A reader writes:
As a native Scandinavian, (not to mention loyal daily reader and fellow European-American transplant) I wanted to point out some things about the article about Tingbjerg to which you linked. The article is nothing more than an entirely one-sided portrait of an issue, albeit a well-written one. Mr. Bawer describes Copenhagen as something resembling a war zone, adding that "things are considerably worse in many other European cities (such as Bradford and Malmö)." I have lived in both Copenhagen and Malmö, and I can assure you that this is pure hyperbole.
In linking to Human Rights Service, I think some context regarding the organization is needed.
While there is little doubt that failure of integration is a major problem in Europe, and one that is rarely adequately discussed with enough honesty, I would not rely on HRS for my information. The organization has strong links to Fremskrittspartiet, the Norwegian anti-immigration party. According to Norwegian Wikipedia, HRS has been criticized by anti-racist organizations as "a clearly immigrant-hostile organization" and "a right-populist, muslim-phobic interest group" My translations from Norwegian). HRS has also called the Norwegian government ombudsman for anti-discrimination and equality "the ombudsman for Islam and discrimination" (I'm assuming against white Norwegians).
The articles on the HRS web site describe a Europe that does not exist. Europe is no more being taken over by millions of extremely violent fundamentalist Muslims than the United States is being taken over by drug-dealing, Communist Black Power radicals intent on . Sure, all of those people exist, but they are not seizing power. You frequently comment on why the Republicans have moved from small government conservatism to white, right wing populism. Why do you not apply that same analytical approach to the sometimes hateful propaganda supplied by Mr. Bawer and HRS?
Again, I'm not doubting the facts of the case in Tingbjerg, but if I described my neighborhood in Brooklyn, or my old one in Oakland, California, with those same black-tinted glasses, you would think that the United States is in immediate danger of succumbing to gun-wielding, crack-smoking African Americans who only speak ebonics and non-English-speaking Latinos who are invading, one border jumper at the time.
Also, it's "Tingbjerg", not "Tinjberg."
From Washington, it's very hard to know for sure the details of any particular case. But Bruce Bawer is not in any way a racist or Islamophobic. He's concerned about core civil equality and toleration. And I'm happy to post alternative views of the same set of facts. Pnce the HV ban is lifted, I hope to be able to visit Europe again to see for myself in so far as I can.
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