January 19, 2015

"The United States has one big advantage... our Muslim populations — they feel themselves to be Americans."

"And there is this incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition, that is probably our greatest strength. Now, it doesn't mean that we aren't subject to the kinds of tragedies we saw at the Boston Marathon. But that, I think, has been helpful. There are parts of Europe in which that's not the case, and that's probably the greatest danger that Europe faces, which is why as they... work with us to respond to these circumstances, it's important for Europe not to simply respond with a hammer and law enforcement and military approaches to these problems, but there also has to be a recognition that the stronger the ties of a... Frenchman of North African descent to French values, French republic, a sense of opportunity — that's gonna be as important, if not more important, in, over time, solving this problem."

President Obama (via Jaltcoh).

64 comments:

Big Mike said...

Do they? I think he's lying to himself, perhaps, and to us, certainly.

Tank said...

Con man.

It never ends with him.

He is what he is.

Con man.

Curious George said...

Michael Grant Cahill, Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, Justin Michael DeCrow, John P. Gaffaney, Frederick Greene, Jason Dean Hunt, Sue Kraeger, Aaron Thomas Nemelka,
Michael S. Pearson, Russell Gilbert Seagertain, Francheska Velez, Juanita L. Warman, and Kham See Xiong were unavailable for comment.

MayBee said...

He's right, but it is more complicated than that.

First, Europeans have very strong historic national identities . Many have laws about how much foreign content is allowed in popular culture so they can maintain that identity. So while we have a melting pot, they do not. Which is part of what makes them so interesting and different from us. You move to those countries, you are supposed to act like the citizens. That's understandable, unless the citizens are going to shut new people out (and they often do).

But part of it is, if you are from a Muslim country where women are supposed to wear Burkhas, and you move to London into a community of Muslims from countries where women are supposed to wear Burkhas, chances are you are not getting out of that Burkha. And that is the most separating cultural experience there is.
If you are from a Muslim country where women and men aren't supposed to mingle, and you move to London into a community of people from the same school of thought, chances are a woman will find herself in the park on Saturday night in the women's part of the park with the kids and the men hanging out elsewhere.

You can't break free if the whole culture has immigrated with you.

Curious George said...

Obama should take a ride through Dearborn, MI....in an open limo.

tim in vermont said...

I think there is truth here. You have to know how Muslims are viewed in Europe. I remember telling a Brit, a pretty intelligent Brit with a responsible job, that in the US, the average Muslim makes more than the average native born American. He said "You mean the average Indian?" I said no, the average American citizen. He was incredulous.

Michael K said...

A large share of Muslims in Europe and UK are on the Dole or welfare. The Europeans have done this to themselves because the welfare state was not designed to replace work and the Muslim culture adapts well to a no work society.

Obama is working on that for us.

tim maguire said...

Obama is correct on both points--it is a difference and an important one. We give our immigrants a greater stake in our society than the Europeans do (which, not for nothing, is why the Democrats and idiot journalists are wrong that changing demographics dooms the Republican Party).

Whatever our cultural differences, everybody wants a safe stable society for their children. The U.S. makes that possible to a higher degree than Europe.

MayBee said...

We do have a Muslim president, after all.

MayBee said...

;-)

tim in vermont said...

Of course our homegrown brothers in Boston were living on the dole in the welfare magnet Massachusetts.

MayBee said...

Bob Baer is on CNN saying something very true. It isn't just Muslims who don't assimilate in Europe. People from outside the country don't assimilate, period.

You have to go to the right schools, know the right people, be a born Parisian to assimilate in Paris. The other capitals are the same. Most other countries are that way. You can't work your way to insider status.

tim maguire said...

MayBee said...We do have a Muslim president, after all.

+1

MayBee said...

But you wonder how it even matters, since according to Obama this has nothing to do with Islam.

tim maguire said...

MayBee said...Bob Baer is on CNN saying something very true. It isn't just Muslims who don't assimilate in Europe. People from outside the country don't assimilate, period.

You have to go to the right schools, know the right people, be a born Parisian to assimilate in Paris. The other capitals are the same. Most other countries are that way. You can't work your way to insider status.


A point I bring up from time to time--Europe is still a feudalistic society. For all their bleating about "progressivism", their failure is not a failure of modernism, it is a failure of medievalism.

Roger Sweeny said...

Ironic that many of Obama's supporters (especially among academics and activists) think "assimilation" is a bad word.

The Godfather said...

It's certainly true that the U. S. used to be good at assimilating immigrants. In my experience that includes Muslim immigrants. Whether we're still good at it is less clear. We now have a government that fosters identity politics and policies that interfere with assimilation, and Obama is a strong advocate for such policies. I wonder if he ever listens to what he says?

I am not a robot, but I am assimilated.

The Drill SGT said...

Colonists, not immigrants

Marc said...

Why does Mr Obama imagine that 'Muslim immigrants' in the European lands want to follow the historical US pattern of assimilation?

m stone said...

Churchill had a noteworthy assessment of Islam in 1899:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_River_War

Harsh, but history shows that peoples, and generations, ascribe to certain inculcated behaviors. Assimilation is a consequence---or not assimilating or being accepted.

I'm Full of Soup said...

"...the Muslim culture adapts well to a no work society."

I always figured that "call to prayer thing" is what 4-5 times a day? So how the heck can you hold a job and do that too?

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

One of the great things about the US is how we take in various ethnic groups and assimilate them into Americans.

Sure, some still identify as Irish-American, Hispanic, Italian-American etc but seldom very strongly over generations.

In Europe, you have very strong ethnic identification. I met a woman once who claimed to be German, even though her family had migrated to Kazakstan 150 years ago and she had never lived in Germany.

Or a fellow I know down island whose great grandfather emigrated from Portugal. 3 generations, he is still Portugese citizen and carries a Portugese passport. He is also Canadian since he was born there. (many women go to Toronto to have their babies for just this reason)

Turks can live in Germany for multiple generations and never attain citizenship.

It is a generational thing. As Muslims live in the US, they will become more assimilated. Perhaps not first generation but 2nd and 3rd for sure.

John Henry

MayBee said...

A point I bring up from time to time--Europe is still a feudalistic society. For all their bleating about "progressivism", their failure is not a failure of modernism, it is a failure of medievalism.

True. Although it's part of what makes it wonderful for me to visit these countries. I don't want to go to Paris and spend my afternoons living the American lifestyle!

It also isn't just Europe. Asia is the same way.

Sebastian said...

About those well-integrated "American" Muslims:

"Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan barely blinked when the guilty verdicts were read Thursday in a heavily guarded federal courtroom in Minneapolis.

The two Rochester women sat quietly as they were convicted of conspiring to support terrorists in their native Somalia, Ali's lips moving continuously as if reciting something.

But after the jury left and Ali was asked if she had anything to say to the court, she did not hold back.

"I am very happy," she said defiantly through a translator. "I'm going to the heaven no matter. ... Also, you guys go to the hell," she said referring to those whom she believes are against Muslims."

Next time, Barry could check Wikipedia first: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jihadist_extremism_in_the_United_States#Attacks_or_failed_attacks_by_date

chillblaine said...

When I see women at Costco wearing the hijab or burka, I often think to myself how well they have assimilated.

David said...

Some do, Some don't.

The problem is with the ones that don't.

The other problem is how not to persecute the one's who do consider themselves loyal Americans while defending against terrorists.

Obama's statement is just a bullshit gloss on a difficult issue. It's not exactly wrong, but it fails to come to grips with the problem.

Michael K said...

" Perhaps not first generation but 2nd and 3rd for sure. "

That used to be true. My closest friend in medical school was a second generation whose mother did not speak English and made her own tortillas. He was one of nine or ten kids. All but one had graduate degrees.

That doesn't seem to be happening anymore among Mexican immigrants. Maybe the La Raza crowd is just more visible but LA County Hospital has few English speaking patients and that is new the past 30 years.

Victor Davis Hanson has written a lot about that in the Fresno area.

I heard this weekend that 60% of all illegals live in southern California.

Known Unknown said...

I always figured that "call to prayer thing" is what 4-5 times a day? So how the heck can you hold a job and do that too?

It's like a smoke break for Allah.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Why shouldn't Muslims here feel like Americans? A lot will enter into citizenship and behave like Americans, and the hotheads will enthusiastically plan for the day on which they take the place over - provided our political class remains as inept and unwitting about gradual invasions as they are today.

They should ask the Greeks of Asia Minor about those innocent Turks drifting in one by one until they owned the place after about 1000 AD.

Jane the Actuary said...

Obama's statement, as a generalization, is fine -- as long as we're not complacent.

But at the same time, note his choice of words: "Frenchman of North African descent."

That's where we would be saying, "Moroccan-American." Our current linguistic choices generally emphasize the country of origin, much more so than Obama's graceful "of X descent."

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Jane said:


But at the same time, note his choice of words: "Frenchman of North African descent."

That's where we would be saying, "Moroccan-American."


What do you think you are, Jane, a Cuomo?

One of which, the one with the TV show, claimed that the Paris gunmen were African-American.

Actually, they were African-French. Or Algerian-French.

So hard to keep up these days.

John Henry

kcom said...

Just keep in mind the estimate for France's Muslim population is as high as 10%. Our is around 2%. The societal response isn't necessarily linear. The more people you have, the more you have room for a range of ideas. And the more extreme the extremes can become. And with more people in total, a small percentage of violent extremists becomes more people in absolute numbers. And it doesn't take that many to create havoc. Plus, when numbers increase, people begin to hope for or expect things they didn't expect when their percentage of the population was less. See incidences of Mexican nationalism in US schools, etc.

Let's just say that I think it's too early to tell how different we are from Europe. When we have a 10% Muslim population, let's see how things look.

PB said...

Assimilation requires an accepted culture into which to merge, but the Left has worked assiduously to destroy the American culture.

William said...

There's a kind of peristaltic action that goes on with immigrants to America. They become less foreign, and the native born become more tolerant of their ways. The KKK resurgence in the 1920's was directed more at the immigrant Catholics and Jews than at the blacks. Now time has smoothed these differences over, and we all love each other very much........A plurality of my genes are Irish. Ireland has a very sad history, and the Irish have accumulated many grudges. In some cases those grudges are more destructive than the wrongs that caused them. A move to America gave the Irish a chance to press the reset button and lose the resentment. Americans have a kind of rootlessness but sometimes that's an advantage.......If the Muslims in America and America lose some of the purity and fervor of their faith, then that's a good thing.

Anthony said...

Muslim immigrants in the U.S. are certainly more assimilated than in (non-Muslim) Europe. There are several reasons:

1) Smaller numbers - as the number of immigrants rises, the difficulty of assimilating them increases.

2) Distance. It's harder for most Muslims to get to the U.S., so they have to be more motivated to get here; either because they really don't want to live in a hard-core Muslim culture, or because they are likely to be very productive in the U.S. The Iranian equivalent of a "Christmas and Easter Catholic" is more likely to want to come to the U.S., and is going to assimilate to our culture more easily than a Pakistani tribesman.

3) Geographic diversity. Muslim immigrants in the U.S. come from a wide variety of places, and so even if they mix primarily with other Muslims, they're mixing with people different than they are and they'll have a harder time sticking to their homeland's social scripts. Even in dealing with other Muslims they'll have to learn to tolerate people with significantly different practices, and that's an important step towards assimilating. Muslim immigrants in Europe tend to largely be from only a few places - Pakistan in England, Algeria in France, and Turkey in Germany. That makes it easier to maintain separatist enclaves.

Mo5m said...

A few years ago, I hired a tour guide in Paris who was Italian but had lived in France for a good while. He had been a history teacher but quit because since he wasn't born in France he would never be allowed to teach in the better schools, and he gave up trying to each "immigrants" who had no interest in learning in schools that had no discipline. If France can't assimilate a good history teacher, it isn't going to assimilate disaffected "youths."

dreams said...

I think this article is a more accurate description of what is happening to our country.

http://pjmedia.com/blog/watching-the-world-fall-apart/

James Pawlak said...

He lies like he breaths, He lies with every breath.

Muslims are "good" only when a small minority. The example of Dearborn(Michigan) where they stoned Christians in public area (And were supported by the local SS) is a recent example of Muslim majority behavior.

pm317 said...

yeah, now Obama wants to praise America's exceptionalism, when it works for him politically. Fuck him.

As an immigrant and now citizen, and having lived in Europe briefly, I see the difference between America and Europe clearly. America gives the immigrant a path to citizenship and Europe does not. Still, American immigration policy has long been about bringing skilled workforce from everywhere and even cream of the crop who didn't have the opportunities in their mother country. That is changing in the recent past.

And about Muslims who come here, yeah, if you bring hordes of Iranian Muslims that are more secular and skilled and Western than Saudi/Pakistani/Yemeni/Somali/other refugees in Burka and practicing Sharia, you will have less problems. I see Northern VA changing for the worst.


amielalune said...

His wishful thinking. He wants Muslims to rule everywhere, proven by his support of the Muslim Brotherhood whenever he gets a chance.

dreams said...

“Indeed, now the U.S. faces the world without a defended border, with increasingly cheapened citizenship and no lawful immigration policy.”

http://pjmedia.com/blog/watching-the-world-fall-apart/

RonF said...

Apparently the President has never visited Dearborn, Michigan.

Seriously! On what basis is he confident that this is true? Why does he think he can be sure of this? Because people who knows what he wants to think tell him this?

Michael K said...

" as the number of immigrants rises, the difficulty of assimilating them increases. "

There is a serious problem with Islam that does not affect other immigrants. Islam is not just a religion. It is an entire social and governmental system. It is basically Arab tribal behavior encoded in a religion. One reason the Iranians are restive under the mullahs is that they are not Arabs and the strict rules of Islam are not native to their culture which was advanced when Arabs were still nomadic goat herders.

There is no "render unto Caesar..." in Islam.

Also, there is no questioning the Quran. The Bible was written by men. The Quran was "dictated by Allah" and there is no questioning it.

The fact that Mohammed was illiterate is a slight problem but nothing that cutting off a few heads can't solve.

I don't see successful assimilation of devout Muslims happening.

Anonymous said...

Goof ball in the oval office said:

"Now, it doesn't mean that we aren't subject to the kinds of tragedies we saw at the Boston Marathon. But that, I think, has been helpful."

What the fuck is he saying, that it is helpful to have people killed and maimed?

Post-Truth America is a country going downhill fast.

RonF said...

Here's something else that the President keeps telling us - Islamic terrorists are not "true Islam". To which I again ask, "How do you know?"

I was not raised in an Islamic culture. I have never studied the Quran. I've never had discussions on Islam with a variety of authorities (and there is no small group of central authorities in Islam). So when one group of "moderate Islamic leaders" says that Islam is a religion of peace and another group of "extremist Islamic leaders" says Islam has the writ from God to force the world to submit by violence if need be, why should I believe one over the other? Who am I to say one is wrong and one is right?

If the "moderate Islamic leaders" want me to believe them, they need to shut up and act. When will I see the governments and the security apparati of these countries help us in chasing down the terrorists, or even stopping them themselves? When will I see Saudi Arabian planes bomb ISIS instead of American ones? When will I see the Egyptian military start fighting Boko Haram?

When those who claim Islam is a religion of peace take actual steps to stop those who claim it is not, I'll believe them. They'll prove to me that "true Islam" is a religion of peace when they put their lives on the line for it.

bleh said...

It still bothers me how, later in the same press conference, he kept referring to the Prime Minister as "David."

furious_a said...

President Deep Thoughts is confusing Muslims with Arabs and missing the demographics...

The United States' Arab population assimilates well. Okay. The United States' Arab population is also, to date, overwhelmingly Christian and nationality-wise plurality Lebanese, which not all that long ago Lebanon was Switzerland compared to her Arab neighbors.

bleh said...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/16/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-cameron-united-kingdom-joint-

Actually, now that I look at the transcript it appears that Cameron referred to Obama as "Barack." So it went both ways.

I guess this is protocol nowadays. The familiar trumps the formal, in all contexts.

furious_a said...

The President sounds like his Generals re-assuring us that Ft. Hood was "workplace violence".

PeterK said...

our greatest strength is that Muslim immigrants are scattered throughout the US. at the same time where they are concentrated the assimilation is a joke and many of the young ones become radicalized.
I guess Eric Holder hasn't been sharing the reports about arrests of Islamic radicals in this country with his boss

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The President's sentiment is correct and I'm glad he stated it. I'd be more glad if his friends on the Left agreed and saw assimilation into a shared American culture as valuable (can anyone say La Raza?), but credit where it's due.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

chillblaine said...
When I see women at Costco wearing the hijab or burka, I often think to myself how well they have assimilated.



I check for wires.

n.n said...

Actually, the rate of immigration, both legal and illegal, have far exceeded the rate of assimilation and integration. It is also notable that many immigrants, and certainly their Democrat-appointed "leaders", have no interest in assimilation, but have been lured by incentives (e.g. welfare. DREAM) to exploit Americans, and reestablish what they could not do as minority factions in their homelands.

That said, Mr. Obama, stop promoting and advising the abortion of 2 million natural born Americans annually. There are other choices that will secure your taxable assets and reduce the problem set. Or is abortion the only ways you know to make room for a steady influx of legal and especially illegal immigrants; and "diversity" to marginalize and neutralize your American competitors?

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

chillblaine:

Either extreme, naked or obscured, is not in the American spirit. Americans are moderate by nature and as a principle, with the usual exceptions found in every society. It's unfortunate that the exceptions would like to be normalized.

Assimilation implies acceptance, not submission; and tolerance, not disruption. Unless they are actively (e.g. advocacy, indoctrination, invasion, violence, litigation) attempting to subvert or change our religious, cultural, economic, and political standards, then they are not a threat to our nation.

ken in tx said...

Some of the Lebanese who settled in the US in the 1800s and 1900s were Muslims and some of them settled in Alabama and Mississippi. They established themselves as storekeepers and traveling peddlers. Today they are fully assimilated Southerners. Adopting American sounding names, like Sam Jackson, helped.

Achilles said...

MayBee said...
"We do have a Muslim president, after all."

He isn't a muslim. He holds himself above religion. That is for the little people who are really worshiping him and just don't know it.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

The problem is that democrat party progressives like Obama don't feel themselves to be Americans. They hate Americans, refer to their fellow countrymen as enemies, and consider themselves "citizens of the world".

Michael in ArchDen said...

PeterK said,
I guess Eric Holder hasn't been sharing the reports about arrests of Islamic radicals in this country with his boss

Boy, is the president going to be mad about this when he reads it in the papers!

Jupiter said...

The idea that religion does not belong in politics is not even comprehensible unless your religion is attenuated to the vanishing point. If you know as a matter of absolute certainty what God wants, what possible difference could it make what a few thousand of your neighbors want? They are benighted. Kill the men, enslave the women. Problem solved.

Jupiter said...

David said...
"Some do, Some don't.

The problem is with the ones that don't.

The other problem is how not to persecute the one's who do consider themselves loyal Americans while defending against terrorists."

Yeah, good point. Surely there must have been some way we could have kept those 19 poor little Muslims from dying in the unfortunate airplane crashes on 9/11. Maybe next time, you could offer to fly the planes into the buildings, so no loyal Anmerican Muslims will get hurt.

Skeptical Voter said...

He's the head dude in charge of just making stuff up.

DavidD said...

" 'And there is this incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition, that is probably our greatest strength.' "

I don't believe he believes this--the president who leads the party that hyphenates every constituent group; no, there's something else at work here.