An Interview with Christopher Caldwell


by Shariq
3rd June, 2009 at 9:31 pm    

I have to say that my interview with Chris Caldwell went very differently from what I had expected after reading his book, ‘Reflections on the Revolution in Europe’. My opinion of the book was similar to that expressed by historian Mark Mazower (via Clive Davis), who said that;

“Caldwell is an American journalist, an editor at The Weekly Standard and a columnist for this newspaper. He knows the banlieues and has talked to more than his fair share of extremists of all persuasions. But Reflections on the Revolution in Europe provides less an analysis than a call to arms to a continent supposedly already capitulating to the new enemy in its midst.

His argument, baldly put, is that Enoch Powell was more right than wrong. Europe is in decline from an “adversary culture”, and Muslim immigration, in particular, poses a mortal threat. He fails, however, to deliver the Burkean tour de force implied by his title”

In other words, that Caldwell had written a polemic which was overly broad in its characterisations of the impact of immigration into Europe, and in particular the role of Islam in shaping its future.

However the interview he gave me provided a different insight into his opinions and got me to understand Clive’s initial comment better, that he was looking forward to the book because, “Caldwell is one of the few American conservatives who knows what’s going on here”.

I questioned him about the fact that in almost all European countries, Muslims make up much less than 10% of the native born population, and that even allowing for more immigration and different birth rates, the ‘threat’ was overstated. To this Caldwell replied, that perhaps being an American he was influenced by the fact that issues relating to African Americans had dominated politics despite them being only 10% of the population. Furthermore, he said that;

“Apart from that he said that the key thing as far as he was concerned was that ‘the important thing about demographics is that Europe will have a large and continuing need for labour in the future. The economic collapse might change that, but it appears as if Europe is dependant on a stream of labour migration. So I don’t think that its alarmist to look at that.’

As Caldwell told me, one of the key points of the book is that although different European countries may think that their problems and policy approaches are different, immigration issues are very similar across Europe. (Unfortunately, we didn’t touch upon the implications this has for a more coordinated Europe wide immigration policy.)

This is an interesting point because I would have made the point which Monica Ali did on ‘start the week’ that a lot of Britain’s issues with migration have to do with the effects of a very deregulated labour market in which cheap and flexible labour is king. However he gave the example of Sweden (which I’m generally a fan of as a centre-lefty) where immigration policy has also had its flaws. In particular, that immigrants have essentially been clustered into a million extra homes that had been built in the 1960′s, and in many ways have become isolated from mainstream Swedish society, and that many Swedes didn’t realise that 20% of the population weren’t native.

I thought that was a fair point as in particular his argument that a lot of immigrants who came to work in factories weren’t doing jobs that were necessary, but they were unnecessarily propping up dying industries. Again, this is interesting given the problems we’ve seen with migration into Britain’s faded industrial north.

I thought perhaps his most interesting point was to do with the impact of Irish immigration into America. Caldwell responded to my point that looking back at things, the Irish are perfectly well integrated into America, by saying that in a 100 years from now, whatever has happened now will look fine because those people will be our descendants, but that from the perspective of Americans in that period, Irish immigration wasn’t necessarily pleasant.

So on the whole what to make of the book? Caldwell asked me that he didn’t want the book to fit in with one of the two types of immigration book – namely the Islamic reconquest of Europe book or the brotherhood of man book. I think that I’d only partially agree with this because there elements in the book which presents Islam as a bogeyman hovering over Europe. This is slightly weird because I also think that Caldwell is being honest when he said on ‘start the week’ that he is instinctively pro-immigration and he was sympathetic to the argument that a lot of problem with the discourse is that the media sensationalises stories against Muslims.

However, If you read it for the pure reporting parts of it such as the rise of Pim Fortyn and his anti-migration stance fitting in with a defence of liberal traditions, and ignore the polemical bit, it is quite interesting and as Caldwell told me, something that he hopes 2nd and 3rd generation citizens can engage with.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: An Interview with Christopher Caldwell http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4706




  1. Alex — on 9th June, 2009 at 12:19 pm  

    Did you ask him how his 2005 prediction that Robert Kilroy-Silk would revolutionise British and European politics is coming on?

    Further, I think this:

    He knows the banlieues

    probably means something more like:

    His cab from Charles de Gaulle Airport went through the porte de la Chapelle on the way to the Crillon Hotel

  2. Sunny — on 10th June, 2009 at 2:40 am  

    Most of the evidence also points to the fact that after a couple of generations most offspring of immigrants end up integrating rather than living separately… This is why I don’t buy the Islamisation stuff.

  3. Chrischan74 — on 29th June, 2009 at 8:31 am  

    Sunny, your assumption, that the offsprings of imigrants are integrating in the european society is totally wrong! It is exactly those “kids” of the second and third generation, that is robbing, raping and even killing the autochthonous population.

    But if you want to, please stay in your liberal Utopia.

  4. dashenka — on 29th June, 2009 at 9:14 am  

    number # 3 is right

    the third generations are closer to the state of mind, that their parents wanted to leave behind when having decided to immigrate. dark, thoughtless, agressive, islamistic state of mind

    are you fooling others or yourself, Sunny?

    the threat is not overstated. though the muslims make less than 10 % of the population, only muslim immigaration and only muslim communities are the sources of riots, problems and difficulties of the recent decades. why not others?

    70 % of prisoners in France are muslims, don’t you know?
    Sweden immigration policy is talentless and criminal towards to native citizens, being a fan of it means being suppotive to muslim’s nazism.
    people are attacked by muslims because of their European appearance, some districts are dangerous even for the police.
    your position, Sunny, is obviously based on ignoring all the native people’s needs and problems.

  5. dashenka — on 29th June, 2009 at 9:20 am  

    sorry, not Sunny))) i am adressing to ShariQ))) mistake oh

  6. love — on 29th June, 2009 at 9:27 am  

    love

  7. munir — on 29th June, 2009 at 9:36 am  

    Yep thats right folks Hitler’s idea about alien minorities taking over Europe are back in the mainstream. Except now its Muslims. Caldwell was interviewed on R2 and his ideas of a Muslim takeover treated with seriousness rather than the disdain and mockery they desrve

  8. munir — on 29th June, 2009 at 9:50 am  

    dashenka
    “the third generations are closer to the state of mind, that their parents wanted to leave behind when having decided to immigrate. dark, thoughtless, agressive, islamistic state of mind”

    This is repulsive hate filled language weve come to expect from muslim haters- something you wouldnt dare say about anyone else

    how does that work then? They grow entirely in France have very little connection with their lands of origin but are closer to tehir parents culture than their parents? or more Morrocan/Algerian/Tunisian than French?

    “the threat is not overstated. though the muslims make less than 10 % of the population, only muslim immigaration and only muslim communities are the sources of riots, problems and difficulties of the recent decades. why not others? ”

    You are talking bull. The riots in France werent exclusively Muslim- even someone like David Aaronovitch has called this notion absurd-

    It’s the latest disease: sensible people saying ridiculous things about Islam
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/david_aaronovitch/article590235.ece

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/david_aaronovitch/article587744.ece

    and included many black Christian and even white French people. Indeed the areas considered most religious were not the ones where rioting occured

    The French are ALWAYS rioting retard. its part of their culture.

    “70 % of prisoners in France are muslims, don’t you know?”

    Leave aside the dubious veracity of your statemnets- so? 50% of prisoners in the US are black, a disproprionate amount of thise involved in financial crime are Jewish. Are you suggesting blacks are all criminals and Jews are crooks?

    “Sweden immigration policy is talentless and criminal towards to native citizens, being a fan of it means being suppotive to muslim’s nazism.”

    disgraceful.

    “people are attacked by muslims because of their European appearance, some districts are dangerous even for the police.”

    Think youll find Muslims are atatck just as often if not more. You people even descretaed a cemetry for Muslim French war veterans! So much for the idea that youll accpet Muslims if they become like you

  9. munir — on 29th June, 2009 at 9:51 am  

    dashenka
    “sorry, not Sunny))) i am adressing to ShariQ))) mistake oh”

    yeah – tehse fvcking darkies – all look alike dont they

  10. dashenka — on 29th June, 2009 at 3:17 pm  

    get some rest, munir!))) you are too nervous,

    ///This is repulsive hate filled language weve come to expect from muslim haters- something you wouldnt dare say about anyone else///

    try to listen what young immigrants say about the native citizens, try to listen it carefully as if you are a native citizen – and you will find that I am not that proficient in hate language.

    or just read that site)))

    /////The riots in France werent exclusively Muslim- even someone like David Aaronovitch has called this notion absurd///

    right, they were not only muslims, but also idiots))) it was the triumph of islam and idiocity (i don’t say that these notion are one and the same thing), riots of idiots, spoiled by tolerancy, spoiled so much that they manage to blame it on police, that some junkies got high, stole a bike and lost control of it…

    why should I say this about anyone else, munir, if it is muslims not anyone else. For “religious balance”?

    if they were buddhists, I would tell it about them

    and what do you mean “dare”? give me some examples of such kind of stupid behaviour and I dare to express myself sincerely as I always do

    ///yeah – tehse fvcking darkies – all look alike dont they///

    sometimes they even think alike))) and see racism everythere, in everyone but themselves

    yeah, I thought It was Sunny, because I am a freshperson here, and I have notice that many of such article are written by Sunny. it is not my fault that the ideas are similiar and the style is not unique

    |||They grow entirely in France have very little connection with their lands of origin but are closer to tehir parents culture than their parents? or more Morrocan/Algerian/Tunisian than French|||

    that is right. their parents were trying to escape some restrictions in their native countries, sometimes based on religion, it is a proven fact that the first generation of immigrants from muslim countries were not really obsessed with religion. their children and grandchildren get grow more radical, get attracted by radical version of Islam, violent tendencies and branches of it

    if I am not mistaken, it is UK where the third of young muslims support the idea of killing infidels in the name of Islam. correct me if i am wrong

  11. dashenka — on 29th June, 2009 at 3:18 pm  

    i am not about to offend anybody … without reason)))

    munir, could you tell me how old are you? if it is not a problem to tell?

  12. dashenka — on 29th June, 2009 at 3:21 pm  

    i will read your articles late

  13. dashenka — on 2nd July, 2009 at 11:56 am  

    soooo… the articles are sheer polished tolerant sh***t – just as I expected…
    what does the author really offer to people connecting the riots with Islam? some serious facts to completely destry this opinion? ha-ha, no, just the serious of statements. statements not facts, statements based on “how decent educated man should regard islam”…

    it is manipulation, really, shame of them, who buys it

    anothers article is about – to sum up – the riots happened because the rioters were … bored. or unemployed. unemployed in facts because they do not want the job they can get and they can’t get the job they want… eternal human problem of self-over-estimating… it really proffs that the rioters occurred because of the rioters stupidity combined with high expectataion, raised of the soil of unwise tolerance to whatever they do

  14. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 12:08 pm  

    dashneka
    “if I am not mistaken, it is UK where the third of young muslims support the idea of killing infidels in the name of Islam. correct me if i am wrong”

    1)”infidels” is a christian term
    2) The survey you took this from was almost certainly done by an anti-Muslim think tank with an agenda. Only the brainless take such information without analysising it

  15. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 12:12 pm  

    dashenka
    “right, they were not only muslims, but also idiots))) it was the triumph of islam and idiocity (i don’t say that these notion are one and the same thing)”

    how retard can it be the triumph of Islam when Islam forbids destruction of property and Imams spoke out against the rioters?

    “, riots of idiots, spoiled by tolerancy, spoiled so much that they manage to blame it on police, that some junkies got high, stole a bike and lost control of it…”

    hahaha – you think the French police are tolerant?

    “that is right. their parents were trying to escape some restrictions in their native countries,”

    complete crap- Muslims came here for economic reasons
    The restrictions of their native countries? Have you been to Morroco or Turkey?

    “the first generation of immigrants from muslim countries were not really obsessed with religion. ”

    Obsessed with religion? Actually the older generation tends to be much more pious. Who do you think built all the mosques?

    You should rather say: i was not so obsessed by Muslims then as I am now

  16. dashenka — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

    oh, anti-Muslim think tank, how could I forget…

    somehow every fact, survey, article that show muslims as they are is labelled “anti-muslim propaganda” and “only brainleass will believe it” the same terms all over the world, the same attempts to downplay the truth, the primitive manipulation… nice try)))

    “almost certainly” – yeah? you have to know for sure before stating this. it only proves that you don’t know for a fact and you even don’t want to know, but you are always ready to put labels beforehand…

    infidel is just the translation of “kafir” . I think the interviewed muslims knew what “infidels” stand for…

    |||how retard can it be the triumph of Islam when Islam forbids destruction of property and Imams spoke out against the rioters?|||

    look munir stop telling the fairy tales or keep them for naive people. I know muslims. all that islam forbids – it forbids to do it against other muslims, it does not forbids to destroy the property of non-muslims

    ||||hahaha – you think the French police are tolerant?|||

    the policemen are tired of tolerant shit for sure. they are nor tolerant to crimes – they are not supposed to be. may be they are not tolerant to mad islamic youth – but they are forced to be tolerant by the system, they are realy intimidated to be called racists. I saw how these mad rioters were arrested – they attacked people, they were very agressive, but the polive almost kindly asked them to follow them, no violence against them

  17. dashenka — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:39 pm  

    yes, I have been to Turkey. so what? what do you mean? be more precise

    “”"You should rather say: i was not so obsessed by Muslims then as I am now”"”

    it is just an fair and adequate reaction to what muslims are, especially to how they feel about the non-muslims… nothing occur out of nothing

  18. dashenka — on 2nd July, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

    please, skip the lecturing on that term “kafir” means… if you are about ot begin )))

  19. munir — on 2nd July, 2009 at 2:19 pm  

    dashenka I have accused a few people on this site of anti-Muslim prejudice but you are the real deal:

    “somehow every fact, survey, article that show muslims as they are is ”

    “I know muslims.”

    what all 1,400,000,000 of them?
    If not what percentage of that figure do you know?

    Im a Muslim whose family is entirely Muslim as well as most of my friends – I know more Muslims than you
    Id estimate I know

    0.00014 % of the worlds Muslims. Not really enough to make scientific judgement hey daneskha?

    “all that islam forbids – it forbids to do it against other muslims, it does not forbids to destroy the property of non-muslims”

    Yes it does. This is from the Hedaya one of the most famous books of Islamic Law

    “If a Muslim enters a non-Muslim land, as a trader, forexample, it is not permissible for him to fight against them or take their wealth as booty, because he has guaranteed that he shall not do so by the act of seeking security with them. To fight them after that would be treachery, and treachery is forbidden.” (Book of War, The Hidayah)

    If these wrongs act are some integral part of the religion (terrorism, vandalism etc) as you claim, why arent more Muslims doing them ? Why arent Imams?

    “may be they are not tolerant to mad islamic youth”

    mad Islamic youth LOL. Theres nothing Islamic about theft and criminality. They are punished pretty harshly in sharia

    “it is just an fair and adequate reaction to what muslims are, especially to how they feel about the non-muslims… nothing occur out of nothing”

    If thats true (which it isnt) you are as bad as they are

  20. dashenka — on 2nd July, 2009 at 3:29 pm  

    I don’t like muslims, it is true, I really did not care before, I just thought “just another religion, so what” but muslim made me change my mind

    |||If thats true (which it isnt) you are as bad as they are||||
    as who?
    stupid conclusion, if you hate a paedophile does it means that you are as bad as he is.

    if you hate youth that attack white people during those riots in France, it does not means that you are as bad as they are. it actually means that you are not

  21. daniellemabelle — on 26th July, 2009 at 3:53 am  

    Swedish rapists ‘enjoy impunity’: Amnesty International

    Published: 28 Apr 09 12:08 CET
    Online: http://www.thelocal.se/19124/20090428/

    Dictionary tool Double click on a word to get a translation

    Sweden needs to do much more to clamp down on rapists, according to reports from Amnesty International and the United Nations. Jennifer Heape examines the disparity between the country’s high incidence of rape and its low conviction rate.

    * Sweden tops European rape league (27 Apr 09)
    * Woman jailed for rape of teenage girls (21 Apr 09)
    * Prosecutor: giving the pill to teens aids rape (16 Apr 09)

    Sweden’s image as an international forerunner in the fight for gender equality has been damaged by recent reports comparing rape statistics across various countries.

    A recent study commissioned by the European Union (EU) found that Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe.

    And an Amnesty International report on rape in the Nordic Countries took Sweden to task last autumn for what the human rights organization saw as an abysmally low conviction rate for rape cases.

    Released in September 2008, the Amnesty report – Case Closed – examines issues surrounding rape and human rights in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

    Despite Sweden’s considerable emphasis on women’s rights, currently ranking an impressive 3rd place in the UN global gender-related development index, instances of reported violence against women are showing no signs of abating.

    In fact, statistics published by the National Council of Crime Prevention (BRÃ…) show that the number of sexual offences reported from January to August 2008 saw a 9 percent increase compared to the same period in 2007.

    Amnesty’s most damning criticism of Sweden relates to the considerable disparity between the number of rapes reported and the conviction rate.

    Case Closed highlights the damning evidence that, despite the number of rapes reported to the police quadrupling over the past 20 years, the percentage of reported rapes ending in conviction is markedly lower today than it was in 1965.

    Sweden’s profile in terms of violence against women has also attracted concern from the United Nations.

    As UN rapporteur Yakin Ertürk comments in a special report released in February 2007, there is a notable discrepancy “between the apparent progress in achieving gender equality and the reports of continued violence against women in the country.”

    The statistics are certainly alarming. Results from the annual, government commissioned National Safety Survey (NTU), which is conducted by BRÃ…, indicate that the actual number of rapes in Sweden in 2006 was estimated to be close to 30,000.

    If this figure is correct, then it indicates that as few as 5-10 percent of all rapes are reported to the police.

    Equally disturbing is the statistic from BRÃ… stating that in 2007, less than 13 percent of the 3,535 rape crimes reported resulted in a decision to start legal proceedings.

    Over the past ten years there has been a 58 percent increase in reported sex crimes and according to BRÃ…, it is now statistically more likely for a person in Sweden to be sexually assaulted than robbed.

    The phenomenon of alleged offences not formally being reported to the police or dropped before reaching court is termed ‘attrition’.

    Amnesty slams the Swedish judicial system and the prevalence of attrition within it, concluding that, “in practice, many perpetrators enjoy impunity.”

    In analyzing attrition and the failings of the police and judicial system, Case Closed draws attention to “discriminatory attitudes about female and male sexuality,” which may cause police investigators to “assume that women who report rape are lying or mistaken.”

    This in turn brings up the notion of ‘real rape’ and the ‘ideal victim’. Researchers for Amnesty found that frequently:

    “Young (drunk) women, in particular, have problems fulfilling the stereotypical role of the ‘ideal victim’, with the consequence that neither rapes within intimate relationships nor ‘date rapes’ involving teenage girls result in legal action.”

    Helena Sutourius, an expert in legal proceedings in sexual offence cases concludes that, in Sweden, “the focus appears to be on the woman’s behaviour, rather than on the act that is the object of the investigation.”

    In addition to challenging victim and crime stereotypes, perceptions surrounding ‘typical’ perpetrators must also be considered. The UN Special Report discusses how there is a widespread belief that the type of men who commit intimate-partner violence are not typical, ‘normal’ Swedes.

    They are usually imagined as somewhat ‘deviant’ – unemployed, uneducated, alcoholic or from non-Western backgrounds, and so on. However, as Ertürk challenges: “In absolute numbers, the vast majority of the perpetrators of intimate-partner violence are ‘ordinary’ Swedish men.”

    In a country where women’s rights feature high on the public agenda, there is a pervasive “fear of public shame – being regarded as a tragic failure in a country of supposed gender equality” especially among well-educated and successful Swedish women, which creates yet another obstacle for the victims of violence and rape, the UN report concludes.

    Lina Plong from the National Centre for Knowledge on Men’s Violence against Women (NCK), based at Uppsala University, tells The Local:

    “There is a real concern as to why the instances of rape and violence are not decreasing, despite the law becoming more strict and there being more public information available than ever. We need to concentrate on educating those professionals working in the area.”

    Amnesty has also condemned the limited amount of scrutiny of and research into the quality of rape crime investigations in Sweden as, “a serious shortcoming that needs to be addressed immediately.”

    The Case Closed report states that, “while an impressive level of gender equality has been achieved in the so-called public spheres [in Sweden]…this achievement seems to have halted at the doorsteps of private homes.”

    In its conclusion, Amnesty blames “deeply rooted patriarchal gender norms” of Swedish family life and sexual relationships as a “major societal flaw” and a reason for the continued prevalence of violence against women in Sweden.

    of-course the ethnicity and race of criminals was ommitted … but I think you undestand

  22. Edna Welthorpe — on 26th July, 2009 at 4:54 am  

    Doncha just LOVE these shapeless and rancorous exchanges of views? Radio stations broadcasting at full volums and nobody listening.

    We are obliged to distinguish between date rape and stranger rape. Clear?

    Ordinary Swedish males commit most date rapes in Sweden. Predictably.

    Non-Western men commit a disproportionate percentage of stranger rapes in Sweden, as in Norway and Finland.

    If one searches on Yahoo for the issue of rape in Sweden one soon gains the impression – well-founded or otherwise – that there is a rape crisis in Sweden directly linked to the mass immigration of Third Worlders.

    Swedish politicians prefer to pretend that this is not happening because they much prefer romping off to international conferences, where they can indulge thelselves in talking about Global Warming and the Tragedy of Drowning Polar Bears.

  23. onlyto me — on 26th July, 2009 at 5:00 am  

    what is “doncha”?

    don’t you?

  24. onlyto me — on 26th July, 2009 at 5:03 am  

    swedish politican made this mess and now they are just covering their asses, don’t want to acknowledge the failure of their politics

    This post was – I guess – was intended as answer to Shariq being a fan “of lefty politics in Sweden”

    now I wonder – a fan of want exactly? of this? hmhm? I see

  25. daniellemabelle — on 26th July, 2009 at 5:05 am  

    somehow tolerancy policy is always accompanied with such things

  26. damon — on 26th July, 2009 at 1:36 pm  

    Having just noticed this thread for the first time, I have been reading up on Christopher Caldwell.
    Pity how the comments went after the first couple, as I think his ideas and opinions (whether right or wrong) deserved some serious consideration.

    I haven’t read his book, but did spend the time to read him writing on this subject in Prospect magazine.
    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=10749.

    I have read some reviews of it too (Kenan Malik’s was interesting), as too was this one by Martin Woollacott in the Guardian.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jun/13/christopher-caldwell-revolution-in-europe

    Actually I was a bit surprised by some of the things Martin Woollacott said (like this):

    ”Caldwell is good on the distorting effect of the universalist code that European politicians and intellectuals impose on discussion of immigration and the making of policy about it. Thus immigration is too often treated as one thing – as if New Zealand computer experts, American bankers and Polish plumbers fell into the same category as villagers from Pakistani Kashmir.”

    Woollacott is a liberal isn’t he? Here he sounds like Richard Littlejohn:

    ”…. he is right to argue that immigration on the scale that Europe has experienced constitutes a risky experiment to which we need not have submitted ourselves, and of which the final result is not yet clear. He is right that we frequently talk about it in stupid and dishonest ways. If his book sharpens a so far sluggish debate, it will have served an important purpose.”

    And here is Christopher Caldwell on YouTube talking about the differences between the Hispanic led immigration that the USA has experienced, and the large numbers of Muslims that Europe has accommodated.

    Whether he’s talking BS or not would be an interesting discussion to have.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNmC4AMc7j4

  27. damon — on 26th July, 2009 at 11:28 pm  

    Sunny @ 2

    ”Most of the evidence also points to the fact that after a couple of generations most offspring of immigrants end up integrating rather than living separately… This is why I don’t buy the Islamisation stuff”.

    When I read something like that Prospect piece from Chistopher Caldwell, rather than be positive or negative about it as a whole, I’d rather sift through it bit by bit, trying to seperate it out into parts that I agree with and those I don’t.
    He said things that I certainly find challenging … some of which I’ve never heard refuted properly from a left and liberal point of view.

    Because this is the internet (and anyone can view these discussions) maybe it’s best not to get too involved with points of view like Caldwell’s.

    Or to point out that while assimilation is obviously taking place more with each new generation, there are also factors at work which slow it down, such as British people taking spouces from the sub-continent, and (perhaps controversially) continued chain migration from the original countries which keep the community in the UK polarised between east and west.

    That’s a slightly crude way of putting it, but I’m reminded about how (for example) Ireland hosts the European Council for Fatwa and Research headed by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, (which can only be pernicious to future integration in that country I’d have thought).

    This was Cristopher Caldwell talking about Germany in an article titled ”Where Every Generation Is First-Generation ”.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/magazine/27immigrant-t.html

    Is it an alarmist and shoddy piece of journalism? He makes much of the continuing high number of marriages between German residents of Turkish origin and people from Turkey.

    I liked this review of Caldwell’s book.
    http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/016_02/3852

  28. buttan — on 1st August, 2009 at 1:24 am  

    Caldwell is unbearable.
    THE present flow of immigrants into Europe from the Islamic world stems from that bloody American illegal war in Iraq. Sweden has received a disproportionate amount through American pressure as a down payment for the cost for Sweden for not backing that war.
    The miseries of the chaos created by the Bush administration can be seen in other European countries as well.
    Let alone the US wants Europe to receive freed prisoners from Guantanamo camp – revolting all of it.

  29. Sergio — on 22nd August, 2009 at 6:48 pm  

    While I was studying to become a teacher I read several books written by people who observed and analyzed the world in which I was going to be dedicating myself into guiding and instructing young adults, providing tools for life to them. None of the aforementioned authors had previously worked in the field, they were observing, and the more pages I fed myself with the more I questioned some of the theories they wrote…no matter where these writers studied and regardless as well of which programs they attended, many of their observations do neither show nor should be taken as “trues” about the teaching profession.

    While reading Newsweek, August 24 & 31, 2009, on P. 13 I came across some of Christopher Caldwell´s theories and statements which led me to look for more information regarding him and his thoughts. So I came to the conclusion that even if he is a successful journalist graduated at Harvard, and thus know how to find facts and figures, he comes short on experience. That prevents him from twisting the apple enough times to get a more on-target hit. His premonitions the way I see them are not likely to come true, and he should take the time to flip the corner and look at the other side thoroughly; If you take on the prospect to analyze the school work you are more likely to succeed once you have had the experience of sitting closer to the wall behind a desk instead of on the other side of the desk; and if your attempt is to observe changes in migration you should pay attention to more details, double check your facts and ask the key question to every intellectual attempt of a job: why?; you should of course find the answers, and unless you have migrated to another country yourself I suggest that you interview immigrants, and if your target is Muslims, ask them.

    I live in Sweden, I was born in Colombia, I lived in Spain as a Child and studied in London as an adult. As you can see I have been living in various places, out of free will and involuntarily, and as you could have guessed now, I am not a Muslim but nonetheless I do have a very different perspective than Mr. Caldwell. Not knowing him and judging him by what I have read so far, I would call him a Christian Extremist (funny, you don´t hear that term at all, not even in Ireland) or a racist, but since I don´t know him I simply can say that I cannot agree to what I know so far, and that he surely has captured my curiosity and the desire to actually meet him so that we can discuss this issue further.

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