Friday, September 07, 2007

Switzerland is doing it right!


I recently came across this article on Switzerland in the British newspaper "The Independent" talking about how Switzerland is a new home for "extremism" and "xenophobia." Of course, it was not referring to Islamic extremism, which is a growing pandemic in Europe, but it was referring to Swiss who are trying to protect their traditions and their culture. The title of the piece is "Switzerland: Europe's Heart of Darkness?" It is typical European, secular drivel.

For my part, I would like to point out some aspects of Swiss life and show how these are actually good ideas that would be beneficial to America. If you find an idea that is being criticized as extremist and xenophoic by the liberal media, chances are it is probably a very good idea. I will not quote the article in its entirety, but just give citations. You can read the full article here. Let's see how the Swiss run their little republic:

"The Swiss People's Party (the Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP) ...has the largest number of seats in the Swiss parliament and is a member of the country's coalition government.

With a general election due next month, it has launched a twofold campaign which has caused the UN's special rapporteur on racism to ask for an official explanation from the government. The party has launched a campaign to raise the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum to reintroduce into the penal code a measure to allow judges to deport foreigners who commit serious crimes once they have served their jail sentence
[what's so bad about that?]

But far more dramatically, it has announced its intention to lay before parliament a law allowing the entire family of a criminal under the age of 18 to be deported as soon as sentence is passed. It will be the first such law in Europe since the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft – kin liability – whereby relatives of criminals were held responsible for their crimes and punished equally [this is part of long-standing European legal tradition going all the way back to the Saxon concept of "blood guilt"; nothing novel here, despite the token comparison to the Nazi boogy-men. We can't reject something ipso facto just because the Nazis did it; this is poor reasoning, and the reference of Sippenhaft is just to scare people away from considering the proposal objectively].

Dr Schlüer [author of the law] has launched a campaign for a referendum to ban the building of Muslim minarets. In 2004, the party successfully campaigned for tighter immigration laws using the image of black hands reaching into a pot filled with Swiss passports. And its leading figure, the Justice Minister, Christoph Blocher, has said he wants to soften anti-racism laws because they prevent freedom of speech.

There is no disguising his suspicion of Islam. He has alarmed many of Switzerland's Muslims (some 4.3 per cent of the 7.5 million population) with his campaign to ban the minaret. "We're not against mosques but the minaret is not mentioned in the Koran or other important Islamic texts. It just symbolises a place where Islamic law is established." And Islamic law, he says, is incompatible with Switzerland's legal system. To date there are only two mosques in the country with minarets but planners are turning down applications for more, after opinion polls showed almost half the population favours a ban. What is at stake here in Switzerland is not merely a dislike of foreigners or a distrust of Islam but something far more fundamental. It is a clash that goes to the heart of an identity crisis which is there throughout Europe and the US.

He is fiercely proud of his nation's independence, which can be traced back to a defensive alliance of cantons in 1291. He is a staunch defender of its policy of armed neutrality, under which Switzerland has no standing army but all young men are trained and on standby; they call it the porcupine approach – with millions of individuals ready to stiffen like spines if the nation is threatened.

Switzerland has the toughest naturalisation rules in Europe. To apply, you must live in the country legally for at least 12 years, pay taxes, and have no criminal record. The application can still be turned down by your local commune which meets to ask "Can you speak German? Do you work? Are you integrated with Swiss people?" [if only America went by this type of criteria!]

It can also ask, as one commune did of 23-year-old Fatma Karademir – who was born in Switzerland but who under Swiss law is Turkish like her parents – if she knew the words of the Swiss national anthem, if she could imagine marrying a Swiss boy and who she would support if the Swiss football team played Turkey. "Those kinds of questions are outside the law," says Mario Fehr. "But in some more remote villages you have a problem if you're from ex-Yugoslavia."

The federal government in Berne wants to take the decision out of the hands of local communities, one of which only gave the vote to women as recently as 1990 [!]. But the government's proposals have twice been defeated in referendums.

It [the SVP] has warned that because of their higher birth rates Muslims would eventually become a majority in Switzerland if the citizenship rules were eased [this is a fact so poorly understood by modern European leaders]. It is what lies behind his fierce support for the militia system.

To those who say that Germany, France, Italy and Austria are nowadays unlikely to invade, he invokes again the shadow of militant Islam. "The character of war is changing. There could be riots or eruptions in a town anywhere in Switzerland. There could be terrorism in a financial centre."

The race issue goes wider than politics in a tiny nation. "I'm broadly optimistic that the tide is moving in our direction both here and in other countries across Europe, said Dr Schlüer. "I feel more supported than criticised from outside."

The drama which is being played out in such direct politically incorrect language in Switzerland is one which has repercussions all across Europe, and wider."

Whatever else one might want to say about Switzerland, they sure know how to protect what is their own. This is born out of the need of the Swiss throughout history to maintain independence from their larger and more voracious neighbors, like France, the Holy Roman Empire, the Third Reich, the Austrian Empire and the Italian Republic.

However, I cannot help think that (while I applaud the Swiss efforts to keep Muslims out), they are committing a fatal error in their logic. They seem to accept Muslim integration if the Muslims are willing to do things like "marry a Swiss" or "integrate with the Swiss." They only fear a non-integrated Muslim, but seem to accept one willing to adopt Swiss culture. In my opinion, an intergrated Muslim is no more desireable than a non-integrated one; in fact, he is even worse! This is because if a Muslim wears his traditional middle eastern garb and speak Arabic, one immediately notices the cultural differences between himself and the foreigner. But if the Muslim looks and acts just like a Swiss, then people will begin to think that they are not that different after all and that there is nothing wrong with Islam. I think what we need in the west is a big influx of non-integrated, radical Muslims who hate our culture and appear very foreign in their dress, speech and mannerisms; their presence will draw attention to their other-ness and make people take cognizance of the differences between Christian culture and Islamic culture and will more quickly turn people against Islam. People don't need to see a watered down, westernized Islam; they need to be exposed to a radical, orthodox Islam in all its barbaric fullness, and right in their back yard, before Christians will really take up defense against it. Of course, it would be best to just have no Islamic immigration at all, but sometimes it takes a radical contrast to make people see the difference.

That's right, I'm advocating that we focus on our differences! What do you say to that, Mr. Liberal Catholic?

Santiago Matamoros, ora pro nobis!

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