Friday, April 17, 2009

Is Immigration a Threat to Norway?

A reader named Jun has collected recent immigration-related material from a Norwegian newspaper and translated it into English for Gates of Vienna. She sent us this email on Tea Party Day, and I’m still catching up with the backlog, so that’s why this post has been delayed.

Jun had this to say in her cover note:

Today there were two articles on the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet’s online site, each looking at one side of the debate (such as it is) on non-Western immigration to Norway. The anti-immigration commentary was from Steinar Lem, a Norwegian environmentalist — the pro-immigration commentary was from Thomas Hylland-Eriksen, the sociologist who wants to deconstruct Norwegian society, as reported by Fjordman.

Hylland-Eriksen makes some ridiculous comments about immigration to the US at the end of the article featuring his own opinions — he suggests that most Americans are perfectly happy to give up their country to “brown” immigrants. Perhaps some of your American readers will want to respond to what he had to say in the Dagbladet comment thread.

Here’s the first article from Dagbladet:

Believes Norwegian Culture is Threatened by Muslims

“If I had not been seriously sick with cancer and been working, I could not have written this,” said Steinar Lem.

“Oslo will soon have a majority of non-Western background, and in due course the same could happen to the whole country during this century. Most non-Westerners have a Muslim background. The consequences will be dramatic.”

This is Steinar Lem (57), the well-known environmentalist and author, who writes this on Human Rights Services website.

Previously, Lem criticized Norwegian immigration politics in Aftenposten, now he takes it even farther.

Norwegian culture threatened

The environmentalist [i.e. Lem] compares Norwegian culture to Tibetan culture and believes that it, over time, will be threatened by immigration.

“Norwegian culture is just as worthy as Tibetan culture. Therefore, the ceiling on non-Western immigrants must be strongly limited,” writes Lem, who believes Norwegian culture should be the norm in Norway.

“Norwegian culture is threatened. During the next fifty years we will see major changes in line with our ever larger non-Norwegian population. Our values will be put under strong pressure,” said Lem to Dagbladet.no.

Cancer

It is not more than two weeks since Lem revealed to Dagbladet that he has cancer, and may have less than a year to live. He has decided not to live the time in silence.

“The truth is that if I had not been seriously sick with cancer and been working, I could not have written this,” said Lem. He believes the topic of immigration is taboo in Norwegian public.
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“If you are not interested in climate and want to maximize the oil recovery you are a good person, but if you want to change Norwegian immigration policies you are evil. It is interesting how things have been defined as irrational,” said Lem.

The future in our hands

Lem also wanted to wait to bring up [this immigration topic] until he no longer ran “The future in our hands.”

“If I had written this earlier I would have had strong reactions, and many would opt out [of “The future in our hands”],” he said. “Now I think members are ‘mile upon mile enough’ to give me freedom,” said Lem. He believes that Norwegian immigration politics have never been properly discussed politically:

“In the 80s good people wrote in the newspapers that immigration was so small that it would not affect the Norwegian lifestyle and character. So it was quite for a while before the same good people during the course of the 90s wrote triumphantly that Norway was already a multicultural society where Norwegian culture could not invoke a unique position. Norwegian culture no unique position in Norway? Many of the same people worry that China will destroy Tibetan culture and the Indian tribes in South America will be sacrificed to logging and be forced to move into the nearest big city. “

Tibet and Norway

“I’m using Tibet as an example because all agree that it is a large and wonderful culture that is entitled to protection. It must be allowed to feel the same about Norway. It is entirely legitimate to want a multicultural Norway and a social experiment, but then it must also be quite legitimate to think the opposite,” said Lem.

The author believes integration on “primarily Norwegian terms” will not be possible to carry out if the influx of “people without education and with patriarchal and hierarchical attitudes” is too large:

“If the proportion of people in Norway with Islamic background is large enough we will get a sharp setback for gender equality in Norway — due to the Norwegian social-relativist idea that we must respect other cultures. We must accept large groups of girls who cannot have contact with boys in their spare time, do not participate in school trips, but reinforces the distinction between the pure with hijab and ‘whores’ who do not cover themselves. This will also impact the status of women,” writes Lem.

“The view of gays and freedom of expression will also suffer setbacks,” he claims.

Lem is strongly critical of the rest of the left side, which he believes is not capable of addressing the problem:

“It must be legitimate to speak openly. As it is now, only the ‘egoist’ Progressive party dares to speak of an amended immigration policy, and gets many voters for it, which in my view is tragic both for reasons of global warming and the general egotism that is the heart of the whole party politics, where abuse of immigrant communities is mostly used to camouflage deadly moves in Western culture. “

Photo caption 1: Threatened — Norwegian culture is threatened. The next 50 years we will see major changes in line with our ever larger non-Norwegian population. Our values will be put under strong pressure said Lem to Dagbladet.no.

Photo caption 2: Islamic background — If the proportion of people in Norway with Islamic background becomes large enough we will get a sharp setback for gender equality in Norway. Here, from the Friday prayers in the mosque in Åkebergveien in Oslo.

Photo caption 3: Worthy culture — “Norwegian culture is just as worthy as Tibetan culture. Therefore, the ceiling on non-Western immigrants should be strongly restricted,” writes Steinar Lem.

Photo caption 4: Dramatic — “Oslo will soon have a majority of non-Western background, in due course the same could happen to the whole country during this century. Most non-Westerners have a Muslim background. The consequences will be dramatic,” writes Steinar Lem.

The second article, also from Dagbladet, is a response to the previous one, and takes the opposite tack regarding immigration:

“Norwegian Culture is Stronger with Muslim immigration”

Norwegian culture is not threatened by Islam, responds Thomas Hylland-Eriksen to Steinar Lem.

“During the last fifteen years the number of immigrants has almost doubled without anyone noticing it. This suggests that immigration to Norway has gone surprisingly smoothly,” says University of Oslo professor of anthropology Thomas Hylland-Eriksen to Dagbladet.no.

Earlier in the day Steinar Lem in Dagbladet.no said that Norwegian culture is threatened by Muslim immigration.

“Norwegian culture is threatened. The next 50 years we will see major changes in line with our ever larger non-Norwegian population. Our values will be put under strong pressure,” said Lem to Dagbladet.no.

Fears immigration

In a commentary Lem has written and published on the website of Human Rights Service, the environmentalist [Lem] attacks immigration supporters like Eriksen.

“It is an irrational fear that is created for you that you are a bad person if you do not feel the same as Thomas Hylland-Eriksen, or other prominent immigration supporters,” writes Lem.

“Do not disagree”

Eriksen says Steinar Lem ‘turns into open doors’.

“No one is disputing this. Of course we must all be clear as to what our values are, whether we are Christians, Muslims, and pagans, the environmental pigs or climate activists. But we cannot expect that everyone shares our own worldview. When people come here with the old gender roles and practicing old-fashioned ways of raising children, of course, we try to influence them to become more like ourselves,” says Eriksen.

Norwegian culture

“If Lem thinks I am not a fan of human rights and equality, he may not have read some of what I have written. I’m not a cultural relativist, I have been declared a cultural imperialist for over twenty years. I go in for the best in the legacy of the Enlightenment period, which in general is European and not specifically Norwegian, but at the same time I can not see anything wrong in treating others with a minimum of respect and openness,” says Eriksen.

Eriksen is critical to Lem’s defense of “Norwegian culture”.

“Culture is dynamic and changes all the time. The ideal that women should have the same rights as men, is not a Norwegian invention and has only been in this country for a generation,” says Eriksen.

Stronger from immigration

Eriksen believes Norwegian culture is stronger due to immigration.

“These transnational movements back and forth contribute to the spread of Norwegian culture and make it larger. When I was 19 years old I experienced for the first time two immigrants who spoke together in Norwegian. Then I thought, literally rendered: “Holy s**t, now Norway is really becoming a great culture,” says Eriksen.

He said that today we can travel to the farthest regions of Pakistan and make ourselves understood in Norwegian.

“Norwegian is becoming larger when more and more people begin to communicate in Norwegian. Norway is perhaps first and foremost a language community,” said the professor.

Norwegian values

Eriksen is also unsure of what Lem says when he speaks of “Norwegian values.”

“I think he means classical European values, which emerged during the Enlightenment period. I can not see that Norwegians are in danger of losing these values, it must be documented, “says Eriksen.

“On the contrary, it is hardly possible to open a newspaper anymore without one or other writing about the importance of democratic and humanistic values,” says Eriksen. He believes that Norway has something to learn from the United States.

“In the United States it’s reported that the USA is about to be browner. In a few decades it’s calculated that a majority of the U.S. population will have ‘brown’ skin. The American public is generally very relaxed about this, as long as the country’s population continues the traditions about what the U.S. is,” said Hylland-Eriksen.

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Thanks to all the enthusiastic participants in Steinar Lem-debate so far today! This is clearly a topic that engages. Because of lack of capacity to moderate the debates in the afternoon, we close them for the day, but continue the discussion with and amongst you readers in the morning.

Sincerely, Mina Hauge Nærland
vaktsjef/db.no

Photo caption 1: Threatened — Norwegian culture is threatened. The next 50 years we will see major changes in line with our ever larger non-Norwegian population. Our values will be put under strong pressure, said Lem to Dagbladet.no.

Photo caption 2: Dramatic — “Oslo will soon have a majority of non-Western background, in due course the same could happen to the whole country during this century. Most non-Westerners have a Muslim background. The consequences will be dramatic,” writes Steinar Lem.

Photo caption 3: Islamic background — If the proportion of people in Norway with Islamic background becomes large enough we will get a sharp setback for gender equality in Norway. Here, from the Friday prayers in the mosque in Åkebergveien in Oslo.

Photo caption 4: Worthy culture — “Norwegian culture is just as worthy as Tibetan culture. Therefore, the ceiling on non-Western immigrants should be strongly restricted,” writes Steinar Lem.

14 comments:

islam o' phobe said...

The Tibetians are facing some difficulty. The Chinese Communist Party are in the habit of torturing Buddhist monks with cattle prods.

The survival of Norwegian culture is of massive importance. Far more important than Tibet. People of "Islamic background" who live in Norway are no more Norwegian than Genghis Khan or me or Cardinal Richelieu.

Sheae said...

FBI is recruiting Muslims to spy on fellow muslims, so there is something there which is not that good?

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

An environmentalist? I'm impressed, normally the environmentalist types are all for immigration. Well I say "normally", what I mean is that the loudest, most left-wing environmentalists, the so-called watermelons, are the ones calling for more immigration and they like to refer to anyone who doesn't toe their line as a fascist nazi whatever. Faced with someone who appears to be one of their own taking an opposite stance on immigration, I wonder if they'll be able to work up the courage to say Hitler was an environmentalist as well. It'll be hard to spin that one.

mace said...

Archonix,

There must be very strange "environmentalists" in your country, most real environmentalists do not support high population growth, so consequently we are against mass immigration. I am also alarmed at the crazy attempts at social engineering described in the article.

Baron,

Some of us on the Left are alarmed at the inroads Islamisation is making into Western societies and regard "multiculturalism" as a total fraud and the thin end of a very nasty wedge indeed.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

@Mace: Oh yes, there certainly are.

babs said...

“In the United States it’s reported that the USA is about to be browner. In a few decades it’s calculated that a majority of the U.S. population will have ‘brown’ skin. The American public is generally very relaxed about this, as long as the country’s population continues the traditions about what the U.S. is,” said Hylland-Eriksen.

Relaxed? Last summer our gov't tried to ram down our throats citizenship for illegal aliens, 90% at least have "brown" skin. American citizens crashed the congressional phone service by flooding our representatives' offices with calls of objection. This is a non partisan sentiment felt overwhelmingly by the people of the United States. So, I'm not sure who this guy has been talking to about the changing demographics of the United States because my perception and every poll I have ever seen is that the majority of Americans are not relaxed about it...

Baron Bodissey said...

mace --

Yes, I'm well aware that there are some on the Left who vigorously oppose Islamization and Multiculturalism. Fewer than I'd like -- otherwise this job would not be so difficult, since so much of it consists of struggling against disinformation laid down by the Jihad's fellow travellers on the Left.

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'll remember that we once had a guest-post by an anarchist, who was as gung-ho in his anti-jihad rhetoric as any of us right-wing zealots. Another time I featured a post by a Marxist.

I may post on purely conservative issues from time to time -- the Second Amendment, the free market, etc. -- but I welcome anyone, Right or Left, who opposes Multiculturalism and Islamization.

Once we have won that battle, there will be plenty of time to resume the argument over the morality of abortion and who should control the means of production.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll still be around to savor that particular battle, but you youngsters on the Left may yet get your chance to mount the barricades on behalf of the oppressed proletariat. ;)

Robin Shadowes said...

Hitler was a vegetarian, that much said as vegans and animal activists is often pro-immigration along with their environmental activists. I'm sure they could make a positive spin on that, Adolf, the health freak among many other freak-labels. He had SS-divisions that where entirely muslim and his Mein Kampf is a bestseller throughout MENA even today and although he to some degree was impressed by them, I kinda doubt his vision of his 1000 year reich was just to be a small north european province in the global ummah. No matter how much they are allies and best buddies, today it is rather more the leftists than the nazis, somewhere along the line they have to part, since none of the two sides has the slightest intention to share rule.

Robin Shadowes said...

Hitler was a vegetarian, that much said as vegans and animal activists is often pro-immigration along with their environmental activists cousins it should have read. Sorry about that.

Gregory said...

How do dumb-doodoos like that Hyland Eriksen ever get into any kind of public office? Doo-Doo.Isn't that a nice word for ...brown stuff?
Hey Eriksen ! I don't like brown people taking over ANYTHING of mine.
Ya-Ya.

ketil said...

"The most important blank spot exists now in deconstructing the majority so thoroughly that it can never be called the majority again"

professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen

mace said...

Baron,

This is possibly OT, however it's important( to me anyway).

I should explain, to avoid confusion, that I'm speaking from an Australian perspective and it appears to me that our political centre of gravity might be more to the left than the USA's, and some political terms seem to have different meanings. FYI, I'm an oldster not a youngster and have no desire to send all the capitalists to the guillotine. The old left would have regarded multiculturalism as "anti-progressive" and classed Islamism as a primitive superstition. I don't know how anti-islamisation become characterised as a right wing obsession,perhaps it's because there are far too many "useful idiots" in the media and universities who have their own agendas and huge egos. I visit your site because it is informative on how the anti- jihadi struggle is progressing in other countries. I agree with you that "my enemy's enemy is my friend"( for the time being anyway).And finally, I'm sure we agree that Western Civilisation is the supreme human achievement and that cultural relativism is nonsense and the product of the "Western Guilt" industry which is like a virus in academia.

Baron Bodissey said...

mace --

Yes, I agree. Once upon a time the Left shared many of the same values as the rest of us. But most of your ideological companions have now gone over to the Dark Side.

When I was in Copenhagen a couple of years ago I went to an anti-immigration meeting hosted by old-school Danish communists. These fellows were patriotic Danes, opposed to immigration and Islamization, but they were also communists in the pre-Comintern style.

So there can be a lot of disagreement on the other issues while we all agree on one Big Thing.

Referring to you as a "youngster" was simply wishful thinking on my part. I continue to hope for a large cohort of younger people who will continue this project and see it through to its conclusion long after I shuffle off this mortal coil.

laine said...

The Hylland Eriksens of the world are allergic only to white majorities. They have no problem whatsoever with non-white majorities in any country in the world. Notice they are not pushing multicult on those countries, but defending their right to conserve their own cultures as is no matter how primitive.

It's only white culture that must be destroyed by dilution and forced injection of minorities.

There is no rational justification for this double standard nor for erasing the culture that has created the most successful countries in the world to promote those cultures that have brought forth s__t holes.

Therefore the only conclusion is that leftists have a mental disorder that makes them incapable of reasoning.