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Roughly 25 Muslim drivers dispatched to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive cabs adorned with advertising for the region’s upcoming Gay Games, citing religious reasons.

Two of the three companies operating at Ohio’s largest airport were informed by the drivers — one-third of the airport’s total fleet — last week that they will no longer participate in the airport’s dedicated taxicab program. The companies, Ace and Yellow Taxi Cab, were told by the drivers that their decision was based on religious reasons, airport spokeswoman Jacqueline Mayo told FoxNews.com.

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I really don't understand the logic of these people. (If there is any logic anywhere near them.)

The bakery bakes a cake. What the customer does with it is of no concern to the baker; he is not being paid to make sure how the cake is used, cut or consumed.

Similarly with the taxi drivers; they are being paid to transport the passengers to a destination. The driver's are not being paid to act as a defender of their opinions or religious beliefs.

I once asked a computer technician, (a Baptist) how he justified his religious beliefs with the work he was doing for an organisation that would put his work to use in the cause of atheism. He told me he had given this point a great deal of thought, and no doubt, prayer, before he accepted the job. He came to the conclusion that his job was to provide the technology; what others did with it was not his concern.

Of course, I just had to point out to him that those who made nails, made crucifixion possible, to which he replied, "I take your point," but he rightly added that he was not the one making misuse of the nails or the technology.

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Oh dear, oh dear. Rick seems to be calling for a programme of ethnic purification. Where have we heard something rather similar before? Wasn't there some tub-thumping German in the 1930s?

I fear you are right Mihangel. Unfortunately that sort of attitude is becoming increasingly common these days.

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On the other hand, we might consider what the situation would be, if Hitler had just ordered the Nazis to emigrate to the UK and have lots of Hitler youth until they outnumbered the English and overtook the English Parliament.

Whilst I can't proclaim to have an answer to this very real problem of the birth-rate being used to overrun the indigenous traditional population, it does seem the rule of abiding by the law of the land must be enforced to ensure that integration enriches the home culture rather than replace it with an import that would alienate and threaten the values of freedom and human rights upon which the home culture is based.

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The reason mass immigration into the US in the early 20th century worked so well and so strengthened the vitality of this country was the melting pot effect. Those immigrants came from places where they had no opportunities and less freedom. They saw this country, this society, a better place to raise their kids, a place where life as a whole could be better.

Today's immigrant cultures seem the opposite. Today they seem to want to go to better places and instead of assimilating, they wish to bring their defective cultures with them. I think if England, and the US, value the historic cultures they enjoy, they should cast a leery eye on this current practice. I think immigration is healthy for a country. But emigration with a view towards establishing a new homeland in another country and changing that country from what it is to something else entirely, something that caused the emigrants to want to leave their homelands in the first place, isn't morally acceptable.

C

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That article seems long on inflammatory rhetoric and short of solutions. There is a problem afoot, and trying to address it by pitting Tories against Labour, or conservative against liberals, just stirs emotions and does nothing to solve it.

We've had documentation laws in the workplace for decades. There's an I-9 form to be filled out when someone is hired that shows he's legal and entitled to work here. And, just like the article said, we photocopy the ID and relevant paperwork and stick it in the file. We're not investigators. We're a business and need to hire workers.

So, so much for hot words and emotional outbursts. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to solve the problem of immigrants bringing their cultures to their new countries instead of trying to blend into the one of the country they're inhabiting? Is this good or bad? And if it's bad, what can be done?

My opinion is that England attracts these people because, in part, of its social benefits. Come to England and go on the dole. Birth to grave, the country will pay for your existence. Is this true? Is this a problem? Should something be done about it that doesn't penalize those who for whatever reason aren't employable?

We're having somewhat the same problem, but it isn't as bad here because our social benefits aren't as strong. But they're moving in that direction. Is this good or bad? These are serious questions, addressing a serious problem.

C

C

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Cole Parker wrote: My opinion is that England attracts these people because, in part, of its social benefits. Come to England and go on the dole. Birth to grave, the country will pay for your existence. Is this true? Is this a problem? Should something be done about it that doesn't penalize those who for whatever reason aren't employable?


All the research shows that a far lower proportion of the immigrant population make claims on the social benefits system than the native population. We are financially dependent on a immigrant workforce coming into the country as the expanding aged population, of which I am one, is pushing up the demands on the social budget that the native population increase cannot support. Studies by a number of financial research bodies including the LSE have shown that to maintain financial stability over the next twenty years we need a level of net migration into the United Kingdom of 100,000 per year. I just did a benefit calculation for a 32 year old single mother with a twelve year old child who has lost her job in the last 3 months, she is entitled to £72.40 per week Job seekers Allowance and £20.50 Child Benefit. Her rent will be covered by Housing Benefit but she will have to pay £3.38 per week Council Tax. Out of that £92.90 she will have to pay for food, power and clothing. Given the cost of living in the UK which is considerably higher than in the States, that is not very much money.


A friend of mine who is Romanian and has been working in this country for three years as a freelance electrician was recently injured in an accident. He is going to be off work for at least six months, so he is going back to Romania recover as he will be better off there.


The story that thousands of migrants are coming to the UK to live off our benefits is a myth. There are a few who do, and if they are coming to live off our benefits they must be coming from a very bad situation, but the majority come to work and they work damned hard. You get people complaining about immigrants coming and taking all the jobs, well in the main that is because a lot of native population will not take the work. One of my ex-clients runs a pack house for agricultural products, he pays above the minimum wage, last time he advertised for staff he did not get a single native applying.


There is another reason why the immigrants are taking the jobs, the locals just do not have the education to do them. In England and I suspect in the US as well there is a large element of poorly educated people who do not have the skills and are no prepared to get them, that are needed to undertake work in a modern society.


The final thing to remember is that England is a country of immigrants, we have always had immigration and it has been a major factor in the growth and development of the nation. If most natives in this country traced their family history back more than a few generation they will almost certainly find some immigrants in it.

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The problem isn't confined to the UK. We, every human, is part of a global community. The elephant in this global community is theocracy and no nation seeking to accommodate multiculturalism is exempt from the dangers.

Whilst the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution seemingly protects the U.S. it is also not immutable if the right wing fundamentalists actually succeed in their desire to make America a Christian state. Once that Christian theocracy displaces the First Amendment, then any other religion can by majority rule become the control influence on the theocracy.

The global community is not yet controlled by a theocracy, even though the numbers threaten this could, at some future time, eventuate.

Consider this distribution map of various populations based on religious affiliations. Remember we are no longer isolated villages; we are a global community of many different and often conflicting beliefs.

20_religionCountryMap.png

Pew Research 2012

The global cultural landscape is changing. How much we gain or lose as a species, as sentient life forms, or even as advancing star dust, conscious of itself, is very difficult to predict. So far, our ability to cope with life on Earth has seen extraordinary advances alongside extinctions of ancient wisdoms and the promise of travelling through the Cosmos with our combined cultural and genetic inheritances. Will our journey be controlled by necromantic theocracies, or secular minds open to discovering the wonders of life, love and compassion?

The ride is going to get bumpier before the warp drive settles down.

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The problem isn't confined to the UK. We, every human, is part of a global community. The elephant in this global community is theocracy and no nation seeking to accommodate multiculturalism is exempt from the dangers.

Whilst the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution seemingly protects the U.S. it is also not immutable if the right wing fundamentalists actually succeed in their desire to make America a Christian state. Once that Christian theocracy displaces the First Amendment, then any other religion can by majority rule become the control influence on the theocracy.

The global community is not yet controlled by a theocracy, even though the numbers threaten this could, at some future time, eventuate.

Consider this distribution map of various populations based on religious affiliations. Remember we are no longer isolated villages; we are a global community of many different and often conflicting beliefs.

20_religionCountryMap.png

Pew Research 2012

The global cultural landscape is changing. How much we gain or lose as a species, as sentient life forms, or even as advancing star dust, conscious of itself, is very difficult to predict. So far, our ability to cope with life on Earth has seen extraordinary advances alongside extinctions of ancient wisdoms and the promise of travelling through the Cosmos with our combined cultural and genetic inheritances. Will our journey be controlled by necromantic theocracies, or secular minds open to discovering the wonders of life, love and compassion?

The ride is going to get bumpier before the warp drive settles down.

The thing to remember is we are on journey, it's no use trying to go back to a place or time that has been, we can only go forward to what will be, it is our job to make sure that what will be is a future based on love and compassion. If we give in to hate and fear we will end up with a society filled with hate and fear. I don't know who said it but I recall a saying that the best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend.

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Today's immigrant cultures seem the opposite. Today they seem to want to go to better places and instead of assimilating, they wish to bring their defective cultures with them. ,,,But emigration with a view towards establishing a new homeland in another country and changing that country from what it is to something else entirely, something that caused the emigrants to want to leave their homelands in the first place, isn't morally acceptable.

I also fear this is happening, and I'm baffled why people would move to an entirely new country and embrace the idea of assimilating: learn the language, understand the customs, and fit in. That doesn't mean you have to leave your old culture behind, but I definitely believe it means following the laws and freedoms of that country. And that particularly includes freedom of religion.

I'm perfectly willing for people to follow any religion they want, but I get very angry when they start to impose those beliefs on me.

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The whole history of Islam has been conquest and conversion by the sword.

The difference between Islam and Christianity is that the Christians quit converting by the sword in the middle ages.

Islam is doing it RIGHT NOW in parts of Africa.

It is a militant cult that has a plan spelled out in the of the Koran for world domination.

For instance: there is a verse in the Koran that says don't sign treaties with infidels, just truces.Wait until your strength is enough to wipe out the infidel.

It is fine to lie to, deceive or whatever you need to do to do in an infidel.

The way the West has always handled Islam is that they keep it at arms length and hopes that it mellows.

Unfortunately, Europe no longer has that option and countries like Sweden live in fear of Muslim rape gangs.

There's going to be a war. The way it looks, it will be the extermination of infidels in Europe.

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I feel I'm in a good position to comment on this topic:

I'm an atheist who grew up as a devout muslim but now I abhor much of Islam. I have lived in the US, Canada and Guyana. I have friends/relatves who live/lived in the middle east and the US/Canada/Europe. My sister is a US citizen who immigrated there and my brother moved back to Guyana after university, but is married to an American woman (And has 4 American citizen kids)

X---The first thing I'd say is that muslim immigration into the west is primarily an economic thing. Pecman asked why you would move to a country without wanting to fit in. Rick said that immigration is a part of a plan to conquer the west. But it's all about money actually. There are no religious immigrants who came to the west from a richer country. The rich muslim individuals who do move to the west (the sons of oil sheiks or bankers etc) almost always move to the west for the freedom to live a decadent, non-religious, western lifestyle (womanizing, gambling and liquorizing).Already-wealthy religious muslims tend to stay away.

Less wealthy men and women with kids go to the West to make money and then they complain to their relatvies back home about how morally degenerate the culture is and how much they fear raising their kids in it, but they still don't come home, because money is king and by the third generation, there's almost no religiosity left, especially in the girls.

X---Islam is not a fanatical religion as practiced by 99% of its adherents. (Calling it things like a death cult is rhetoric not based on the reality of most muslims) The extremists who make the news for stoning their daughters etc tilt perception to think that the ignorance is ingrained. It's not.

You never hear about the Islamic TV preacher who supports his daughter entering beauty contests. (True local story). There was a time when muslims themselves drew Muhammad, despite the ones threatening death over it today.

One reason for the misconception is that most muslims are not actually middle eastern. So the violence associated with middle eastern Islam has little to do with how Islam is practiced wordwide. The average Jamaican is more homophobic than the average muslim.

X---Islam needs an Enlightenment. It's almost certainly not as tolerant a religion as most strains of Christianity, but that's not because the written words of Islam are more severe. After the European Enlightenment, people act like they're not there, but the Christian religion still holds the following gems:

-Don't suffer a witch to live.

-Stone adulterers

-Eating shellfish is an abomination

-Beat your children if they don't obey you.

-Slavery is legal.

-Genocide in the name of God is acceptable (See Joshua conquering the holy lands. I think at one point he was ordered to wipe out a civilization and take 10000 foreskins from the dead men and boys and the Israelites could keep the women as sex slaves.)

-If a woman is raped in a town and no one hears her call for help, then it means she wasn't really raped.

How many Christians would hold that any of the above is a true part of their religion nowadays? Damned few. The scientific and philosophical changes since the 15th century have beaten these old WRITTEN laws back into non-rememberance. Only the preachers who bother to read the Bible fully know that they're there now, and they avoid mentioning them and focus on the 'real' Christian message.

Islam never had a clear-cut enlightenment, so it's swing into modernity has been slower. Someone mentioned that Islam is still being spread by the sword in Africa. I will add that it's also being spread by rape, BUT, in Nigeria, Christians are killing children as witches, but no one's drawing the conclusion that all of Christianity is barbaric. Muslims are not a monolith either and just because Islamic written law is just as barbaric as Christian written law doesn't mean that muslims feel any more obligated to follow the written law once they have their own enlightenments.

X---Islam has it's own version of the Inquisition in the 20th century and now Islam is in the middle of an internal culture war over its soul.

What most people don't realize is that up til the end of the 19th Century, Islam was quite socially liberal in the places it existed, almost on par with European Christianity. (Both religions were dark and horrible compared to today but they were climbing out of the pit together)

Then in Saudi Arabia, a mule was born. (That's a sci-fi reference to the Foundation books. It basically means a mutant abberation that knots the grain of history.) Wahhabi Islam was formed as an anti-modernist cult. By accident of history it found favor with the ruling class of Arabia who used it as a political tool and then it grew beyond their control. It's advocates have made determined attempts to export it worldwide and their missionaries have made inroads into the traditionally laid back Islam that most of the world knows. So you will see extremists pop up on the caribbean island of Trinidad and in Indonesia etc, but almost always the local population is scratching their heads going, 'What the fuck is WRONG with those guys?'

X---Moderate Islam doesn't comment much on extremist terror against the US because it's not a big part of our lives.

No one in this thread raised this, but I bring it up since it is the one objection I hear most whenever I try to tell people that Islam is not a massive conspiracy of extremist Decepticons. They say, 'If you're not all extremists, then why don't you ever say anything against the terrorists?"

1) First off, the moderates DO voice their objection, but that's not going to get any airtime on CNN when they can show a video of Hezbollah calling Americans devils. There is no open medium to carry messages from the Islamic world to the Western world. It's all controlled by gate keepers who decide what gets airtime and if it bleeds it leads as the newpapers adage goes. peaceniks get 30 seconds at the end of the broadcast if they get any time at all.

Remember all those girls schools getting attacked by the Taliban? It's not extremsits sending their daughters to those schools. It's moderate muslims who build them, fund them and run them. Remember the students bleeding in the streets of Tehran a few summers ago? They were protesting and DYING to speak against extremism.

2) America isn't part of the muslim worldview for most muslims. Consider this: Why aren't regular moderate Americans voicing their objections to the suppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka by Sinhalese buddhists?

Because Americans aren't thinking about Sri Lanka! It's on the other side of the world from them. SImilarly, most moderate regular muslims live on the other side of the planet from the US. They hear about an attack against the US in Iraq and it's got the same impact as hearing about Colombian rebels kidnapping civilians or Russia invading Crimea. It's something happening somewhere else and they're thinking "I've got to get my kid's lunch ready before he heads to school, so let me switch the TV from news to cartoons so he'll shut the hell up while I cook."

X---Western Civilization is changing Islam much more than Islam is changing the west and the west is winning the war of ideas.

It's amazing that one big incident with some jackass taxi drivers has balloooned into 'muslim immigrants are destroying western civilization.' (Actually it's two incidents because there was another incident a few years back in NJ I think where some airport driver refused to carry vodka in his car or something)

The point is there are punk rock bands practicing underground in Tehran (BBC tv had a report on that) There are TV channels beaming romance soap operas into Afghan homes. Atheism/secularism is on the rise among 'muslim' youth as well as western youth.

My older cousin emigrated to the US. When he came back 'home' to visit 7 years later, he brought two small items that changed my life forever. They were two cassette tapes. Metallica: Master of Puppets and Metallica: Kill em all.

I fell in love with heavy metal music and it opened up my head to the idea of being open to new ideas.

All that shit you guys deride as the dregs of Western civilization (Kanye West and Jersey Shore and Miley Cyrus and WWE) is getting exported via the internet and poisoning the youth of muslim countries too. AND THEY WANT skinny jeans and purse dogs and giant sunshades too.

Assimilation is a two way street and while I know people like Rick will complain that the immigrants he sees aren't doing it, on a world wide scale it;s happening. As a generational shift, it's happining. Studies have shown that almost any migrant society (German/Irish/Polish/Puerto Rican) takes three generations to assimilate. People are just too resistant to change for it to happen fast.

----------------------

Let me wrap up quickly. What I'm basically saying is that you guys worry that change isn't coming to Islam. But what you miss is that with immigration, Islam is coming to where the change is. Contact with the West (via immigration and more recently TV and Internet) is breaking apart the extremist structures with in the larger framework of Islam. Heck, it's breaking down Islam as a whole. The extremists resort to violence BECAUSE they don't find their mind control working in the Western world.

____________________

Author's note: Let nothing I wrote above be taken as a defense of Islam itself. As an atheist ex-muslim I have rejected Islam for many reasons and every day I learn more reasons. But just because I abhor something, doesn't mean I am going to let it be mischaracterised. The idea that there is no such thing as moderate Islam and that all of Islam considers itself at war with the West makes life difficult for the people you most want to help: The reformers.

It feeds prejudice and in real life I'm still walking around with a muslim name and brown skin, so I'm aware that the stereotypes are a roadblock to assimilation. Ironic, eh? You can't complain about muslims being too radical to assimilate and then when a muslim says, "Hey, I'm moderate. I'm assimilating,' you respond with, 'No you're faking. You want to kill us all. get lost.". You're driving the seekers back to the cave of ignorance instead of welcoming them into the light with you.

Another note: I picked on Christianity in this thread. I'm not playing a game of 'they did it, so Islam can do it.' I object to BOTH belief systems equally as being untrue and detrimental to human worth. I simply use the comparisons to show that Islam is on a similar route towards irrelevance as Christianity in the West.

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Steven made a very good point when he wrote:

Assimilation is a two way street and while I know people like Rick will complain that the immigrants he sees aren't doing it, on a world wide scale it;s happening. As a generational shift, it's happining. Studies have shown that almost any migrant society (German/Irish/Polish/Puerto Rican) takes three generations to assimilate. People are just too resistant to change for it to happen fast.


I live in a city where we have a non-ethnic majority, a large proportion are Muslim. What is noticeable is that what extremists there are and they are very much a minority, tend to be second generation born in this country. They turn to radical Islam to give themselves a sense of identity. With the third generation of Muslim immigrants they are turning out to be more English than the English. Yesterday afternoon I was at a Muslim friend's house and watched their children and guest children partaking in an Easter Egg hunt. Afterwards there was High Tea. You can't get much more English than that!

If we react against them, we will drive them into a ghetto and there will be no chance of assimilation. Keep an open and friendly society and within three generations they will be as corrupt as any of us.

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Yes, that last sentence is key.

I never got into it much, but a major part of my analysis is the idea that economics spells the end of religion. As a general rule, rich populations become more secular.

America is the exception to this rule, but America is a special case for alot of reasons and within the last twenty years they've been following the trend internally anyway.

I always like to compare th emuslim immigrant experience to the Godfather movies. 1st generation is looking to cash in on America. 2nd generation wants out from all the old ways but needs the familial links and loyalty so they don't just stay in the violent old ways, the embrace a idealized version of the old country to feel secure. 3rd generation just wants to be American.Eventually you get the Sopranos, who are American as any family ever was despite all the trappings of italian phrases and food.

And with muslims as with all immigrants, by the third generation, they have enough individual wealth to be free of the need to depend on the old community and they can go live independent of the old values.

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