2016년 10월 19일 수요일

Refugees welcome- was left wing too naive?

I also deride their naive idealism and Left wing party even admitted this. Yet, this does not still mean that all refugees are more likely to commit sexual crimes (National police statistics proves their sexual crime rate is similar to that of German nationals) or to be possessed with women suppressing attitude or culture.

Moreover, it does not mean that such patriarchal or authoritarian behaviors or thoughts will stay the same forever. Their surroundings have changed overnight. What they see now are not anymore women wearing covering their hairs and not daring to talk to guys but ones expressing their sexuality openly and dancing around now. (I was even shocked to see how sexually open German women could be even though I have travelled a lot and I consider myself very open minded) Of course, they need time to get used to this. They have to learn and they will learn sooner or later, which also depends on our actions.

That being said, I still laugh at their naïve idealism based on blind anti-racism. Culture and religion shape a big deal of your identity, behaviors and thoughts. I come from Korea and I can say that Korean people tend to be more sexually conservative than Germans without being a racist. I knew from the beginning that at least for the short time being, their new cultures (or socialization, whichever you name it) will come into conflicts with our German cultures, splitting our society even further into left and right.   
I have not yet made my own political opinions about refugee policies, if we have to introduce a yearly fixed cap of refugees to be taken or if the boat is full or not. So called expert data, statistics and studies are already biased and people tend to see only what they believe or want to see. I have read and done a lot of research, yet I merely came to a conclusion that it is a question of value and priorities. That being said, I still do not know if it was a right decision to take this big number of refugees even amid strong voices against in a democratic society.

Yet, they are here and have become a part of our society. Germany, based on its constitution and legal system, cannot and will not deport or send them back to their country overnight. They will stay here no matter if some of us want or not. Hence, we have two options left, treating them as outsiders based on our stereotypes and putting strings on their legal status, rights to work and stay or teach them our values, helping them getting integrated into our society as soon as possible, converting them to tax payers as a solution to rapidly aging German society. (According to statistics by BAMF, 70% of refugees and asylum seekers are already in job)

With about 1 million refugees with distinct culture and languages, we also need to change ourselves. Integration is not only one sided but both sided. It is not only their duty to shape the future of our society but ours as well. It is also our responsibility to getting them integrated into our society and steering them into a positive direction.

Therefore, I welcome this self-criticism from left wing as a positive change, enabling healthy and fruitful debates. As we can take a lesson from this Conne Island letter, neither unconditional anti-racism and groundless idealism nor blind hatred or anti refugee sentiments help to solve any problems. Moreover, we should not let some refugees getting away with their wrongful behaviors out of fear of being accused as racists or out of sympathy. Cultural relativism or religious freedoms have also its own borders and can be tolerated as long as they are compatible with our core values we have fought for centuries.

We can start first by clarifying what these absolute core values are and how to translate these ideas into our reality and policy making. As easy as it may sound, we are already in middle of painful debates, being forced to question our values and customs we have taken for granted and lived for decades.
Examples are endless from the wearing of hijab or burka in public or private places, recognition of child marriage to honor killing.

As said before, as liberty and freedom is one of the most important and fundamental values in our society, we should tolerate cultural differences, yet only so far as they can go hand in hand with our equally important values.
Anti-muslim driven ban of the wearing of Burkini caused merely more hatred and mistrust within the society and made French Muslims feel even more marginalized and furious (which might accelerate further Islam extremism, not the integration)

On the other hand, Bamberg court ruled for the legitimacy of a marriage of 14 year old girl from Syria on the grounds that the marriage was legally acknowledged at home.  

Everyone has different opinions about to which extent things should be allowed under religious freedom or cultural relativism, even though we agree to our common values. We should talk and try to make clear standards both left and right wing and German nationals and refugees both agree to.

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