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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Where's MELDEF When You Need Them?
(MELDEF = Muslim European Legal Defense and Educational Fund)

From the Richmond Times Dispatch. Emphasis mine.

European Union justice and interior ministers agreed yesterday that new immigrants to the 25-nation bloc should be required to learn local languages. The ministers also called on immigrants to adhere to general "European values" that will guide them toward better integration.

Dutch immigration minister Rita Verdonk, who chaired the meeting, said all countries agreed to make integrating newcomers a priority, considering the growing ethnic tensions as EU nations struggle to absorb a steady stream of poor, mostly Muslim immigrants....

"It's not like we are against immigration," Verdonk said. "If you want to live in the Netherlands, you have to adhere to our rules . . . and learn our language."

Many Muslims have bristled at new rules targeting immigrants that they say amount to racial profiling that is insensitive of their religion.

Yet incoming EU justice and home affairs commissioner Franco Frattini told reporters in Rome that integration had to be an essential part of an EU policy.

"We can't imagine an immigration policy that focuses only on the prevention of illegal immigration, without considering the integration of those who want to enter a European country to live and work there in full respect of the law of both the country and Europe," Frattini said.

Europeans propose prevention of illegal immigration? We need to send George Bush and David Dreier over there to promote the virtues of a "temporary" guest worker program.

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