Friday, September 17, 2010

Sarkozy: la réforme de la nationalité française, et la trahison de valeurs nationales/Reforming Nationality and Betraying National Values


 While I was wondering what to say about Sarkozy's most recent attempts to curry favour with the National Front, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Moroccan French writer, with dual nationality, has found the words to say it. From a provisional nationality for the French of foreign origin --to the point of confusing them with delinquents of foreign origin--to the expulsion of the Roma, against human rights, and European laws, Sarkozy is identifying his "trash", and acting with the future presidential elections in mind. As Ben Jelloun says, the economic crisis is no excuse for a moral crisis. I would add that the political crisis, or simply the desire for a second mandate, isn't one either.

Alors que je me demandais quoi dire au sujet des dernières tentatives de Sarkozy de cultiver le Front national, voici que Tahar Ben Jelloun, écrivain marocain avec double nationalité  trouve les mots pour le dire. De la nationalité provisoire pour les Français d'origine étrangère-au point de les confondre avec les délinquants d'origine étrangère--à l'expulsion des Roms, contre les droits humains, et les lois Européenes, Sarkozy identifie sa "racaille", et agit en fonction des présidentielles futures. Comme dit Ben Jelloun, la crise économique n'est pas une excuse pour faire une crise morale. J'ajouterais que la crise politique, ou tout simplement le désir d'un deuxième mandat, ne l'est pas non plus.

 Une lettre au Président Sarkozy de Tahar ben Jelloun, écrivain et poète marocain,
de nationalité française aussi bien que marocaine, depuis 1991

Lettre au président de la République
Article publié le 05 Septembre 2010
Par Tahar Ben Jelloun
Source : LE MONDE

Monsieur le Président,

J'ai la chance de bénéficier de deux nationalités. Je suis marocain et français depuis 1991. Je suis heureux d'appartenir à deux pays, deux cultures, deux langues et je vis cela comme un enrichissement permanent.

Depuis vos déclarations de Grenoble sur la possibilité de déchoir de la nationalité française une personne qui aurait commis un délit grave, je sens ma nationalité française quelque peu menacée, en tout cas fragilisée. Non que j'aie l'intention de tomber dans la délinquance et de troubler gravement l'ordre public, mais je vis cela comme une attaque du socle fondamental du pays, sa Constitution. Et cela, Monsieur le Président n'est pas admissible dans une démocratie, un Etat de droit comme la France qui reste malgré tout le pays des droits de l'homme, pays qui a accueilli et sauvé des centaines de milliers d'exilés politiques tout au long du siècle dernier.

Vous aviez déclaré en 2004, quand vous étiez ministre de l'intérieur qu'"à chaque délit, il doit y avoir une réponse ferme. Mais celle-ci ne peut varier selon que l'on est, sur sa carte d'identité, français ou non". Le président que vous êtes aujourd'hui contredit le ministre que vous avez été. Cela m'amène à réfléchir à la fonction qui est la vôtre et à répondre tardivement au débat qu'un de vos ministres a cru bon de lancer sur la scène publique à propos de l'identité nationale.

La nationalité est une part de l'identité. Elle peut être double, comme dans mon cas. Je ne me vois pas privé de l'une des deux. Je me sentirais diminué.

Par ailleurs, aucune société n'est raciste en soi. C'est stupide et injuste de dire que "la France est un pays raciste". La France, comme tant d'autres pays, est traversée par des tendances à l'exclusion et au racisme, parfois pour des raisons idéologiques et politiques, et d'autres fois pour des raisons de malaise social, de pauvreté et de peur. Faire l'amalgame entre insécurité et immigration est plus qu'une erreur, une faute.

Le rôle d'un dirigeant politique est de décourager, voire empêcher le développement de ces tendances. Un chef d'Etat ne doit pas réagir avec ses humeurs et ses tripes. Au contraire, il n'est pas un citoyen qui peut se permettre de dire n'importe quoi. C'est quelqu'un qui doit peser ses mots et mesurer les conséquences qu'ils peuvent générer. L'Histoire enregistre ses déclarations, les bonnes et les mauvaises, les justes et les malvenues. Votre quinquennat sera certainement marqué par quelques-unes de vos bavures langagières.

N'importe quel homme insulté a le droit de réagir. Pas un chef d'Etat. Non pas qu'on soit autorisé à vous manquer de respect, mais vous devez vous situer au-delà du niveau du citoyen moyen. Vous êtes un symbole, porteur d'une fonction noble et exceptionnelle. Pour habiter cette fonction, pour consolider cette ambition, il faut savoir prendre de la hauteur et ne pas coller aux faits au point d'oublier qu'on est un citoyen d'exception.

Qu'il soit issu d'un parti défendant des valeurs de droite ou de gauche, le chef de l'Etat, parce qu'élu au suffrage universel, doit être le président de tous les Français, y compris des Français d'origine étrangère même quand le malheur casse leur destin ou les prédispose à une précarité pathogène. Or, vos récentes déclarations, dénoncées par un éditorial du New York Times et par des personnalités aussi importantes que Robert Badinter, sont le signe d'un dérapage qui, peut-être vous apporterait en 2012 certaines voix du Front national, mais vous place dans une situation difficilement défendable.

APARTHEID

Monsieur le Président, je comprends votre souci sécuritaire. Vous ne trouverez personne pour défendre des voyous qui tirent sur des agents de la police et de la gendarmerie. La justice est là pour donner "une réponse ferme" à ces délits ; ils doivent être jugés sans que leurs origines, leur religion ou leur couleur de peau soient prises en compte, sinon, on tomberait dans l'apartheid. Mais la répression ne suffit pas. Il faudra aller aux racines du mal et assainir de manière définitive la situation dramatique des banlieues.

Il est plus facile de susciter la méfiance, voire la haine de l'étranger, que le respect mutuel. Un chef d'Etat n'est pas un policier au statut amélioré. C'est un magistrat, le plus haut placé, donc celui devant être irréprochable dans sa conduite et dans ses paroles. Il est le garant de la justice et de l'Etat de droit. Quand, Monsieur le Président, vous promettez la déchéance de la nationalité aux délinquants d'origine étrangère qui porteraient atteinte à la vie d'un policier ou d'un gendarme, vous tenez un discours que la Constitution réfute. C'est une parole en l'air, car vous savez pertinemment que l'application d'une telle loi, si elle est votée, créerait plus de problèmes qu'elle n'en résoudrait. Ce n'était pas à vous de lancer cette menace.

Monsieur Le Président, vous n'êtes pas sans savoir ce que l'ONG Transparence France a écrit dans son dernier rapport. Au cas où cela vous aurait échappé, je vous cite une de ses conclusions : "La France continue de véhiculer une image relativement dégradée de sa classe politique et de son administration publique." La France est par ailleurs classée au 24e rang sur 180 pays en ce qui concerne la corruption.

La crise économique n'est pas une excuse. La crise morale est un fait. Il revient à vous, Monsieur le Président, de rétablir l'image de la France dans ce qu'elle a de plus beau, d'enviable et d'universel, à savoir son statut de pays des droits de l'homme, pays de la solidarité et de la fraternité proclamées, terre généreuse, riche de ses différences, riche de ses couleurs et de ses épices, prouvant entre autres que l'islam est tout à fait compatible avec la démocratie et la laïcité. Pour cela, Monsieur Le Président, effacez, je vous prie, de votre discours les idées malheureuses qu'un parti d'extrême droite diffuse dans le but de fermer ce pays sur lui-même, de l'isoler et de trahir ses valeurs fondamentales.

Tahar Ben Jelloun, écrivain et poète, Le monde du 4-9-2010.

*I am hoping for a full translation of Ben Jelloun's public letter to appear. In the meantime here is my abstract:
Dear Mr President, Although I am Moroccan and French since 1991, which I experience as a permanent enrichment, after your proposal in Grenoble to deprive those who commit certain crimes of French nationality, I feel that my nationality is threatened, fragile. This possibility is inadmissible in a democracy and a country of refuge like France, and is against its Constitution. As Minister of the Interior you declared that each crime must be punished, but not as a function of nationality. You mustn’t now go against the Minister that you were. A nationality is an identity and it can be dual. To remove a nationality is to deny an identity. As Head of State you cannot give yourself over to emotions and gut feelings. Your recent declarations are a sign of a turn that may gain you some votes from the National Front in 2012, but they put you in an indefensible position. No society is inherently racist; it is constructed as such by economic and political currents. Conflating immigration and criminality is worse than an error, it is a fault. I understand your concern for security, but malefactors must be judged without consideration of their origins, their faith, or their colour, or else we are in an Apartheid state. The economic crisis is not an excuse. The moral crisis is a fact. It is up to you, Mr President, to re-establish the image of France. Please eliminate from your discourse the unhappy ideas that an extreme right party propagates to close this country in on itself, to isolate it, and to betray its fundamental values.


Does creating special laws for revoking the French nationality of foreign born citizens who acquire it constitute a form of apartheid?
Does the expulsion of a specific ethnic group, the Roma, after consistently stigmatizing them as criminals constitute racism?
If this is Sarkozky's start, where is his finish?
Or is the burqa ban, the real beginning?
Any other comments, thoughts, impressions?

Etes-vous d'accord avec le terme "apartheid" tel que l'utilise Ben Jelloun ici?
Expulser les Roms, après des années de stigmatisation en tant que criminels, constitue-t-il du racisme?
Si Sarkozy commence ainsi, où en est la fin?
Ou la loi contre la burqa est-elle le vrai début?
D'autres commentaires, impressions, réflections?

Further Reading (The Economist is in fine form):


Sarkozy's France: Je t'aime, moi non plus


Nicolas Sarkozy: The incredible shrinking président

Autres lectures


Immigration: l'Assemblée donne son feu vert en commission au projet Besson


Rachida Dati : “Il faut durcir la loi”

Addendum From reader and commentator Wendy, an excellent article with 2 good pictures of the expulsion of a Roma family and the arrival in Bucharest: Amid mounting criticism, Sarkozy's expulsion of Roma goes on By Peter O'Neil, Europe Correspondent, Postmedia News August 20, 2010. It emphasizes the link between Sarkozy's "security measure" of "criminalize and deport" attitude to the Roma, and the same towards Muslims (including via changes to citizenship laws). It also shows that Sarkozy may be taking the centre right farther to an extreme, but the extreme National Front are happier with their own party and leader, Jean Marie Le Pen. It reminds us how this current in French society and politics is reminiscent of the anti-semitic one that collaborated with the Nazi deportation of Jews from France.

Related Posts
Why, even if you hate the niqab, you should hate the French "burqa ban" more
July 14, 1789, 1790, 1989, 2010: Bastille Day Myths and Realities in France and in MENA
Mother's Day in France and the Former French Colonies of MENA

Des messages pertinents
Le 14 juillet 1789, 1790, 1989, 2010: mythes et réalités en France et au MENA
La fête des mères en France et dans les anciennes colonies de MENA

26 comments:

Countrygirl said...

I stand with Sarkozy 100%, he simply kicking out illegal gipsy in illegal camp, i don't know the situation of gipsy in Canada but here in Italy it's a huge problem the ones that in the last years came here live in filty condition (nobody forced them to come here), they doesn't send they kids at school and instead they send them in apartaments to rob or they pickpocketing tourist...and they sell they own children to paedophil. Most of the people that are speaking against this expulsions of rom are living safe in their multimillion attic and for sure they don't live near any of the illegal camp that Sarkozy is destroying....

i will post a reply about the burka when i will find a link that will explain my point (and there's that thing called work that i have to do)

Ciao

Wendy said...

I rather like this article on the subject. Part 1 ...

MONTREUIL, France — One of the most controversial initiatives in French President Nicolas Sarkozy's populist "security" agenda continued Friday despite criticism inside and outside the country over the expulsion of members of the country's Roma community.

The Vatican condemned France's policy as an estimated 130 Roma were put on a one-way flight to Romania after being given money and a warning that if they didn't leave voluntarily they'd be forced out. The government expects to send 850 packing this month.

"One cannot generalize and take an entire group of people and kick them out," Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the Vatican's pastoral care of migrants and itinerant people commission, told Agence France-Presse.

"The mass expulsions of Roma are against European norms."

While French authorities have dispatched hundreds of Roma in the past, this time the effort has been accompanied by Sarkozy's deliberate and high-profile linking of migrants — especially Muslims and Roma — to crime.

That has a particularly chilling connotation in a country where many schools have metal plaques at their entrances, citing the precise number of Jewish schoolchildren who were herded through those doors to eventually make their way to extermination camps.

One Roma man, who was chatting with neighbours wandering into and out of the Place de la Fraternite square in this Paris suburb, said his extended family has no problem with neighbours, whether they're French or recent African and Arab immigrants.

But Sarkozy and the French police are effectively "doing to us what Hitler did to the Jews and the Roma in the Second World War," he told Postmedia News.

Sarkozy's security agenda, say analysts, is directly linked to his plunge in popularity to an all-time low as a result of the recession and the recent corruption scandal involving billionaire L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Wendy said...

Part 2 ...

In addition to the Roma initiative, his government is threatening to strip immigrants of their citizenship for various offences, is refusing to allow supervised injection sites for addicts despite success in Canada and six European countries and is considering a law to limit offshore components — presumably from China — for French manufactured goods in defiance of world trade rules.

Some analysts have argued that Sarkozy is simply reflecting hardened attitudes in France and throughout Europe towards migrant communities.

But University of Paris historian Patrick Weil, an expert on citizenship, said the security campaign represents a dramatic step away from the traditional role played by leaders in western democracies.

"Never in French history, and never in other European countries, do you have the head of state or the head of government using this kind of argument," said Weil, author of How to be French: Nationality in the Making since 1789.

"In every country the goal is to be a unifier, and he's using his position to divide."

While some media reports have noted that Sarkozy's polling numbers have improved slightly since the security initiative began, many analysts question whether he can steal a significant number of votes in the 2012 election from Jean-Marie Le Pen's far-right National Front party, as he did in 2007.

"Some people on the right are not racist, and those who are racist think this is just speeches, and they prefer the National Front to Sarkozy," Weil told Postmedia News.

"So, in fact, I think he's legitimating the National Front, and it's a very dangerous game."

Prominent French political analyst Dominique Moisi offered a more devastating commentary earlier this week, portraying Sarkozy as a transparent opportunist who can no longer convince left- or right-wing voters of his sincerity.

"There is a rejection of his essence," Moisi told Reuters.

"It's no longer what he does or doesn't do, but the perception of who he is."

oby said...

I felt a chill go up my spine... Just the other day I was saying to another commenter that something like this could happen again under the right circumstances if we don't learn our lessons. Deja vous!

Chiara said...

Countrygirl--thanks for your comment, and for sharing your views. I think you have also highlighted aspects of the social dilemma for Roma who are excluded from full participation in Eastern European countries and now in Western ones as well, where they have recently arrived in large numbers due to crackdowns in the Czech Republic and Hungary. I see them as a people whose status and welfare needs to be addressed by the European Parliament, rather than forcing them to live on the margins of society. The Roma community in Canada for example is fully integrated and rates of criminality low, ie no higher than any other group's. Our government has however taken measures to block further arrivals as refugees or immigrants.

Thanks again for your comment here, and I look forward to your comment on the burqa! Ciao!

Chiara said...

Wendy --thanks for that excellent article. I found the link and I have included it in an addendum to the post as it raises many excellent points. Thanks again!

Chiara said...

Oby--thanks for your comment! I agree this is chilling. The worst economic crisis since the 30's seems to be encouraging some of the worst moral behaviour since then as well--although I agree with Ben Jelloun that the economy is not an excuse. One still makes moral choices within that. Thanks again for your comment!

Countrygirl said...

AS you know i'm for the ban of the nijab/burka since I think who's wearing by doing so demostrate that doesn't want to fully integrate in the host country, in a previous post you said that many of the women who wear nijab are converted are western women but did you visit one of their blogs? I often visit one of them and I'm shocked by their ideas, she consider us (kuffir) as dogs, she's for stoning and other niceties following the link (in italian)

http://niqabbando.splinder.com/post/23273381/si-alla-lapidazione

One of her post was for the application of sharia and was deleted by splinder...i've read it an it was full of hate.

So i don't want them here, if they so ill at ease in their home country why don't they move in some sharia "haven" like KSA?

For muslim women i'm wondering if it's their choice, if you grown up in a family that keep on saying yoou are inferior, you have to cever yourself at the end you will belive those BS. A couple of years ago i saw a child (5 years max) with her motherm the child was wearing the jihab and of course i couldn't see a square inch of the mother, how will be able this child chose to go without the nijab/jihab, will she be able to go outside by wearing a pair of jeans and a sweater when she will be an adult...i don't think so.

The law in France will punish the one who will force the woman to wear the nijab and the fine/prison time will be more if the woman is a minor

Susanne said...

It will be interesting to see what the French reaction is to their President's actions re: the Romas and also the burqa ban. Do the French support it? If they find it as offensive as most of the outsiders do, then maybe they will get rid of all racist politicians. Or maybe they will rally around him like the Germans did Hitler. Now that's a scary thought!

oby said...

This is a bit off the subject...I hope you will post anyway as I think it obliquely applies.

I have to admit I don't know much about Roma, though I have never really heard a great deal about the trouble. I have no idea how many we have in the USA..a bunch probably but I have never heard of issues with them here. Anyway while reading the comments I was thinking that countries(wealthier ones) spend so much energy in fighting problems from immigrants AFTER the fact and in the process they get marginalized etc...why doesn't the world community(Read West and other wealthy nations) try to solve the problem WITHIN the home countries rather than have all this mess afterward. I saw a program once that was very sobering from a statistical point of view...This guy had a PhD in economics and sociology or something...anyway He had mathematically and statistically shown how, if the Western countries continue to accept people from the poor countries of the world over time how the Western countries will start to become more and more like the countries that the people had come from until basically the entire world became a third world country...he then went on to show how, if the poorer countries had the resources and help from the richer countries that they themselves can increase their wealth, education level, if they learned better farming techniques how they could reduce famine and hunger in their own countries...he went on to show how poverty increased human rights abuses across the board and how, if we could teach the third world countries techniques to help themselves get out of poverty it would not only increase the level of education, the level of prosperity, the level of economic output, it would DECREASE the birth rate thereby slowing down the numbers of mouths to feed, people who need jobs, and clothing etc and overtime allow the countries to become more affluent. In other words, instead of bringing them here...he said if we taught them how to increase their prosperity THERE it brought up the level of all ships. It didn't just benefit the lucky ones that could immigrate...it helped the entire population, not just a select few. He showed how the countries could then trade among themselves even further increasing their participation in the world markets and increasing jobs (even if it was in the local trades) for all people. Another by product of that was people could stay in their home countries and families weren't split up, they could remain within the culture they knew. He went on to talk about rates of depression in people who, in essence, have to start their lives over far from loved ones in a strange place with skills that don't fit the culture they have come to and in essence almost guaranteeing that they will stay at the lower rungs of society. VERY very eyeopening...it was what convinced me that it is better to help the people where they are at then bring them over to ours...it just seemed to make HUGE sense to me.

I am part of a charity called Women for Women International. It was started by an Iraqi woman who lived under Saddam Hussein. The idea is to go into countries with extreme poverty and that have been torn apart by war and help women put their lives back together. Some have been raped, some have lost husbands to the war and have no way to earn money. Some Muslim some Christian(I personally support Rwanda, Congo and Afghanistan)they teach the women to learn trades which in turn can help her find a niche and a way to support herself and her family. The money sometimes goes to pay for education for the children of these women. The point is rather than to just give money it is to give money with an eye to help them HELP THEMSELVES so that when the year sponsorship ends she is self sufficient and can use those skills to improve her life and by extension the lives of those around her. It is very exciting!

Wendy said...

Oby, in theory what you say is correct. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats forever."
The problem comes from corrupt governments who do not care about their people. Aid monies often never reach the people in need. There are many grass roots projects that work but they take a lot of time. Working with the women is the best way to start but it's not simple. That's why I like organizations where you can give people chickens, or goats .... things like that. Most women want to help themselves and it is the women who will bring others up because they have such a strong instinct to look after their children.
Going back to the Roma issue - as Chiara said Canada has really slowed down the immigration process from countries Hungary and the Czech Republic and that's a bit sad because not all peoples from these areas are gypsies or undesirable people.

Countrygirl - you can't put a tag on all people because of one or even a dozen blogs. I don't like the burqa or niqab because I feel I have the right to see people's faces but that doesn't mean the women who wear them are bad or even that they are forced to wear them. For all you know your ancestors were undesirables or criminals from Europe!

Majed said...

Oby and Wendy,

It is nice gesture, innovative and wise way helping people to be able to help themselves, but unfortunately, that may cure the developing countries illnesses, but who is going to cure or at least stop the Old continent `s aging process, Europe needs immigrants to stay alive and keep natural population growth rate and also stable economical growth check growth rate in spain,Italy,Holland etc. the medicine may be bitter but it is necessary. Now since the problem will still be there who is with and who is against that idea check this link for further information.
http://www.eutimes.net/2008/02/eurostat-release-march-2008-immigration-and-population-report-catastrophic-decline-in-european-birth-rate/

oby said...

Majed....

Yes I have seen that but just recently I saw a report...perhaps two months ago that stated that Birth rates in Europe and other developed countries are rising. The point of the article is that they had no idea why, after years of falling birthrates it is now inching up. Of course that might be an aberration and only time will tell. Now that I want to show this to you I don't have it as I haven't saved the link. But I will make a huge effort to find it...the article is only a few months old. Here is another one from 2009.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2009/08/05/fertility-rates-climb-back-up-in-the-most-developed-countries/

The thing about immigrants to replace the ones not born...unless they are educated in some area of expertise even in the trades such as plumbing or automotive repair or other "factory related" or higher jobs, their coming to this country does little to help us. If they don't have skills to contribute to society (and that was what the PhD was saying...many come with little to no skills)they are of little help. We need workers not more people and that is what the point of the problem with loss of population...a country does not simply need more mouths to feed unless they can give back to the society and be self sustaining. Just today I read that the area that the USA is having issues in is the area of blue collar workers.

Interesting article:

http://theweek.com/article/index/207167/has-the-us-simply-gone-too-soft

Wendy said...

@majed
I wasn't agreeing with Oby, just pointing out that we can't help third world countries very well from without - it has to come from grass roots movements.
I do agree that we need immigration and especially younger immigrants to countries where the population is aging. I am sad to see Canada taking a hard line where we had been so welcoming in the past. Even the UN is noticing our current government's copycat actions (copying Australia) in regards to the latest Tamil boat people.
I do understand that certain Romas can be very problematic. I remember working in a major department store in the 80's when we'd be on high alert when known gypsies entered the store and they were absolute experts at walking out with whatever they chose to help themselves to. That doesn't mean that all Romas are bad. There are good and bad everywhere and we certainly have a high percentage of home-grown baddies.
The French will be ... well, French but Sarkozy is becoming a bit scary. I guess I'd have to live in Europe to understand extent of immigrant problems there but I fear he is following in the footsteps of a well known Austrian (well not just he but many leaders of EU countries) and that bothers me a great deal.

countrygirl said...

@wendy you are right on ONE thing you have to live in Europe to understand...i live in Italy and i can assure you that the majority part of italians (and also of French) wants gypsie out of Italy (i'm speaking of the new wave, the ones who came to Italy after Romanina entered EU). They don't give NOTHING instead they send they kids to steal in the houses (none under 14 years can be charged for crimes here), they sell their own kids to perverted men and of course they doesn't send their children to school.

I don't have the exact statistic but immigrant (illegal and legal) are a majority in italian jials.
If i find the stats i will post.

Majed said...

Some say that fertility rates declined or remained static in most countries due to economic downturn and according to some readings crossed my eyes I deduced that immigrants are the one who is keeping the already low birth rate from getting lower cia.gov is good cite, but this link will take you the point. http://www.prb.org/Articles/2010/lowfertilitytfr.aspx

I disagree with you that the uneducated ones or those who do not have any expertise in some field or other, are of little or no use, most immigrates fill some space in host countries, most often a space locals find it difficult to fill for whatsoever reasons, even a ziro makes big difference when put in the right place for example do you know who keeps Berlin clean and shiny and who looks after California and Florida `s famous tomato gardens and oranges groves I gues they all are those who hardly know anything about anything.

Now After all that I hear of the anexiety and concern caused by 5% to may be at the maximum 10% of immigrants in Europe. I come to believe that preaching is absolutely different than practise , those same European countries a little while ago were shouting with fully-open and foaming mouths preaching of human rights and condemning the tight citizenship regulation in those backward Arab gulf countries where immigrants rate range from 50% to 75% of population those backward countries ended up in my mind to be very hospitable and welcoming towards immigrants compared to European countries when they had to drink from the same cup.

I have never had the chance of knowing Roma gypsis, but if the they are the well know Gypsies we can find everywhere, and those we call them in india Banjara(s) who do not seem to really adhere practically to any relegion but most often taken to be hindu ,usually more good looking than average indians with different complexion rosy to red but most often sunbeaten and with little care one can in matter of days turn them into models and film stars, they dont like to stay in one place usually they are good at craft that can sustain them anywhere, they work as construction labor, different types of show biz if we may call it that way,and they do not usually tend to work like sex workers or steal by profession but do not mind when tempted.
many of my relatives in india married Banjara girls even though we may Allah will forgive me(consider) ourselves higher class because many of them are overwhelmingly beautiful and their production is wonderful I like them.

Majed said...

Wendy,
Your point well-received,I misunderstood you, and thanks for correcting.
you said :I fear he is following in the footsteps of a well known Austrian (well not just he but many leaders of EU countries)
Now, I became so impatient to know him, please give me his name to check out. Unless of course you mean Hitler.

oby said...

Majed...

I think Wendy was referring to Hitler...

Yes we have migrant workers here who do all the slug work and of course there is a place for them. What I don't like about that situation and what makes me feel a bit creepy inside is their situation. i think the USA should make some kind of "guest worker" visa or program to allow these folks(mostly from Mexico) to come here to work. They can pay taxes, have the benefits of workers compensation, and when they retire social security, They don't have to sneak across the border paying "coyotes" (people who smuggle people for a profit) huge prices (thousands of dollars) to get here and then when here they hide in the shadows. They certainly work hard and if they had the legal right to be here I think a lot of problems could be solved...a lot of the men leave their families behind to work and then have to sneak back to see them. They seek care AFTER they get really sick because they are afraid of being found out and by then it is generally a much bigger and more expensive problem. National Geographic followed a man who was n this exact situation. He said he loved Mexico...it was his home and IF he had the opportunities there he wouldn't come to the USA to work. But he did this exact thing...he would leave his family for 6 months at a time to work and bring home money. He took a lot of risks to get here. What if this guy has something happen to him? What is this family going to do? That is why I say have a guest worker program for people like him.

If an immigrant can be trained to do something to have some skill that can benefit not only his family financially but the country then I have few issues with that. As long as they pay their taxes, are a good upstanding citizen, educate their kids etc, then to me that is about as much as one can ask. But don't bring folks here who can't contribute. That doesn't help the nation...any nation.

As I said I have little to no experience with Roma...but now I am curious as to how they have managed to fly under the radar here and are so problematic in other countries.

Wendy said...

Majed, I was referring to Hitler. :)

countrygirl said...

@obi the most troublermaker Roma come from Romania and since Romania is part of the EU its citizen doesn't need passaport to travel from Romania to Italy or FRance.

I reckon that the gipsy in US (or Canada) are living there for a long time and since then they are fully integrate in the society, here in Italy (and in other european countries too)they keep on coming since they have only to travel by car/motor home, they came here with no skill at all and they are unwilling to work since it's more easy to steal/beg.

I agree with you if any immigrant is willing to work, pay taxes and accept that here in the western world there are values are rights different from their home country it's fine with me.

Majed said...

Oby,
It is very Humane of you to think of it this way,This one is very good Idea.

But can only be applied where there is moderate unemployment unlike Italy where latest reports as of yesterday showed that 2.2 million people are unemployed and also that about 2 million people quit smoking due to financial problems I personally have never before seen or heard of any Italian comming for work to KSA in any other capacity than some sort of experts or consultants, but now I know one who came to work as a machine operator.

After the latest news from Sweden and Norway, the situation seems to be real bad all over Europe ,one can not say anything except that it is getting worse,Europeans are not familiar with word,quality and the virtue that is called being patient (donkeys) like us the poor people they sooner than later will to some insane recourse like cannibalism. rather than for some time as a change living on half a bread , with watery savory which has few beans swimming here and there in it, instead of eating three full five star meals.

I think the wisest way presently is that every country keeps its citizens within its boundaries otherwise thing will go out of control,but I personally think it eventually has to go out of control it is impossible to continue like this,first they thought of decreasing population biologically, but considering how unpredictable it was ,they might have decided that a major War still is the best way, but the delima is how to ignite it. the recent news about weapon purchases around the world and gold prices are not a good omen at all.

About Gypsies, tranditionally they have never believed in borders or restriction all along their history that is why they are called Gypsies if they stayed in one palce we can not call them Gypsies if we created borders and made regulations and passports why should birds believe in them.

oby said...

Majed....

Even though your English is not perfect you always have such a colorful way of expressing yourself. I really like that...You must be very eloquent in your mother tongue!

You actually have touched upon something that I have wrestled with recently...Growing up in the USA we(my family) always heard stories of immigrants that came here...including our own dead relatives and were poor(my great grandfather lost a leg working on the railroads in the 1800's and there were no social services then.) but struggled and made it work. My great grandmother took in wash to earn money while caring for her husband with one leg and nursing her dying mother. It was tough. Growing up looking at the Statue of Liberty daily I was constantly reminded of all the people, mostly poor, who came to our country to start a new life and grab their share of a better life. That had a very profound effect on me. I was a weird little kid...I enjoyed talking to the immigrant who came over to Ellis Island rather than go out and play. I reveled in the stories that they told me about how they had made it...one time a woman showed me her hands..rough and gnarled...and told me that "these hands had bought her children freedom". Freedom from back breaking work. She came over from Poland via Ellis Island and settled in NJ near were I lived. She had no education, no skills and she was a char woman...she spent her entire working life on her hands and knees scrubbing floors in buildings so that her children could have an education and start a better life. All of her children went to college and now, in her old age, she was a tired but contented woman who had achieved her dream for her family. I always thought of the new immigrant coming to our country and marveled at what they had to give up in order to start over.

I am not sure what is happening in the world today...it worries me and confuses me. People don't lose their minds overnight for no reason, but I am not sure what is happening. For the first time in a long time or maybe ever, I have started to think like you have...perhaps the wisest way for the moment is that everyone stay within their own borders. I was always of the thought that cultural differences were there but "aw heck, we can make it all work out. We just have to try a little harder". But I am not so sure that I believe that anymore...the world (not just the USA)is becoming less tolerant overall. The entire Middle East is pretty much not an option if you are not Muslim...I think they would freak out if a bunch of Westerners decided to go there. The West seems to be closing ranks against people, not only Muslims. Africa sadly has their own issues and would not be an option. China is busy becoming a powerhouse LOL! My point is that maybe even though people are good people all over the world...their differences, be they cultural, religious, socioeconomic etc. are too large for any society to take in abundance without getting a bit schizoid about it. America has had a lot of issues in it's history. One of the most recent and ugly was the civil rights movement. We have gotten through things that are much worse than the Muslim situation is at the moment. But not without a lot of pain. Maybe we will get through this...I feel that we can. But, on the other hand, maybe it is too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole... I don't even want to think about another war...I've had enough of that for awhile. But I do think it might get hotter before it gets cooler. Perhaps you are right...everyone keep their noses in their own backyards. It works for neighbors why not for countries?

Just some thoughts that I have been mulling over recently...

Majed said...

Oby & All,
after thinking the whole night about my lastest comment, I reached to a conclusion that, it really might have been the most blunderous and gloomiest of my comments, and I also thought of, all those might have been offended.
So, this morning,I came to office with an intention to make it up. But to my surprise, I saw your comment, that, as usual reflected your pure and polished manners, that, always look for and bring out the best out everything. Oby, as naive as I am, in one of my similiar comments, even though,fortunately, you are unaware of, because Chiara graciously was there to cover it up for me, I think I have wronged and injured you,I beg you to forgive me so that God might forgive me, since wrong done to people is not forgiven by Allah untill the wronged ones forgive first.
As for the things I want to clarify in previous post are that :
1- I used (donkeys) becuase to me it represents infinite patience and endurance without complain, it was in a way to say European should be patient, it might be hard times but eventually it will go by.
2- Cannibalism just to show extremities that impatient could lead people to.
3- the example of poverty that I gave is not a brainchild of mine, it is there, and there is even who are not so lucky. the ones I knew never begged for food or money neither sold honour or dignity for it. When got they ate when not they suffered quietly.
God forbid, that I would fall so law and cheap as to wish or look forward to see Eruopean live through such circumstances, I only wanted to say that peopel should always look at who are beneath and less fortunate before complaining.

oby said...

Oh my dear Majed...

Please excuse me...I have only NOW seen your post. I hope that you didn't think that I was ignoring you or had forgotten you...

You really do have a good heart! For you to worry that you had offended me is so amazingly considerate...but I assure you, you did not say anything that offended me one bit. In fact, quite the opposite. Your statement gave me the COURAGE to say what has been heavy on my heart for awhile...months actually I have been torn within myself. I really feel torn because I can see both sides of the equation...I wish that I could totally take up one side only and be unwavering in that position. Instead, I feel that I can see both sides of the coin and that can make me feel and appear very two faced sometimes. I don't mean to be...it is simply that sometimes I see one side and sometimes I see the other. I appreciate your patience and please, my friend do not think for a moment that you have offended me. Quite the opposite...you gave me courage to say what I was afraid might hurt someone but I wanted to say.

I was thinking the other day what a very nice man you are and it would such an honor to know you in person. God bless.

Majed said...

Oby ,

So sweet of you, I feel so light and happy to know that one `s mistakes were overlooked, tolerated and forgiven, and it is better late than never.
thank you very much, and I will try to keep a good watch on what I write in future.

oby said...

Majed...

You are very welcome but no thanks required! We are all here to exchange ideas and sometimes people will agree and sometimes not...that is all part of it I think. But if we can disagree with the IDEA or COMMENT rather than make it a reflection of the person I think that is the best way because next week they might write something that I absolutely agree with. I too have had my share of asking someone to please excuse me for saying something that might have sounded rude...

You have reminded me that perhaps I too should watch my commenting and make sure I try to be clear in my thoughts.

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