Montreal, November 24, 2001  /  No 93  
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Ralph Maddocks is a retired textile executive and former management consultant. He lives in Cowansville, Quebec.
by Ralph Maddocks
          The opposite of cosmopolitanism, and its offspring globalism, with both of which words it tends to be unfavourably compared, is patriotism. Patriotism, from patris or fatherland in Greek, is a word used less and less in our day. It used to indicate a love of country while inferring no distaste for another. Since it seems to be considered racist to use it in this sense nowadays, assuming as it does that if you are satisfied with your own country you must be wilfully nescient of the superiority of all the others, the word is in danger of disappearing from the dictionary. In fact it seems permissible only to employ the word in a pejorative sense, presumably until legislation is enacted which will ban its use completely.
          Patriotism is, or used to be at least, a necessary component of membership in all free societies; a status which was not necessarily acquired only by birth but also by naturalization. The latter condition was akin to being adopted and was expected to be revered as such. The so-called liberal democratic societies of today are societies whose political life is shaped by shared ideas, values and decisions. These features of a free society are supposed to bind its members closely into a community of interdependence and responsibility, a kind of shared destiny if you will. Free societies depend upon the patriotism of their members and their love of country and personal commitment to maintain civil order. It does not seem to me an unreasonable requirement to expect that immigrants to any country will take part fully in the responsibilities of their new citizenship. 
Citizenship no longer means assimilation or commitment 
          Much Human Rights legislation regarding citizenship seems to ignore the moral and political aspects of this community of participation. The 'human right' to free movement and the citizenship of all has shown a tendency to transform free, settled and prosperous communities into places of temporary and free accommodation. Legislators today seem to believe that citizenship should not require any degree of assimilation or commitment. The social democracy of Quebec, quixotically, wants its immigrants to assimilate but stridently opposes any attempt at what it regards as their assimilation by Canada.  
          There is much talk in these same circles about social theory, social justice and social democracy. However, we should understand that the word 'social' is an adjective which automatically reverses the meaning of any noun it precedes. Thus a social market economy is not a market economy any more than a social worker is a worker or a social democracy a democracy. Social justice is definitely not justice, and its pursuit frequently involves and leads to injustice. In line with this doctrine of social justice, Canada's Supreme Court, in its wisdom decided some time ago that any person setting foot in this land was entitled to the exact same rights as those who were born or naturalized here. A decision which is likely to have far reaching and perverse effects.  
          Included in this concept of social justice is the idea of the multi-cultural state. Ignored are any problems it may bring. Most have probably forgotten that it was multi-cultural politics which led to the breakup of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, and more recently we have witnessed the breakup of the multi-cultural states of Yugoslavia and the former Soviet Empire.  
          Multi-culturalism is supported by the Left as an assault on national identity and the Right supports it because it sees it as the endorsement by outsiders of their values. The unceasing flood of immigrants from dissimilar cultures is the neo-conservatives' answer to the deprecation of national values by the Left. Even libertarians sometimes seem in favour of multi-culturalism, perhaps because they are in favour of anything that will break up the state. Can there be a better way of breaking up the state than dissolving national identity? Though these political positions may be incompatible they are understandable, but none is a legitimate reason for constructing, what some have described, as a political Tower of Babel. Doing so will require the introduction of stringent laws repressing various freedoms, as is becoming evident as the construction of the European Union proceeds apace. 
          Even under the former "melting pot" rules of the USA it is doubtful that the USA can continue to assimilate the high rate of third world, non-European immigration it has been experiencing in the last thirty years. Under the multi-cultural Balkanization policy now in effect, non-assimilation would seem to be a guaranteed outcome. Americans used to be Americans first and hyphenated Americans second, but civil rights policy seems to have turned every hyphenated American into a "preferred minority" and endowed them with special legal privileges. The problems that this left-wing idea of unfettered multi-culturalism has brought were not foreseen. Nobody seems to have bothered to analyze the likely effects that would follow increased immigration from countries whose belief and value systems differed very radically from those of the nations they entered so eagerly.  
          In 1999, the WorldNetDaily news website reported that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forced Argenbright Security Inc., a company which then as now provides airport security in the USA, to rehire seven Muslim non-citizens it had dismissed, five of whom were citizens of countries on the State Department's blacklist of terrorist organizations. The seven Muslims were fired because they refused to stop wearing their distinguishing headgear, garb which allegedly made many U. S. citizens very nervous when passing through airport security particularly after the Muslim bombings of the two U. S. embassies in Africa. According to the EEOC, "preferred minorities" do not have to be U. S. citizens in order to benefit from group rights. Argenbright was now forced by the EEOC to rehire them, make cash settlements, offer them apologies and institute a "Muslim-sensitivity training program for its employees." This policy thus ensures that Muslim or other non-citizens need to make no concession whatsoever to the Western culture that hosts them. 
Obeying the Imam or the commander-in-chief? 
          The war in Afghanistan has raised some very interesting questions within the ranks of the two main allied protagonists. The US armed forces have about 15,000 Muslims in uniform and, following the events of last September, the North American Islamic Jurisprudence Council was asked by one of the armed services' Imams if it was permissible for Muslim troops to fight other Muslims. The answer, sought from Muslim clerics overseas, was a Fatwa saying that they could – provided that there was "no alternative". Some time later though, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, these same Arab clerics withdrew that permission and issued a Fatwa prohibiting Muslims in the armed services from taking part in attacks on Muslim forces. One would think that joining a country's armed service involves the likelihood of being asked to fight and possibly die for that country some day. I don't imagine that many in the US armed forces were aware of the influence of a Middle Eastern cleric, most especially not their commander-in-chief. 
          From the United Kingdom come reports of some 200 young Muslims who left for Afghanistan to join the Taleban wishing to return. This provoked an outbreak of anger, with government ministers claiming that these people had committed treason and would have their passports revoked. It was not clear from press reports whether these Muslims were native born or not. Presumably this is all that could be done to them because the UK Parliament has not declared a state of war to exist between itself and Afghanistan. 
     « Along with multi-culturalism have grown the concepts of "racism" and the "hate crime", with criticism of various less advanced cultures not being permitted. Indeed, the more primitive the society, the more it tends to be exalted. »
          In the United Kingdom, Muslims, largely of Pakistani origin until recent times, pose by far the greatest challenge to society. Nowhere in the world do we see Islam assimilating into a Judeo-Christian civilization, or even into a secular one. Even those states which could be described as secular Muslim states are experiencing difficulties themselves and must rely on force to remain in power. Assimilating Muslims would be difficult enough if the multi-cultural problems had been foreseen and planned for. When "preferred minorities", as in the United States, are endowed with special legal privileges it becomes virtually impossible.  
          The United Kingdom has experienced similar problems with the assimilation of many of its immigrants. A large number, such as those of Caribbean ancestry and those adhering to the Muslim faith, have tended to band together in certain areas of a few large cities; they do not integrate and remain separate and different. This kind of behaviour could be expected of first generation immigrants, but hardly of their descendants. If one looks at the history of US immigration one finds that at first there were Irish, Polish, German, Puerto Rican and other ghettos within the cities. However, slowly these areas have, for the large part, become less and less distinctive as other immigrant groups moved into them; the "melting pot" was at work. 
          If one takes the trouble to walk, or drive slowly, north up Boulevard St. Laurent in Montreal, one can see very clearly from the names on the various businesses the successive waves of immigration which have taken place over the last century or so. There are also in Montreal, as in other Canadian cities, predominantly immigrant areas within the city. In some provinces of Canada there are whole sections of towns replete with stores and other facilities whose advertising is exclusively in the language of the resident immigrant community. Of course those provinces have not yet passed enlightened regulations such as Quebec's Bill 101, or even appointed language police to enforce them. 
Half a century on Canadian soil 

          Although it is now almost half a century since first I set my immigrant foot on Canadian soil, I have not forgotten the process through which I was obliged to pass. First there was the usual form filling and supplying information that nobody would ever use, then or later. Conflicting instructions such as Do Not include any extra documents with the form and Wait until you have all the relevant documents and send everything at the same time were dealt with somehow. 
          Following this was a medical examination whose principal raison d'etre was to make sure that I would not import any Mycobacterium tuberculosis into Canada. The bladder was emptied and the volume of blood withdrawn would have satisfied the appetite of any passing vampire. Security checks were made in the land of my birth and evidence requested that I was not a convicted criminal, both reasonable requirements to make of a potential citizen I thought.  
          After waiting for eight weeks, and in retrospect this seems to have been something of a record, I was informed that I may book and take passage to this country. Today, with our much more modern and efficient bureaucracy, they have streamlined their procedures and it takes now, or so I am told, several months to complete the process. Perhaps they are hoping that the applicant will die, or develop a malady from the stress of waiting; anything to nullify the process. Then again, it is perhaps because the procedures are lengthy that people arrive without ever having visited and been interviewed by a Canadian Immigration official overseas. Some would be immigrants arrive here from rusty ships, some come in aircrafts and almost all such arrive having destroyed whatever identifying papers they may once have possessed. This is done presumably so that they cannot be returned to their country of origin.  
          Given that these documents are usually required before boarding an aircraft bound for here I have never quite understood why the airline staff cannot keep these documents in their care so that they may be presented to Canadian authorities upon arrival. Once on Canadian soil these document-less immigrants are given money, pointed at the various welfare agencies and asked to come back at some future date for further examination. An examination by some political appointee who will determine their suitability for inclusion in this country's population. Some actually do return for an interview but others – several thousands by some estimates – simply disappear never to be seen again. Others infiltrate the US/Canada border and, evading US immigration authorities, seek refuge in the teeming populations of large cities like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. 
Keeping out illegal immigrants 
          Countries, like Australia, have similar bureaucratic procedures but try energetically to keep illegal immigrants out, as recent events there showed. If any do succeed in setting foot in the country they are placed in camps until their status can be determined. There is no question of them roaming the streets of their intended homeland. The United Kingdom tries to keep out the illegals also, but at last count there were some 50,000 of them wandering around that small country. The number of asylum seekers arriving there is running at more than 5,000 a month. The number of appeals against refusals of asylum is running also at record levels. Last February alone, there were more than 10,000 appeals, 15 times the number in the same month the previous year. 
          In 1999, there were only 6,600 appeals in total. Hundreds of extra staff have been recruited to speed up the process and an extra £600 million was allocated with the aim of clearing the backlog within a month. These figures exclude dependants and, as in Canada, there is no guarantee that those who are refused asylum will be sent home. In the year 2000, only 9,000 were forced to leave the country. From this European wonderland we learn of two asylum seekers who each spent three months in prison after being convicted of travelling on forged passports. After the high court ruled in 1999 that prosecutions of asylum seekers for using false papers breached Britain's obligations under the 1951 Geneva convention on the status of refugees these two were awarded a total of $185,000 (Cdn). The result is that the UK Home Office now faces an onslaught of compensation claims. 
          Along with multi-culturalism have grown the concepts of "racism" and the "hate crime", with criticism of various less advanced cultures not being permitted. Indeed, the more primitive the society, the more it tends to be exalted. Anyone daring to speculate about the possibility of genetic differences existing among the various newcomers meets with instant disapproval. While our social democrat friends declare their adherence to "freedom of expression," they prohibit such expression whenever someone finds it "offensive." Worse yet, the "offence" being decided by the listener means there is no attempt to establish and abide by an objective set of rules. Paraphrasing Orwell, it soon becomes apparent that some cultures are more equal than others. Racists are assumed always to be male, heterosexual and white and very rarely is mention made of non-white intolerance to whites or towards other non-whites. While racism undoubtedly exists and must be condemned, our social democrat friends find it difficult to state that racism is evil because it is a form of collectivism, since they are themselves collectivists. 
          Multi-culturalism seems not to require immigrants to identify with their country of adoption, or require them to adopt its values or to serve in its armed forces if required. So why have the multi-culturalists not encouraged immigrants to bring their other customs and traditions with them? Traditions and customs such as forced marriage, marriage by capture, polygamy, genital mutilation, slavery and suttee. Discussing such embarrassing issues is not encouraged, and probably not even allowed. It seems somewhat nonsensical to insist that newcomers to Canada abide by Canadian laws, when "our arrogant, ethnocentric traditions" must not be "imposed" on them. Representatives from both the Moslem and the black communities have already been lobbying for special legal systems "more in line with our community standards". If immigrants to, or indeed citizens of, any country are not willing or able to adapt to its ways and devote themselves to its general interests, especially its freedom and independence, then perhaps they should reconsider why they remain there.  
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