10 February 2006

Immigrant Culture Clash in Germany

Just read an article off of the BBC website, and it says that German Muslims are upset over 30 new questions that test their "democratic values" for naturalizing as German citizens. Some are as follows:
  • How do you view the statement that a woman should obey her husband, and that he can beat her if she doesn't?

  • You learn that people from your neighbourhood or from among friends or acquaintances have carried out or are planning a terrorist attack - what do you do?

  • Some people hold the Jews responsible for all the evil in the world, and even claim they were behind the attacks of 11 September 2001 in New York. What is your view of this claim?

  • Imagine that your son comes to you and declares that he's a homosexual and would like to live with another man. How do you react?
Are these questions loaded? The third one definitely is, but to me, the others are fair game.

I do believe that most of these questions are worth asking. Immigrant sexism and homophobia are severe problems, both with the Surinamese community in the Netherlands and with various communities here in California. It appears that Germany does not want to fall into the same fate, given that the 9/11 hijackers gathered in Hamburg, and that honor killings are starting to become common.

Immigrants have been credited with bringing bits of their own culture and contributing it to the host nation's culture. It's definitely happened in America, and to a lesser extent in Europe, and both places are much better off for it. But that does NOT mean that immigrant primitive moral values should be allowed to infiltrate the host culture and bring it down, especially in a society like America, where native primitive elements are already doing severe damage to the social fabric. To me, "immigrant contribution" to a given society does NOT, and shall never, include honor killings, for starters.

I do hope that this test, if applied, is consistently applied to not only Muslims, but also Christians and people of other faiths and backgrounds as well. The problems are not limited to Muslims.

BBC Article