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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Good post Minty, and a good example not to put all the Muslims in one bag.
    I think it's more important for French people themselves not to assume that all Maghrebis are Muslim. The most prominent and best adapted Maghrebi immigrants to France are Jewish. This includes singers (Patrick Bruel), comedians/actors (Richard Berry, Isabelle Adjani, Alain Chabat, Dany Boon, Gad Elmaleh, Elie Semoun), directors (Claude Lelouch), TV presenters (Arthur) journalists (the very influential Eric Zemmour), business people (Alain Affelou, the CEO of Canal+ and TV5 Serge Adda) and intellectuals (philosophers Jacques Derrida and Bernard-Henri Levy, former president of the Sorbonne University Georges Haddad, writer Jacques Attali). A majority of French people have no idea that many of them are Jewish, except people with clearly Jewish names like Bernard-Henri Levy (but very few could guess his family is from Algeria). Interestingly, almost all the Jewish politicians in France (and there are many) are Ashkenazi, not Sephardi.
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    If Macron gets elected he'll probably have to cut back on the overgenerous French social security system among other impopular measures in order to get the government budget and the economy back on track. I hope he'll have the stomach and enough support from the parliament to do all that.
    The political establishment has left an unsustainable mess they don't dare to clean themselves, afraid as they are to lose popularity.
    It looks like at least some of the French voters have understood that.

    In Belgium the Walloon socialists are no longer in the present government and a few prudent steps have been taken, but not enough as still traditional parties are part of the government. Still more structural measurements are needed.
    All in all the Belgian economy is in a better shape then the French, but Belgium has the burden of a higher government debt due to the overgenerous spending in the past.
    Countries like The Netherlands and Germany are having budget surplusses lately.

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    Why this behaviour towards her, man? Plus, I think we should not care about who is Macron's wife, as long as she does not affect his job as a president of France.

    Quote Originally Posted by DuPidh View Post
    Macron needs to change wife. With the grandma he has on his side will be a but of the jokes. In the age she is now must take a lot of pills, and smell old age unless she has a liter of parfume.

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    I think Misty provided a very good analysis regarding the outcomes of the French elections. One thing we should take into consideration is the fact that many young people voted for the far right. This tells us one thing, the younger generation suffers economically, and if left without help, and by that I mean mostly jobs and a better standard of living--by the way, it seems that the younger generations in the US and some European countries are doing much worse than their parents--then the extreme parties might have a chance of winning in the future, especially given that older voters will naturally die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    If Macron gets elected he'll probably have to cut back on the overgenerous French social security system among other impopular measures in order to get the government budget and the economy back on track. I hope he'll have the stomach and enough support from the parliament to do all that.
    The political establishment has left an unsustainable mess they don't dare to clean themselves, afraid as they are to lose popularity.
    It looks like at least some of the French voters have understood that.
    This election was historical, not just because two non-mainstream candidates made it to the final, but because the Socialist Party has been virtually wiped out (6% of votes), after being one of the two major political forces in French politics for the last 100 years. If French people vote the same way at the parliamentary elections in June, there won't be any major hindrance to reforming the economy and the unemployment benefits. It didn't matter whether Macron or Fillon won, as long as the Socialists were soundly defeated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diomedes View Post
    I think Misty provided a very good analysis regarding the outcomes of the French elections. One thing we should take into consideration is the fact that many young people voted for the far right. This tells us one thing, the younger generation suffers economically, and if left without help, and by that I mean mostly jobs and a better standard of living--by the way, it seems that the younger generations in the US and some European countries are doing much worse than their parents--then the extreme parties might have a chance of winning in the future, especially given that older voters will naturally die.
    I agree, perhaps the most important thing for peaceful society is good economy.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    Muslims may love France but I really don't think they love the French. French lifestyle and culture this the antithesis of how a good Muslim should live. They are sexually liberated, irreligious, drink wine and eat pork sausages. That's why the tensions run so deeply. The hate and intolerance is mutual. The French orange just afraid of Muslim terrorist. They have experienced Muslim youths burning thousands of cars, verbally or physically assaulting them in the street, and threatening to destroy their liberal values by imposing Sharia law in the country. There is no love either way between the two parties.

    Le Pen's mistake was to take an anti-EU stance. If she had been more mainstream for the economy, she could have been elected president. What French people want is someone who will improve the economy and get rid of the Muslims. Le Pen is just not credible for the economy. That's her main weakness.

    It is not only Le Pen,
    after the Brexit, many peculiar things or ideas took form,

    in my country by the time of crisis 'ultra nationalists' take 8%, a % that even they did not expect
    and the total nationalists is about 20-23% meaning 12-15% they disagree with ultra-nationalists cause the last ones are American NATO friendly,
    and most of Greeks feel indipedent, and anti-American especially after Cyprus case,
    so they wait Le-Pen to draw another line, non NAZI, non USA friendly, so to follow her style
    in that case they might reach even 36%.
    on the other hand, most here vote for reaction and anger a Che-LatinoAmerican left style party and brought it to goverment.
    expecting something different by changing,
    but even a set referendum result with an odd question did manage to change politicks

    that feeling is same to most countries except Germanic and Slavic ones,
    they seem to step on more secure ground,
    but especially Germanic are panicked by Turks,
    results bigger than 65% to YES to Erdogan, means that decades and generations after first, they did not manage to assimilate in their style of life the accepted immingrants

    EU is like the 'man on the rope' balancing,
    but many believe Le-Pen's dream of a new EU, or of another EU,
    the Briezinsky (chess game) plan at Ukraine, set big fire at EU
    and the last Balkan situations is like a time clock bomb
    soon we will see strange things in Europe
    if USA do not change its politics against Russia and Arab spring,
    we will see strange things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    but especially Germanic are panicked by Turks,
    results bigger than 65% to YES to Erdogan, means that decades and generations after first, they did not manage to assimilate in their style of life the accepted immingrants
    It is not about the nationality.

    Were the Turks in UK and USA assimilated?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    I agree with your husband.
    Well, what can I say you are both European who speak the same languages. Probably you also have similar cultures. He speaks all of the major languages of Switzerland and four more, even used to live there when he was very young because his parents worked there. People with similar culture often see things the same way.


    There are always exceptions of course. But as you said yourself some of these Muslims are not Muslim anymore and have no religion. French Muslims having sex or marrying non-Muslims is still quite rare and not at all accepted in the Muslim Community.
    Well, I personally don’t think the French should start telling their immigrants when or in what situations they should have sex. Similarly speaking these Muslims who chose to come to France rather than staying in their Muslims countries should not get upset how open minded European live with regards to their sex life. They need to find a common ground, it is called tolerance!

    Yes, this is why my Belgian friend never got married. He had several relationships with Muslim women.


    Merguez is not French cuisine, it is a Maghrebin import. With the hundreds kinds of pork cured meats in France not just sausages, but ham, salami, saucisson and the like, you cannot fully appreciate French cuisine by cutting out the pork. It's the same for German, Belgian, Austrian, Swiss and North Italian cuisines. Britain and Ireland may be higher on beef, but all these countries have a long tradition of pork products.
    Now, I think you should be more open minded than that. In Malaysia, the Chinese foods we eat are very different than the ones they eat over there in China. For example, we don’t eat dogs . Some of them in selected provinces over there do. There are a lot of local vegetables and spices are eaten by Chinese people in Malaysia, who are not known to the Mainlanders.

    Here are some,

    Bilin.2.jpgSisterPlantOfBilin.jpgBlackSkin.Pork..jpgScampi.lobster.Chinese.Malaysian.Style.jpgChinese.Duck.Malaysian.Style.jpg

    I don’t think Muslims have to eat Pork to integrate in French societies. I can understand that ban the Burqua issue… that thread is still going…which page are we up to now….lol

    I don’t think the French should make Muslims eat pork then labelled them the other for not eating pork. If they don’t want to eat pork they can choose not to. I know plenty of Australians who don’t like pork.

    By that logic, with the fact that pork is a very common food in Chinese cuisine; does that mean the French like the Chinese a lot more? Not necessarily, that recent incident with the French police shooting a Chinese man because he had a pair of scissors in his hand making dinner is an example that shows that French do not necessarily like Chinese more than Arabs. There are culture clashes too between the French and the Chinese, eating pork or not! LOL Of course there are a lot of hidden racism you can't see, and don't get to be on TV. The racism against Chinese is more indirect I think.
    Last edited by Minty; 28-04-17 at 15:52.



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    Sorry I don't know why the previous thread won't let me save pictures, so I put them here.

    All of the above Chinese foods are not eaten in China. Some of the vegetables or seafoods are not found up there. I think when different cultures met, some food cultures can be transformed.

    I think it would be too hard in Scandinavia though. @ Angela, I don't think France or Belgium have better welfare than Scandanavia, I think the muslims cannot see themselves living there with that kind of weather or foods.

    My father's friend went to Finland once with his family. Once is enough he said, the people are nice and things but there is nothing to eat. They eat things like bear meat, white eagle meat, reindeer meat, and a lot of smoked fishes especially salmon.

    I think there are a lot of other people from various cultures who like French foods, the Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, people from various South American countries etc. I had never heard of any of those who like Finnish foods for example.

    Wait, now they are showing up....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    The way it is presented in the news, I forgive you for thinking that Le Pen actually resigned from her party. But that is not what happened. She just resigned as party president, to dedicate herself fully to her role of presidential candidate for France. But she of course still belongs to the Front National Party. Elected French presidents traditionally resign as party leader. That's just a PR stunt to give the impression that she's confident enough that she will win the election. If she loses, she would of course get back control of her own party.
    I thought when you were running for the President or Prime Minister for an election you need to lead in your party. Apparently you don't. Ma Ying jiu the ex-Taiwan president had already done that. Well, my bad...with all these fake news going on everywhere...I misread the information...

    I think it is not a stunt. I think perhaps she wants the French people not to see her representing her father's party but herself because she claims to be different than her father.

    Malaysian.seafoods.jpgYusheng.jpg

    Here are some more Malaysian Chinese foods that are not eaten by Mainlanders. By your logic, our foods are not Chinese!

    I think Murguez is greatly accepted by the French into their cuisines. A lot of French eat taboulé, you can find this salad everywhere in the French supermarket. Culture can be changed by contacts. I dated a Moroccan born French guy before I met my husband. He eats a lot of North African foods, for him those are his foods.
    Last edited by Minty; 29-04-17 at 03:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diomedes View Post
    Why this behaviour towards her, man? Plus, I think we should not care about who is Macron's wife, as long as she does not affect his job as a president of France.
    Yeah, double standards! In some countries men can marry child brides as young as 6 years old, how do you justify that! Macron and his wife do what they want, they are both adults! It is France, the French are very sexual liberal!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Good post Minty, and a good example not to put all the Muslims in one bag. There are many secular Muslims, or used to be Muslims, who don't look and behave much different than ordinary French. They came to France or West in general, because they love freedom or they are not religious.
    However, in the streets we will mostly see the conservative ones, the religious ones and we immediately think that all of the are the same. This is a psychological trick our brain does on us.
    Remember, there are lots of moderate Muslims who like Western values. Let's not put all the Muslims or people from Near East of Africa into one bag.
    Merci beaucoup! I watched a documentary about children with autism in the UAE. It is nice for a change to watch something different about the Muslims. All we see is they are all terrorists and all of them are bad because they are Muslims. I don’t deny there are indeed groups who use women and children to brainwash families to encourage them to become terrorists so that they can be good Muslims. However, not all of them are bad people!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I think it's more important for French people themselves not to assume that all Maghrebis are Muslim. The most prominent and best adapted Maghrebi immigrants to France are Jewish. This includes singers (Patrick Bruel), comedians/actors (Richard Berry, Isabelle Adjani, Alain Chabat, Dany Boon, Gad Elmaleh, Elie Semoun), directors (Claude Lelouch), TV presenters (Arthur) journalists (the very influential Eric Zemmour), business people (Alain Affelou, the CEO of Canal+ and TV5 Serge Adda) and intellectuals (philosophers Jacques Derrida and Bernard-Henri Levy, former president of the Sorbonne University Georges Haddad, writer Jacques Attali). A majority of French people have no idea that many of them are Jewish, except people with clearly Jewish names like Bernard-Henri Levy (but very few could guess his family is from Algeria). Interestingly, almost all the Jewish politicians in France (and there are many) are Ashkenazi, not Sephardi.
    It's about education and most importantly, the religion.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
    It is not about the nationality.

    Were the Turks in UK and USA assimilated?



    Stop Turkish Assimilation in USA
    are there large Turkish communities in the USA?
    Erdogan campaigns there where the Turkish population is most dense, Germany, Holland, Belgium
    he fills them with some kind of fascist pride and tries to export the controversy and divide that is within Turkey to those countries
    and so he prevents assimilation, which should be the duty of every one living in a host country (upto a certain level)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    Bilin.2.jpgSisterPlantOfBilin.jpgBlackSkin.Pork..jpgScampi.lobster.Chinese.Malaysian.Style.jpgChinese.Duck.Malaysian.Style.jpg



    Sorry I don't know why the previous thread won't let me save pictures, so I put them here.

    All of the above Chinese foods are not eaten in China. Some of the vegetables or seafoods are not found up there. I think when different cultures met, some food cultures can be transformed.

    I think it would be too hard in Scandinavia though. @ Angela, I don't think France or Belgium have better welfare than Scandanavia, I think the muslims cannot see themselves living there with that kind of weather or foods.

    My father's friend went to Finland once with his family. Once is enough he said, the people are nice and things but there is nothing to eat. They eat things like bear meat, white eagle meat, reindeer meat, and a lot of smoked fishes especially salmon.

    I think there are a lot of other people from various cultures who like French foods, the Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, people from various South American countries etc. I had never heard of any of those who like Finnish foods for example.

    Wait, now they are showing up....
    nobody in France or in Europe tries to make the Muslims eat porc
    most schools now offer alternative porc-free meals
    often they even ban porc altogether, much to the discontent of the autochtone Europeans who like porc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It's about education and most importantly, the religion.
    That was my point. Even coming exactly from the same country, Muslim vs Jewish Maghrebi immigrants have completely opposite successes at integrating French society. The Jews are so well integrated that they thrive at any job and are barely seen as outsiders at all. They have become 100% French. Their Muslim counterparts seem even less integrated now, when some of them are regularly clashing with the police, burning cars and conducting terrorist attacks like never before. Those who fare the best are generally the least religious. I know some Moroccan Muslims who are educated, have good jobs and are well integrated, but they are unfortunately a minority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
    It is not about the nationality.

    Were the Turks in UK and USA assimilated?



    Stop Turkish Assimilation in USA

    Boreas
    ok I think you are the only one and you got better what I said,

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    nobody in France or in Europe tries to make the Muslims eat porc
    most schools now offer alternative porc-free meals
    often they even ban porc altogether, much to the discontent of the autochtone Europeans who like porc
    I was responding to Coriolan's response. His definition of French is some sort of white French people who had never been overseas and do not accept any changes. I am not really saying that French is making Muslims eating pork. What I am telling him is that the definition of French culture can vary from person to person just like the definition of a Chinese culture.

    My friend who lives in Lorraine says French do eat cheesecake, but my friend in Cambrai says they do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolan View Post
    Muslims may love France but I really don't think they love the French. French lifestyle and culture this the antithesis of how a good Muslim should live. They are sexually liberated, irreligious, drink wine and eat pork sausages. That's why the tensions run so deeply. The hate and intolerance is mutual. The French orange just afraid of Muslim terrorist. They have experienced Muslim youths burning thousands of cars, verbally or physically assaulting them in the street, and threatening to destroy their liberal values by imposing Sharia law in the country. There is no love either way between the two parties.

    Le Pen's mistake was to take an anti-EU stance. If she had been more mainstream for the economy, she could have been elected president. What French people want is someone who will improve the economy and get rid of the Muslims. Le Pen is just not credible for the economy. That's her main weakness.
    Sexually liberated yes, definitely, irreligious yeah, drink wine yeah, eat pork sausages hmmm should better say they eat cheese.

    In Alsace there is a dish called choucroute, which is usually eaten with pork. I had eaten a fish version of it in their famous local restaurant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    Francophone Muslims go to France and French speaking countries, Anglophone Muslims go to Britian. They attract people from their ex empires for language reasons as a matter of convenience...and not only Muslim ones.
    Yes and no. After the period of colonisation there is a period of decolonisation where their ex colonies went to the countries who colonised them to seek a better life. Colonisation made the countries being colonised often very poor and the countries that colonised them very rich.

    Now, I knew a bunch of Koreans and Thais who were obsessed with the French.
    Let’s skip the Thais because they are very poor, and people most likely will think white marriages which defeats my point.

    South Korea is not very poor, but they suffered from political threats from the North. You could analyse it this way and say that the South Koreans went to overseas to escape their political instabilities.

    I knew a South Korean girl. She came to France because she worked with a Thai model that is half French. For her this Thai model was very pretty. She became obsessed with her, and wanted to be like her. I met her while studying in French language school. She told me that the French system was too good and that she wanted to be married to a Frenchman, so that she could enjoy all of France’s beauty.

    In fact every time I told people this story, they say that she wants to be me. As I am also East Asian, she thinks we are the same.

    Now, as I’ve explained in this forum I am from Australia but born in Malaysia. When I studied French the language pair had always been French/English. However due to my Asian phenotype, while I was at the French language school, the Asians wouldn’t stop following me around. They just refused to understand studying together did not work for us.

    I hung around with Americans or other Anglophones as well because I spoke English. Then all these Ukrainians, Koreans, Thais etc would start to complain that we got to speak in French because they didn’t understand. However, they were a bunch of hypocrites; they spoke in their languages we didn’t understand, and we had to accept that?! Yet those loved the idea of hanging around me because they thought it was cool and they got to learn English. They also criticised people making groups speaking English that they could not join and complaint of discrimination.

    Later on, the group split because we all went to different universities. That Korean girl failed to get herself a French husband or a job. She repeated her degree twice to prolong her stay in France hoping to get what she wanted but failed again.

    South Korea was not a French colony.
    Last edited by Minty; 29-04-17 at 03:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    are there large Turkish communities in the USA?
    Erdogan campaigns there where the Turkish population is most dense, Germany, Holland, Belgium
    he fills them with some kind of fascist pride and tries to export the controversy and divide that is within Turkey to those countries
    and so he prevents assimilation, which should be the duty of every one living in a host country (upto a certain level)
    Bicicleur, you have to admit the problem is not just on one side. The U. S. is just more welcoming and tolerant of immigrants, which makes assimilation a more attractive option. Part of that vote is based on bitterness. Who can blame them when they've been attacked and even burned out not long ago.

    We have no problems with our Turkish families. The families are involved with the school; no burka or hijab; the girls go on to college etc. The only difference I can see is the insistence that the children date only Turks, but the Greeks and the Jews try that too,with less success.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Bicicleur, you have to admit the problem is not just on one side. The U. S. is just more welcoming and tolerant of immigrants, which makes assimilation a more attractive option. Part of that vote is based on bitterness. Who can blame them when they've been attacked and even burned out not long ago. We have no problems with our Turkish families.
    Turks are probably the least problematic Muslims in Europe along with Muslim Indians, Malays and Indonesians. I personally know many Turks in Belgium and have friends among them (well, usually Turkish expats rather than economic immigrants). It seems much easier for them to integrate because Turks are generally less religious than North Africans, and their character/lifestyle is often more compatible with that of Europeans. I don't think any of the terrorist attacks (successful or prevented) in Europe over the last 10 years included Turkish extremists. In fact I have heard more often of native West Europeans converting to Islam and joining ISIS in Syria than of any Turkish resident in Europe being linked with ISIS or other terrorist group. There is really no comparison. I am not surprised that there is no problem with Turkish families in the US. Even Arabs in the US are very different from those in Europe. Americans got mostly educated and reasonably wealthy Christian Arabs from the Levant, while Europe got the poorest, least educated, most religious Muslims from the Maghreb. Two worlds apart. It would be like comparing an upper-middle-class White New Yorker with a lower class hillbilly from a trailer park in the Appalachians. Both may be White Americans, but very different kinds of White Americans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Turks are probably the least problematic Muslims in Europe along with Muslim Indians, Malays and Indonesians. I personally know many Turks in Belgium and have friends among them (well, usually Turkish expats rather than economic immigrants). It seems much easier for them to integrate because Turks are generally less religious than North Africans, and their character/lifestyle is often more compatible with that of Europeans. I don't think any of the terrorist attacks (successful or prevented) in Europe over the last 10 years included Turkish extremists. In fact I have heard more often of native West Europeans converting to Islam and joining ISIS in Syria than of any Turkish resident in Europe being linked with ISIS or other terrorist group. There is really no comparison. I am not surprised that there is no problem with Turkish families in the US. Even Arabs in the US are very different from those in Europe. Americans got mostly educated and reasonably wealthy Christian Arabs from the Levant, while Europe got the poorest, least educated, most religious Muslims from the Maghreb. Two worlds apart. It would be like comparing an upper-middle-class White New Yorker with a lower class hillbilly from a trailer park in the Appalachians. Both may be White Americans, but very different kinds of White Americans.
    I agree with all of that, Maciamo, yet the voting profile is still different, and I think part of it is that Turks have never been treated here as they have been in Germany. The immigrant experience is different here, even for Italians. I know because I've lived it. It was very different and far less pleasant for my cousins in Switzerland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Bicicleur, you have to admit the problem is not just on one side. The U. S. is just more welcoming and tolerant of immigrants, which makes assimilation a more attractive option. Part of that vote is based on bitterness. Who can blame them when they've been attacked and even burned out not long ago.

    We have no problems with our Turkish families. The families are involved with the school; no burka or hijab; the girls go on to college etc. The only difference I can see is the insistence that the children date only Turks, but the Greeks and the Jews try that too,with less success.
    the US is still a young nation with vast territories and resources, founded by people with an open mind
    people in the US are open minded and mobile
    it is still the land of oportunity for every one

    Europe has the burden of a long and complicated history
    most people are not mobile and many are jealous of succesful people
    I think you will recognise this with some of your relatives in Italy too

    immigration policy is completely different
    the US choses its immigrants
    they must be mulitlingual or English speakers
    they must have the proper skills to make it in America
    when they come to America they know that they will have to rely on themselves and their own skills
    they also know that if they make it, they will be respected

    political correctness has manipulated some false feeling of guilt upon the European administrators
    they allow immigration for the wrong reasons
    they think that everybody is entitled to the same rights and material comfort as the Europeans
    they attract the wrong people, often people that even can't make it in their own native country
    many of them are illiterate, more of them speak only their native language and are not used to meet strangers

    yesterday it was in the news : many (?) Syrians, even some that are granted asylum in Europe go back to Syria
    again they have to rely on human trafickers, because Turkey don't allow them to cross Turkey to get back into Syria
    they take the plane to Greece and from there they are smuggled into Turkey by human traffickers
    these people interviewed realise that because of the language they can't get a job and they find it hard to learn the language of their host country
    they are dissapointed because things are not as they were promised by the human trafickers who brought them into Europe and now they are homesick
    I ask you, if they are unable to assimilate and if it is safe enough for them to return home, why were some of them granted asylum in the first place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I agree with all of that, Maciamo, yet the voting profile is still different, and I think part of it is that Turks have never been treated here as they have been in Germany. The immigrant experience is different here, even for Italians. I know because I've lived it. It was very different and far less pleasant for my cousins in Switzerland.
    Germany and Switzerland aren't France. AFAIK, France is one of the most welcoming countries for foreigners in Europe. There may be tensions with Muslims now, but otherwise a huge proportion of famous French people are of foreign origin. I listed a few here. There are especially lots of French people of Italian, Spanish, Polish, Ashkenazi Jewish, and Armenian descent. The French government has passed a series of laws that makes it illegal to make statistics based on ethnicity or religion to prevent discrimination. That is in the spirit of the values of égalité and fraternité of the French Revolution, but also because the French are so ethnically mixed themselves (Gascons, Bretons, Alsatians, Provençals, etc.).

    Germany and Japan were two countries that were so preoccupied with racial purity and superiority that it eventually led to WWII. Japan remains to this day a country where it is very difficult to emigrate, especially if one isn't East Asian. Foreigners make up only 1.5% of the Japanese population, and 95% of them are East Asians or 2nd/3rd generation Japanese from South America. Westerners, South Asians, Middle Easterners and Africans only represent 0.1% of the population. Although Japan like to describe itself as a hospitable country for tourists, Westerners who live in Japan are frequently harassed by the police for no reason. I should know, it happened to me. I was asked for my ID card and bicycle registration 4 times in a single month at one point, and I was clearly only targeted because I didn't look East Asian. The police only asked me, the only gaijin around, in the crowded streets of Tokyo.

    With that in mind, I don't think even Muslims can complain about their treatment in Germany, a country that was more intolerant of foreigners than Japan until 1945. Germany has made tremendous progress toward integrating foreigners. They even changed the nationality law from jus sanguinis to jus soli, mostly to give the right to second and third generation Turkish immigrants to claim German citizenship. In a culture that has long defined itself by its ancestry, that's quite a big step. In contrast, Japanese people have changed very little in their conception of who should be recognised as Japanese since 1945. Most still consider that Japanese born abroad aren't real Japanese, even if they were born of two Japanese parents and are fluent in Japanese.

    As for Switzerland, it has been one of the most secluded countries in European history, one where other countries have traditionally been kept at arm's length and seen with suspicion. Even today a majority of Swiss are wary of entering the European Union, despite being surrounded by it. Swiss nationality laws are some of the strictest in the world. It's not surprising that attitude to outsiders is less relaxed than in the US or France.

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