As an expat myself for half my life, in the Middle East and South East Asia, immigrants and their integration dynamics into their host societies has been one of my interests. In this Globalization2.0 enabled Flat World, semi skilled and hyper educated immigrants make their way for economic reasons, some to settle down and some like in the Middle East fuel post office economies in South Asia, Philippines and Indonesia, with salaries ‘Western Union’ed home to make families lead better life styles. North African immigrants made post war France and Turkish workers made Germany implement reconstruction. In Sarkozy’s France, the hijab is banned and getthoization of the North African Immigrants in the suburbs is complete in Southern France and the outskirts of Paris. The Turkish Integration experiment has failed in Germany. Efforts by the Muslim Scholar Tariq Ramadan who is a Swiss National to integrate Muslim core shared values in to the European construct is commendable when disgruntled Muslim Youth go to join resistance movements in Iraq and Af-Pak against their own troops defeats the integration objective. Sikh Immigrants to the UK and Canada are very successful immigrants with businesses and have entered political mainstream. Immigrant Sikhs were at the forefront of the separatist Khalistan movement in Punjab, India in the 1980’s and 90’s. Although the Ghetto mentality among South Asian communities persist. Bradford is Mirpur Kashmiri majority in England and their representatives have to raise the ‘K-Issue’ in the House of Commons if they have to be re-elected. Leicester, is the first ‘minority majority’ city in the UK with a holiday on Diwali, a large number of East African Gujarati’s settled in the city after the expulsion by Idi Amin. Immigrants add value and promote diversity hence adds to the social capital in a society by enhancing commerce but fragmented identities lead to ideological exploitation as well. The onus lies on immigrants to integrate in the host society to counter the anti immigrant sentiment which is good for social resilience as a whole.
The non integration breeds the far right in Europe and the conservative wings in the US. A Marie Le Pen could be the next political force in France or the British National Party could influence immigrant policies by capturing the right wing vote share in the UK. Integration is a must, like the Germanic/Prussian Immigrants were assimilated in to America. A Bobby Jindal or a Roshanara Ali-Labour Party MP from Bangladeshi majority Benthal Green seat in East London is a good symbol for integration.