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Daria
My attention was brought to the subject of Sarkozy (president of France, if you have managed to hide away from politics recently) and his plans of deporting 25,000 immigrés sans papiers (illegal immigrants) by the end of the year, yesterday, whilst reading the G2. This move has some reminded of The Occupation of France during the Second World War when thousands of Jews and resistance members were deported to concentration camps- the idea of implementing DNA tests to see if someone is telling the truth about who they are related to, has also arisen. It has also seen groups of resistance start up: 'respectable' women and families safehousing children who would otherwise be deported along with the rest.
France hasn't got the best track record for multiculturalism: even now, African-named black kids in schools and colleges are having suggestions of changing their names to be "more French" put forward by their teachers due to descrimination in the work place. One government minister is suggesting that companies of over 50 employees should recruit using an anonymous CV system. And we all know what happened in that hot summer of 2005 in the 'burbs of almost every big French city.

All sections of the British policeforce are currently working together to try and crack down on people-trafficking and the sex trade. The amount of Eastern European women and children who are sold on the black market is ever going up, and until now the government has been seen to do little to nothing about it. Even now, the Home Secretary is saying that once these women have been released from their trade in the UK, there is no guarentee that they will be able to stay here. Of course, they will just be able to pop back home and pick up their life from where it left off. Or not.

Where should the line be drawn for immigration? Here in the UK, there is a housing defecit of thousands of homes for people of all walks of life already in the country: can the country cope with the continuous trickle of people coming in? Why can't France allow those illegal immigrants who are already in the country, to stay? France has a population similar to that of the UK, and a land mass of about twice the size: why can't they just build more?

Regardless of whether they should or shouldn't immigrate, how far should people with other religions, societies and languages integrate? In East London, before you get to the uber-cool and fashionable Brick Lane, you have Osbourne Road which is also known as the main street of Bangla town. The street signs are not only in English but also in script (apologies but I have forgotten the exact name of the language it is in), you won't find one "English" shop: you will, however, find lots of places where you can buy fantastic spices, fresh and dry ingredients for Aisian cooking, and beautiful sari fabrics. In any big city, you will find small sections which are more ____ than others: Chinatown, Little Italy, Bangla Town etc. In London you also have places like Golders Green (and historically Bethnal Green although that has now changed a lot) which is renound for its Jewish community.
Should communities like these exist? Should it be right that mini societies can exclude themselves from the mainstream one and live by their own rules and laws?- yes I am thinking of Sharia law.

The English government have recently been thinking about implementing English Lessons- not just learning the language, but to learn about English customs, society rules and "being" English. Is this insulting to those immigrants who want to continue to keep their national identity?

Where SHOULD the line be drawn? How far should people give up their original national identity to be French/ English/ American/ German/ anywhere citizen?

I know this post is already HUGE, but the bit I want to add to the end of it is too linked (I think) to warrant it having a separate thread.
Headscarves, veils and the niqab. In the same article, there were two cases of "descrimination" against women who wore headscarves in France. One was a courtcase of a Muslim lady against a driving instructor who refused to teach her to drive because she was wearing a headscarf. His reasoning was that it impaired her visability.
The other was of a feminist holiday-cottage owner who refused entry to a family who had made a reservation, stating that the women should first remove their headscarves. Her lawyer said she was "simply defending the secular state".
Recently in the UK there was a commotion about a woman who was apparently listening to music during jury duty for a court case. Her defence was that it takes a lot of trouble and effort to put in her earphones as she has to do it before putting on her headscarf- so instead of taking off her headscarf and taking them out, she just pulled them out of her ears and unplugged her MP3 player. Because of the scarf, others in the Jury couldn't see if they were in her ears or not.

Should women be stopped from wearing such pieces of clothing? Should people in general, when working in the public sector, be stopped from wearing certain items of clothing/ jewelry?
Phyllis
QUOTE (Daria @ Oct 4 2007, 03:35 PM) *
The English government have recently been thinking about implementing English Lessons- not just learning the language, but to learn about English customs, society rules and "being" English. Is this insulting to those immigrants who want to continue to keep their national identity?

They already have the Life in the UK test. The test covers all of those things (or it's supposed to, anyway), and now you must take it to get indefinite leave to remain in the UK. When it was first implemented only those applying for naturalization had to take it. As it is now the test is, well, freaking ridiculous and has very little to do with what it actually means to be British, in my opinion. Of course, that's just the opinion of an immigrant who will have to take the Life in the UK test in about a year and a half. rolleyes.gif

I'll respond to the rest of the post later, when my brain is in slightly better working order. Right now it is slightly frazzled, and I think I need a nap!
Faerieryn
Whereas I feel that our country benefits greatly from immigration- we gain so much more from a steady influx of new citizens- I do feel that more needs to be done to integrate people into the greater society.
People who come to Britain and hope to get work, should be able to speak English to a good standard. if you can't speak the language it greatly decreases your chances of assimilating into another culture. I have nothing against people who come to this country with little or no English, but if you have children, they will be expected to attend school in English. If you have no english your children's education will suffer- Not speaking the langauge at home, even in a limited capacity, stunts linguistic growth. If you can't speak English you will find it difficult to get a job. You may be the most qualified person in the world but if you can't get your point across you won't get the job.

You can join another culture without loosing your own. Integration doesn't mean destruction of what you were. Culture isn't set in stone, it evolves continually and allows you to take on the more positive things and leave behind the negative things. 40 years ago it was part of our 'culture' for women to stay at home and look after the children, today this is far less the case. I live and work in an area with a large Muslim population. My students all integrate fairly well. The girls come in on mufti day with their Salwar kameez' with jeans underneath, wearing trainers. They watch the same TV programmes as the 'white' students and come into school and iritate me to death by chating constantly with the other girsl about them. Yes they wear the headscarf, sometimes I wish I could wear one- would beat the bad hair days I have!- But they also listen to the same music as the rest of the girls. Cultures can merge. It is one of the best things about our culture- it changes
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