Category Archives: Multi-culturalism

Norway massacre: Immigrants gain popularity after Breivik


Norwegian border Photo: Hardo Müller/Flickr

theforeigner.no | Dec 5, 2011

by Ioana Dan

Norwegians have adopted a more positive attitude towards immigrants following Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks.

85 percent of Norwegians agreed with the statement that, “Most immigrants make an important contribution to Norwegian working life” as opposed to 73 percent before, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

According to the poll, 82 percent also concurred that,”most immigrantsenrich the cultural life in Norway”, up 10 percent from before the 22 July attacks.

The largest change in opinions was regarding the assertion, “Most immigrants represent a source of insecurity in society”. Only 48 percent agreed before, but this increased to 70 percent after the mass murderer struck.

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Moreover, more people thought that, “Mostimmigrants abuse the social welfare system” compared with the results from 2010. Figures who this was 31 and 35 percent, respectively.

SSB says there were no other significant changes in their poll, otherwise. Nine out of ten Norwegians believed immigrants should have the same job opportunities as any Norwegian, and 70 percent think that non-Nordic labour migration has a positive impact on Norway’s economy.  45 percent think that it obtaining a residence permit should not be more difficult.

The results of the survey also show that women tend to think more positively towards immigrants than men. Older people between 67 and 79 are more skeptical when it comes to immigrants than people aged 16-44.

Where people live also contributes to these opinions. Urban residents are more generous towards immigration and immigrants than those who live in the country.

Statistics Norway’s annual survey on attitudes towards immigrants and immigration, conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, was carried out between 4 July and 13 August 2011.

Census: Hispanics fuel US white population growth

Associated Press | Sep 29, 2011

By HOPE YEN

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a twist to notions of race identity, new 2010 census figures show an unexpected reason behind a renewed growth in the U.S. white population: more Hispanics listing themselves as white in the once-a-decade government count.

The shift is due to recent census changes that emphasize “Hispanic” as an ethnicity, not a race. While the U.S. government first made this distinction in 1980, many Latinos continued to use the “some other race” box to establish a Hispanic identity. In a switch, the 2010 census forms specifically instructed Latinos that Hispanic origins are not races and to select a recognized category such as white or black.

The result: a 6 percent increase in white Americans as tallied by the census, even though there was little change among non-Hispanic whites. In all, the number of people in the “white alone” category jumped by 12.1 million over the last decade to 223.6 million. Based on that definition, whites now represent 72 percent of the U.S. population and account for nearly half of the total population increase since 2000.

Broken down by state, California and Texas were home to nearly half of Hispanics who identified as white, followed by Florida and New York. Together, these four states comprised nearly two-thirds of the “white alone” population who were Hispanic. Overall, Hialeah, Fla.; Fargo, N.D.; Arvada, Colo.; Billings, Mont., and Scottsdale, Ariz., posted the highest shares in the “white alone” category, at roughly 90 percent or more.

“The white population has become more diverse as evidenced by the growth of the Hispanic white population and the multiple-race white population,” including black-white and white-Asian people, according to the 2010 census analysis released Thursday.

Some demographers say the broadened white category in 2010 could lead to a notable semantic if not cultural shift in defining race and ethnicity. Due to the impact of Hispanics, the nation’s fastest-growing group, the Census Bureau has previously estimated that whites will become the minority in the U.S. by midcentury. That is based on a definition of whites as non-Hispanic, who are now at 196.8 million.

That could change, if the common conception of white were to shift.

“What’s white in America in 1910, 2010 or even 2011 simply isn’t the same,” said Robert Lang, sociology professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, citing the many different groups of European immigrants in the early 20th century who later became known collectively as white. He notes today that could mean a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant in upstate New York or Jews and Italians in the lowest East side of Manhattan.

Predicting a similar shift for Hispanics, Lang and others noted that mixed marriages are now more common between whites and Hispanics. U.S.-born Latino children of immigrants also are more likely than their parents to identify as white. “The definition of white has always been expansive,” he said. “I could see the census in 2030 or 2040 dropping the differentiation between Hispanics and whites.”

Roderick Harrison, a Howard University sociologist and former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau, agreed that growing numbers of second- and third-generation Hispanics may lose some of their cultural identity as they become more assimilated in the U.S. “Some portion might indeed become, for most social purposes, ‘white,'” he said.

The latest census figures also show the number of Americans who identified themselves as partly black and partly white more than doubled to 1.8 million. For the first time, the black-white combination is the most prevalent group among multiracial Americans, making up 1 in 5 members of that subgroup. They exceed the number of multiracials who identified as being white and “some other race,” composed of mostly Hispanics, as well as white-Asians and white-American Indians.

States in the South including South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama tripled their numbers of people identifying as a mix of black and white, mostly because their overall numbers are smaller. In those places, less than 3 percent of blacks identified that way — lower than the national average of 4.5 percent.

In raw numbers, states that had the biggest increases in the black-white category were California, Florida, Texas, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Some blacks who are partly white have been reluctant to openly embrace their white background, due to a strong black identity in their communities. Historically, several states previously had a “one drop” rule that classified whites with any African blood as black.

In the 2010 census, President Barack Obama was among those who identified himself only as African-American, even though his mother was white.

“There is no question that racial lines are blurring in the United States, especially among ‘new’ minorities — Hispanics, Asians and growing mixed race generations. Yet it’s particularly significant that we are seeing breakdowns in white-black separation,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. “Strong gains in interracial marriages and higher mixed-race identification among youth suggest that past racial categories will need to be radically changed or even dispensed with in the next two or three decades.”

The share of Hispanics identifying themselves as white increased over the past decade from 48 percent to 53 percent, while the proportion of those who marked “some other race” dropped from 42 percent to 37 percent. Many Hispanics previously preferred to check the “some other race” category to express their nationalities — such as Mexican or Cuban.

The Census Bureau has been examining different ways to count the nation’s demographic groups. One experiment is a possible change to the questionnaire that would effectively treat Hispanics as a mutually exclusive group. It would allow people to check off just one of five race or ethnic categories — white, black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander or American Indian/Alaska Native — rather than asking people who identify themselves as Hispanic to also check what race they are.

Other findings:

—The multiple-race white population, including black-whites and white-Asians, increased by at least 8 percent in every state, with the biggest gains in the South.

—The non-Hispanic white population declined in 15 states, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.

—The majority of blacks, both non-Hispanic blacks and those in combination with Hispanics or other races, lived in the South. About 60 percent of their total population lived in 10 states — New York, Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, North Carolina, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia and Ohio. The biggest gains in blacks over the past decade occurred in Florida, Georgia, Texas and North Carolina.

—Cities with the highest share of blacks, both non-Hispanic and in combination with others, include Detroit at 84 percent. It was followed by Jackson, Miss., Miami Gardens, Fla., and Birmingham, Ala.

Islamic extremists set up Sharia law controlled zones in British cities

dailymail.co.uk | Jul 28, 2011

By Rebecca Camber

The posters warn passers-by that they are entering a zone where Islamic rules, such as 'no alcohol', are 'enforced'

Islamic extremists have launched a poster campaign across the UK proclaiming areas where Sharia law enforcement zones have been set up.

Communities have been bombarded with the posters, which read: ‘You are entering a Sharia-controlled zone – Islamic rules enforced.’

The bright yellow messages daubed on bus stops and street lamps have already been seen across certain boroughs in London and order that in the ‘zone’ there should be ‘no gambling’, ‘no music or concerts’, ‘no porn or prostitution’, ‘no drugs or smoking’ and ‘no alcohol’.

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has claimed responsibility for the scheme, saying he plans to flood specific Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the UK and ‘put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term’.

In the past week, dozens of streets in the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham have been targeted, raising fears that local residents may be intimidated or threatened for flouting ‘Islamic rules’.

Choudary, who runs the banned militant group Islam4UK, warned: ‘We now have hundreds if not thousands of people up and down the country willing to go out and patrol the streets for us and a print run of between 10,000 and 50,000 stickers ready for distribution.

‘There are 25 areas around the country which the Government has earmarked as areas where violent extremism is a problem.

‘We are going to go to all these same areas and implement our own Sharia-controlled zones.


Seizing control: Activist Jamaal Uddin puts up one of the Sharia stickers in Leyton, in the East London borough of Waltham Forest

‘This is the best way for dealing with drunkenness and loutishness, prostitution and the sort of thug life attitude you get in British cities.’

The former lawyer added: ‘This will mean this is an area where the Muslim community will not tolerate drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling, usury, free mixing between the sexes – the fruits if you like of Western civilisation.

‘We want to run the area as a Sharia-controlled zone and really to put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.’

Scotland Yard is now working with local councils to remove the posters and identify those responsible for putting them up.

Choudary said he was organising a protest against the Far Right in Waltham Forest this weekend following last Friday’s killing spree in Norway by anti-Islamic gunman Anders Breivik.

He said: ‘We are going to put the events in Oslo on the agenda. We are going to be marching and addressing this issue. It is a whole new scenario now. The Muslim community needs to be vigilant. There is an undercurrent against Islam.

‘I do believe a Norway-style attack could happen here.’

The campaign comes just months after stickers proclaiming a ‘gay-free zone’ and appearing to reference the religious Islamic text of the Koran appeared in Tower Hamlets.

Women in parts of East London including Tower Hamlets have been threatened with violence and even death by Islamic extremists if they did not wear headscarves.

James Brandon, of the anti-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, which has dubbed the intimidation the work of ‘Talibanesque thugs’, said: ‘This is a small group which is not representative of these communities.
‘It’s great news that the police have decided to investigate this. This has the potential to divide communities and upset people.’

Yesterday the leader of Waltham Forest Council, Chris Robbins, said: ‘As soon as we heard about these posters we worked over the weekend to take them all down.

‘Since then we have been going through our CCTV images and working with the police to try to identify the culprits. Our policy is to use the full extent of our powers to prosecute any offenders.

‘People should not get the wrong idea about our borough because a handful of small-minded idiots, who do not live here, decide to deface our streets with ridiculous posters.’

Norway terror attack exposes deeper anger over immigration


A graffiti is seen at the closed Skytterkollen shooting range on Thursday, where Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik used to train. Breivik, a far-right zealot whose bomb attack and shooting spree killed 76 people last Friday, has been charged under the terrorism act, which carries a maximum penalty of 21 years in jail, but the authorities are considering whether to charge him with crimes against humanity. Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

The admitted attacker behind last week’s bombing and shooting spree derided immigration and multiculturalism. Experts say his beliefs are surprisingly common in Norway.

csmonitor.com | Jul 28, 2011

By Frank Radosevich

Oslo, Norway – Last week’s Oslo terrorist attacks are raising delicate questions of immigration and integration here after the admitted attacker cited anti-Muslim views as motivating the assaults.

A country of less than 5 million people, Norway has seen its once homogeneous population change in recent years with new arrivals from Africa and the Middle East. This transformation, in part, drove Anders Behring Breivik, charged with Friday’s car bombing and shooting spree that killed at least 76 people in the span of a few hours.

Now, even as this country still grieves for its victims, many say how Norway responds to the attacks could define immigration policy in the future.

While Mr. Breivik’s views, revealed in his 1,500-page tirade against Muslims and multiculturalism, are extreme and his attack reviled by Norwegians of all political leanings, Breivik fed on an undercurrent of prejudice and hatred that exists in some areas of Norwegian society, where being Norwegian is still very much determined by one’s fair skin and light hair.

“We have to find out what kind of country Norway is. That’s where the struggle is going to be in the coming years,” says Thomas Eriksen, a professor of anthropology at the University of Oslo. “And we are going to have to deal with that.”

He says many immigrants still face an uphill battle in terms of integration and acceptance from their fellow Norwegians. “They can acquire our civilization but never our culture,” he says, offering up a common opinion. “In other words, they won’t be ‘us’ they’ll always be the ‘other’.”

Indeed, experts on immigration and integration point to a growing skepticism across Norway that now surrounds most Muslim immigrants. Though Breivik’s thinking is condemned, many of his views aren’t new.

“Some of his ideas are more commonplace than we’d like them to be,” says Rune Berglund Steen, communication manager for the Norwegian Center Against Racism. “This skepticism of Muslims has become a fairly central topic in Norwegian politics.”

Norway’s second-largest political party in parliament, the Progress Party, has been accused of backing xenophobic positions and Breivik was on the party’s member registry until 2006. The party quickly denounced the attacks and Breivik’s beliefs.

Mr. Steen says most Norwegians have a positive view toward immigrants. For example, he said a recent poll found that about 8 out of 10 Norwegians found it favorable if a child attends a school with mixed ethnicities.

But for Breivik and his ilk, Muslim newcomers here represent a “takeover.”

“The problem can only be solved if we completely remove those who follow Islam. In order to do this all Muslims must ‘submit’ and convert to Christianity,” he wrote in his manifesto. “If they refuse to do this voluntarily prior to Jan. 1, 2020, they will be removed from European soil and deported back to the Islamic world.”

Most Norwegians, however, reject Breivik’s anti-Islamic views, preferring to see themselves as a tolerant, peaceful people and Breivik as a backwards extremist.

“It’s the fact that he attacked our multiculturalism,” says Alexander Roine, waiting outside the courthouse where Breivik appeared Monday.

Mr. Roine, an Oslo native whose father came from Tunisia, says Norway is rightly famous for its peaceful, tolerant attitude but conceded older generations are still adjusting to the country’s brisk demographic shift.

“We would think a guy with these views would be like 50 or 60 years old,” he says of Breivik. “This guy was born in a Norway that was already multicultural. He attacked everything this country stands for to the last detail.”

Norway has experienced a steady rise in immigration, like many European countries, with the number of its immigrants doubling since 1995.
Most came for the robust economy, political stability and generous welfare state, settling in dense pockets in Norway’s largest cities. It’s estimated that 11 percent of Norwegians are immigrants or the children of immigrants and about 2 percent of the population practices Islam.

Immigration to the UK is ‘out of control’


Turnaround: More people are coming to settle in Britain than quitting for abroad

Immigration increased the fastest since Britain joined the EU seven years ago.

Daily Mail | May 27, 2011

By Steve Doughty

Immigration rose to near-record levels last year, official  figures have revealed.

Net migration increased at the  fastest rate since Labour opened Britain’s doors to workers from the Eastern European states that joined the EU seven years ago.

In the year up to September 2010, the figure for net migration – the difference between immigration and emigration – was 242,000, the third highest on record.

Some 586,000 people arrived to live in Britain and 344,000 emigrated.

The net migration of 242,000 was nearly 100,000 higher than the previous year.

It means that David Cameron must more than halve immigration if he is to get anywhere close to the Coalition ‘aspiration’ of bringing net migration down to tens of thousands a year.

A raft of figures published yesterday delivered a series of blows to the Government’s hopes of curbing the levels of immigration that critics say have distorted the economy and deepened poverty and benefit dependency over the past 14 years.

Migration from Eastern Europe is back up again after falling in 2009.

The numbers of Poles and other Eastern Europeans in the UK rose by 43,000.

Immigration from Eastern Europe rose by some 50 per cent to 72,000 while the numbers of Eastern Europeans leaving to go home dropped by nearly half to 29,000.

Labour put no restrictions on the rights of Eastern Europeans to work in the UK when their countries joined the EU in 2004. As a result, the Coalition cannot close the doors or tighten the rules.

Ministers did succeed in cutting the numbers of student visas issued to those from outside Europe in the 12 months to March this year.

‘Whites suffer more racism than blacks’: Study shows white American people believe they are more discriminated against


Whites believe that discrimination against them has increased from an average of 1.8 in the 1950’s to 4.7 in the 2000s.

Daily Mail | May 24, 2011

White Americans feel they are more discriminated against than blacks, a new study reveals.

Sociologists from Harvard and Tufts universities asked 209 white and 208 black men and women to rate ‘racism’ against both ethnic groups since the 1950s on a scale of one to 10.

The results showed that while both blacks and whites saw anti-black racism decreasing over the decades, whites saw race relations as a ‘zero sum game’ where they were losing out as blacks ‘gained’ the advantage.

The results, published in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, showed that on average blacks saw anti-white bias rising slightly from 1.4 in the 1950s to 1.8 today.

Blacks also perceived that racism against themselves had steeply declined from 9.7 in the 1950s to 6.1 in the 90s.

White respondents, however, saw a very different picture.

For the 2000s, 11 per cent of whites gave anti-white bias the maximum 10 out of 10 rating, compared with only two per cent of whites who did so for anti-black bias.

Whites believed that discrimination against them had increased from an average of 1.8 in the 1950s to 4.7 in the 2000s.

All those surveyed were asked: ‘Indicate how much you think blacks/whites were/are the victims of discrimination in the United States in each of the following decades.’

Responding to the results, researchers Michael Norton and Samuel Sommers said that despite predictions that Barack Obama’s election in 2008 would herald a ‘post racial’ America, this had not in fact occurred.

They concluded: ‘A flurry of legal and cultural disputes over the past decade has revealed a new race-related controversy gaining traction: an emerging belief in anti-white prejudice.

‘Whites believe…the pendulum has now swung beyond equality in the direction of anti-white discrimination.’

‘Whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality—at their expense.’

Citing several studies, researchers speculated that white people tended to see any focus on ethnic minorities as an ‘attack’ on white values.

Pub singer arrested for racism after Chinese passers-by hear him perform Kung Fu Fighting


Entertainer Simon Ledger was singing Kung Fu Fighting as a Chinese man and his mother walked past which later prompted the complaint to the police

Later that night, he was phoned at a Chinese restaurant and then arrested

Daily Mail | Apr 27, 2011

A pub singer has been arrested on suspicion of racism for singing the classic chart hit Kung Fu Fighting.

The song, performed by Simon Ledger, 34, is said to have offended two Chinese people as they walked past the bar where he was singing.

The entertainer regularly performs the 1974 number one hit, originally by disco star Carl Douglas, at the Driftwood Beach Bar in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight.

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But after one of the passers-by reported his routine on Sunday afternoon, Mr Ledger was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment.

‘We were performing Kung Fu Fighting, as we do during all our sets,’ he said.

‘People of all races were loving it.  Chinese people have never been offended by it before.

‘But this lad walking past with his mum started swearing at us and making obscene hand gestures before taking a picture on his mobile phone.

‘We hadn’t even seen them when we started the song. He must have phoned the police.’

Officers later called Mr Ledger while he was eating in a Chinese restaurant to arrange a meeting.

The singer assumed it was a prank – but he was later arrested and is still under investigation.

‘They seemed pretty amazed but said the law is the law and it was their duty,’ he is reported to have said.

‘It’s political correctness gone potty. There are plenty of Welsh people at our shows – does it mean I can’t play any Tom Jones?’

Bar owner Sean Ware told the Sun newspaper: ‘The song is in no way racist and nor is Simon. There is no way he would abuse anyone.

‘He didn’t start the song just because Chinese people were walking past. He had already started playing it.’

Mr Ledger, who was later bailed, wrote on Facebook: ‘If the lad who phoned the police is reading this, what is wrong with you?’

A Hampshire police spokesman last night said a 32-year-old man of Chinese origin had claimed he was subjected to racial abuse.

He added: ‘If a victim believes that an alleged crime is racially aggravated, the police will treat it seriously. Investigations into this incident are continuing.’

The spokesman said a 34-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986.

The man was not taken to the police station at the time, but was released on bail.

He will visit Newport police station today where he will be interviewed.