An end to German multiculturalism?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101017/wl_afp/germanymuslimreligionimmigration

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel … one of the supposed “left wing lunatics” who refused to support George W. Bush’s foray into Iraq, has stated publicly that German muti-culturalism has failed, and that immigrants to Germany need to adopt Christian values and learn German.

I know, you are thinking things like this are the stuff of regional America.  Apparently, Germany can be added to the list of nations the are concerned about losing their national identity.  Note:  something like this could not have come at a worse time for American Democrats whose far right wings foes are jumping up and down right now and shouting at the top of their lungs “see …. we weren’t the only people thinking this!!!”

The idea of immigrants being made to learn the native language as a condition of immigration (within a reasonable amount of time) isn’t crazy … that immigrants need to bend a bit to the local values and morays is hardly asking too much.

This is hardly the most surprising thing in this article.  Here’s what grabbed my attention:

 

While warning against “immigration that weighs down on our social system”, Merkel said Germany needed specialists from overseas to keep the pace of its economic development.

According to the head of the German chamber of commerce and industry, Hans Heinrich Driftmann, Germany is in urgent need of about 400,000 engineers and qualified workers, whose lack is knocking about one percent off the country’s growth rate.

The integration of Muslims has been a hot button issue since August when a member of Germany’s central bank sparked outrage by saying the country was being made “more stupid” by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants with headscarves.

 

Let’s throw out the overtly racist headscarf comment … that does not gain my approval.  What I noted is that there is a desperate need for engineers in Germany, and that this is a function of problems in the education system.

Does that sound like a familiar argument … something about how the U.S. is falling behind other western nations because we can’t educate enough people to fill the technical jobs.  Apparently, it is a scare tactic, because Germany is about as industrialized a Western nation as you get … and arguably has the greatest tradition of engineering in the world (not always used for good, mind you) … and they are having the same problems we are.  I note that as being “interesting”.

Is immigration in both nations really the problem, or is it the scapegoat?  I’ve always found it interesting that the same people who blame illegal immigrants for our poor education system are the same ones who will blame teachers as well.  As with everything, part of the truth might be in each of these issues, but one is hardly the culprit.

 

Tangentially, the upcoming Congressional elections are to be interesting … the left wing is highly fractured after four years of little improvement and a lot of economic downturn (surely, President Obama cannot be blamed for all of this, but when you are in power, you tend to take the blame for what happens).  On the other hand, the emboldened right wing has stepped out and shown that a few of their members are in really bad shape (note:  if your campaign commercial starts with the lines “I am not a witch”, stop wasting our money and get out of the race!).  Part of me wonders if in the end there will be no net change …. certainly the right wing will make gains, as is generally the case when the economy is bad, and the left wing is in power.

One wonders if the right wingers will latch on to this, and remind the left wingers that they are simply taking Europe’s lead … like they always want the nation to do.

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