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Anti-immigration, anti-Islam fears percolate in Europe and U.S. What's your take?

Aurora, 13, and Dean Halilovic, 17, are married in an illegal Bosnian Roma camp called Monachina on the outskirts of Rome. (Andrea Bruce/The Washington Post)

"These are dark-skinned people, not Europeans like you and me."

The quote is shocking, overt in its racism. But what's even more surprising is that it comes not from an obscure white supremacist, but from a very public politician giving a statement about a policy decision to an American newspaper.

Riccardo De Corato, Milan's vice mayor, heads a new policy to shut down Gypsy camps in Milan and eventually make the city a zero-tolerance zone for the ethnic Roma.

The Post's Anthony Faiola wrote today about the removal of the Roma, reporting, "The campaign underway here is part of what observers are calling the most intense wave of anti-immigration sentiment to wash over Western Europe in years."

In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has introduced legislation to crack down on illegal immigrants, particularly Roma from Eastern Europe.

The anti-immigration sentiments overlap with anti-Islamic fears. France recently passed a contentious burqa ban.

The new Dutch minority government plans to ban face-covering burqas and slash immigration.

The United States is struggling with similar issues. Immigration has become a hot-ticket item in the midterm elections, especially after Arizona passed a controversial anti-immigration bill. And anti-Islamic sentiment boiled over during the debate surrounding the Park51 community center, proposed near Ground Zero.

Faiola reports, "The immigration debate in Europe, just as in the United States, has dramatically intensified in the wake of the Great Recession, with voters increasingly blaming immigrants such as the Roma for taking away jobs, driving up crime rates and disturbing time-honored traditions."

One reader noted that the rise of exclusionary sentiment is in direct contrast to the European Union's mission to integrate countries with one another. What do you think?

Do you see a link between the anti-immigration and anti-Islam movements? Are the sentiments in Europe similar to those in the United States? What do you think of the new laws on both sides of the pond?

By Melissa Bell  | October 12, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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First of all, Europeans are the indigenous people of Europe; they are not required to acede to mass immigration and become minorities in their own ancient countries just because trendy lefties think it's "racist" of European countries to minimize their intake of non-Western immigrants.

The Western world, including Europe, has taken in more than 150 million non-Western immigrants in the past 40 years and provided them with a First World standard of living that their home countries could not provide them with. No other civilization has taken in like numbers of immigrants from other cultures (some of which are radically different from ours)--only the West. And in most Western countries, newly come non-Western immigrants are given privileges (such as "affirmative action,"--called "positive discrimination" in Europe--that the established population does not get.) No other country or culture does this but the West. Japan and Pakistan do not take in millions of non-Japanese or non-Pakistanis and then offer them all kinds of freebies and privileges at the expense of the native-born, but almost all Western countries do this to their own people.

Our past generosity toward immigrants of all kind has neither been acknowledged nor rewarded; we are instead tagged as "racist" when we say we have had enough, or when we say we prefer to remain culturally Western and maintain our own languages and cultural values, etc.

The Western World is saying "enough is enough" and that is all it is saying.

Posted by: MaryJessel | October 13, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

We all should understand that Migration is a privilege and we should not take undue advantage. Why people migrate from their home land? Because of 1) unrest in the country they lived in. 2-Lack of opportunities, 3) Freedom of Faith, 4) Corrupt society and so on. We should take a lesson from the bird; they peacefully migrate from one part of land to another for search of food and build their nest to live peacefully. Why not we as men & women can live peacefully when we migrate from one country to another’s? Prophet Moses took his followers to Egypt because Pharaoh slave the Israelite and does not provide them even basic facilities and did not allow them to observe their faith freely. American forefathers migrated from Europe because they do not have freedom of Religious Faith. People from all faith should come forward and educate their community to live peacefully and help each other like a family. Love for all and hatred for none is the Moto of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community who are working worldwide to establish Peace in the world, Muhammad the prophet of Islam says : LOVE OF ONE”S HOMELAND, ONE’S PLACE OF RESIDENCE, IS PART OF MUSLIM’S FAITH. Thus we all should work together to remove the hatred from each other and work together in building family values toward peace. How we can do this please visit and if you have any question to ask why not to satisfy yourself.

Posted by: Alm757 | October 13, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

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