Immigrants and India

November 9, 2010

Immigrants and India

British Prime Minister–turned–Mideast envoy Tony Blair surveys Europe's "immigrant problem" in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. Especially as Europe's economy continues to founder, Blair writes, the "backlash" against immigrants "grows," while "the center ground becomes diminished." And the problem seems to be with only one type of immigrant—"one part of the Muslim community" that has failed "to resolve and create an identity that is both British [or European] and Muslim." And he claims that the current "anti-immigrant" sentiment is "deeper" and "more dangerous" than in the past. Blair says the key to solving the problem is to "wake up" and counter the "narrative" of extremism with an alternative global message.

Elsewhere in the Journal, Bret Stephens thinks President Obama's speech at the Indian Parliament was his best presidential address ever because he "stood up for free trade, free markets and free societies." (Don't forget to check out Sumit Ganguly's and Dov Zakheim's analysis of the president's visit to New Delhi and Mumbai, too.)

And Paul Wolfowitz, who was U.S. ambassador to Indonesia before his stint in the George W. Bush administration, sees Obama's next stop as an opportunity to cement America's relationship with an ally with whom it shares "common values" and "a common enemy: Islamist extremism." Wolfowitz says the president should express "support" for "Indonesia's traditions of openness, tolerance and the rights of women."

But novelist Arundhati Roy was disappointed with Obama's remarks on Kashmir during his visit to South Asia. No matter, Roy writes in the New York Times; nothing can "make the people in Kashmir drop the stones in their hands," even as the militant insurgency wracking Kashmir has died down. Roy then goes on to recount his recent trip in poetic and descriptive style (apple orchards and warm, boiled eggs are threads in his narrative), and says the protesters have managed to befuddle "the second-largest standing army in the world." And you can read Basharat Peer's take on the the protests in Kashmir in the latest issue of The National Interest.