A CA Reader Says Europeans Consider Immigration Their "Biggest Problem"—Except At The Anne Frank House
February 11, 2008, 04:00 AM
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From: Pam Wright (e-mail her)

On a recent trip to Europe, I visited Holland, Belgium and France.  I love international travel and meeting local folks.  My favorite question to ask is, "What do you think is the biggest problem you face in your country?"

Without exception, everyone answered immigration—specifically from Muslim countries.

In Holland, one man complained about the school his children attend.  He told me that Turkish Muslims are demanding that their children be taught in special classes, with Dutch as a "second language". They want job assistance, welfare and health care. Turkish Muslim women are veiled and according to him, "demand, demand and demand."

Exasperated, he said: "We Dutch have always prided ourselves on welcoming immigrants and accepting their religions and cultures.  Now, we're worried that our Dutch culture will disappear, but it's not 'correct' to stand up for what we think.  We are afraid to speak out." 

I understood what he meant when I visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  I'd been there before but had heard that a new exhibit titled "Free2Choose" had opened on the main floor. 

There was a large room that contained about a dozen seats with a console in front of it with two buttons. 

We watched a video narrated in English that presented two viewpoints about borders and culture.

  • The first: "We believe that anyone has the right to enter any country and live their life as they please, culturally. Borders or quotas are anti-human and should be prohibited."

  • The second:  "We love and value our country and our culture.  We believe we should be able to regulate our borders and protect and preserve our culture.  We have the right to determine who comes in and who to refuse."

At the end of the video, viewers were asked to press one of the two buttons to indicate their preferred position.

There was an awkward silence as people were reluctant to press either button knowing that others were watching them.

Finally, I stepped forward and punched the second button.

The visitors to the Anne Frank House were too "politically correct" to vote!  It was frightening to see the room full of people too paralyzed to express an opinion.

The implications are obvious.  If the gentle, accommodating Dutch are angry and troubled, not to mention the Belgians and French with whom I spoke, we need to be concerned, as well. 

There is a worldwide mass of people waiting to get into the U.S. But then they will not assimilate. Instead, they want us to become them.

Wright, a retired engineer, lives in southern California.