Immigration is good. When handled properly, it can rejuvenate societies; seize advantage from other nations’ brain drain to infuse expertise into key industries; and correct demographics to ensure healthy growth. When uncoordinated, however immigration can undercut societies.
Several years ago, I went to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, and met with members of their city council. I asked what I thought would be a “gimme” question: “What does it mean to be Dutch?” They could not answer. They did not require immigrants to master the Dutch language, or encourage assimilation. Cultural equivalency pervaded the Dutch politicians: To insist on any identity would imply one to be superior to another. This creates an irony in which immigrants flood to a new society to seek a better life but, by their unwillingness to accept the values which made the society in their destination great, they end up replicating the faults of the homeland from which they fled.
A new study suggests Germany must soon face questions regarding the nexus between immigration and culture. From Der Spiegel:
A new study has revealed that thousands of young women and girls in forced marriages seek help every year in Germany. The vast majority of victims come from Muslim families, and many have been threatened with violence or even death. The numbers involved are much higher than previously suspected…. The report revealed that one-third of victims were threatened with death if they did not go through with the forced marriage. The vast majority — 83.4 percent — of the victims of forced marriage come from households with Muslim parents. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, almost two-thirds of the cases come from devout religious families. Many of the victims experienced extreme violence, and 27 percent were threatened with weapons or with death. Almost a third of those forced into marriage in Germany were 17 years old or younger, and another 40 percent were between the ages of 18 and 21.
While Germany has a law on the books which makes it a crime to force women and girls into marriage, it is clear the law is not effective. It will be interesting to see how the German government responds, if at all.