Immigration – the cultural considerations

Immigration: the philosophical case
Immigration: the questions of morality

2015-09-15-Czech border welcome

The sign says: Welcome to Czech lands.
“Every Muslim refugee has to do two things before entering our land:
He has to draw a caricature of the Prophet and consume a plate of pork roast with dumplings and sauerkraut.
This is the custom of our land.”

This is indeed how the Czechs are. They make fun of everything, especially themselves. Their national food, the one you can buy at any pub, is pork roast with sauerkraut and a beer. No immigrant can ever feel at home without appreciating that. Czechs are the nation of Svejk and they are proud of it. Their most famous historical figure – according to a survey conducted in 2005 – is Jára Cimrman, a fictional character, a joke. Their sense of humor, the fact that they never take themselves too seriously is an essential part of their culture, of their very identity.
The Ayatollah Khomeini famously said that “There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam” It is simply not possible to be Czech and Muslim at the same time. You cannot call yourself Czech if you have to keep yourself completely apart from that culture. Something has to give, at which point the question becomes which culture should give in and why?

A friend shared a story with us. He went to visit the picturesque little town of Teplice, close to the German border in the North West of Czech republic. When he came out of the museum on the right of the picture, he sat down for a coffee in one of the restaurants on the left. He observed two Muslim couples coming toward the same restaurant. The two man walking empty handed few steps before their fully covered women carrying some heavy bags of groceries. The men went into the restaurant to sit down and have a coffee, while their women were waiting outside. Take a look at the picture of the place again, and try to imagine how he felt witnessing this image of what is to come, this manifestation of primitive disrespect and intolerance invading this peaceful small town. How did we get to a point in this world where we are supposed to tolerate such appalling treatment of women? I do not want to live in a world where women are treated like this.
Feminists of the western world may be fine with the likes of the above scene (since they say nothing against them), but decent people do have a problem with it. Don’t you?

When the Slovaks announced that they will only take Christian refugees from Syria, the whole world was up in arms, but nobody was able to explain why did they consider the concerns of the Slovaks misplaced. With the exception of a very few countries, people are OK with immigration. The former communist countries of Central Europe have quite a few immigrants. Chinese and Vietnamese are running small businesses and they are accepted just as they are everywhere else. People only have problems with MUSLIM immigration because they can clearly see what a disaster it turned out to be in Western Europe. Maybe because Muslim immigration is not immigration at all.

Trade, Immigration, infiltration or invasion?

The difference between immigration and an invasion is the difference between acceptance and rejection of the culture of the host country. If you wish to assimilate, if you wish to embrace the culture of your new country, then you are an immigrant. If you wish to impose your own, you are an invader.

When Columbus set out to travel to India, he wanted to trade. Cortes, Pissaro and Ponce de Leon were invaders, Conquistadores. They were there not only to rule but to impose their culture as well because they considered it superior.

Jews are extremely serious about their religion. If they weren’t they would not be around after nearly 2000 years of living in the diaspora. Yet the Jews are excellent immigrants because they always lived by the Talmudic rule of “Dina de Malhuta dina” (The Law of the Kingdom is the Law). The Jews most definitely believe that they are the chosen people of God, but they are not trying to impose their own faith and culture on anybody in the countries where they live. The Amish and the Mennonites did not want to assimilate, but they did not try to impose their own values on their new home country either.

Watch this short video “We’re going to be the majority soon”.
The issue is religious accommodation. Muslim Parents in New Jersey demanded from the school board to declare Eid al-Adha an official school holiday, just six days before the actual date. Note that they were given accommodation, just like Jewish kids at Rosh Hashanah, all Muslim kids were allowed to take the day off without any penalty but that was not enough for the Muslims. They wanted every single student going into the school to ‘observe’ their holiday. Such confrontations are happening all over the Europe and America with an increasing frequency. Muslims believe that everybody should obey the laws of their God and work tirelessly on making that happen. This is the behavior of uncompromising invaders, not that of immigrants.

Cultural differences

National cultures

Cultures are different. I could start a little quiz here asking you to pair the following words:

Russian, German, Italian and Hungarian
animated, outspoken, industrious, emotional

…but any cultural relativist would tell me that the only reason they can do it is because they are familiar with the stereotypes, which in turn begs for the question: How did the stereotypes form?
Cultures can be described. Maybe not with single words as I did above, but they can be can be described by their customs, attitudes, shared history as I tried to illustrate in a previous post.
Comparing cultures is both fascinating and important, especially when you have to deal with them.

Regional cultures

Nation states are not homogenous either. Even in tiny Hungary there are distinct regional differences. Now think of the differences in the USA or Canada. Compare the attitudes and behaviour of Texans, Californians and New Yorkers. How pronounced the differences are for you, depend on your perception. Thomas Sowell wrote a whole book about the implications of cultural differences between the North and the South trying to explain with it some cultural differences attributed to race.
The differences between regions can be very subtle but to every good businessman or marketer will know how important it is to understand them.


Cultures can exist within cultures and they are probably studied more as they are less risky to study than larger cultures.
A typical North-American high school has the geeks, the jocks, the goths and the hipsters and I am probably missing most.  The East European countries have the gypsies, the US have the Latinos and the inner city black cultures. Each of these have identifiable behavior, mannerism and dress code. They share their taste and preferences.

Ethnic cultures

Just about every immigrant group in North America has its own subculture of a sort. Their ethnic stores, their gathering places, their TV shows and newspapers. They play an important role in the cultural assimilation process as a bridge between the host culture and the ethnic cultures. They are transitional, seldom frequented by the second and third generation immigrants.

Changing cultures

Cultures can also change. The Canada we are living in today is not the one I came to in 1980.
Some of these changes are good, some are very bad.
My wife was baking her own bread in 1982 because the only kind of bread available in the stores was Dempster’s white sponge bread. Today I cannot think of any kind that I cannot get. This is, of course, trivial, but the more important changes were just as sweeping.
The sexual liberation of the 60s went into overdrive; we are a lot more accepting of cultural differences while on the other hand cultural Marxism and moral relativism became the norm. Aggressively enforced political correctness is making it nearly impossible to discuss contentious issues honestly.

Where does Islam fit into this picture? When we talk about Muslims, the ethnic, religious, political and cultural aspects are hopelessly intertwined. Can our culture take it? The evidence from Europe seems to suggest that the answer is no. Not without losing some of the fundamental values that defined it.

Muslims truly believe that their primitive, violent, medieval culture is superior to ours in every respect and that it is their sacred obligation to impose it on the rest of us. Muslims have a cultural self-confidence that the western world has lost.

As I said in my post “Muslims are not the problem, we are”, the fault is all ours. Until we regain the confidence, until we get ready again to carry “The White Man’s Burden” and stand up against primitive barbarism, we are not championing freedom and tolerance, we are just committing cultural suicide. Immigration should always be about the values of OUR culture, not the celebration of inferior ones.
We should learn cultural tolerance from Charles James Napier when he demonstrated it to some Indians protesting his opposition to sati:
2015-09-28 Napier

You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.
Charles James Napier
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This post is part of a series on immigration, you can find the rest here:

One reply

  1. zorkthehun says:
    E-mail reply with my in-line answers:
    Hi Zork,

    In my opinion, your statement:
    “Muslims truly believe that their primitive, violent, medieval culture is superior to ours in every respect and that it is their sacred obligation to impose it on the rest of us. Muslims have a cultural self-confidence that the western world has lost.”
    is blatantly wrong and unfair. How can you speak for a whole religion and culture.
    Very simply. I look at what that religion teaches and practices, not what some of its adherents claim that it does. Actions speak louder than words.
    Just search the word ‘beheading’ in Youtube. The people in them claim to speak for Islam. I find their arguments more convincing.

    In the example you give – of women outside the restaurant, yes, is not hurting anyone. All the immigrants or refuges or migrants that come into different countries change in a few generations, generally due to education and exposure to different cultural norms.
    The Menonites didn’t, nor would I want them to. They don’t impose on us. Muslims do. The woman outside the restaurant only hurts my sensibilities and that of most decent people. It is sad that it does not hurt yours. The problem is that it comes as a package, and the rest of that package does actually hurt. Muslim rape gangs all over Europe (1400% increase in Sweden in just a decade), sharia controlled zones where women are harassed for the way they are dressed and so on.

    To espouse that we are against their treatment of women, let me tell you a few examples of what goes on right here in the city:

    For ultra orthodox Jews, women are not allowed to sleep with their husbands while on their period. In fact, there are properties where a hut-like building is built in the backyard, where women sleep when they are menstruating. I know because as a realtor, this is advertised on the listing.
    I agree. Orthodox Judaism is also stupid. So what? Does that excuse the Muslims somehow? And Orthodox Jews are not trying to conquer and subjugate the whole world. Even though I do not have any respect for Orthodox Judaism, comparing it to Islam is revoltingly unfair to Judaism.

    Women here in Canada, still make less than men, for the same type of jobs, from the get-go, coming out of university, and our governments and businesses and society continue to allow this to happen.
    That is simply not true. Here are some references:
    Steve Horwitz
    Thomas Sowell
    Walter Block
    But we don’t even have to go that far, just consider your own case. Are you getting a lower commission than men?

    Blacks are unfairly targeted in being carded at numbers that are not justifiable, just because of the colour of their skin.

    I believe in ‘live and let live’, not ‘judging’ others just because they are different, with different customs and beliefs. Those Muslims that I know, well educated, decent and honest human beings, will tell you that the words of the Koran are twisted and used to justify acts that is not part of either the culture or the religion.
    I also know quite a few decent and respectable Muslims but that does not make Islam respectable. I knew quite a few very decent communists as well. That still does not make communism a good idea or excuses the crimes it committed against humanity.

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