Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

THE PORT RAIL: Immigrants in Europe and U.S. Vastly Different

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

THE PORT RAIL: Immigrants in Europe and U.S. Vastly Different

Article excerpt

This might seem obvious, but sometimes the obvious is, well, so obvious that we tend to ignore it.

At its simplest level, the major streams of modern immigration into Europe are vastly different from the major streams of modern immigration into the United States. Most of the immigrants going into Europe are Muslims. Most of the immigrants arriving in the U.S. -- legal or not -- are Christians from Latin America.

Most of those Muslims are from the long-gone empires of the British and French in Africa and Asia, with a smattering coming from the old Italian and German empires in that part of the world.

Most of the immigrants into the U.S. are coming, on the other hand, from places like Mexico and Guatemala, which are overwhelmingly Christian. These immigrants are dramatically altering the demographics of the U.S. By 2025, a majority of Californians will be of Hispanic heritage. That's a game changer.

Unless you just visited from Mars, it is obvious that Muslim culture is undermining European culture and values. There is not a lot of middle ground between the caricaturists of Charlie Hebdo, pushing the limits of freedom of speech, and Islamic fanatics demanding absolute conformity to Sharia.

The well-respected Pew Religion and Public Life Project summarized the growing presence of Islam in Europe.

"Over the past two decades, the number of Muslims living in Western Europe has steadily grown, rising from less than 10 million in 1990 to approximately 17 million in 2010."

And from this growth, to state the obvious, "tensions have arisen over such issues as the place of religion in European societies, the role of women, the obligations and rights of immigrants and support for terrorism."

"Fairly or unfairly," the Pew report observes, "these groups are often accused of dissuading Muslims from integrating into European society and, in some cases, of supporting radicalism."

The highest percentage of population that is Muslim is 6 percent in Belgium, with the lowest, 0.2 percent, in Portugal. France, the United Kingdom and Germany all have between 4.7 percent and 5.7 percent, and in absolute numbers contain the largest numbers of Muslims, from 2.9 million in the United Kingdom to 4.2 million in Germany. These numbers are growing, and the projections show continued increases.

By contrast, Hispanics in the U.S. already represented more than 16 percent of the overall population in the census of 2010, and that number is growing, in both absolute and relative terms.

Following the census, "Hispanics accounted for 29 percent of the population in the West, the only region in which Hispanics exceeded the national level of 16 percent (and) Hispanics accounted for 16 percent of the population of the South, 13 percent of the Northeast, and 7 percent of the Midwest's population. …

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