Fear of Islam, immigrants and diversity are leading indicators of Donald Trump support – The Washington Post

Fear_of_Islam__immigrants_and_diversity_are_leading_indicators_of_Donald_Trump_support_-_The_Washington_PostHardly surprising:

That headline may be self-evident these days, but at least we have some pretty solid data to back it up.

According to a new Pew Research study, if you look just at Republican voters who think the growing number of newcomers in the United States “threatens traditional American customs and values,” more than twice as many have “warm feelings toward Donald Trump” as have cold ones. Among those who say immigrants strengthen U.S. society, it’s about 2-to-1 in the other direction.

What’s more, only 21 percent of Republicans said that immigrants “strengthen” America. But among these Republicans, only 30 percent told pollsters they have “warm feelings” about Trump and an even smaller share — 14 percent — feel “very warmly” about the presumptive Republican nominee.

The same was true of feelings about Islam and the fact that the U.S. population, in a few decades, will be mostly black, Latino and Asian, not white. In both cases, attitudes more antipathetic toward Islam and the country’s increasing diversity were more in-line with Trump support, while people who thought Islam is not more violent than other religions and that increased diversity isn’t a bad thing were colder toward Trump.

Source: Fear of Islam, immigrants and diversity are leading indicators of Donald Trump support – The Washington Post

Europe’s fear of Muslim refugees echoes rhetoric of 1930s anti-Semitism – The Washington Post

A useful historical reminder by Ishaan Tharoor:

Over the past year, many in Europe have bristled at the influx — from far-right political movements and fear-mongering tabloids to established politicians and leaders. The resentment has to do, in part, with the burden of coping with the refugees. But it’s also activated a good amount of latent xenophobia–leading to anti-Islam protests, attacks on asylum centers and a good deal of bigoted bluster.

Some governments in Eastern Europe have even specifically indicated they don’t want to accommodate non-Christian refugees, out of supposed fear over the ability of Muslims to integrate into Western society.

“Refugees are fleeing fear,” urged a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency last week. “Refugees are not to be feared.”

It’s important to recognize that this is hardly the first time the West has warily eyed masses of refugees. And while some characterize Muslim arrivals as a supposedly unique threat, the xenophobia of the present carries direct echoes of a very different moment: The years before World War II, when tens of thousands of German Jews were compelled to flee Nazi Germany.

Consider this 1938 article in the Daily Mail, a British tabloid still known for its bouts of right-wing populism. Its headline warned of “German Jews Pouring Into This Country.” And it began as follows:

”  “The way stateless Jews and Germans are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage. I intend to enforce the law to the fullest.”

In these words, Mr Herbert Metcalde, the Old Street Magistrate yesterday referred to the number of aliens entering this country through the ‘back door’ — a problem to which The Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.

The number of aliens entering this country can be seen by the number of prosecutions in recent months. It is very difficult for the alien to escape the increasing vigilance of the police and port authorities.

Even if aliens manage to break through the defences, it is not long before they are caught and deported.”

No matter the alarming rhetoric of Hitler’s fascist state — and the growing acts of violence against Jews and others — popular sentiment in Western Europe and the United States was largely indifferent to the plight of German Jews.

“Of all the groups in the 20th century,” write the authors of the 1999 book, “Refugees in the Age of Genocide,” “refugees from Nazism are now widely and popularly perceived as ‘genuine’, but at the time German, Austrian and Czechoslovakian Jews were treated with ambivalence and outright hostility as well as sympathy.”

Source: Europe’s fear of Muslim refugees echoes rhetoric of 1930s anti-Semitism – The Washington Post

The American tradition of multiculturalism – The Washington Post

An American take on what multiculturalism means in the US context by Eugene Volokh:

These aren’t just multiculturalist values. They are long-standing, deeply rooted American values. And they have been (or at least could be) seen as serving at least four different goals.

1. Multiculturalism as increasing minority members’ happiness: Religious tolerance — coupled with federalism and localism — has often let people live, be free, and pursue happiness in America without having to sacrifice or hide their belief systems.

2. Multiculturalism as an engine of the search for truth: Both federalism and religious diversity often produce a wide range of options — ideological and governmental — that then compete with one another. In federalism, this is known as the “states as laboratories of democracy” model. For religious and other ideologies, this best fits the metaphor of the “marketplace of ideas.”

3. Multiculturalism as a source of valuable citizens: The tolerance for a wide range of religious belief systems has drawn more people to this nation, and has avoided forcing people into exile. Recall the old joke, “who was the most successful German general of World War II?,” with the answer being “Eisenhower.” More seriously, America’s development of the atomic bomb during World War II, which relied heavily on European (and often Jewish) scientists who had fled Hitler, is one illustration — one of many — of the value to America of ethnic and cultural tolerance.

4. Multiculturalism as a source of knowledge for dealing with a multicultural world: The world is filled with lots of different cultures, whether we like it or not. Experience with different cultures within the U.S. helps us deal with different cultures outside the U.S. — for instance, by giving us a pool of American citizens who actually know the foreign language and culture, and more generally by making our citizens more familiar with people of other cultures.

… And it should also be obvious that, because of this, we should properly calibrate our tolerance for multiculturalism with our insistence on also supporting a unified national culture. We shouldn’t try to completely stifle all rival identities (whether Catholic, Jewish, or Baptist; Irish-American, Chinese-American, or Mexican-American; or whatever else), but neither should we neglect the building of an American identity. We should accommodate some religious or cultural objections to generally applicable laws, as we have done for centuries in countless ways. But we shouldn’t (and generally don’t) accommodate objections when the accommodation would substantially harm others.

Still, it’s also important to recognize that many forms of multiculturalism are not valueless, alien, or new. Even without reference to specific valuable aspects of specific cultures, they have some general value. And they are deeply linked to fundamental aspects of our American constitutional culture.

It’s a mistake, I think, to condemn multiculturalism in general, just as it’s a mistake to praise multiculturalism in general. Rather, we should think about which forms of toleration, accommodation, and embrace of differing cultural values and behaviors are good for America — in the light of American legal and social traditions — and which are bad.

The American tradition of multiculturalism – The Washington Post.