This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

October 27, 2009
Making immigrants feel at home in their new countries

Tonight’s show takes a broader look at relations between Muslims and other groups in Europe, where the Muslim community makes up five percent of the population – 38 million people.

The debate continues about whether immigrants or host governments should try harder to achieve better integration.

Should immigrants do more to fit into their new countries? Or should host countries do more to make immigrants feel welcomed?

Nadim Baba of Al Jazeera English reports from Dresden, Germany.


Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

bookmark    print

Comments

36 comments

#36

Well it’s simple really. You wanna home like home then go back to your country in order to accomodate that for goodness sake!!! Is not enough that you’ve overstayed your welcome but then you place all those demands on your host ….thats very ungrateful I think. I am an Eastern European who moved to the UK in 1999. I spoke the language when I moved here but as I wanted to study in the British University I’ve mastered my language to a very formal level.
I’ve never complained about Britain not having enough Orthodox churches and it isnt right for any of us foreigners to demand that. What will remain of the fine English culture if all foreigners were to set up their home of home here.
I mean before I came to London I imagined this city as a true characteristic of the English culture as this is how it was shown to me by my English teacher….my expectations of the city were demolished as soon as I arrived here.
And if I can take this to another level and a more realistic point I agree with Glen. We are buriyng our heads in the sand as Bosnia and Serbia could happen here.
The host governments shouldnt facilitate so many goodies for new comers …I mean common the list is extensive a nice place to live in, financial benefits, free medical….then to top it up the government facilitates a nice place to pray in ….and guess what asif all that it isnt enough in some shools they teach English kids these foreign languages and a great deal of their religion. In reply to that what does the guest does to integrate into the British community as a recognition and gratitude to all of the above mentioned benefits? You can work out the answer to that one.
Many foreigners of diverse background come here apparently in a desperate need of safety as far as I know ….shouldn’t that be adequate for them to feel at home …is much more then they had where they came from.

#35

Should kill more, maybe they’ll stop coming! They are hated everywhere and for good reason.

#34

Instead of going to other countries, why don’t they stay at home and work to fix the problems there? And, when they do go to another country why do they have to make a little island of their old country, instead of adopting the culture of their new home? All they are doing is setting the ground work for hatred and eventual blood shed. If anyone thinks Serbia or Bosnia can not happen in the rest of Europe, or the US, they have their heads buried in the sand. Don’t believe me? Try to buy ammunition in the US, as soon as it arrives at a store, it is immediately sold out.

#33

In spite of having a strict immigration rules here in the US, there are plenty of holes through which uneducated, people with no skills have flooded this country. And then there are organisations like the WorldFocus that deprive the native born educated young candidates from obtaining jobs, by giving them to outsiders.There must be a law. Case in point is this phoney accented newscaster.who has taken Martin’s seat. Few weeks ago, one Matt commented the same with anger, and others mentioned her big nose on an unfortunate small face.etc. to show their disgust to the management. (The management, and not to someone called SALT, who writes silly little notes in responses). If we need to hear the correct British accent, we prefer to watch BBC. This NOSE tries hard to speak like a Queen, with “we were intrigued….” Just who is she representing as “we”? Unless she has a “Ledderman” at WorldFocus protecting her, there are plenty of able comepetitive candidates locally available to fill in, and enhance this position. Bring Martin back, or hire someone more capable, and who speaks like we do in United States

#32

The human ego is the villain. Each group beliefs they are the special or chosen people.

#31

Except for elderly people who are pretty much set in their own ways, foreigners should adapt to the host country and especially there language, It is deplorable what is happening here in America with
Spanish being force feed to the English speaking citizens. This is definitely a case of putting the cart before the horse.

#30

Islam is a virus that has the potential to become an epidemic that could destroy Europe…if we let it! People of different races and religions are very welcome to live in our Caucasian nations(in manageable numbers), but Moslems ought to be kept out. They are too different in dress and behavior to be able to integrate successfully. Their presence is unwelcome and divisive!

#29

The various differences in human cultures have a positive side like so many different flowers in a vase add a synergetic beauty. The trouble arises when one group thinks it is superior (for example, Moslems think their religion is the top truth). We fail to realize that religion is not truth – it is a mental disease. Clashs in society occur, because the various scriptures do not agree with one another.

#28

how is it that the court did not prevent this guy from having a knife. they don’t check for weapons? what was he doing so close to her in court? stabed 18 times before any one could respond? no one close or in between them? as to the general question of how the west should treet those who bring other cultural/religious beliefs with them, perhaps turnabout though not fair play should be aknoledged. non-muslems are considered dimi’s or lesser beings with fewer rights in many but not all muslem countries.

#27

I got tired of reading all of the anti-semetic comments posted; so I just skipped to the comment box. But, I don’t feel this is the real question. Shouldn’t the real question be directed at the media’s portrayal of the Muslim community and xenophobia? After all, in the U.S., we were living quit peacefully and very intrigued with the Muslim community until 9/11. After that, they became our enemy after the U.S. government and the media told us they were the enemy. I do not believe the level of anti-semitisim would have been as severe if it weren’t for the media blaming the Muslim religion and its people in general. It would be like not liking every German because in the 1940’s they were responsible for the death’s of thousands of people, so therefore, every German must be a bad person.

#26

When you move to a new nation it is incumbent on you to adapt to that cultre,not the other way around.

#25

While this woman did not deserve to be killed, the system in Germany that punished her attacker previously for calling her names is extreme. The reason the comments on this site are so virulent is because the Europeans are forbidden legally and culturally from being intolerant or insensitive while the Muslim immigrants get to take over neighborhoods and even cities, inject their sensibilities into existing culture and make the rest of us walk on egg shells to avoid breaking their myriad taboos about what is acceptable and what is not. They are intolerant but demand that we be tolerant. Read Anthony Burgess’ overlooked masterpiece 1985 which was 40 years before its time…it is about a Europe run by Muslims who have forced their religion and teachings and language on the native Europeans and about the struggle to regain our culture. Muslims need to understand that they look, act, and behave differently from their host countries. Same with Hispanics in the US. If you are going to go to a new country you need to fit in and the onus is on you to fit in, not on us to make you feel welcome. When you are playing by our rules we will accept you. Until then, you are suspect.

#24

All human beings should be welcome around the world. When this world is transformed from a system based on violence and discrimination to a world based on the human being as the central value, these crimes will be addressed at their root.
Hope

#23

Immigrants coming from Muslim countries is difficult situation unlike any other group, the religion creates the problem. First Muslims believe through the Koran that their hosts are infidels. The fact that their religion states this a very threatening to host citizens and therefore creates fear. Moreover Islam shows little sign of moderation and few leaders have emerged to show a milder and more tolerant side of the religion. Muslims from the Balkans and Turkey show a more modern and more tolerant form, thougt those views are rejected more increasingly as the religion becomes more tradiional and true to its history. Love as a theme, as in Christianity with love your enemy as Jesus promotes, is not even mentioned in the Koran and both Jewish and Christian roots supposedly in Islam are quite different and taught as if they are the same. Muslims in the states tend to be of more modern form, which is more tolerant, yet history shows that when a Muslim population increaes its percentage of the population, a shift occurs and with it comes more tradional and hostile form of the religion including sharia law in segments of the society against the wishes of the overall population. This will continue to be a problem with the islamization of countries, unless the basis for the religion, the Koran actually changes to promote tolerance, democracy and modernizes as many had hoped it would.
The modernists unfortunately are increasingly being marginalized as their views are many times contrary to the Koran

#22

Muslims should be banned. They are trouble everywhere they go, look at Denmark and what they did about some cartoons they dont belong. End immigration from Muslims countries now!

#21

ANYONE that goes to another country, any country, should learn that countries laws and traditions. A country should NEVER have to change for people entering it.

#20

all migrants are looking for something better when they move however this new life must have some price, to become part of the immigreated land you must become part of the culture it is rude and unrealistic to go to a host home and expect him to change his way. if your is better in your eyes stay in your mother land and fix it.the best solution for this question has already been given by the good leader of Australia if you dont like the hosts country,language,laws,or RELIGIONS stay were you come from they really dont need you.

#19

All human beings should be made to feel at home everywhere in the world. When the world transforms from a system based on violence and discrimination and inhuman values to a world where human beings are the central value and concern, these types of crimes, on every scale will be addressed at their root.
Hope Jolles
Convergence of Cultures, New York

#18

Host countries should completely reorder their societies in order to accommodate Muslim immigrants.

#17

I belive both the immigrant and the host country has a duty to do. The immigrant should try and learn the language, and respect that countries laws, history, and traditions. And the host country should be inviting toward those immigrants that has went through the proper channels to enter that country legally.

#16

I am an immigrant. I did not expect special treatment. I did not get any special treatment. I earned from day one my own living. Learned the language,stumbled but learned. I do not believe in discrimination but yes it happens and allways will.It is not the country who does that but some people with their individual hang-ups.
I chose to built my future in this country and respect the laws and hard work of the forefathers and the Spiritual background the country has.
Yes I expect the immigrants to do more to fit into their new countries.

#15

Many years ago I worked in Egypt and I learned to live within their culture rather than impose mine on my hosts. During Ramadan, I never ate or drank in front of those who were fasting. I leaned not to cross my legs so as to show the bottoms of my feet, and many many more things that helped me adapt to Egyptian life. I had a wonderful time. If it had been so important to me to wear bermuda shorts or do other things that offended the locals I would have been wrong and brought shame on my culture. When foreigners choose to live in America or Europe, they should try to fit in and learn to speak the language. When Westerners meet people in public our culture expects to see the person’s face. Many of us consider it rude to hide behind a veil. We expect men and women to be treated equally. We should welcome immigrants, but if they are choosing to move here, they have an obligation to integrate into our culture.

#14

The immigrant is obligated to learn the language, adapt to the society, contribute by working for a living and paying taxes. They are free to practice their religion, customs, traditions as long as they abide by our laws.

#13

Muslims who refuse to adapt to host nations have very bad manners. They cannot move in and demand another country kow-tow to their ways. If they will not adapt they should return to their homelands. I get very angry when I see headscarved women. They seem to be wearing them precisely to antagonize and alienate. In some countries, they insist on having their own schools which further alienates them. They came for more money, then after doing everything to obstruct that goal they turn angrily against the host and plot terrorism.

#12

Illegal immigrants and undocumented workers should be deported.If you wasn’t born in the country your in now and if you don’t have any reason to be in that country leave right now.oh by the way Daljit Dhaliwal is very sexy she is not going anywhere dude.William Brown from Chicago Illinois USA.

#11

Of course, civilized societies should embrace all groups that espouse a one-world theocracy, and that in practice deny others basic human rights and dignity. Gotta love them Muslims. Come on in!

#10

I think that the immigrant should respect the culture of country which has received them.

#9

Most immigrants left their homeland to escape something. The challenge is to integrate them enough to employ them, allow them to maintain a sense of self and heritage but not to carry the baggage that drove them out of their homeland.

An example is the request for Sharia law which was the law where they fled only to fondly remember when safely ensconced in Canad.

I don’t care which god they worship, how they worship or the clothes they wear while worshiping.

I do care about keeping the culture that created the open society, the one that created the safe haven that we have offered to share.

#8

World Focus and especially Daljit use the expression “muslim world” repeatedly in their commentary. I object to this misrepresentation; there is but one world and it is not muslim any more than it is Hindu, Christian or Jewish. To continually use this erroneous expression is divisive, disingeneous and factually wrong.
On recents reports you commented about Iranian “holy cities”. Should not Rome, the Ganges River also be described by the same adjective? Why not try being fair to all religous minorities?

b.biemuller

#7

It seems to me that more Muslim women today voluntarily put on the habib than did even a decade ago, and from what I have heard and seen, it appears to be at least in part a way of avoiding constantly having to explain themselves and to defend their beliefs – one look at them gives us the answer.
In today’s world with most of the borders down, the economy intercontinentally connected, and people moving around cross-culturally more than they ever have in history, I think the best way for both sides woud be to try to get to know each other.
To the cause of this discussion: I was upset and disappointed when I heard about the killing of the young Muslim woman in Dresden. I had seen Dresden in 1945, and I visited Dresden several times in the last decades and was proud of the city taunting itself as a city of peace. Yes, there are sociopaths in all societies; that is shocking enough; but being German born, I was deeply hurt when I saw the absence of horror at the act in the city of Dresden (Bravo to the few who came out to demonstrate against the crime) That makes me fear that there is more involved than just not wearing the right style of clothing – it smacks of cenophobia.

#6

Host countries have a moral obligation to respect the cultures of immigrants. A basic principle of western society is that, while we all must live under the same secular law, the individual has full religious and cultural freedom. Discrimination against immigrants on the basis of religion or culture should not be tolerated by the host government. This is a basic matter of human rights and human dignity.

#5

It is completely asinine that we still live in the dark ages. You don’t see Atheist killing each other. l think Mark Twain said it best when he said, No religion, no holy war.

#4

I am a NewYorican, 65 years old, grew up in NYC and am now a retired college professor from CUNY. I have traveled extensively including India, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, et cetera. A question I have been mulling for some time is: We often show the problems minorities are having in the Western World, but RARELY show the problems minorities are having in the Arab/Muslim world. How many Jews Christians live in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, turkey, and other Arab/Muslim countries. How easy is it for these minorities to find employment, worship freely or get a good education in these countries. What public/goverment policies protect them? Do we find ANY representation in the governments of these countries? If they wanted, could minorites migrate to these countries? Without these question being entertained in reporting, it is very easy to think that the Western World in SO against minorities, but this problem is NOT to be found in Arab/Muslim countries. When protesting their violated rights in Western Countries, is there some discussion how it would be if the shoe were on the other foot, and would they fight for the rights of minorities in their home lands?

#3

Integration is and always will be the responsibility of the immigrant! When seeking refuge in a Western country, which will provide housing, healthcare and schooling for their children, Muslims MUST respect the culture of the country in which they are a minority. This is paramount to their integration. The hijab, burka, etc… only hinder this process and isolate them further.

#2

Integration is and always will be the responsibility of the immigrant! When seeking refuge in a Western country, which will provide housing, healthcare and schooling for their children, Muslims MUST respect the culture of the country in which they are a minority. This is paramount to the integration of Muslims into Western society. The hijab, burka, etc… only hinder this process and isolate Muslims.

#1

America has a very restricted and purely selfish immigrant policy. We would admit a medical doctor from India but deny entry to a poor Palestinian from Gaza. Bad IMF and WB (and Canton) decisions drove millions of Mexican from their small farms in the 1990s and they came up here for work. I think the burden is on the receiving country to offer long term support to immigrants whether or not with papers. A small investment in the present will pay huge dividends in the future.

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2017 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television