The International Herald Tribune reports that the Netherlands’ Labor Party is moving toward a more realistic definition of what it means to accommodate Muslim immigrants, many of whom have refused to do the one thing necessary to deserve it – assimilate.
Lilianne Ploumen, Labor’s chairperson:
Ploumen says, “Integration calls on the greatest effort from the new Dutch. Let go of where you come from; choose the Netherlands unconditionally.” Immigrants must “take responsibility for this country” and cherish and protect its Dutch essence.
Not clear enough? Ploumen insists, “The success of the integration process is hindered by the disproportionate number of non-natives involved in criminality and trouble-making, by men who refuse to shake hands with women, by burqas and separate courses for women on citizenship.
Ploumen is exactly correct – assimilation into the social mores of their new homeland’s culture is imperative for the long-term sustainability of the host nation.
The lesson that the Dutch Labor Party has learned is one that has global applicability. Western nations may well be importers of external labor; nevertheless, they are not obligated to import the undesirable social tendencies inherent in the immigrants’ countries of origin.
Therefore, honor killings, polygamy, and female genital mutilation should be checked at the door. Emigration requires those sacrifices and others to ensure the cultural integrity of the new homeland for it’s that very integrity that creates the economic and social circumstances that encourage immigration in the first place.
As for the host countries, the Dutch realization is particularly profound: It is perfectly acceptable – in fact, it’s actually a duty – to expect and demand that immigrants give up those aspects of their native culture that conflict with their new home. Likelihood of assimilation should be a key criteria by which immigrants are screened prior to admittance, even if their purpose is primarily to work in the host country.
Labor’s line seems to stand on its head the old equation of jobs-plus-education equals integration. Conforming to Dutch society’s social standards now comes first. Strikingly, it turns its back on cultural relativism and uses the word emancipation in discussing the process of outsiders’ becoming Dutch.
It’s time we all accept and adapt to the reality that, in addition to welcoming valuable diversity, we must also defend our cultures, before it’s too late.