69 million page views

semi-autonomous sectors

Reader comment on item: Does Europe Have No-go Zones?

Submitted by Brigitte (Germany), Jan 28, 2015 at 04:37

A Guardian article by Tim Dowling brought me to this blog. In Germany and the rest of Europe, Fox news was widely ridiculed for their interview with this so called 'expert'. It is quite shocking that this kind of sensationalist journalism has such a big platform in America. I find it hard to believe this man possesses any 'considerable investigative skills'.

Having actually myself lived in Berlin, Antwerp and London in districts with strong muslim communities, I find that your blog post, despite correcting an earlier assumption, still paints a picture of deeply divided city landscapes which does not resonate with reality. Instead these areas are still very mixed indeed. Often being not very desirable places to live in to start with, they are obviously mainly inhabited by a part of the population that has a low income, such as students as myself, and obviously for that reason the percentage of immigrants here is much higher. Local shops cater to local needs, -so of course you will find a travel agency geared up towards muslims. I do not understand why this should illustrate any point.

What should actually not be forgotten (as this photo is from Berlin) is that Germany actually invited turkish labourers in the 60s, here the wikipedia entry:

"Large-scale migration of Turkish citizens to West Germany developed during the Wirtschaftswunder("economic miracle") of the 1960s and 1970s. West Germany suffered an acute labour shortage because of the economic boom, in 1961, the Bundesrepublik and officials at the Turkish Republic negotiated a trade of labour. Turkish workers were invited to move to Germany to fill in this void, particularly to work in the factories to do simple repetitive tasks."

So, what I am getting at with this:

Is it not normal for immigrants of any nationality to bring with them part of their local culture? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonia_Tovar

You mention that "Alcohol and pork are effectively banned in these districts, polygamy and burqas commonplace, police enter only warily and in force, and Muslims get away with offenses illegal for the rest of population."

This does not apply in the places I have lived in. It is simply not true.

The sex exploitation scandal you mention sounds horrific, but there also plenty of cover-up examples in catholic communities (often instigated by members of the catholic church in the past). To me it seems a dark aspect of human nature/ problems that can develop in any tight knit (religious or non-religious) community. I find it slighlty inappropiate to bring this into the muslim 'semi autonomous sectors' argument.

From my own experience on a personal level there are also hugely enriching aspects of a multi cultural society. Having had a muslim neighbour for many years, I think it is important to stress that the majority of muslims in Europe are actually moderat, "normal", harmless citizens.

The issue with radicalisation seems to me incredibly complex and blaming it on certain communities simplifies a deeply complicated issue to no end. I personally think seeing muslim communities as the enemy, stigmatizing them and calling them 'West Europe's most acute problem' actually only makes it worse to be honest. This creates a grossly exaggerated impression of clash of cultures and ignore the reality most people live in (here in West Europe).


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)