Here’s another entry in the chronicle of Western difficulties assimilating Third World immigrants: Swedish authorities report growing problems with migrants sending young daughters to marry older men abroad, both as a strategy to avoid assimilation and to gain European citizenship. While underage marriage is essentially banned in Sweden, the country recognizes underage marriages conducted abroad.
“People see young girls as their sons’ tickets to Europe,” social worker Zubeyde Demirörs told Politico for a recent article. Demirörs, now 45, was herself forcibly married to a Turkish man 22 years her senior when she was 15.
“My parents were concerned that my sisters and I would become assimilated,” Demirörs said. “The idea was that if we got engaged, we would be somehow tied to our roots and could also avoid suspicious looks from the rest of the community.”
After 16 years of marriage, during which she had three children with her husband, Demirörs left him. She says her family shunned her and the supposedly compassionate and tolerant Swedes offered little support for her predicament.
Now she runs a shelter to help girls in similar situations, and hears “similar stories every day,” despite many public campaigns, especially since the height of the European migrant crisis in 2015, to reduce the practice. Last year the Swedish government launched a unit to address honor crimes after a surge accompanying asylum-seekers.
Summer is the busiest time for marrying girls off, because they are on holiday from school: “This time of year my phone just doesn’t stop ringing. May, June, July — that’s when many girls are taken back to their parents’ home countries, mostly to rural parts of the Middle East and Africa,” Demirörs told Politico. Marriage before age 18 is the norm in many poor countries. In Niger, the world’s No. 1 in this regard, 77 percent of marriages occur before the female is 18.
While many Westerners might consider it reasonable in some cases for a mature 18- or 17-year-old to marry willingly, the practice extends into bare pubescence. One-tenth of the world’s women who are now ages 20 to 24 were married before age 15. This number is a shockingly large percentage, enough to know that “child marriage” definitely encompasses many cases of child rape.
In response to seeing an increase in this evil custom and others such as female genital mutilation within their borders, Swedish lawmakers are considering proposals to not recognize foreign marriages involving minors, travel bans for those suspected of bringing daughters abroad for forced marriages or mutilation, and extraditing foreigners involved with honor crimes. Just last month Denmark began implementing stringent new laws to address similar problems. Beginning at one year old, children living in immigrant “ghettos” must now attend 25 hours per week of mandatory assimilation instruction, or their parents may lose welfare payments.
The Danish government is also considering imprisoning parents who take their children on extended trips to the Third World countries from whence they emigrated, and doubling penalties for crimes committed in immigrant “ghettoes.” Explaining the social context, Kay Hymowitz in City Journal notes, “In 2014 and 2015, Denmark experienced a threefold increase in asylum applications, straining the country’s resources and adding to the growing enclaves of dispossessed foreigners.”
In Danish foreign-born”ghettoes,” statistics like these from Mjolnerparken are the norm: “43 percent of its residents are unemployed…53 percent have scant education and 51 percent have relatively low earnings,” The New York Times reports. At approximately one-tenth of their population now non-Western immigrants, Danes have noticed this population’s lack of ability, will, or both to contribute, fueling the rise of political parties critical of open immigration.
“We pay their rent, their clothing, their food, and then they come in broken Danish and say, ‘We can’t work because we’ve got a pain,'” Danish hairdresser Dorthe Pederson told The New York Times, explaining her support for ethnically targeted laws.
It may seem compassionate to import large numbers of Third World immigrants facing chaos in their poverty-riddled home countries and continents. But Europe’s experience with that is extremely complicated. It’s not at all clear that this kind of compassion has conclusively benefited either the givers or the recipients, especially when many recipients actively resist assimilation into the philosophy and ways of life that have created the prosperity and stability they’re fleeing to, and their host countries are apparently clueless on that score as well.
Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq are the primary home countries of asylum seekers to Denmark, The New York Times says. Ninety-one percent of Iraqis support making repressive Muslim religious rules, sharia, the law. So do 99 percent of Afghans. Pew Research had no data on this question for Syria, but another survey found 13 percent of Syrian refugees feel positively about the terrorist Islamic State.
The predominantly Muslim asylum seekers have obvious cultural problems: practices such as marrying children to older men and mutilating female body parts. But so do the Western countries they’re beginning to populate. Western selfishness, hedonism, and gluttony has led to a dearth of native-born children, coupled with massively unfunded social welfare obligations kicked down to a non-existent generation of taxpayers. This, plus simplistic Western ideologies of “tolerance” and “equality,” opened the borders to people whose cultures are not currently oriented to preserve the West’s wealth and freedom.
Western “multiculturalism” dogma and slamming as “racist” any moral judgments about even clearly evil practices have also suppressed the obvious cultural conflict that needs to happen to protect the most vulnerable and provide the moral clarity required to address this thorny situation.
Then, in a wild and dangerous overcorrection, it seems Denmark’s new answer is to discriminate based on race and religion rather than revisit the deeper sources of the habits of mind and behavior that have made Europe wealthy. Here’s a hint: It’s not giving presents at Christmas (some subject matter of the new Danish culture education), birth control, or enjoying six-week taxpayer-funded summer vacations. If even more hedonism is all you have to offer as a rationale for the West, no wonder Iraqi-born immigrants don’t see good reasons to assimilate.
“Our politicians are cowardly,” Demirörs says. “They are afraid of taking a principled stance on these issues for fear of being labeled culturally insensitive. It’s different in our neighboring countries. In Denmark and Norway, they’re not afraid of being called racists. And over the years many girls — and boys — in Sweden have suffered for that cowardice.”