Whose university is it anyway?

Ron Srigley, Los Angeles Review of Books, 22 February 2018

Administrators control the modern university. The faculty have ‘fallen,’ to use Benjamin Ginsberg’s term. It’s an ‘all-administrative’ institution now. Spending on administrators and administration exceeds spending on faculty, administrators out-number faculty by a long shot, and administrative salaries and benefit packages, particularly those of presidents and other senior managers, have skyrocketed over the last 10 years. Even more telling perhaps, students themselves increasingly resemble administrators more than professors in their ambitions and needs.

Trinity Library, Dublin

Safety, comfort, security, quality services, first-class accommodations, guaranteed high grades, institutional brand, better job placements, the market value of the credential — these are the things one hears students demanding these days, not truth, justice, and intelligence. The traditional language of ‘professors’ and ‘students’ still exists, though ‘service provider’ and ‘consumer’ are making serious bids to replace them. The principles of collegial governance and joint decision-making are still on the books, but they are no longer what the institution is about or how it works.

The revolution is over and the administrators have won. But the persistence of traditional structures and language has led some to think that the fight over the institution is now just beginning. This is a mistake. As with most revolutions, open conflict occurs only after real power has already changed hands. In France, for instance, the bourgeoisie were able to seize control of the regime because in a sense they already had it. The same is true of the modern university. Administrators have been slowly taking control of the institution for decades. The recent proliferation of books, essays, and manifestoes critiquing this takeover creates the impression that the battle is now on. But that is an illusion, and most writers know it. All the voices of protest, many of them beautiful and insightful, all of them noble, are either cries of the vanquished or merely a dogged determination to take the losing case to court.

Ask about virtually any problem in the university today and the solution proposed will inevitably be administrative. Why? Because we think administrators, not professors, guarantee the quality of the product and the achievement of institutional goals. But how is that possible in an academic environment in which knowledge and understanding are the true goals? Without putting too fine a point on it, it’s because they aren’t the true goals any longer. With the exception of certain key science and technology programs in which content proficiency is paramount, administrative efficiency and administrative mindedness are the true goals of the institution. Liberal arts and science programs are quietly being transmogrified through pressure from technology and technological modes of education so that their ‘content’ is increasingly merely an occasion for the delivery of what the university truly desires — well-adjusted, administratively minded people to populate the administrative world we’ve created for them. The latent assumption in all this is that what is truly important is not what students know or how intelligent they are, but how well and how often they perform and how finely we measure it.

If you think I exaggerate, consider the deliverables universities are forever touting to students today: ‘collaboration,’ ‘communication,’ ‘critical analysis,’ ‘impact.’ All abstract nouns indicating things you can do or have, but not a word about what you know or who you are. No promise to teach you history or politics or biology or to make you wise or thoughtful or prudent. Just skills training to equip you to perform optimally in a competitive, innovative world.

Read the full article in the LA Review of Books.

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Multiculturalism Search for truth and stimulator to find innovation and to create

A few decades ago mankind had its higher institutions to stimulate people to do research and to create new things.

In 1963, the Robbins inquiry into British higher education, which set the framework for the expansion of universities over the next few decades, argued that learning was a good in itself.

‘The search for truth is an essential function of the institutions of higher education’,

it observed,

‘and the process of education is itself most vital when it partakes in the nature of discovery.’

Governments wanted everybody to be able to go to higher education and offered universities as a tool for everybody. To do that they lowered the standards all over Europe and tried to come to a general system where many could be offered some basic knowledge and sufficient material to start looking for a job.

Higher education came to matter for the people because it had to be the opening for a job and had to help produce economic growth, which in turn had to contribute to national prosperity. The value of education, in other words, became in first instance economic; universities having to be good because they should be  profitable for the individual, for corporations and for the nation.

Previously universities where used to have a field of interest and to create a background for research and innovation. At the university there was to be a relationship between the professor and the student, each stimulating each other to go for deep research and innovation, helping to further the society, more than helping the self.

Kenan Malik, Roy Porter, Steve Jones & Georgina Ferry at the Cheltenham FestivalThough the politicians had an other view on those institutions which became considered more a tool of our society to control others and to create consumers. The lecturer and broadcaster Kenan Malik also sees a a transformation in education that is rooted in three trends:

the growing view of universities as businesses, of students as consumers and of knowledge as a commodity. But there is a fundamental difference between being a student and being a consumer, and between acquiring knowledge and buying a commodity.

Politicians did not like so much the thought of diversity and as such all institutions had to become of the same breed. Multiculturalism as a political process had to be opposed, overlooking the demand that we must recognise, affirm and institutionalise cultural differences in the public sphere. For many when they look at and talk about diversity, it is meant that their world is a messy place, full of clashes and conflicts. Often they do not see the value of such diversity and conflict zones. They forget that such clashes and conflicts are the stuff of political and cultural engagement. Diversity is important, not necessarily in and of itself, but because it allows us to expand our horizons, to compare and contrast different values, beliefs and lifestyles, make judgments upon them, and decide which may be better and which may be worse. Having different opinions on different matters and allowing them to exist one next to the other allows us to engage in political dialogue and debate that can help create a more universal language of citizenship and helps to create new paths. Though Malik warns

But it is precisely such dialogue and debate, and the making of such judgements, that multiculturalism as a political process all too often attempts to suppress in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘respect’. The very thing that’s valuable about diversity – the clashes and conflicts that it brings about – is what multiculturalists most fear.

When we look at Europe and its institutions, it looks like they wanted to create a monotone soup. It looks like they wanted to created a general educational front where only one similar version and vision is allowed.

this brings us to another irony about multiculturalism: multiculturalists insist that society is diverse, but somehow fail to see the diversity of minority communities. On the multicultural map, diversity magically ends at the edges of minority communities. Multiculturalists tend to treat minority communities as if each was a distinct, singular, homogenous, authentic whole, each composed of people all speaking with a single voice, each defined primarily by a singular view of culture and faith. In so doing, they all too often ignore conflicts within those communities. All the dissent and diversity gets washed out. As a result, the most progressive voices often gets silenced as not being truly of that community or truly authentic, while the most conservative voices get celebrated as community leaders, the authentic voices of minority groups.

Malik writes

Education is not a product but a relationship between student and teacher, and a process by which knowledge transforms the individual. When someone buys a car or an insurance policy, he or she is purchasing a prepackaged, ready-made commodity to satisfy a specific need. Education is about creating critical thinkers whose skill is precisely the ability to challenge ideas that are prepackaged or ready-made.

Question today is in what way are the majority of universities still the hub of independent research and creativity. In which way are they not controlled and guided by funding from the industry, so that certain ideas may not be challenged?

Once students become consumers, they come to look upon ideas, not as ways of understanding the world, but as possessions they can trade for a better job or greater social prestige.

The titles which have now a lesser value, make it that people can not do much with their Bachelor and one Master, making them to need more than one Master, which sometimes have the ridiculous name Master after Master. The levelling up (or better ‘down) to have equivalent degrees all over Europe did not secure equivalent good education and created not a guaranty for a job at all. Therefore today people are looking even more if a certain institute can provide for interesting jobs. But whether or not a University provides a good education or not cannot be measured simply in terms of whether its students end up in a good job.

What a student-as-a-consumer will not want are all the things that truly define a good education – difficult questions, deep reflection or challenging lecturers. These will be seen not as means to greater understanding but as obstacles to attaining a good degree.

writes Kenan Malik in the Observer column 18 March 2018, under the headline ‘Let’s not give up on the idea that a good education is a search for truth‘.

The last few decades when I was teaching I saw how the subject matter had to be made easier and how the schools and education boards wanted to see higher marks whilst the press pushed for comparison tables creating a false picture of what would be the good schools. Lots of people looking more at the high ciphers instead of the real quality of the education given at a certain school or institution. Everything seemed to turn around evaluation-results and the amount of students that got from one degree into the other without to many problems. This made that many schools came to think that their purpose is not to impart knowledge and encourage thinking but to show children how to pass exams or to get them through the system.

Malik knows

too many children whose curiosity and love of learning has been expunged by a system whose sole aim is to teach how to wheedle that extra mark at GCSEs.

Having been interested what was behind something or how things evolved as well how other ways could be developed I always stimulated my pupils to dig deeper and to try out innovations. In my eyes we as teachers had to create the new generation who could stand on their own legs and in turn also could create new things, even if it required to go in a totally different direction than ours.

To me what the new generation pupils had to bring should not have to be put in social and capital gain. Not every subject offered at a high school or university had to offer the student a finished job.

The idea that there is more to education than value for money, or that ‘self-betterment’ can be understood in more than monetary terms, may seem hopelessly romantic in our rigidly utilitarian age. Not every social gain, however, can be measured in terms of numbers or cash.

Any decent society needs to encourage critical thinking about ideas, beliefs and values, thinking upon which no price tag can be placed. A society that will only think when it is profitable to do so is one that has lost its mind.

We do not need everybody to think the same.

Clashes and conflicts over ideas and values and beliefs are often valuable and necessary for social change.

In attempting to minimise such clashes in the name of ‘tolerance’ or ‘respect’, multicultural policies do not in practice get rid of conflicts but rather transform political and ideological struggles into cultural and communal clashes. Political struggles unite across ethnic or cultural divisions; cultural struggles inevitably fragment. Political conflicts are often useful because they repose social problems in a way that asks:

‘How can we change society to overcome that problem?’

To view racism politically, for instance, we need to ask,

‘What are its social roots and what structural changes are required to combat it?’

We might disagree on the answer, but the debate itself is a useful one. Another way of putting this is that political conflicts are the kinds of conflicts necessary for social transformation.

There has been too much attention to avoid diversity and to create political equality which only becomes possible with the creation of a ring-fenced public sphere, which everyone can enter as political equals, whatever their cultural, economic or ethnic backgrounds. Malik agrees that

The creation of such a sphere is one of the great advances of modernity. The demand for the public recognition for individual or cultural differences is, on the other hand, a demand to erase the distinction between the public and the private spheres, and hence to undermine the possibility of real equality.

In case we want to have a booming creative educational front we should make sure that we give place to a truly plural society in which citizens have freedom to pursue their different values or practices in private but also in public. To get an opening for a free development and renewal we should take care that in the public sphere all shall be treated as political equals whatever their racial, cultural, sexual or faith differences.

Today, however, pluralism has come to mean the very opposite. The right to practice a particular religion, speak a particular language, follow a particular cultural practice is seen not as an individual freedom to be defended in the name of liberty but a public good to be enforced through the state. At the same time the rights of individuals to do, speak or even think as they please, their right to challenge or criticise others’ ideas or values or beliefs, are increasingly curtailed by the state in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘respect’ and to ensure that different groups are not ‘offended’.

warns Malik.

The notion of equality has, in this process, has also become transformed, from meaning the right to be treated the same despite one’s differences of culture, ethnicity or faith to meaning the right to be treated differently because of them. It is an odious shift. It’s time we challenged the new reactionary views of both pluralism and equality.

Politicians should try to have the public understand that multiculturalism can be for the good of a society, enriching it and creating grounds for new developments and cross-pollination.

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Right of the parents or children to fall under religious rules

In Belgium politicians and organisations are still under consideration about circumcision, because some members believe that freedom of religion prevails, since circumcision is common among Jews and Muslims. Others believe that circumcision in men is unacceptable, as is the case with women today.

Icelandic and Belgian parliament to consider circumcision ban – Getty Images

In February legislators in Iceland have proposed a ban on circumcision of boys and some politicians want it also in Belgium. In practice of course, a ban on male circumcisions essentially outlaws Judaism and we also should know in several cases there are also medical reasons. Anticipating opposition from advocates for religious freedom, the legislation “insists the ‘rights of the child’ always exceed the ‘right of the parents to give their children guidance when it comes to religion’.”

Describing circumcision as a “violation” of young boys’ rights, the bill states the only time it should be considered is for “health reasons”.

In Iceland they think to give children the opportunity to decide for themselves once they reached the age of consent, but they forget that at that time it is a more painful business then when a baby.  Although the bill fails to make clear how old this would be, the age of sexual consent in Iceland is 15.

The Danish Medical Association said it had considered suggesting a legal ban on the procedure for children under the age of 18, because it believed circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men make for themselves.

When parents have their sons circumcised, it robs boys of the ability to make decisions about their own bodies, and choose their cultural and religious beliefs for themselves,

the organisation said.

Lise Møller, chair of the Doctors’ Association Ethics Board, said it was wrong to deny an individual the right to choose whether or not they wanted to be circumcised.

“To be circumcised should be an informed, personal choice,”

she said.

“It is most consistent with the individual’s right to self-determination that parents not be allowed to make this decision, but that it is left up to the individual when he has come of age.”

The doctors know it is difficult to predict the consequences of a ban but by making a religious matter unlawful they push it in the corner, so that it becomes more dangerous for the young boys. Now it are official rabbis who know what they do and can do such act properly. But when it becomes done in secret there is no control.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority estimates that somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 circumcisions are performed in Denmark each year, primarily on Jewish and Muslim boys.

The majority of those procedures occur outside of the public health system and are done as part of a religious ceremony in the child’s home, or in a private clinic. But the people who do the circumcision are trained to do that in a proper as painless possible way.

According to a major 2007 study by the World Health Organization, roughly 30 per cent of the global male population is circumcised.

Lots of people look at female and male circumcision as a similar abuse.  Though they are totally different. They consider it a a mutilation, but would they consider taking away the tonsils as a mutilation also? There are also many contra indications against a tonsillectomy, though in many countries it is still a common practice to remove the tonsils by little children. and what about ear-piercing ?

Ahmad Seddeeq, the imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland, called the ban

“a contravention to the religious rights of freedom” that criminalizes a centuries-old tradition.

The risks of circumcision are very much exaggerated and many forget advantages of cleanliness. The health benefits of circumcision, like helping to prevent urinary tract infections in infants, outweigh the risks.

Clinical trials conducted in Africa have demonstrated that adult circumcision can play a role in preventing HIV, genital herpes and certain strains of human papilloma virus, or HPV, the CDC reported.

Also concerning animal rights in the Netherlands and Belgium activists were hard at work trying to outlaw kosher and halal meats, and got a ban on such killing of animals, which makes it very difficult for Jews to get enough kosher meat.

All those actions fit in the effort to have certain people not staying in our regions, having them to leave because it has become impossible to live according religious laws.

One can question who is behind the ban and what are their real intentions. We can not be conscious enough of the possible aim to silence certain religious groups or to get them out of the country because they shall not be able to live according to their religious laws.

“It would not be the first time in the long tradition of the Jewish people. Throughout history, more than one oppressive regime has tried to suppress our people and eradicate Judaism by prohibiting our religious practices.”

expressed the presidents of the umbrella groups of Jewish communities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland for very good reason. Iceland, they added, does not have an organized Jewish community today.

“Banning Brit Milah will be an effective deterrent and will guarantee that no Jewish community will be established,”

they wrote.

Albert Guigui, Chief Rabbi of Brussels and Permanent Representative of the Conference of European Rabbis to the European Institutions, concurred that a circumcision ban would be an infringement on religious liberty.

“Prohibiting circumcision in a given country amounts to that very country publicly declaring that no Jewish community is welcome on its territory any longer,”

he said.

A statement released by the Council of European Bishops’ Conference, said that the proposed ban could legitimize xenophobia in Iceland and across Europe:

“This law would render a xenophobic image of Iceland in a religiously and culturally diverse world. Should this proposal go through it also risks inspiring similar initiatives in other European countries and beyond.”

“In a climate of growing anti-Semitism and Islamophobia this could encourage such tendencies elsewhere, increasing the pressure on often already vulnerable communities,”

the statement read.

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Preceding articles

Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws

Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam

Populism endangering democracy

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Additional reading

  1. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  2. Today’s thought “Period of uncleanness and offerings” (March 1)
  3. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  4. Do those who want to follow Christ to be Jews

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  2. Circumcision and sensation
  3. Circumcision doesn’t make you a man!
  4. Re: circumcision
  5. To cut or not to cut? 
  6. Male Circumscision – is it Child Abuse?
  7. Is Male Circumcision A Violation Of Human Rights?
  8. Male circumcision – can it really be equated to FGM?
  9. Circumcision Sucks: The Uncut Version
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  13. The Benefits of Newborn Circumcision: Deciding Whether or Not to Circumcise Your Infant After Birth
  14. Circumcision Southport: The best way to give your Baby Son a Lifelong Protection
  15. Why Circumcision
  16. What is a circumcision and why does Iceland want to ban it?
  17. Newshour: Iceland circumcision
  18. 500 Icelandic physicians back bill to outlaw circumcision
  19. Iceland – Jewish Community Survival Threatened As Iceland Set To Ban Jewish Circumcision
  20. Iceland’s proposed ban on male circumcision: Ending religious tolerance
  21. Iceland says bill banning circumcision, a potential first for Europe, is not ‘against religion’
  22. Iceland: Jews Scream “Anti-Semitism” in Response to Ban on Infant Genital Mutilation
  23. Iceland law to outlaw male circumcision sparks row over religious freedom
  24. Iceland’s mooted circumcision ban sparks religious outrage
  25. Iceland’s proposed ban on male circumcision upsets Jews, Muslims
  26. Bill Banning Circumcision in Iceland Alarms Religious Groups
  27. Iceland Bans Circumcision, Chabad Sends Rabbi to Reykjavik (Last Capital In Europe To Get One)
  28. Christians, Jews and Muslims speak out against Iceland’s proposed circumcision ban
  29. Iceland’s mooted circumcision ban sparks religious outrage
  30. Anti-Defamation League Threatens Iceland Because Of Circumcision Ban
  31. Gender Self Identity in Dundee, Circumcision in Iceland and Harassing Prayer | Quantum 121
  32. Bill Banning Circumcision in Iceland Alarms Religious Groups
  33. Denmark Doctors Declare Circumcision Of Healthy Boys ‘Ethically Unacceptable’
  34. And yet they bitch about female circumcision…
  35. From Abortion to Circumcision, Democracy Won’t Save Minorities from the Majority, by Ryan McMaken
  36. Pence Seen Clutching Western Wall As Pain Of Recent Circumcision Overwhelms
  37. Did the Jerusalem Council Change God’s Law?
  38. Co-sleeping, Vaccines, Circumcision, Formula…and every other Mom Shame.
  39. More unethical neonatal circumcision research in Africa?
  40. Circumcision and faith ….. ….part 2 Abraham and Genesis 17
  41. Men’s Rights: A Movement For Pathetic Patriarchy (Update)
  42. Circumcision Palaver
  43. Be wary of the “circumcision”
  44. Trio
  45. Indian-origin family banned from flying baby girl to India for circumcision
  46. Why is the number of male circumcisions declining in Australia?
  47. Dr Balvinder Mehat, ‘no-consent’ circumcision doctor, will not be prosecuted
  48. Will Canada ban circumcision? Not likely, observers say
  49. Not So Cut-And-Dry: The Circumcision Controversy Continues
  50. The Value of Circumcision
Posted in Food, News and Politics, Religion, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Populism endangering democracy

These days we see all over the civilised world a similar problem of politicians trying to please the majority of their populace. Trying to gain votes several politicians do not take it so properly with he protection of human rights. They should know that a democracy which does not respect human rights is not a democracy. Several persons who claim to come up for the rights of people are more trying to limit the rights of several people, like parents. (see about how Darya Safai wants to limit them in the choice of religion and their freedom of clothing.)

Certain criminals or Mafioso do not mind using the political parties for themselves to strengthen their power, like Berlusconi in Italy. Their greed to power and such politicians no interest for the safety of the people and their environment weakens the credibility of politicians and undermines the democracy its survival.

Democracies’ weaknesses in the face of corruption and criminal activities have to be addressed. More and more become disgusted by those corrupt politicians who only think of making their wallet better filled with more money, wherever it may come from. Much of the deregulation associated with the supposedly liberal economy is deliberately encouraged for the benefit of certain groups, sometimes criminal organisations, such as terrorist groups that have taken advantage of the VAT fraud system. People are looking at the EU institutions and wonder why they have not done more or why thy do not take more serious measures against all forms of corruption which we continually see growing like nothing is in its way. Lots of people do find that our governments and the EU have not responded adequately. Populists therefore build on citizens’ justified mistrust towards government.

All interested in the indemnification of democracy should be aware we may not stay silent any-more at the sideline, seeing how certain industries show no respect to the environment and do all what they can to earn as much money as they can, without any respect for nature.  The ones eager to have all power and control over everything are the enemies of democracy. We have seen them standing up in China, Russia, Turkey and the United States of America. The dictators have come in power there already and we can not tell if they are aware of their dangerous games or do they just do it out of stupidity … history will tell. But in the meantime Europe may be caught up in a trade war with the United States of America. We can only hope the politicians shall be strong enough to resist it and shall not give in to allow genetically manipulated and hormone manipulated food to enter in our food-chain. We should not allow democracy’s enemies to exploit the weaknesses of our governments to interfere with public perceptions and capture people’s support. While it is not easy to find a solution, according to Ana Gomes we cannot remain idle. It takes courage to address the faults of our political systems, but it has to be done.

Public attitudes about the political system broadly and the national government specifically vary considerably around the world, though many are critical. Opinions are closely related to the status of the economy and domestic politics. Publics who have experienced high economic growth and are happy with their country’s economy are more confident in their national government. Similarly, people who support the governing party or parties in their country tend to give more positive evaluations of their democracy than those who support either the opposition or no political party at all.

With a Pew Research across 36 countries asked the question of the way democracy is working, a global median of 46% say they are very or somewhat satisfied with the way their democracy is working, compared with 52% who are not too or not at all satisfied.

In North America, 70% of Canadians say they think their political system is working well, but Americans are divided. Just under half in the U.S. (46%) are happy with their democracy and 51% are unhappy. In the U.S., 68% of people who identify with the Republican Party say they are satisfied with their democracy, while just 40% of Americans who do not identify with the Republican Party say the same.

People who are satisfied with how democracy works in their country also tend to say they trust the national government to do what is right for the country. Given that, the global distribution of trust in national governments is very similar to attitudes about the political system more broadly.But we can see a development more people coming to distrust politics. In Belgium, having coming to vote this year for the local authorities people share less interest for going to the ballot box. And next year they shall have to go again to the ballot box, but than for Europe. Last month the European Parliament voted to decrease the number of MEPs from 751 to 705, after the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union on the currently planned schedule. 2019 will see the debut of new centrist parties from Spain (Ciudadanos), Poland (Nowoczesna) which ALDE hopes will boost their performance.

In Germany, 65% of those who have a positive view of the Alternative for Germany party (AfD) say they trust the national government not much or not at all, compared with just 24% of those who have a negative view of the party. Their country  is taking the lead to bring the undemocratic right-wing parties back in the running again. Holland and France being the two other strong Right-wing supporters. Marine Le Pen hoping to change the name of the Front National in the Rassemblement national in the hope to gain more votes.

From the Pew Survey we may believe that more than half of respondents in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a ‘very’ or ‘somewhat good’ way to govern their country. In all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist however, to varying degrees, with openness to non-democratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military. The idea of democracy may vary a lot as well. Many fascists are seriously convinced they offer the best democracy for Europe, where there is no place for other religious groups than Christians and best all white Europeans.

Europeans overwhelmingly support representative democracy as a government model. A majority of Europeans reject rule by experts. Europeans also overwhelmingly reject rule by a strong ruler. A striking outcome of the survey is the people’s desire to be more directly involved in political decisions. Some 70 % of Europeans want major issues to be put to a popular vote in their countries. Populist party supporters are even more supportive of direct democracy – likely one of the reasons some people prefer these parties. Though it is just in such groups that many do not see how a limitation of freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of clothing is just bringing democracy in danger.

Once more we should recognise the signs that democracy is not a guaranty or something untouchable for Europe. We see more countries who do not want to keep the EU agreements but think solely for their own. Nobody wants to take in some refugees or want to come to help the Greece and Italian islands which get overloaded with immigrants.
Regrettably, in too many cases electoral results are not respected or institutions and rules are manipulated to keep leaders in power indefinitely. This prevents citizens from accessing the basic elements of freedom and equality that democracy champions.
Populist and extremist political parties and leaders are successfully exploiting their electorates’ insecurities. Exclusionary rhetoric occupies more space in public discourse than before and can influence the outcome of elections. If the recent rise of populism with
authoritarian tendencies is unopposed, it could undermine democracy from within, using democratic tools. We should be fully aware of that.

Skilfully the right wing politicians use fear-mongering to get the people on their hand. With many lies they blind people and get them to believe what is over and over pushed in their throat by the social media.

Most people are not any more interested in an ideal that seeks to guarantee equality and basic freedoms, or to empower ordinary people, resolve disagreements through peaceful dialogue, respect differences, and to bring about political and social renewal without economic and social disruption. For most people it is the “only one self”, the “I” that should be in the most important place. It is all about how can I protect myself and get the best out of it all.
For many there is no place for Muslims or other religious people, who they consider a threat for their own culture.
For most people only those who are born and breath here in Europe should receive a place in Europe. For the majority it seems that civil and political rights, social and economic rights, democratic governance and rule of law, belongs to the European citizen and not to those who come to invade Europe from Africa and Asia.

Today, not many in West Europe seem to be interested to give non-Europeans the same rights as they have. Not many are willing to be open for other cultures, different traditions of democratic thought associated with the concepts of electoral democracy, liberal democracy, social democracy and participatory democracy. We should acknowledge that there is the concept of democracy which reflects a core value enshrined in article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that the ‘will of the people’ is the basis for the legitimacy and authority of sovereign states. But what now when the majority seems to be willing to restrict the freedom of so many? Normally one would expect a democratic system to reflect a common and universal desire for peace, security and justice. But those populist politicians present to their voters a false democracy which does not reflect the fundamental ethical principles of human equality and the dignity of persons.

Therefore not taking democracy for granted we should alert people of the dangerous road some politicians are trying to take these days.

The main challenges include backsliding and shrinking democratic space (more specifically constitutional amendments; concentration of power in the executive; undermined judicial independence; media restrictions; restrictions on opposition parties and civil society); rising populism and nationalism; spreading of fake news and disinformation; decreasing trust in political parties and elites; state capture and corruption, such as unchecked inflows of money into politics; spill-overs from regional conflicts, such as migration and refugee flows, that fuel populism in Europe.

We must not be chicken-livered, by institutionalising and having too many European politicians gone too far away from their people, many living far away in an other world, making that democracy came to undergo a crisis of political representation, which has to be addressed.

EPRS Policy Roundtable 'Declining commitment to democracy : What's going on around the world ?'

EPRS Policy Roundtable ‘Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?’

On 7 March 2018, the EPRS Members’ Research Service organised a roundtable on the global state of democracy as seen by citizens. Etienne Bassot, Director of the Members’ Research Service, highlighted the importance of the topic, particularly with the approaching elections for the European Parliament.

EPRS Policy Roundtable 'Declining commitment to democracy : What's going on around the world ?'

Ana GOMES, MEP (S&D, PT)

Ana Gomes (S&D, Portugal), said we must learn the lessons of history and address these failures with courage. For example, the failure of our governments to uphold their legal and moral obligations towards those who need protection, such as refugees, has fuelled extremism and radicalisation.

IDEA makes a series of recommendations in this respect. Political parties have to remain responsive to the electorate’s needs during the entire electorate cycle, to address policy challenges without compromising ideology, to communicate political vision, and to outline innovative programmes. They have to be democratic, transparent, based on fair processes, open to pluralism, inclusive – particularly of young people and women, ready to engage with citizens, open to alternative forms of membership, able to restore trust (through anti-corruption measures and internal democracy), and open to alternative means of communication (ICT).

Dissatisfaction with the way democracy works in practice does not necessarily represent a rejection of democratic principles as such. The popularity of direct democracy, as shown in the Pew Survey, clearly illustrates this distinction. This should give us hope.

Even if democratic progress is not linear, democracies are particularly fit to overcome crises, as they are flexible and able to adapt and reinvent themselves. The survey also provides some interesting insights for EU democracy support – a subject on which the EPRS has recently published a briefing.

The EU is at the forefront of efforts to support democracy in third countries in the world. As the Pew Survey shows, people expect democratic systems to deliver, and the state of the economy and the effectiveness of the government are strong drivers of citizens’ trust in democracy. These findings legitimate the approach taken by the EU with regard to democracy support since the Lisbon Treaty, according to which consistency and coherence with other external policy must be assured and strengthened. Economic success and good governance (and EU aid can play an important supportive role) is important for the strength and resilience of democracies. In this respect, EU development aid, as well as the human rights and democracy conditionality enshrined in many of its bilateral relations, can ensure that democratic and economic progress go hand in hand.

But first of all politicians should be more open and come again closer to the public, to their voters. They should come back with their feet on the ground and should play more open card, not staying in their ivory tower.

***


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Preceding article

Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values / In Dutch Angst voor Islamisering dat juist leidt tot indoctrinatiemogelijkheden

++

Additional reading

  1. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  2. Fight against nationalism main struggle for feminists today
  3. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  4. Three pillars of sustainable development, young people and their rights
  5. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  6. Institutional Racism
  7. Darkest just before dawn
  8. It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!
  9. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism

+++

Related

  1. Human rights 1
  2. Human Rights 2
  3. Stand up for Humanity – World Human Rights Day
  4. The Struggle for Human Rights
  5. Declaring a “human right” does not make it one (part 1)
  6. A New Perspective on Human Rights
  7. Human Rights Commission CFO gropes, keeps job
  8. Human rights rest only on human advocacy
  9. Your Most Basic Right
  10. Women’s Rights Are Human Rights (though perhaps not in Bulgaria)
  11. Pressure Grows on Labour to Defend Human Rights in Iran.
  12. The ‘Human Rights’ War on Syria
  13. Russia may end cooperation with European Court of Human Rights: RIA
  14. Interview with Shreen Saroor, winner of Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law
  15. Limitations on religious rights
  16. International Human Rights Day
  17. Human rights, disAbility and dementia
  18. Human rights abuses against the waria of Indonesia
  19. >New Orleans Won’t Do Business with Human Rights Violators
  20. DPRK white paper on human rights violations in the USA
  21. China Tells the US to Learn from China’s Human Rights
  22. While there is life, there is hope! –  
  23. Stand up for Humanity – World Human Rights Day
  24. Democracy  by David Palethorpe
  25. Democracy
  26. Democracy Abraham Lincoln, who left copious scraps of paper with jotted thoughts instead of a diary, wrote upon one of them
  27. ‘Democracy is an experiment…’
  28. Demokrati – Democracy
  29. Not a Democracy
  30. It Is Not A Democracy
  31. How Democracies Die …
  32. Threats to Democracy
  33. Is Democracy in Decline???
  34. The Role of Education in A Democracy
  35. Why I Hate Democracy..
  36. Democracy Is Experiencing System Failure. We Can Fix It.
  37. Democracy and The Poor
  38. Psychology of Democracy
  39. Thomas L. Friedman: US Democracy Is In Code Red Because Of President Trump
  40. Power, stagnation, and democracy
  41. Undermining democracy
  42. “Everybody now seems to be talking about democracy. As I think of it, democracy isn’t like a Sunday suit to be brought out and worn only for parades.”
  43. Exclusive: Izzard on his NEC bid, Labour democracy, the chicken-coup and more
  44. Shadow Economy, Democracy and the Manipulation of Public Opinion
  45. The Glory of Democracy
  46. Democracy and the Greater Good
  47. Establishment Alarmed as Trump Threatens to Gut US “Democracy Promotion” Racket
  48. The American democracy wasn’t built in a day, but it could be destroyed swiftly and imperceptibly
  49. Trumping Democracy
  50. Trump represents true Democracy
  51. Trump’s Judges: The GOP’s Slow Poison for Democracy, and the Planet
Posted in B4Peace, Crisis, Environment and Ecology, News and Politics, Poll, Religion, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

European teenagers to tell Brussels what place there is for culture in Europe

Your Europe, Your Say!

Thirty-three schools from across Europe will come to Brussels this week and tell European institutions just what role they see culture playing in Europe’s future. They will brainstorm, debate and vote on three proposals which European institutions will factor into their policy making.

The schools were selected to participate in this initiative by means of an electronic name picker in Brussels on 6 December. One school from each of the 28 EU Member States and five candidate countries (Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) will be involved.

Called “Your Europe, Your Say!” (YEYS), the event is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the voice of civil society at European level, and is the Committee’s flagship event for young people.

Students from secondary schools will leave their familiar classrooms and come to Brussels on 15 and 16 March to share their views and ideas and work together on United in diversity: a younger future for European culture”.  Through this initiative, the EESC is seeking to ensure that the views, experiences and ideas of the younger generation are taken on board in EU policy making.

Further details about YEYS2018 are available on the event’s official page and in last year’s video here.(ks)

Posted in Announcement, Culture, News and Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tieners over de rol die is weggelegd voor cultuur in het Europa van morgen

Jouw Europa, jouw mening!

Drieëndertig scholen uit heel Europa komen deze week naar Brussel om de Europese instellingen te vertellen welke rol cultuur volgens hen in de toekomst van Europa kan vervullen. Zij zullen van gedachten wisselen, debatteren en stemmen over drie voorstellen waarmee de Europese instellingen bij de beleidsvorming rekening zullen houden.

https://www.eesc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/images/yeys_congrats.jpg?itok=Wq5Q1UFqDe scholen zijn op 6 december in Brussel op willekeurige wijze elektronisch geselecteerd om deel te nemen aan dit initiatief. Uit elk van de 28 lidstaten en elk van de vijf kandidaat-lidstaten (Albanië, de voormalige Joegoslavische Republiek Macedonië, Montenegro, Servië en Turkije) zal één school deelnemen.

Dit evenement heet “Jouw Europa, jouw mening!” Het evenement (YEYS) wordt georganiseerd door de spreekbuis van het maatschappelijk middenveld op Europees niveau – het Europees Economisch en Sociaal Comité (EESC) – en is het EESC-evenement bij uitstek voor jongeren.

Leerlingen van middelbare scholen zullen op 15 en 16 maart hun vertrouwde klaslokalen verruilen voor Brussel, om hun opvattingen en ideeën te delen en samen te werken aan “Verenigd in verscheidenheid: een jongere toekomst voor de Europese cultuur”. Met dit initiatief wil het EESC ervoor zorgen dat de standpunten, ervaringen en ideeën van de jongere generatie in de EU-besluitvorming worden opgenomen.

Nadere details over YEYS2018 zijn te vinden op de officiële website van het evenement en hier, in de video van vorig jaar.(ks)

Posted in Aankondiging, Cultuur, Nieuws en politiek | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values

Joodse meisjesschool verbiedt leerkrachten te praten over seksualiteit en evolutieleer: minister beveelt onderzoek

The Benoth Jerusalem school in Breughelstraat in Antwerp is a subsidized Free Israeli school for secondary education. “Here, too, the final objectives have to be respected”, says Minister Crevits. Photo: Victoriano Moreno

Mid February we heard on the news that at the Free Israelite school for secondary education Benoth Jerusalem girl-school, in the Breughelstraat, Antwerp where the teachers’ corps only consists of women, they demanded very strange rules to be agreed with from their teachers.

The “Guidelines” bundle, which applicants get from the management of the Benoth Jerusalem school in Antwerp, demand of the female teachers not to

“talk about sex, procreation, politics, religion, racism, personal matters.”

This is also specified per subject.

In 2012, the school was screened by the Flemish Education Inspectorate. The school then received a ‘limited favourable advice’. Especially in the field of evolution theory, sexual education and scientific subjects, the inspectors at Benoth Jerusalem found important ‘gaps’. In a follow-up audit in 2015, these gaps were eliminated, the inspection team judged. The school regrets

‘the hoopla that detracts from years of efforts’.

This so systematic direct education is the danger that the Iranian-Belgian human rights activist Darya Safai wants to bring onto more children, especially to the Muslim children. Once again the debacle concerning head-covering was hot topic these weeks. The lady who got very traumatised in Iran probably considers the European women also as weak as the women in her native country. For her it is impossible that children and young women (up to 23) are able to decide for themselves what to wear and to choose if they voluntary want to cover their head or not.

Foto: Paul van Welden

Iranian-Belgian human rights activist Darya Safai – Photo Paul van Welden

Strangely many see in this lady a human rights fighter, what she really tries to do in her native region. But over here in the West she tries to limit our human rights. She wants to take away the right for parents to decide which religion they give to their children and wants to take the right away for them to choose what their children should wear.

She wants to take away our Freedom of religion, Freedom of clothing or Freedom of dress, Freedom of thought, Freedom of expression, and Freedom of worship away.

She told, on the Flemish television, parents should have no right to say which religion their kids should follow and expressed also that parents should not have any right to decide which cloths their children have to wear.

(foto: Filip Naudts)

Commandeur in the Silvesterorde Mieke Van Hecke

Ex-top woman of Catholic education Mieke Van Hecke (CD&V) pleaded in Terzake for the right to wear a headscarf at school at agreed the head covering was the only element in which she feels that she failed. She notices how children became the victim of the affair. She could see how Sikhs are the ones to suffer as well, because they can not find any state school or Free school where they are welcome with their head covering.

Darya Safai (N-VA) argues that the choice to wear a headscarf is not made by girls themselves.

“It’s not a free choice, if I see six-year-old girls wearing headscarves, I really wonder how they could decide that for themselves-it’s imposed on you and you live with them.”

For her the covering of the body is a symbol of oppression, brought unto the innocent youngsters by their tyrant parents. For her men with beards are all despots for whom we should be very careful because it are very dangerous people. (So every reader knows now that I am considered a very dangerous person.)

Safai to her defence for calling it a symbol of oppression says

“Men do not wear headscarves, that’s the best proof”

To which Vanhecke replies

“With Jews, only the men wear a yarmulke, and that is not seen as a symbol of oppression,”

Van Hecke argues that not only Muslims are victims of the headscarf debate.

“A ban on headgear not only affects Muslims,”

says Vanhecke.

“In Sint-Truiden there were never any problems, the Sikh boys came to school with a turban, because of the ban they no longer have access to our school.”

The primary schools of Flemish Community education have a ban on the wearing of religious symbols which includes the headscarf of the Sikhs. The Sikhs demand that the school regulations be adjusted and rely on a few judgments of the Council of State. If the ban is not scaled back, there are legal proceedings in summary proceedings or at the Council of State.

Van Hecke rightly thinks girls are also oppressed if they are not allowed to wear the headscarf.

“A religion obliges the headscarf, a society forbids it, that is the same principle.”

“You interfere in a fundamental right of parents to make choices for their children,”

says Van Hecke. And with that statement more people should come to see how we find people being used as a play-toy to get right-wing issues through and create opportunities to limit our freedom, like Safai wants to do.

There has been made a lot of work to open borders of Europe, which would not hinder people to get from one place to an other to find a job or to go on holiday. Europe allowing free-movement of workers enhanced many their job-finding potential. Several governments did make an effort to show equality to everybody wanting to live in their region. Though now there are many who want to restrict such liberty of living in Europe. Furthermore they even want to restrict the right of choosing an other religion than their ‘Christendom‘ by which most of them mean ‘Roman Catholicism‘. Those being so afraid others will come to diminish their faith-group seem not to wonder why it could be possible that so many would turn away from Catholicism. If they and the others also would be strong believers then thy should not be worried that they and/or others would be converted to Islam.

33 years old Protestant female covering all of her hair according the Biblical instructions: “For if a woman is not veiled, let her also have her hair cut short; but if it is shameful for a woman to wear her hair cut short or to have her head shaved, then let her be veiled.” 1 Co 11:3‭-‬6 CJB

Many also do forget that in certain Christian groups women also wear a head covering when in public or at church.

The ones who want to restrict what people may wear, bring to themselves also many restrictions and bring our democracy in danger. Safai by excluding youngsters from our schools, when they prefer to wear a head-covering, or when their parents want them to go to a school where their faith is respected, pushes them to private schools where there are many more chances to have in-doctrinal teachings. That where so many are afraid for they are creating themselves by their discrimination.

We should be very careful also to keep the youngsters under control by having them in schools which are under state control.

At the moment throughout Europe there have been taken initiatives to protect the youngsters from those who want to bring them under the spell of fundamentalist Islamist doctrines. Though despite a number of high-quality initiatives, not enough is being done to prevent young people from succumbing to the lure of violent extremism.

In the fight against youth radicalisation, Member States and the EU need to involve civil society organisations more effectively as partners who can make a key contribution to social and values-based resilience against extremist ideas,

the EESC said at its December plenary.

Instead of focusing on short-term, punitive security policies driven by “crisis” events, EU policies should invest more in prompt but also long-term and coordinated prevention efforts, the EESC stated in its opinion on Cooperation with civil society to prevent the radicalisation of young people,.

Rapporteur Christian Moos (Various Interests, DE) stressed that young people are especially vulnerable to extremist propaganda, as they do not have a strong sense of identity and often feel excluded by society.

Prevention requires a multi-agency approach involving policy-makers, police and prisons, social workers, schools, the media, businesses and civil society organisations, according to the EESC. We should be very careful when we do not allow head-covering in the State Schools, which should neutrality and should as such be open for all sorts of people from whatever religion. By excluding those people who want to express their believe, we push them in the hands of people who could have other plans with them than we would like to see. Those people having to look for private schools are then the target of Salafist and extremist groups, who by having them in their schools can guide them in any direction they want, without control of the State.

Mr Moos praised the European Commission’s work in the prevention area. Its Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), gathers frontline and grassroots practitioners and brings together practitioners from around Europe working on the prevention of radicalisation. It also promotes the exchange of best practice and on-the-ground experience, while its High Level Expert Group on Radicalisation is to advise on the further development of EU policies and more structured cooperation between stakeholders and between Member States.

The most effective prevention strategies stop people from getting involved in violent extremism or acts of terrorism in the first place, but in case Safai gets her will the youngsters from devout believers become an easy target of the extremist groups luring them in their private institutions where they easily could be indoctrinated. The grip of our teachers, youth workers, civil society representatives, local authorities representatives and healthcare professionals taken away weakens them more.

Nevertheless we must be aware that these initiatives taken by the EESC and local governments are not enough.

The EESC places special emphasis on formal and non-formal education for active participation in a diverse society and for teaching critical thinking and media literacy. Our youngsters do have to learn that there are different religions and cultures with their own specifics. Trying to do away of those outward appearances shall not help to get people used to it. Just the opposite, it shall increase the misunderstanding and take away the rapprochements possibility.

Fighting xenophobic and populist tendencies through more intercultural awareness and also through a firm understanding of EU values is likewise seen as helpful.

Youth organisations were singled out as providing valuable alternative opportunities for developing a healthy sense of personal identity. The EESC also stressed the role of trade unions and religious communities, as well as that of support services and networks that can help schools and families detect the first signs of radicalisation.

Logo chiro.jpgWikiProject Scouting fleur-de-lis dark.svgBy making the parents to look for other schools than the Gemeenschapsonderwijs (GO!) State Schools there shall be less control and less opportunities that those kids shall come to join free community youth organisations like Chiro or Scouts (Scouting) where those youngsters can be supported in their physical, mental and spiritual development. A widely recognized movement characteristic is the Scout uniform, by intent hiding all differences of social standing in a country and making for equality, with neckerchief and campaign hat or comparable headwear.

Combating youth unemployment and poverty should also be high on the agenda, recommended the EESC, but by the actions of Darya Safai many parents shall be obliged to sent their kids to private schools which shall cost them a lot and bring them even on the bring of poverty. But also their kids having gone to such schools with no guarantee of quality education shall have less possibilities on the job-market and make more chance to come on to the dole, their unemployment benefit costing us much more than giving them a good education where all people come to recognise the differences between the many cultures in this country.

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Previous articles

Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws

Vatican against Opponents of immigration

Please also read my article:

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

About the same subject in Dutch:

Angst voor Islamisering dat juist leid tot indoctrinatiemogelijkheden

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Additional reading

  1. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  2. Inculturation today calling for a different attitude
  3. A stain of shame for the European Union
  4. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  5. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  6. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
  7. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  8. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  9. You are what you wear
  10. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  11. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  12. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  13. a must read and see: A Jew and Muslim walking together side by side down USA city streets

+++

Related articles

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  2. Head Coverings – Part 1
  3. Headcovering for women Basis for the Observance of this Precept (summary of a sermon preached some years ago in Newtownabbey FPC as part of a series on Free Presbyterian distinctives.)
  4. Head Covering is about Glorifying God
  5. Hijab: Muslim groups calls for understanding
  6. Belgian Television has achieved a milestone in pro-hijab propaganda: “schools shouldn’t interfear with basic religious rights by banning hijab”
  7. ‘It won’t get better’ – Iranian activist Darya Safai on footballers’ ban for playing Israelis — RT Sport
  8. ‘Humiliating’: Iranian women excluded as Syrian women watch World Cup qualifier in stadium
  9. Western women turn a blind eye to Iranian struggle
  10. Western Feminists Snub an Iranian Heroine
  11. Iranian women protest head-covering law
  12. Hebrew Women + Head Covering
  13. Hebrew Sisters – Understand the Correct Meaning Of A Covering! | Exposing Corruption Under Every Rock
  14. Know Your Reasons–A Head-covering Lutheran:
  15. The other has a face
  16. A dying Western culture is the problem
  17. How God left the Netherlands – or is it the other way around?
  18. Anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rallies grow in Europe
  19. Hijab: Oppression or Freedom?
  20. What does it mean to cover?
  21. What’s the Deal With Head Coverings?
  22. Head Covering as a Form of Protection
  23. Islam, France, Burkini: A chit chat on FB
  24. Covering my Head
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  26. Veils & Head Coverings…Thoughts from an American Soldier
  27. Be kind to your sisters, always
  28. Head Coverings: A Matter of the Heart
  29. Christian Head-Covering Tag
  30. Re-Asserting a Feminine Tradition – Crisis Magazine
  31. Hats? or Chapel Veils? Or no head covering at all?
  32. Piety, Modesty, and Covering My Hair – A Perspective
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  34. I Tried Wearing a Hijab (sort of)
  35. Jewish group to question French President Macron on fighting anti-Semitism
  36. Beyond the Pretty
  37. Brexit in Islamaphobic Europe
  38. Racism Is not . . .
  39. First contestant to wear head covering on ‘The Voice France’ wows judges
  40. Pro-hijab billboard campaign in Chicago
  41. False Teachings Or Simply Disagreements?
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  43. The Head Cover Challenge
  44. From Abortion to Circumcision, Democracy Won’t Save Minorities from the Majority, by Ryan McMaken
  45. Quebec’s Law on Facial Veils Fuels Fierce Debate
  46. Globe editorial: Quebec hangs onto a troubling rule on head-coverings
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Posted in B4Peace, Culture, Education, News and Politics, Poverty, Upbringing and Education, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Angst voor Islamisering dat juist leidt tot indoctrinatiemogelijkheden

De afgelopen dagen heb ik echt versteld gestaan van enkele websites die ik tegen kwam waarop ik eigenlijk ontoelaatbaar materiaal kwam te zien. Het verbaast mij dat de extreem rechtse praat en haatteksten tegenover bepaalde groepen van de bevolking zo maar te grabbel liggen op het net en dat die mensen ongestoord zulke dingen kunnen spuien.

Ook het EESC is zich bewust van deze opkomende trend van haatgedachten en overduidelijk racisme. Maar het erkent dat, afgezien van een aantal kwalitatief hoogwaardige initiatieven, er niet genoeg gedaan om te voorkomen dat jongeren zwichten voor de verleiding van gewelddadig extremisme.

Als wij rondom ons kijken kunnen wij sowieso een verrechtsing merken en zien wij hoe populistische politici het gros van de mensen kunnen vermurwen en angst aan jagen voor dingen waar men geen angst voor moet hebben.

In de strijd tegen de radicalisering van jongeren moeten de lidstaten en de EU maatschappelijke organisaties doeltreffender betrekken als partners die een belangrijke bijdrage kunnen leveren aan de sociale en op waarden gebaseerde weerbaarheid tegen extremistische ideeën,

aldus het EESC tijdens zijn zitting van december.

In plaats van te focussen op een bestraffend veiligheidsbeleid op korte termijn dat wordt ingegeven door crisissituaties, moet het EU-beleid meer investeren in snelle maar ook gecoördineerde preventieve maatregelen op de lange termijn,

verklaarde het EESC in zijn advies inzake Samenwerking met het maatschappelijk middenveld om radicalisering van jongeren te voorkomen.

De Europese leiders zouden veel meer moeten doen om duidelijke informatie te geven en de media te verzoeken meer informatieve programma’s te laten uitzenden zodat mensen een veel klaarder beeld krijgen van de werkelijke situatie.

Foto: Paul van Welden

Iraans-Belgische tandarts en vrouwenrechtenactiviste Darya Safai

Her en der ziet men extremistische propaganda en valse informatie opduiken. Vreemd genoeg heb ik de laatste dagen websites kunnen aantreffen die de verschrikkelijke grootheid van de Holocaust ontkennen. Al is het negationisme verboden kunnen wij toch zulke websites aantreffen die de enorme verschrikking van vorig eeuw durven minimaliseren. Dan vraag ik mij af waar de staatsveiligheid is, of richten die heden enkel hun pijlen op Moslims. Ook zien wij dezer dagen meer en meer mensen die door politieke partijen gebruikt worden om de vrijheid van meningsuiting en vrijheid van godsdienst in te perken. Ook al vermoed ik dat zij daar zelf niet bewust van zijn dat zij als een speelbal worden gebruikt door die partijen, zoals de Iraans Belgische Darya Safai.

Hoofdboek_cover1Safai beschouwt de verplichte hoofddoek in haar geboorteland als een symbool van discriminatie en onderdrukking van de Iraanse vrouwen. Maar zij denkt dat hier in België de vrouwen ook te bang zijn om hun eigen stem te laten horen en dat de vrouwen ook te zwak zijn om de mannen te weerstaan. Zij gelooft dat de Belgische jongeren zich niet kunnen weren tegen de dwang van hun ouders en dat twintigers hier ook niet voldoende kracht hebben om zelf te beslissen wat zij willen dragen als kledij of hoe zij zich zelf en hun geloof willen uiten.

Le hijab1Uit het debat op de VRT (VRT Nieuws 2018/02/28 Hoofddoekendebat – Terzake)kon duidelijk opgemaakt worden hoe deze vrouw gefrustreerd en getraumatiseerd is door haar verschrikkelijke ervaringen in Iran. Maar het is totaal verkeerd van haar om haar beeld van de Iraanse maatschappij te interpoleren op onze maatschappij. Hiermee geeft ze trouwen de extremisten die tegen alle moslims zijn nog meer olie om op het vuur te gooien.

Ik kan begrijpen dat zij zich onrecht voelt aangedaan en dat zij het helemaal niet leuk vond om met bedekkende kleding naar school te moeten gaan, dit terwijl zij de jongens kon zien die ‘zo maar alles mochten aantrekken wat ze wilden’. Om die reden staat ze ook kritisch ten opzichte van opiniemakers die argumenteren dat de acceptatie van de hoofddoek in het Westen een kwestie van godsdienstvrijheid en gelijke rechten voor moslima’s is, en dat de hoofddoek daarmee een symbool van diversiteit vormt.

Safai voert aan dat de keuze om een hoofddoek te dragen niet gemaakt wordt door meisjes zelf en dat zij geen kans zien om onderuit de sociale druk vanuit de moslimgemeenschap te geraken. Zij doet zelfs alsof er hier in België een ‘zedenpolitie’ zou rondlopen en die jongeren zou straffen als zij hen betrappen op het niet dragen van de juiste moslimklederdracht en indien zij muziek zouden beluisteren. Nochtans kan men op vele pleintjes in Brussel en Antwerpen moslim hangjongeren zien die zeer luide rap- en andere hedendaagse muziek spelen tot overlast van de buren.

Het kan gerust waar zijn dat zes jarige meisjes een hoofddoek zouden dragen dat dit dan door hun ouders gevraagd kan zijn. Maar dat zou volgens Safia verboden moeten worden. Volgens haar hebben de ouders het recht niet om te bepalen welk geloof hun kinderen mogen hebben en hoe zij dat geloof moeten uitdragen of dienen.

Voor haar is het vergoelijken van de hoofddoek uit zogenaamde verdraagzaamheid eerder een vorm van cultuurrelativisme en onterechte steun voor geïnstitutionaliseerde discriminatie.

Voor Safai is de hoofddoek wel degelijk een symbool van onderdrukking.

“Mannen dragen geen hoofddoek, dat is het beste bewijs”,

aldus Safai, waarbij zij vergeet dat in meerdere religieuze groepen zo wel mannen als vrouwen ook hun hoofd bedekken. Zij lijkt denkelijk niet bewust te zijn van de vele mannelijke Joden in België die zich ook niet onderdrukt voelen bij het dragen van een hoofddeksel.

Vanhecke voert terecht aan dat niet alleen moslims slachtoffer zijn van het hoofddoekendebat en wijst op de uitsluiting van onderwijs voor enkele groepen in de Limburg.

“Door een verbod op hoofddeksels worden niet alleen moslims getroffen”,

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor sikh hoofdbedekkingaldus Vanhecke.

“In Sint-Truiden waren er nooit problemen doen de Sikh-jongens met een tulband naar school kwamen, door het verbod hebben zij geen toegang meer tot onze school.”

Door het verbod van hoofdbedekking en religieuze tekens voelen vele mannelijke Joden zich aangewezen om enkel nog in uitsluitend Joodse scholen terecht te kunnen.

Op de man-vrouw situatie repliceert Van Hecke terecht

“Bij Joden dragen enkel de mannen een keppeltje, en dat wordt ook niet gezien als een symbool van onderdrukking.”

Meer zelfs: Van Hecke vindt dat er ook meisjes onderdrukt worden als ze de hoofddoek niet mogen dragen.

“Een godsdienst verplicht de hoofddoek, een samenleving verbiedt het. Dat is hetzelfde principe.”

“U interfereert in een fundamenteel recht van ouders om keuzes te maken voor hun kinderen”,

aldus Van Hecke.

Daya Safia wil dat de staat ouders het recht ontneemt om te beslissen welke godsdienst zij moeten volgen en hoe zij deze moeten volgen. Door in het Gemeenschapsonderwijs en in Katholieke scholen, of ander Vrij Onderwijs, een hoofddoeken verbod op te leggen leidt Darya Safai die meisjes en andere moslim jongeren juist zelf in de handen van private Moslim scholen waar er juist dan geen degelijk opvolging kan zijn en er dan juist wel indoctrinatie kan gebracht worden. Dat waar zij zo bang voor is creëert zij juist zelf.

Ook de anderen die zo voor een openlijke vertoning zijn van het geloof maken het juist minder makkelijk om tot een aanvaardbare multiculturele samenleving te komen. Juist als kinderen leren inzien dat men meerdere geloven heeft en welke de verschillen zijn tussen de verschillende gemeenschappen die hier in dit land wonen, zullen zij veel makkelijker begrip kunnen tonen voor die anders denkenden.

Door te doen alsof er geen verschillen zijn tussen de verschillende bevolkingsgroepen die hier wonen maakt men het juist niet makkelijker om tot een algemeen begrip voor elkaar te komen en gaat men diegene die zich anders voor doet ook scheef blijven bekijken. Dat ziet men hier in België ook met de gehandicapten. In Groot-Brittannië is het heel normaal een eenarmige reporter of een zonder benen te zien op de openbare omroep, of zelfs dwergen, en daar is dat allemaal heel gewoon, zoals men daar het heel gewoon vindt om kleurlingen in allerlei posities te zien, terwijl hier nog steeds ongelijkheid of racisme bestaat voor hen.

Vandaag hoort men meerdere stemmen op gaan om die mensen met een andere kleurtint en met een ander geloof dan het hier ‘genormeerde’ uit onze maatschappij te weren.

Rapporteur Christian Moos (groep Diverse werkzaamheden, DE) benadrukte dat met name jongeren kwetsbaar zijn voor extremistische propaganda, omdat zij geen sterk gevoel van identiteit hebben en zich vaak door de maatschappij buitengesloten voelen.

(foto: Filip Naudts)

Belgisch bestuurder en voormalig politica voor de CVP en diens opvolger CD&V Mieke Van Hecke

Onze maatschappij moet er op toe zien dat er vermeden wordt dat mensen haat beginnen te dragen tegenover anderen. Dit kan hoofdzakelijk bekomen worden door te beginnen bij de allerkleinsten. Door deze te laten beseffen dat er verscheidene culturen zijn met verschillende godsdienstbelevingen. En niet zoals Safai wil hebben dat ouders verboden worden om hun kinderen naar eigen religieuze gedachte op te voeden. Wat zij in het programma Ter Zake verkondigde was duidelijk een oproep om de Belgische burgers hun vrijheden te beperken.  Haar oproep in het programma en haar hevig debat met ex-verantwoordelijke van het Katholieke onderwijs Mieke van Hecke, maakten duidelijk dat zij zelf niet inziet hoe zij zelf de mogelijkheid wil creëren om meer indoctrinatie te krijgen.

Preventie vereist een interdisciplinaire aanpak waarbij beleidsmakers, politie en gevangenissen, maatschappelijk werkers, scholen, de media, het bedrijfsleven en maatschappelijke organisaties betrokken zijn. Maar hiertoe moeten die diensten duidelijk de stempel dragen van neutraliteit. Men moet er op toe zien dat in die controle diensten geen mensen zitten die uitgesproken racistische meningen hebben.

De heer Moos heeft de werkzaamheden van de Europese Commissie op dit gebied geprezen. Het Europees netwerk voor voorlichting over radicalisering (RAN) brengt eerstelijnsmedewerkers en medewerkers aan de “frontlinie” bijeen en stimuleert de uitwisseling van beste praktijken en praktijkervaringen, terwijl de deskundigengroep over radicalisering advies moet geven over de verdere ontwikkeling van het EU-beleid en over een meer gestructureerde samenwerking tussen belanghebbenden en tussen de lidstaten.

Desondanks geeft het EESC aan dat deze initiatieven niet voldoende zijn.

Het EESC legt speciale nadruk op formeel en niet-formeel onderwijs in het kader van een actieve deelname aan een heterogene samenleving, het onderwijzen van kritisch denken en mediageletterdheid.

De vorige weken hebben wij duidelijk kunnen zien hoe een Joodse meisjesschool in Antwerpen (de Benoth Jerusalem school) haar leerkrachten zo selecteerde dat die alleen in zeer strikt fundamentalistische Joodse gedachten zouden onderwijzen. Daar werd aan de leerkrachten verzocht om niet te spreken over seks, voortplanting, politiek, religie, racisme, en persoonlijke aangelegenheden. Benoth Jerusalem in de Breughelstraat is een Vrije Israëli­tische school voor secundair onderwijs. Er gaan alleen meisjes naar school en ook het lerarenkorps bestaat alleen maar uit vrouwen. De school is erkend door de Vlaamse overheid en krijgt dan ook subsidies. als men dan ziet dat in zulk een erkende school zo een beperking al kan gebeuren, wat schuilt er dan niet in een privé school waar Darya Safia zo op aanstuurt. Dan zal indoctrinatie nog makkelijker kunnen gebeuren vooral als die scholen dan nog door bepaalde groepen, zoals Salafistische Moslims zouden ondersteund en betaald worden.

De bestrijding van xenofobe en populistische tendensen door middel van meer intercultureel bewustzijn en ook door middel van een goed begrip van de EU-waarden wordt eveneens als nuttig gezien.

Jongerenorganisaties zijn genoemd als waardevolle alternatieve mogelijkheden voor het ontwikkelen van een gezond gevoel van persoonlijke identiteit. Het EESC benadrukt bovendien de rol van vakbonden en religieuze gemeenschappen, evenals die van ondersteunende diensten en netwerken die scholen en gezinnen kunnen helpen bij het detecteren van de eerste tekenen van radicalisering. en dat is waar elke school moet op toe zien, hoe de kinderen naar elkaar opzien of neerzien. In alle scholen zou elk kind vrij moeten zijn om religieuze symbolen te dragen. Indien geen uniform verplicht is moet ook een hoofdbedekking, als een hijbab of turban of tulband kunnen

Er moet op toe gezien worden dat al de jongeren gelijke kansen krijgen om een zelfde gewaarborgd (hoog) peil te bereiken. Door hoofddoek en andere hoofbedkkingsverboden is er het gevaar dat bepaalde jongeren niet in de Vrije of Gemeenschapsscholen gaan terecht komen maar in speciale eigen geloofsscholen terecht komen of op de straat. Hierbij ontstaat er een gevaar voor indoctrinatie maar ook voor een minderwaardig onderwijs dat mogelijks ook een toename in de werkloosheid en armoede onder jongeren gaat doen verhogen. De bestrijding van werkloosheid en armoede onder jongeren moet dan ook hoog op de agenda staan, zoals aanbevolen door het EESC.

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Voorgaande

Belang van terug te grijpen naar essentiële waarden

Geïnstitutionaliseerde discriminatie

Nieuwkomers, nieuwelingen, immigranten, allochtonen en import

Virussen van onze maatschappij

Geïnstitutionaliseerde discriminatie

Lees ook mijn artikel:

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

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Aanvullende lectuur

  1. Motie over Godsdienstvrijheid
  2. Racisme geen eenrichtingsverkeer
  3. Migratie en veiligheid even geherformuleerd
  4. Een schandvlek op de Europese Unie
  5. Fundamentalisme en religie #3 Vluchtelingen en racisme
  6. Veroverende geloofsgroep
  7. Noodzaak om geweld tegen moslims ook in kaart te brengen
  8. Angst en verlossing van het kwaad
  9. Het gevaar om niets te doen tegen de oorzaak en de kwaal
  10. Kerken moeten zich uitspreken tegen racisme
  11. Voorbereiding op het belangrijkste weekend van het jaar 2018
  12. Vliegend spaghettimonster en Gelijke behandeling voor elke overtuiging

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Verder gerelateerd

  1. Toestand van de wereld
  2. Diversiteit
  3. Discriminatie
  4. Grondwet
  5. Een religie in onze zin van het woord ontstaat pas wanneer een geestelijke elite probeert om de wildgroei aan bovennatuurlijke overtuigingen en praktijken in te dammen, en een bepaalde orthodoxie aan de gemeenschap op te leggen; nuttige politieke handleiding voor parlementair debat @trouw
  6. Het nieuwe midden‘White Privilege is een feit’Feminisme, kapitalisme en discriminatieSeksuele intimidatie
  7. Darya Safai
  8. Wat moet men nog geloven
  9. Een hoofddoek dragen in de Islam
  10. Vrouwen die een hoofddoek dragen, maken de kloof in onze samenleving ongewild nog groter
  11. De hoofddoek is een symbool van islamisering, onderdrukking en discriminatie van de vrouw!
  12. Wat vindt de Islam van het Christendom?
  13. Sikhs vechten hoofddoekenverbod aan
  14. Gastblog: “Was hij een foutje?” en andere discriminerende opmerkingen die mensen maken
  15. Racisme, Tijdperk van burgerlijke revoluties
  16. Meer migranten, Mijnheer Lubbers? Graag maar…
  17. Hoe een prominent FvD-lid in een besloten appgroep praat over ras, homoseksualiteit en de doodstraf
  18. De lotgevallen van de Witte: Over privileges, rechten en macht.
  19. Blondie probeert wederom aangifte te doen
  20. Uitzenders moeten op cursus tegen discriminatie – want werkgevers mogen in dit land niet hun eigen personeel uitkiezen
  21. Politie roept achttien verdachten blokkade A7 Sinterklaasintocht op – Turkse Rotterdam-bezetters en anti-ZwartePiet- activisten gaan vrijuit
  22. Een afgelegen Italiaans bergdorp is ‘opeens Afrika’.
  23. Structureel racisme: ad nauseam
  24. Opgeruimd staat netjes
  25. Krijgers
  26. Sylvana Simons wenst niet met Annabel Nanninga te debatteren: ‘Racisme is geen mening, maar een misdrijf’
  27. Video: Plak mee tegen racisme! Hoe maak je lijm en plak je posters?
  28. [Maastricht] ”Geen stem voor racisme”-flyeractie
  29. Actiemateriaal: Geen Stem voor Racisme!
  30. AFA Amsterdam: Flyeractie ‘Geen Stem Voor Racisme’
  31. Zet een Streep Door Discriminatie
  32. De hamvraag rondom IQ vs. Afkomst
  33. Uitzenders moeten op cursus tegen discriminatie – want werkgevers mogen in dit land niet hun eigen personeel uitkiezen
  34. Video: Geert Wilders zet aanklacht discriminatie tegen Rutte door
  35. Hoe meer zelfvertrouwen krijgen?
  36. Racisme subsidie clubje eist dat 400 jaar oude Duitse familie apotheek de naam ‘Mohren’ verandert want deze naam is racistisch
  37. Arabieren houden negers, die elkaar opeten, als slaven – Anti-Pieten protesteren tegen blanken die slavernij afschaften
  38. Racisme in Chinees provinciaal museum op tentoonstelling ‘This is Africa’
  39. Insta-poëet Rupi Kaur is een revolutionair van onze tijd en ‘the sun and her flowers’ een momentum
  40. Trump wil een einde maken aan anti-blank racisme op universiteiten
  41. Stiksienig of onverskillig?
  42. ’n Mens beveg nie ongeregtigheid met haatspraak nie
  43. Baudet begrijpt ophef over ’racisme’ niet
  44. Tweet van Thierry Baudet (Forum voor Democratie)
  45. Waarom politici Baudet demoniseren
  46. Boekestijn framet Baudet’s nationalisme als racisme
  47. RT @mapimartens: Echt jammer dat Harry van Bommel weggaat. Zeer betrokken bij godsdienstvrijheid @harryvandesp #bahai
  48. ‘In naam van God’ door Paul Cliteur en Dirk Verhofstadt (deel 1) #PaulCliteur @DirkVerhofstadt ‏ @Liberalesbe
  49. De echte paradox van Popper
  50. Hoe Bleri kwaliteit beoordeelt.
  51. /jaar Penitentiair Beambten Trainingsacteur – Omgaan met radicalisering 2014 Boréalis Trainingsacteur – Trauma MIVB / …
  52. ça sent si bon la france
  53. Philippe Couillard propose une lutte contre le racisme, plutôt qu’une journée contre l’islamophobie
  54. Dove: Racism or misunderstanding? / Dove : racisme ou malentendu ?
  55. Cable Street and Anti Fascism in the US Today.
  56. Thousands march in family-friendly anti-racism protest
  57. Britain is No.1 in Europe… for online jihadist propaganda, report finds
  58. Preliminary Research Design
  59. Border Crossing Review
  60. ‘Refugees to Europe are easy prey for Islamic radicalization’ – Italian police chief
  61. Imam breaks down in tears – says islam is to blame for isis radicalization
Posted in B4Peace, Cultuur, Nieuws en politiek, Onderwijs en Opvoeding, Welzijn en Gezondheid, Wereld om ons heen, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

U.SA. Still top destination for international migrants

The United States has been the top destination for international migrants since at least 1960, with one-fifth of the world’s migrants living there as of 2017.  The majority of present Americans have forgotten where they originally came from. Often they consider that they are the original inhabitants and rightful owners of that country.

Despite its long history of immigration, the United States has oscillated between perceiving immigration as a valuable resource and as a major challenge. The last two years we can see how the Alt-Right and other right-wing parties with the many Neo-Nazis have encouraged the present president to take care that their nation can be safeguarded to be a white Christian world. Many North Americans wanted to see an end to the influx of other people in ‘their nation’.  Significant actions on immigration taken by the Trump administration have further raised the issue in political and public debates.

The Migration Policy Institute’s online journal, the Migration Information Source, today published its annual compilation of some of the most frequently sought-after statistics on immigration and immigrants in the United States. Using authoritative data sources, the article offers a look at the country’s nearly 44 million immigrants, and situates immigration trends in both the present day and historically.

With immigration a top focus of current political and public debate in Washington and around the country, it is essential for policymakers, journalists and the general public to have accurate data to help inform their understanding of this complex issue. The article offers data that illuminates some of the key issues being debated currently, including family-based immigration, unauthorized immigrants (including the subset known as DREAMers), the Diversity Visa Program, refugee resettlement and immigration enforcement.

This accessible, one-stop-shop resource, Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States, showcases data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and State, MPI and other authoritative sources. It also points users to related interactive maps, charts and data tools that can be found on MPI’s Migration Data Hub, allowing users to customize their queries at U.S., state and in some cases metro-area levels.

The article answers questions such as: How has the immigrant population in the United States changed over time? How many immigrants enter annually and through which channels? Where do refugees and asylum seekers come from? How educated are recent arrivals? How many people participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and in which states do they live?

Among the findings:

  • India and China were the leading countries of origin for new immigrants in 2016, followed by Mexico, Cuba and the Philippines.
  • While 30 percent of adult immigrants have at least a bachelor’s degree, educational attainment is much higher among recent arrivals, with 47 percent of those entering between 2012 and 2016 having a college education.
  • Of all immigrant workers employed in 2016, the largest share—almost 32 percent—worked in management, professional and related occupations.
  • The uninsured rate for immigrants fell from 32 percent to 20 percent with implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Even as their immigrant populations remain small in absolute numbers, South Dakota, South Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Delaware experienced the fastest rate of growth between 2000 and 2016.

The article is available in the Migration Information Source, which provides fresh analysis and accessible data from top researchers on U.S. and international migration trends. Click here to sign up for the twice-monthly Source newsletter and get word of monthly features on U.S. immigration policy developments, data-rich profiles of major U.S. immigrant populations and smart writing on other timely and interesting migration developments around the world.

Review U.S. Census data on immigrants and the native born based on demographics (population and country of birth, age, Hispanic origin, children/ families); language and education (English proficiency and educational attainment, languages spoken at home); workforce (immigrants’ share of workers, top occupations and industries, skill underutilization of the college educated); and income (average incomes, poverty rates).

Learn about participation in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program nationally and by state, as well as by top countries of origin. The data tools offered here provide the numbers of DACA recipients at U.S. and state levels and offer an estimate of participation rates as of 2017, by geography as well as by country of origin.

These interactive charts visualize changing immigration patterns and characteristics of the immigrant population in the United States over time. Topics covered include: legal immigration flows, naturalization trends, immigrants’ countries and regions of birth; diaspora groups; children in immigrant families; immigrants in the U.S. labor force; Limited English Proficient (LEP) population; and age and gender distribution of immigrants.

Unauthorized Immigrant Data Tool
Use this unique data tool to learn about unauthorized immigrant populations in the U.S. and by state and for top counties. Get detailed data profiles for the U.S., 41 states, the District of Columbia, and 121 counties with the largest unauthorized populations. The profiles include data on countries of origin, recency of arrival, educational and workforce characteristics, English proficiency, health care coverage, deferred action-eligible populations, and much more.

Click on the bullet points for more information on each topic:

Definitions

Foreign born” and “immigrant” are used interchangeably and refer to persons with no U.S. citizenship at birth. This population includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, persons on certain temporary visas, and the unauthorized.

Geographical regions: MPI follows the definition of Latin America as put forth by the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau, which spans Central America (including Mexico), the Caribbean, and South America. For more information about geographical regions, see the U.S. Census Bureau and United Nations Statistics Division.

Posted in History, News and Politics, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A busy 2017 #4 Writings

In 2017 you may say like many I too came under the spell of Facebook with its Facebook Groups. For my writings on several blogs, those writings where automatically announced on Facebook Pages. One would expect people seeing those messages would come to read the presented messages, but looking at my statistics those Facebook announcements did not bring many viewers to the articles on the websites.

In April I got a pleasant surprise. The mother-church of my community offered me an i-pad so I could be more easily in connection with the various ecclessiae and have a better tool to follow our internet meetings and internet church-service on the  communication platform Google Hangouts. On the i-Pad those connections go much easier and less disturbed than on a Windows operating system.

Having the Apple tool I found it also much easier with the applications to follow Facebook and other Social Media. Though I also got to see by following all, that I lost much more time. Certainly lots of Facebook Groups proved to be a stupid loss of time.

I also became surprised what sort of language lots of people are using in so called Christian Groups. They are just an insult to Christianity. Instead of being able to have a dignified rapprochement to unbelievers and to Muslims, they do much more damage and create more division than doing good. No wonder in 2017 we could further see an increase of rancour between Christians and Muslims.

On Bo’s Cafe Life I found an appropriate cartoon which summarises everything.

Bella-Facebook

For those interested in Facebook Groups I can only dissuade them from joining them because it shall be just a loss of time which can be better spend, and when you love to write you better use your qualities to write some serious articles on a Blog in for example the WordPress system.

On Facebook about two/three years after a previous attack I and my ecclesia, where attacked again by false accusations. Again from the same “man from the North“, and his friends, plus by some Africans who tried to get some financial aid from me and my ecclesia, though they wrote on their websites and Facebook Pages untrue things about my Belgian community (After my reactions those false sayings were taken away from the net by the Africans.).

To me it also looks that those who try to promote peace and sharing undergo difficulties to share their material freely on the net. It does not seem only a problem for the religious material but also for the political material which has a social or human ‘touch’.

People, like me, involved in movements against war, trying to spread peace between different religious groups, giving their voice for social justice, and for an ecologically sustainable society, asking to review the capitalist system as well as the injustice and environmental destruction, seem to receive very negative reactions and several times are confronted with efforts to be silenced.

In 2017 I reacted so much on writings at several Facebook Groups and wrote so many articles for other websites that I neglected my own personal sites. My Space was totally disregarded. The general religious and news site Our World got a few more new articles than “Messiah for all“, but it all could have been better. From the sites I got some analytics and ciphers of viewing of my articles, I do find for all the work I spend on it, the result seems meagre. To me it looks puny, but I can be mistaken, because naturally the subjects I mostly wrote about in 2017 where religious matters, and not so many people are interested in it. In total my writings on the religious sites  got 318.113 views for 2017. My very personal sites 8.197 views. Last year bringing the general total views for my writings, on the net, to 935.390 views, which (perhaps) is not so bad (I think).

Not only the writing of articles and my reactions on certain writings consumed lots of time.

I was pleased, after a decade, to receive again an invitation to co-operate on a Bible translation. Suddenly 2017 got me collaborating on three Bible translations and on one compendium of Jewish and Yiddish terms. That work became very time consuming but was or is fantastic interesting. One Christian Bible translation has to become published in 2020 whilst the Jewish Torah translation and the Jeshuaist Bible translation shall appear by tomes.

For the Glossary the publisher was not so pleased that I was not ready with my work in time. Being postponed we look forward to reach many Dutch speaking people with that compendium of Jewish and Yiddish terms, hopefully to see the light in 2018.

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Preceding

A busy 2017 #1 Referenda

A busy 2017 #2 From hero to zero

A busy 2017 #3 Fake, gossip and real news

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Additional reading

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  3. What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups
  4. Certain people trying to stem freedom of speech
  5. Attackers silenced freedom of speech

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Related

  1. Are you in a Facebook group?
  2. Socialism: Creating a World to Change Our Lives by Sam Friedman (must-read)
  3. Blogs in Bloom invites bloggers to her Facebook Group
  4. Day 20: Facebook Support Groups
  5. Wednesday Woes : What to Post on Social Media?
  6. Why I Deactivated My Facebook Page
  7. Facebook Groups are a waste of time
  8. Why no one is reading your blog – Part 1
  9. Why no one is reading your blog – Part Deux
  10. Good-bye Facebook!
  11. compendium (by Tweetionary)
  12. Compendium
  13. Compendium (n)
  14. Compendium: A Short
  15. The Compendium Collection By Disha
  16. the world is a compendium ~by Prince Ibekwe
  17. Compendium 9. Racial Trees a) Men of Light
  18. Announcing a new website… The Crime Compendium
  19. Poetry Compendium (2017)
Posted in Announcement, Culture, History, Justification, News and Politics, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment