It is pernicious to regard prejudiced views within migrant communities as exclusive to either them or their cultures
Monday December 10, 2007
"In October, a promising young Iranian-German footballer, Ashkan Dejagah, refused to go to Israel to play for the German under-21 team in a European qualifier. Dejagah, who was born in Iran and came to Germany as a child, claimed if he went to Israel he might be denied entry into Iran. His decision not to go sparked accusations of antisemitism from German Jewish groups alongside calls from some politicians that he be dropped from the team (after some deliberation, German officials decided to keep him on the team).
The debate that followed shed light on how much you have to know, and how much you have to forget, to become German in some eyes, and laid some ground rules for Dejagah's inclusion and integration. "Whoever represents Germany, whether a native German or an immigrant, has to identify with the history and culture of our society," said Ronald Pofalla, the general secretary of the conservative Christian Democrats. "If he does not want to do so out of personal political reasons, then that national jersey should be removed.".......
Herein lies the problem with Enlightenment values, as they have been promoted in recent years. The values are fine. But those who champion them most fervently also do so most selectively. They embrace Muslim women campaigning against sexism, but ignore those fighting racism, Islamophobia or war. They attack Muslim fundamentalist homophobes on housing estates, but align themselves with Christian fundamentalist homophobes in the White House. They demand secularism and assimilation, but view every action by Muslims and immigrants as essentially foreign or religious. In short, they see their own attributes and others' flaws through a magnifying glass. No wonder their vision of the world is so distorted. "