Thursday, February 7, 2013

You can't pick 'n' mix your cultures when living in the UK, immigrants told

Immigrant communities cannot adopt a ‘pick ’n’ mix approach’ to living in a liberal democracy, a Home Office minister will insist today.  Liberal Democrat Jeremy Browne will attack multicultural doctrines which have meant the state turning a blind eye to so-called ‘honour crimes’, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

He will condemn ‘misplaced cultural sensitivities’ for a failure to tackle such issues in Britain.

Speaking at an event in the House of Lords, Mr Browne will warn that ‘thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands’ of women and girls in this country are not enjoying the proper ‘benefits of living in our liberal society’.

He will add: ‘That is not because of some accident or oversight. It is because of a deliberate rejection of the emancipation revolution and the equal opportunities now afforded to women and girls.

‘This situation is wrong. It is unacceptable for the individual women and girls whose freedom and opportunities are stifled.

'And it is wrong for our society. There cannot be a pick’n’mix approach to living in a benign liberal country. The benefits must be universal, without exceptions or exemptions.

‘I do not believe that cultural relativism provides an excuse to opt out of our shared liberal social settlement. Everyone should enjoy the freedom to make their own choices, without the fear of social coercion.’

Mr Browne will insist that forced marriage has ‘no place’ in British society, pointing out that the victims are ‘overwhelmingly young women and girls’.

Up to 8,000 young women a year are being pushed into marriage without their consent in Britain, it is feared. Their families are mainly from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and East Africa.

Currently, the authorities have to try to prove that other laws, such as kidnapping, false imprisonment, harassment or assault, have been broken by those responsible.

But Mr Browne will say the Coalition will create a specific criminal offence making it illegal to force a child or grandchild into a marriage against their wishes.

Ministers argue a blind eye has been turned to extremism for too long for fear of offending minorities.

Some schools have even refused to put up posters advising pupils about forced marriage for fear of causing offence or being branded racist.

Mr Browne will also express alarm about the ‘abhorrent’ practice of female genital mutilation, citing evidence that around 20,000 girls in Britain are at risk.


German cities plead for help from Berlin as 'social peace' is threatened by large number of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants

Cities in Germany have warned that ‘social peace’ there is at risk due to an influx of economic migrants from Bulgaria and Romania.

Reports tell of an epidemic of illegal working, chaos in schools because so many children can’t speak German, and an alarming increase in organised crime since the migrants arrived.

Dortmund, Hanover, Berlin and Hamburg say they are struggling to absorb a six-fold increase in economic migration from the two countries since 2006.

The rise is exacerbated by the euro crisis, which has forced Bulgarians and Romanians to seek a better life in their nearest big economy.

A report by the German Association of Cities says they face ‘significant costs as a result of this poverty migration’.

They are demanding financial support from Chancellor Angela Merkel, telling her ‘the social balance and social peace is extremely endangered’.

In Germany there are more than 90,000 Bulgarians and 159,000 Romanians. They are not allowed to work legally until January 1, as in Britain. But they can stay under EU rules if they declare themselves to be ‘self-employed’.

However the report by the German cities says: ‘The Roma in particular end up in desolate conditions once they are here.’

Police claim Romanian gangs send children out each morning with instructions to steal. And in Munster new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria last year formed a tent city alongside a canal.


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