stop following their faith in order to integrate? And why should we be upset that some parts of our cities look more like downtown Cairo? The same thing has happened in favour of English-speakers in many places all over the world (parts of Thailand or the Costa Brava, for instance). I wouldn’t want to live there either, but that’s just a matter of taste.”

    Because I don’t want to be traveling 3-5 miles so that I can get food that is palatable to me. I’m already doing this in London and I wouldn’t recomend it to anyone in Ireland. Also there religion also contains state law known as sharia law that must be followed by all Muslims. Muslims don’t integrate, they refuse to have multi-fate mosques, non- muslims are not allowed to visit and multi-faith marraiges are not allowed.

    “I agree that many Muslims seem to adhere to their book and its edicts more doggedly (sometimes too much so) than those of some other faiths. But the extent to which they do this varies greatly according to many other factors (Sunni or Shia, country of origin, etc). So let’s take each Muslim, as we’d take anyone else, as an individual human being and sum him or her up on this basis. I’ve spent over 12 years in 4 different Muslim countries and this was how I was always treated, very humanely and charitably, because this is how a true Muslim is taught to behave, even in Sudan. Blame the perversion of their faith on corrupt politicians, preachers and terrorist groups, not on its origins and essence.”

    Your living in denial because Muslims sees themselves as part of a big networked group and being of GOD’s people. They do not see themselves as individuals. This is why if you ever had a problem with Muslims then two, three and more Muslims will come to there rescue even if they do not know one another.

    This happened to me in Brussels. My girlfriend and I were attacked by two Muslims because they demanded that my girlfriend wear a burqua. Since I don’t speak Arabic they attacked me. Lucky for me I am very strong and I fended them off and next of all five muslims come along and try to attack me and this all happened in the metro station at the European parliament!!!

  13. I think it’s becoming obvious why the saudis were selling their oil for so cheap for so long, so they can take over modern cultures through their materialism, saddam was a block to that but now he’s gone, the americans are caught-out themselves because of their rat-race economy, the saudis are very clever.

  14. I wrote a lengthy response to your excellent article on the problems of Muslim integration (“fitting in”) in Britain and Europe in which you may be interested:

    Here’s some of what I had to say:

    Roger Ballard at the University of Manchester has studied Muslim immigrant integration (or lack of it) in Britain extensively. (You can find many of his papers here.)

    In a comparison of Punjabi Sikhs and Muslims from neighbouring Kashmir, Ballard showed that the Sikhs integrated, relatively speaking, better than the Muslim groups [see "Marriage and kinship: the differential effect of marriage rules on the processes of Punjabi migration to Britain"]. Why? As I said previously:

    “The key difference between these two groups is that Sikhs, while they marry within their caste, do not marry relatives or, indeed, anyone within their clan. Punjabi Muslims, on the other hand, prefer marriage between paternal cousins.”

    This is the case with many — but not all — Muslim groups in the world. Muslim societies from Morocco all the way over to Pakistan and Afghanistan practice institutionalised cousin marriage. Some more than others; Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, for example, have cousin marriage rates of 50%+.

    Why should it matter if people marry their cousins? Well, it doesn’t matter all that much if a handful of couples here and there marry their cousins — but it does start to matter very much when it happens large scale.

    Simply put, our genetic relatedness to others affects how we treat them. You know this yourself. You’re more likely to be kind and helpful — go out of your way even — for your children or your nieces and nephews or even your cousins rather than for some stranger you meet on the street. This is in your genetic interests to do so and is quite common throughout the animal — and even plant! — kingdoms.

    If a group regularly inbreeds (for instance, if cousins in a group marry regularly), everyone in that group is more related to one another than they otherwise would have been — their genetic relatedness is closer.

    Imagine it — if you marry your first cousin, your children will also be your cousins (first cousins once removed, I think). Not only will each of your children share 50% of their genes with you, they will also share an additional one-sixteenth because you share one-eighth with your spouse. So, you’ll be that much more devoted to your children because you’re even more closely related to them than you would’ve been if you had married someone not related to yourself.

    Imagine, then, what happens in a community which practices cousin-marriage regularly. I can’t even do the math (although some can). In such a community, if you marry your first cousin, his/her parents may also have been cousins (not to mention your own parents). Your spouse’s parents are likely to be some of your cousins on your extended family tree — so you’d probably share more than one-eighth of your genes with your spouse and, therefore, be even more related to your children than I described above.

    To get back to Muslim integration, then — Steve Sailer described the outcome of all this inbreeding best, so I will quote him yet again:

    “One of the basic laws of modern evolutionary science, quantified by the great Oxford biologist William D. Hamilton in 1964 under the name “kin selection,” is that the more close the genetic relationship between two people, the more likely they are to feel loyalty and altruism toward each other. Natural selection has molded us not just to try to propagate our own genes, but to help our relatives, who possess copies of some of our specific genes, to propagate their own.

    “Nepotism is thus biologically inspired. Hamilton explained that the level of nepotistic feeling generally depends upon degree of genetic similarity. You share half your personally variable genes with your children and siblings, but one quarter with your nephews/nieces and grandchildren, so your nepotistic urges will tend to be somewhat less toward them. You share one eighth of your genes with your first cousins, and one thirty-second with your second cousin, so your feelings of family loyalty tend to fall off quickly.

    “But not as quickly if you and your relatives are inbred. Then, you’ll be genealogically and related to your kin via multiple pathways. You will all be genetically more similar, so your normal family feelings will be multiplied. For example, your son-in-law might be also be the nephew you’ve cherished since his childhood, so you can lavish all the nepotistic altruism on him that in an outbred family would be split between your son-in-law and your nephew.

    “Unfortunately, nepotism is usually a zero sum game, so the flip side of being materially nicer toward your relatives would be that you’d have less resources left with which to be civil, or even just fair, toward non-kin. So, nepotistic corruption is rampant in countries such as Iraq, where Saddam has appointed members of his extended family from his hometown of Tikrit to many key positions in the national government.”

    Blogger Randall Parker has convincingly shown how inbreeding (cousin marriage) in the Middle East hinders efforts at democracy and nation-building there. The different tribes — really just very extended families — are fighting the battle of genetic relatedness. They cannot come together because they are less genetically related to their neighbours than any two Western neighbours will be.

    As the Bedouin proverb goes (also attributed to Arabs and the Pashtun in Afghanistan): “I against my brother; I and my brother against our cousin; I, my brother and our cousin against the neighbours; All of us against the foreigner.” (Contrast that with the traditional motto of Switzerland: “One for all, all for one.”)

    So, given the genetic relatedness within the Muslim immigrant groups in Britain and the rest of Europe, it’s not surprising that they are just not integrating well, if at all. Many of the children of Muslim immigrants in Britain are following tradition and marrying their cousins — either ones that also live in Britain or they are importing cousin-spouses from back in the old country on the grounds of “family reunification.”

    As I’ve said before, cousin marriage (and the related practice of arranged marriage) needs to be made illegal in Europe (as it is in many states in the U.S.) if Muslim integration is to work at all.

  15. Steve

    Binge drinking, gambling, drugs, teen pregnancy, abortion, corruption, liberal anti-religous media, garbage tv and films.
    Grossly indebted families and destructive, debt fueled housing bubbles.

    Must be very difficult for devout Muslim families not to embrace our culture, eh ? :-) :-)

  16. Paul

    “Binge drinking, gambling, drugs, teen pregnancy, abortion, corruption, liberal anti-religous media, garbage tv and films.
    Grossly indebted families and destructive, debt fueled housing bubbles.

    Must be very difficult for devout Muslim families not to embrace our culture, eh ? :-) :-)”

    God this all seems very familiar, ah yes, I witnessed all of this in the UK fifteen years ago.
    It looks like we have embraced our neighbours culture and taken it to our hearts, it is only a
    matter of time before kids will be at school comparing their ASBO’s.

  17. Glen Quinn

    To Steve,

    We have freedom in the Western World and yes, If a person wants to gamble,binge drink etc then they should have the freedom to do so. It is the freedom we have in the Western World to live your own life as you feel fit, not to be dictated by a totalitarian religion as Islam is.

    Also Islam, does not have equality of male and female. It basically says in the Koran that women don’t have the ability to think logically, they can only think with emotion. Also Women must stay at home with the family and also women do not have any rights in any Islamic country currently. So if a husband divorces his wife thats it she will become homeless.

    If Islam becomes more wide-spread in Europe then we are going to have our way of life changed and our freedom taken away from us. I can see this already happening in the UK.

  18. Glen Quinn


    I forgot to say this last part:
    Muslim familys WOULD NOT embrace our culture any way because there culture is mixed in with there religion as is there language so for Muslims to embrace our culture is to go against Islam.

    Think about it

  19. Garry

    Good article, this whole area is a minefield for commentators, its very difficult to sort out the facts on this and even if facts are presented the presenter is often misinterpreted or just accused of racism as an easy way to shut them up.

    My personal opinion (not fact I admit) is that the cross and cresent can only coexist peacefully where both communities only pay lip service to their religions and dont really believe it. If the koran or bible were written today, they would be banned under incitement to hatred laws, they both contain so much specific instructions to their followers on how to punish unbelievers.

    Western christain societies have grown up and have discarded the worst aspects of their religion (admittedly some good has been last also) . At least Christain churches have acknowledged the supremacy of human rights and civil law (remember the waffle about canon law just a few years back wrt the child abuse cases).

    Islam doesnt have the concept of seperation between church and state, indeed it commands the very opposite.. Hence some muslims are calling for sharia law in the UK. We regard these mullas as nutters and dont take them seriously or at least as a serious threat to our civil rights. However, the uncomfortable fact is these muslims are perfectly sane and decent human beings when discussing anything other than religion. They are just calling for what they really truely believe in and what their religion has commanded them to demand.

    It is a real issue which should be addresses in an open honest forum… how can religions be accomodated in a democratic society in a way that allows their followers to believe whatever they want but safeguards the rights of all citizens.

    I would argue we should fireproof our institutions, have complete seperation between all churches and state, treat religions like companies and their clergy as PAYE employees. To underline to all religions that they may control whetever afterlife they tell their followers to believe in but on this world, their clergy and followers are subject to all aspects of civil law. Otherwise you wont have peacefull coexistence but rather dominance of one over another…

  20. Dan Hayes

    This is a cosmopolitan blog site, witness the references to American Renaissance, Steve Sailer, etc. Yes, the internet does succeed in moving facts around.

  21. Martha

    If the Catholic Irish can’t get along with themselves – which they don’t as a rule (no pun intended) – then don’t expect them to facilitate the integration of Muslims – or any other foreigners with equally potent religious beliefs – into OUR culture!

  22. Martha

    The Bishop of Rochester said:

    “The purpose of my article was to point out that the best way for welcoming and integrating newer arrivals in this country should have been a Christian vision of hospitality and not the secular policy of multiculturalism which has led to such disastrous consequences.”

    Don’t you just love it the way these Christians (bishops and things like that) turn the whole thing on its head! WE “christians” are full of tender-loving hospitality – whilst THEY are multicultularist secularists full of hatred, whose actions lead to “such disastrous consequences”.

    Dear oh dear!

  23. Paul

    Maybe we have it all wrong, maybe Atheists are the real salt of the earth.

  24. Sean

    When are the diaspora going to be welcomed home. This is what you all really want. What I wouldn’t give to be treated Irish by the Irish for the love of Pete. Now, you would rather have diversity at the cost of your identity. I suppose my Irishness dies with me; 100 pct Irish but no country to come home to because my ancestors had the poor taste of running off (or chased out) to America. Enjoy your nightmare.

  25. Steve

    In my experience the conflict is not really between the cross and the crescent.

    Muslim collegues in my office were very decent during the Christmas season. They had no problems joining in the
    season, giving gifts, and understanding what it stood for. (Of course they never got drunk and made fools
    of themselves like the rest of us – shame on them :-) )

    Also, during a “new arrivals” school presentation I attended for my kid the headmaster and a priest took turns speaking
    about the Catholic ethos of the school. I noticed two muslim families sitting together nodding their ends in agreement several times.

    Integration difficulties in Ireland will more likely be between the “crescent” and an increasingly secular and
    morally bankrupt society – and who knows? the “cross” could even find some common ground with the “crescent”?

  26. Tariq

    i think the main issue with western approach to islam is a too much generalization of muslims as a homogenous group of people. a Wahabi muslim is very different to a Sufi muslim or a shia one…. What they believe could be totally different. Western media in particular succeded in showing extreme fundamentalists fractions as the ordinary muslim person . Created a stereotype , typical muslim profile : extremely conservative , ignorant to other cultures , non- tolerant , cruel to women, no respect for human rights and arabic speaking(arabs only represent less than 20% of muslims)
    . unfortunately the damage is done it is very difficult to reverse this image. Moderate ordinary muslims always looked to the west as a way of modernizing force , unfortunately they are disillusioned with the west. That is the real danger. instead of totally isolating these people , it is best to engage with these countries in cultural and economical relations. a few successful examples will be the beacons of light for the young muslims. we need to encourage countries like Turkey ,Malaysia to lead the change. They could be the engines of change, reformation in islam. against the extremists. lets not forget chechens used to be peaceful sufis from ottoman times , even used to drink alcohol . Extremists wahabis from the desert with their fistful of petrodollars turned them into fundamentalists…..

  27. AndrewGMooney

    Muslims do not recognise ‘the nation state’. There is only ‘dar-el-islam’ (the lands of Islam) and dar-el-harb’ (the lands of the Infidel). The aim of Islam is to establish a new Caliphate so that the Ummah of Islam covers the Earth. And jihad (war) is enshrined in The Koran.

    When I was growing up in Brum, my Irish relatives would visit us and be astonished by the saris, turbans, burkhas, exotic vegetables, spice, etc. When I was a little lad visiting Ballyfermot the idea of an Asian community of any description would have seemed bizarre in the extreme.

    B10 was a ‘little Ireland’ when I was a boy. By the time I left for University there was a dramatic ‘white flight’ principally down the A45 to B26.

    In my youthful arrogance I attributed this to ‘unexamined racism’, not really being observant and knowledgeable at all about the very real differences between my ‘Asian’ neighbours.

    Muslims are very different to Hindus and Sikhs. I went out with a Sikh girl as a teenager and we were routinely abused by Muslim men who assumed, because she was ‘brown’, that she either was a Muslim or should be one. They soon realised their mistake.

    When I took my kids ‘back to the old house’ and to show them The Holy Family R.C School and Church were Daddy went at their age: I faced some unpleasant comments from teenage boys about my ethnicity and my ‘right’ to be on ‘their’ streets, seeming hanging around with a camera of all provocations.

    Racism and cultural intolerance is a two-way street. Muslims cannot and will not be ‘assimilated’ into Western Culture unless and until there is a Reformation of Islamic religion, culture and jurisprudence.

    I have no doubt that Ireland will face the very same problems that plague Northern English towns such as Blackburn, Leeds and Huddersfield. A disenfranchised urban underclass some of which finds it’s identity in extremist Islamic ideation in the same way as some young black Americans turn to rap as rebellion.

    But the consequences can be of exponentially graver proportions as 7/7 showed.

    I was born on 11th September. Ever since ‘that day’ I have made it my business to study Islam and nothing I have learned consoles me. When I read Daniel Pipes and ‘Robert Spencer’ at ‘Jihad Watch’ it depresses me how post-Christendom Western Culture seems to be sleep-walking into oblivion. Ireland included.

    And no, this doesn’t make me a racist, a cultural supremacist or a British Imperialist. It makes me a realist.

  28. AndrewGMooney

    John Q Public: I’m indebted to you for that link. Thanks.
    So many pertinent issues, I can only do ‘brief’ bullet point analysis/responses as it’s 1:30am and I have to be up by 5:00am to milk the cows!

    Never mind ‘Eastern Europe’: Let’s talk about the Russians, who are NOT part of the E.U. I’ve had enough of ‘Moscow-on-Thames’ crime syndicate Mafias taking over London. Does that make me ‘racist’? If so: How exactly?

    Interesting perspective on Leicester/Mercia. Coming from Brum, it’s just pointing out the obvious. BUT: Leicester is largely Hindu/Sikh. Brum is increasingly Muslim. Entirely different consequences. This isn’t about Race or Economics. It’s about Culture, specifically Religion. I repeat, ad nauseum: When I can fly into Mecca with a visible Crucifix and a Christian Bible in my hand, then I’ll accept the absurd concept of the ‘Moderate Muslim’. Until then: Fc-Uk Off!

    It’s kind of pathetic and sad to think I used to be called out as ‘Plastic Paddy’ in Dublin ‘long ago and far away’ because my accent was ‘alien’ Brummie and I didn’t understand ‘G.A.A Orthodoxies’. No, I didn’t. because: I was too busy shagging to waste time with ‘that kind of thing’. When I wasn’t busy worshipping at the ‘Altar of Footie’ as you all do now. Hello there! Jack Charlton!
    Oh, to be ‘Young, Eng-Eire-ish, and White’! Skinhead-Reggae music. Etc.

    Please continue with the candles and prayers for Eduardo. We are obviously having an effect. 9 months is a long time but he’ll return. Croatia: Please stop the death threats to a young Brummie defender who made an ill-judged tackle. I’d man ‘Your Arsenal’ for the coming conflagrations on your borders with Serbia/Montenegro/Bos-Herzog. Sorry, I’m drifting ‘off-topic’. Again!

    Kevin Myers is spot on. But he ‘totalises’ in some areas. Africa is presented as a unified continent on his/your atlas. It’s anything but. Look at Sudan. North/South. Split on religious affiliation. Name another country that wasted it’s soul on such a conflict for decades?

    ‘China’ will disintegrate with even more catastrophic consequences than the Balkans/Caucasus. It’s going to get really shitty out there folks.
    If you’ve got the stomach for a true Anglo-Irish Brit with bollocks/bollix like Churchill (other than me): Try this man:


    Click on ‘Sharia Fiasco’. Then enjoy all the others. WARNING! Not for liberal feint-hearts. A ‘Real 2nd Generation Anglo-Irish Tell-It-Like-It-Is’ geezer, just like me. But perhaps not so….extreme. I wonder if he was a Horslips fan in the early 70′s as well? Rory?
    As for Liverpool: For a very good reason I don’t say “Irish Blood, English Heart” when I claim to be ‘The Prophet Of The Fifth Province’. I say: “Celtic Blood, Saxon Heart”:

    There’s a coherence, a congruence, an affinity that’s simply not there when you’re a Second-Generation Kashmiri Brummie. The dislocation is too extreme. At least, this is what my Kashmiri-Islamic-Brummie friends tell me. And trust me: They desperately want to leave and join ‘Us’. You’ve got all this to come in Dubh. In fast-forward mode as well….

    ‘Poles’ are not ‘Paddies’. They are ‘poles’ apart. Pun. Neither Pole nor Paddy wa ever a ‘real’ Brummie.
    Sikhs are not equivalent to Muslims. Not all Muslims are Asian. All Muslims are not the same. There is an Absolute Ocean between Turkish/Moroccan iterations of Muslim identity and Saudi perversions of Wahhabi / Salafi syncretism.

    Oops! Jargon alert! But ‘syncretism’ is an absolute must to understanding ‘what’s really going on’.

    David: ‘Culture Defines and Dictates the terms of Economic Debate’. If you want to step into the ring: Explain ‘Islamic Banking’ solely referencing ‘Capitalism’ and Euro-Centric Economics. It’s simply impossible.

    Hindus are an entirely different planet to everyone else. They sussed the true ‘Value of a Cow’ in a way that ‘Paddy in His Field in Laois’ never could. And I loved many such Paddies. Hello Uncle Jack!
    Controversial ‘Fact’: All languages, cultures, religions and medicines emerged from The Hindu Matrix. No wonder Hitler was obsessed with the Swastika.

    Poles won’t leave Ireland. Or England. They’ll just take over. They are the real ‘sleepers’. They are fighting for a future on their terms. Not ‘yours’ or ‘ours’. As Kevin says: They sacrificed everything to oppose the Nazis…..I better shut up, I’m talking to Eire…….
    I’m spending the summer in Warsaw, Krakow and Katowice. Why? To study The Future. And to watch the concrete footings go down for the new Intel plants…..

    I play ‘Identity Games’ on this site, but it’s only because I despair of ‘Reality’. I’m as sound as a Non-Euro – British – Pound. It’s one thing to post drivel pretending to be drunk/ stoned on hash / mushrooms. Or a generic Shakespearian Fool:
    But it’s quite another matter when subsequent posts clearly indicate that no amount of disruptive discourse will interrupt the interregnum (Jargon alert! Heiddeger!)

    “Fantasy is Reality in the world today. I’ll keep hangin in there. It’s the only way. Recollections of what Grandaddy used to say: Keeps me hangin’ in there. That is the only way”

    Kevin- call me anytime. I won’t be silenced or ‘hemmed in’ by idiot sheep’le who couldn’t think their way out of a non-biodegradable supermarket plastic bag: Never mind envision the future of Post-Christendom, Post-Secular Eurabia.

    PS: Phil Lynott was ‘black’. And utterly, entirely Irish. Just ask anyone at any of the gigs at Birmingham Odeon in the early 70′s. Ah! ‘The Birmingham Irish‘: We were Brief. Freaks-Unique. More ‘Irish’ than y’all could ever hope to be. Sad. But true.

    Kind regards.
    ‘Mad’ Paddy From Brum.

  29. John Q. Public

    AndrewGMooney: I have been looking for that guy for a while now but didn’t realise he was on youtube. I got one of his videos from a friend ages ago and lost it, forgot his name etc. Now I’m indebted to you for that link. Thanks.

  30. AndrewGMooney

    Message for John Q. Public

    I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find that Pat Condell is a Londoner of Irish extraction. A volatile mix! I have all of his stuff on my Ipod.

    He has balls of steel. A true Brit hero.

  31. Robert McNulty

    Immigration is quite bad for this country. The problem is the Nigerians; these are the people who target Ireland for welfare/economic reasons and the Government is doing nothing to deport them. If you walk around Blanchardstown, virtually all the people there are blacks. Theres no Irish to be seen. This despite the fact that this is our country and that we have no history of colonising countries like Nigeria or Mali. How can anyone contest that immigration is a good thing? Its like saying that walking on a frozen-over pond is safe.

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