As Europe swings to the right on immigration, the Obama administration swings to the left. The three major European powers –– Britain, France, and Germany –– along with countries such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and neutral Switzerland are in the throes of re-thinking their immigration policies.
Europe is realizing that open borders and politically correct sensitivities threaten their national sovereignty. A new rise of nationalism is spreading across the continent.
The world press labels this nationalist populism as a right-wing extremist movement led by charismatic politicians such as Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Pia Kjaersgaard of Denmark, Jimmie Akesson of Sweden, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as his political opponent, Marine Le Pen.
Their common thread is a shedding of failed socialist ideas and open-borders immigration.
Immigration trends in Europe are a reaction to the socialist governing mentality and the spreading fiscal crisis. Europe is wakening to the realization that open borders advanced by lax immigration laws place untenable financial burdens on the welfare programs of each country.
Islam is considered by a growing majority of Europeans to be the major threat to their culture, heritage, and national values. They fear that the birth rate of Islamic immigrants will overwhelm their native populations in the next generation.
As European populations age, Islamic immigrants are shifting the balance of civilization toward the East and radical Islamic law — Shariah.
In response, the new rise of nationalism in Europe, dedicated to protecting cultural values, has triggered the decline of left-of-center socialist political parties and the emergence of “right-wing” populist parties.
Today’s conservative populists will form the center mainstream parties of tomorrow. Surprisingly the biggest change is coming from the ultra-liberal Scandinavian countries –– Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
In Denmark, the Danish People’s Party (DF), characterized by the press as “right-wing,” is led by Pia Kjaersgaard. The DF has motivated the tightening of immigration laws to ward off multiculturalism and multi-ethnic transformation. Immigrants are said to be abusing welfare programs, causing financial imbalances, committing crimes, and failing to assimilate. An increasing number of Danes agree, and DF is now the third largest political party and growing.
Norway’s Progress Party (FrP) is similar to the Danish DF and the Dutch parties in seeking limits on immigration. The FrP platform states that tradition and cultural heritage together with a Christian understanding of life are essential to Norwegians and that Islamic immigrants are neither adapting to nor adopting Norway’s values.
As immigration strains the welfare state, the increasing popularity of the FrP means new immigration regulations on the horizon.
The Sweden Democrats (SD), yet another populist-nationalist political party on the rise, has as its slogan, “Bevara Sverige Svenskt” (Keep Sweden Swedish). SD chairman Jimmie Akesson is a devotee of France’s National Front Party led by Jean Marie Le Pen (father of Marine Le Pen).
The SD, in rejecting multiculturalism, holds that Swedish immigration policies have failed and that the lack of assimilation by immigrants causes social, ethnic, religious, and cultural tensions harmful to the nation.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands Freedom Party (PVV), led by Geert Wilders, is credited by the press as a major factor in the rise of populist-nationalist political parties in Europe.
Described as a charismatic populist, Wilders believes that radical Islam is becoming the world’s main problem. His party platform would halt immigration from non-Western nations, maintain Judeo-Christian and humanist traditions, and ban the building of new mosques.
The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) is Switzerland’s anti-immigration party and, with 64 seats in the Federal Assembly, that nation’s largest party. Concerned about national sovereignty, the SVP supports a tightening of immigration laws.
The Swiss people are alarmed by the number of foreigners in social welfare programs, and 57 percent of Swiss voters favor a ban on the building of new mosques. The SVP seeks strict controls regarding the genital mutilation of Muslim women, the wearing of the burqa, forced marriages, and dispensations from school activities for Muslim children on religious grounds.
Ironically, the SVP is attracting the children of immigrants to its membership.
In Germany, recent polls show that nearly three-quarters of Germans are worried about the influx of Muslims and the influence of Islam on their heritage. In France, as elsewhere in Europe, many Muslims remain un-assimilated and on the lower economic and social rungs of society.
The French riots of 2005 were a prime example of a lack of assimilation.
In America, the Obama administration seeks comprehensive immigration reform. President Barack Obama, in his outreach to the Muslim world and his bowing to Muslim sensitivities, has many U.S. citizens uncomfortable with his accommodations to Islam.
They resent Muslim denials that Islamic terrorists have beheaded Americans, killed thousands in New York City, killed one soldier in Little Rock and 13 at Fort Hood in Texas, plotted to kill soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey, and plan to build a mosque near New York’s 9/11 site.
Legal immigration has been the cornerstone of America’s nationhood, but current non-enforcement of federal immigration laws is leading to harmful change.
As the Obama administration downplays American exceptionalism, plans continue for demographic change that with redistribution of wealth will reshape the United States into a borderless nation.
As Europe moves away from open borders and failed socialism, Obama seeks to change the United States based on the European model of the past century.
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