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Mayors And Muslim Migration

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com)

New York, Paris, and London have all been major targets of Islamic terrorists. Today, all three cities are governed by left-wing mayors: New York has Bill de Blasio (Democrat), London has Sadiq Khan (Labour), and Paris has Anne Hidalgo (Socialist). In an op-ed in today’s New York Times, they declare that immigrants are “our strength.” More:

But it is wrong to characterize immigrant and refugee communities as radical and dangerous; in our experience, militant violence is vanishingly rare.

Notice the use of language here to obscure plain meaning. They are talking about Muslim migrants, but won’t say the M word. More:

Therefore, we must continue to pursue an inclusive approach to resettlement in order to combat the growing tide of xenophobic language around the globe. Such language will lead only to the increased marginalization of our immigrant communities, and without making us any safer.

Got it? The West needs to welcome more Muslim migrants to fight xenophobic language. And hey, if Europe’s Jews are too afraid to go to their synagogues on the High Holy days, too bad for them. The important thing is to fight xenophobic language by bringing in more foreign-born Muslims.

Our cities pledge to continue to stand for inclusivity, and that is why our cities support services and programs that help all residents, including our diverse immigrant communities, feel welcome, so that every resident feels part of our great cities.

“Inclusivity” and “diversity” are Orwellian words, in the sense that Orwell meant in his great short essay on “Politics and the English Language”. They are euphemisms meant to obscure what is actually being said by the speaker — in this case, “We need to bring in more Muslim migrants.” That’s a difficult thing for a politician to advocate in a time of random Muslim terror inflicted on those cities, so the politicians reach for euphemisms to manipulate public opinion.


In New York and Paris, for example, municipal ID programs

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio (a katz / Shutterstock.com)
NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio (a katz / Shutterstock.com)

have achieved great success in increasing a sense of belonging among immigrants and allowing for greater access to services like bank accounts and veterans benefits and city resources like libraries and cultural institutions. In less than two years, New York’s municipal ID program, known as IDNYC, has signed up over 10 percent of the city’s total population and garnered strong praise from a diverse coalition of community members, advocates and institutional partners.

Programs like IDNYC build safer cities because immigrants and refugees know that they are included and recognized by their governments.

That’s the theory, but how do we know these programs have worked? Obviously I don’t know that they haven’t worked, but simply asserting that these programs have reduced terrorism ought to be treated skeptically.

And, here we go:

Investing in the integration of refugees and immigrants is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. Refugees and other foreign-born residents bring needed skills and enhance the vitality and growth of local economies, and their presence has long benefited our three cities.

The general issue of immigration is a big deal, but that’s not what the public is objecting to in this case. It is afraid of Muslim immigration. What “needed skills” do refugees from the Muslim world bring to European cities? Only a week ago in Germany, industrialists brought the bad news to Mama Merkel:

Germany’s blue-chip companies will have to explain to Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday why they have managed to hire fewer than 100 refugees after around a million arrived in the country last year.

Merkel, fighting for her political life over her open-door policy, has summoned the bosses of some of Germany’s biggest companies to Berlin to account for their lack of action and exchange ideas about how they can do better.

Many of the companies say a lack of German-language skills, the inability of most refugees to prove any qualifications, and uncertainty about their permission to stay in the country mean there is little they can do in the short term.

A survey by Reuters of the 30 companies in Germany’s DAX stock market index found they could point to just 63 refugee hires in total. Several of the 26 firms who responded said they considered it discriminatory to ask about applicants’ migration history, so they did not know whether they employed refugees or how many.

Of the 63 hires, 50 are employed by Deutsche Post DHL, which said it applied a “pragmatic approach” and deployed the refugees to sort and deliver letters and parcels.

“Given that around 80 percent of asylum seekers are not highly qualified and may not yet have a high level of German proficiency, we have primarily offered jobs that do not require technical skills or a considerable amount of interaction in German,” a spokesman said by email.

Germany needs workers. Its unemployment rate is only 4 percent. And still, it cannot find jobs for these refugees, largely because they cannot speak German and don’t have demonstrable skills. The economic situation is much worse in France, where
the unemployment rate is 10 percent overall, and a staggering 24 percent among youth. Hidalgo’s city, Paris, has a massive problem assimilating the Muslims who are already there. Where, exactly, are the benefits of which the mayors speak?


We know policies that embrace diversity and promote inclusion are successful. We call on world leaders to adopt a similar welcoming and collaborative spirit on behalf of the refugees all over the world during the summit meeting this week. Our cities stand united in the call for inclusivity. It is part of who we are as citizens of diverse and thriving cities.

Diversity! Inclusion! Inclusivity! Who can possibly take these left-wing politicians seriously? Again: they are using this shopworn cant not to inform the public discussion, but to pre-empt it. And it’s not even good propaganda. It’s like the op-ed was generated by the Human Resources Department at Dunder Mifflin.

De Blasio, Khan, Hidalgo and politically correct politicians like them live in a bubble. By refusing to speak clearly about the challenges before us, they leave the platform open for people like Trump and the European populists.

UPDATE: I’m not sure why this is so hard to understand. Of course there is a moral argument for welcoming Muslim migrants. I don’t know how persuasive that argument is, but it’s there, and it’s a serious one. That is not the argument that these mayors make. They are making an economic argument — and it’s extraordinarily weak. Padding it with “diversity” and “inclusivity” cant only makes it more transparently feeble. You can’t very well respond to me pointing out that the economic argument the mayors make is terrible by saying, “Yeah, but morality! Christianity!”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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