Friday, November 11, 2005

On Immigration, Assimilation, Technology & Riots

FREEMUSLIMS.ORG sent out an interesting email today, titled "Why is France Burning? Is America Next?" by Kamal Nawash.

It made some good points but one of them caught my eye. "Unlike past immigrant generations who quickly assimilated, today's immigrants take much longer to assimilate if they assimilate at all. This is due to technology. In the past, immigrants were generally cut of from their mother countries which made assimilation much easier. Today, satellite technology brings movies, news and culture from an immigrant's home country to the living room of his adopted country via TV, the internet and other forms of media."

In response, I wrote to them stating that I am proud to be a Muslim from Pakistan and proud to be an immigrant and proud American. I can HATE American POLICIES but still LOVE America, and its people. I am more American than many Americans in how I believe in true American values (not the Bush-Cheney-Rice-Rove-Haliburton version) and am an "assimilated patriot" yet remain dedicated to helping Pakistanis and Muslims achieve progress and socio-economic success in the future.

Your posting below has many good points but I seriously disagree that Technology is to blame for the LACK of assimilation of immigrants, in Europe or America. Assimiliation is a CHOICE, and younger people in well off, educated families/cities will assimilate better than un-educated, down-trodden, unemployed youth who may also have poor, uneducated and unemployed, possibly overly religious parents.

Contrary to the writer's opinion, I feel immigrants today have a CLEAR picture of the kind of society they will have to live in, thanks to cable and satellite TV and the Internet, before they ever buy a fake visa or crawl over the border or float into Miami.

They can see that if they move to Miami, FL, they should expect to see lots of thong-wearing babes. They cannot claim to not have known the cultural differences, that they could easily have seen in ANY TV show, if nothing, then Baywatch! If they move to Nice, France, they should expect (and probably look forward to) nude sun-bathers thronging the beaches that they will ogle, all the while complaining about the "evil and shameless" Western culture.

So, the real problem is people coming "HERE" (whether Europe or America) and CHOOSING to still live in a little mental and geographic ghetto that looks (and usually smells) like where they came from..... Such immigrants should not come "here" and if they hate it so much "here", they ought to go back where they came from..... Those that do come here, and have the requisite drive and skills, do not need to make an effort to assimilate. Success is assimilation in this culture. Doing well is assimilation. We/they can stay true to their cultural values as immigrants, whether it be saying prayers or not eating pork, speaking Urdu or wearing shalwar kameez, yet be considered assimilated simply by being productive, proactive, ACTIVE members of the society we CHOOSE to make our (new) home.

Blaming the host for everything, or blaming technology for the choice of people not to move into the mainstream, are not the answer. That's just In My Humble Opinion. Comments welcome.

Regards

Imran
http://imran.com
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