From the Gates of Vienna:
The news stories to pay attention to tonight concern immigration. In Italy, a “Record Number of Would-Be Immigrants Arrive”. But the President of Italy says, “Immigrants are a resource â€” no more prejudice!” And in the UK, a report in the House of Lords: “Economic Benefits of Mass Immigration Are Close to Zero”.
We report, you decide.
Charles Bremner and Marie Tourres in Paris/Times Online
Hat tip ZIP:
Muslims reject French Names?
What’s so difficult about that? Might be a good thing! If they don’t want to be French put ’em on a bus back to Algeria:
For identification (or rather deportation purposes) it would be a lot easier to call them Muhammad and Abdullah. Â Pierre or Marie do sound a bit too close for comfort. It helps to identify the enemy…
They are born in France and called Louis, Laurent or Marie but they want to become Abdel, Said or Rachida. Such requests from immigrants’ children for name changes are mounting in the French courts and worrying a state that lays store on melding a single national culture.
In a sign of a new assertiveness, children with families from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco are reversing the old custom in which immigrants from the old colonies gave French names to their children.
Driven by a feeling that they do not belong to their Gallic Christian names, the applicants are meeting resistance from judges who are reluctant to endorse what they see as a rejection of France.
Under France’s strict administrative laws, an official change of first name requires court consent. Until 1992 parents could only register their babies with names from an approved list.
“The way I look is out of sync with my name,” said Jacques, 25, who wants to adopt a name from his parents’ native Algeria. He rejected the standard view that a French name overcomes the persisting reluctance of French employers to recruit nonwhite minorities.
“There is a double-take when I send a job application and then turn up for the interview. They hesitate, as if the person they have summoned could not be me,” he said.
There is abundant evidence that, despite antidiscrimination laws, French employers discriminate against job-seekers with foreign names. Nadine, who is in her forties, failed to convince a Paris court to let her go back to Zoubida, the name she had before naturalisation. “I want to return to my roots,” she told Judge Anne-Marie Lemarinier, according toÂ Le MondeÂ newspaper.
“My name change makes me feel guilt towards my family.” The judge replied: “Madame, I can understand that you want to identify with your community but the law does not have to bend to people’s moods.”
FrÃ©dÃ©ric Grilli, a Melun lawyer who acts for applicants, said that there was a connection between the desire to claim Maghebrin (North African) identity and France’s three-year-old ban against girls wearing Muslim headscarves in state schools.
Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racism, a campaign group, said that France’s policy of integration was failing. “It rejects, stigmatises and consigns to the ghetto. This incites a retreat into community identity,” he toldÂ The Times.
“There is an enormous gap between political speeches on integration and the reality. But who can believe that changing a name can change something? It is sad to have got to that point.”
â€” A young Vietnamese man in America changed his name to “Bonus” because when he arrived in the US he bought “bonus packs” of chewing gum to get him through his day working several jobs
â€” Sikhs called Singh or Kaur have to change their names before migrating to Canada as they are too common â€“ Singh is given to Sikh baby boys, Kaur to girls
â€” Last year a couple were forbidden from naming their baby “4real” in New Zealand, where the law bans names that may cause offence or lead to bullying
French Republican Value: Disarm Yourself for Self Defense
I would like to say one thing, in what is my conception of the Republic, security is the responsibility of the State, I am against militias, I am against the private ownership of firearms, and I’m trying to make you think about that. If you are assaulted by an armed burglar, he’ll use his weapon more effectively than you anyway so you’re risking your life. If the criminal is not armed and you are and you shoot, your life will be ruined, because killing someone over a theft is not in line with the republican values that are mine. The private ownership of firearms is dangerous. I understand your exasperation for having been burglarized two times, I understand the fear that your wife and daughter may have but the answer is in the efficiency of the police and the efficiency of the judiciary process, the answer is not in having guns at home.