Europe Is Changing
Is Europe finally growing tired of multiculturalism and lax immigration laws?
First, in France, via The Independent: France's highest legal authority removes last obstacle to ban on burka:
"A ban on the burka, and other full-face veils will take effect in France from next spring after an unexpected ruling by the country's highest legal authority last night.
In a decision that will divide the country, and may spark fears of Islamic fundamentalist reprisals, the Conseil Constitutionnel removed the final legal obstacle to the ban, by ruling that a so-called "anti-burka" law passed by both houses of the French parliament did not infringe fundamental liberties."
As I've argued before, such blanket bans have a tendency to skip around the real problem. In this case, the real problem is fundamentalist Islam. But the French parliament can't be seen actively targeting one religion or group of people in particular with such legislation - although they'll apparently make an exception for the Roma - so it has to be everyone. France's new law, making it a criminal act to "conceal one's face in public," is kind of dodging the actual issue at hand.
But be that as it may. Speaking personally, clothing bans tend to rub a libertarian like me the wrong way. But such a move is a very interesting indicator of where France is heading in the next few years.
This also comes in the wake of Sweden's last election. The Sweden Democrats, openly skeptical of immigration and unintegrated Islam, gained their first seats in the Swedish parliament. Although this hasn't stopped their colleagues in parliament from keeping their distance, with two parties even demanding separate queues in the parliamentary cafeteria so they don't have to rub shoulders with Sweden Democrat members, this would seem to indicate that the people of Sweden are beginning to have second feelings about their country's approach to immigration.
Meanwhile, there is the recent coalition deal between parties in Holland, which required the co-operation of the immigration-skeptic PVV ( which will remain outside of government, but with a say in policy ) in order to function - allowing the PVV, critical of Islam, to apply pressure for a ban on full-face veil coverings in the Netherlands as well.
We'll leave off with a story from Germany, thanks to The Australian: Multicultural Germany turning against Muslims:
"A recent poll showed that 55 per cent of Germans consider Muslim immigrants a burden who "have cost much more socially and financially than they have contributed economically".
When, in an attempt to defuse public anger about immigrants, President Christian Wulff likened the challenge of integrating Germany's 4 million Muslims to that of reunification after the fall of communism and proclaimed that Islam, like Christianity, was now part of Germany, it provoked an immediate backlash.
"Mr President, why are you sucking up to Islam?" screamed Bild, the largest-circulation tabloid, which published a poll showing that 66 per cent of the public believe Islam does not belong in Germany.
MPs in the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), to which Angela Merkel, the chancellor, and Wulff also belong, seemed eager to distance themselves from him. "Multiculturalism has failed and that's the truth," said one MP, Maria Bohmer."
Things are changing in Europe, for better or worse.