23 June 2012

Amsterdam’s newcomers thrive even as immigration gets tougher

.... Surveys show, meanwhile, that the Dutch people have become less tolerant overall of immigrants.

How has this affected Abou Zayd? Not much, actually. When he wants to pray at the supermarket where he works as a stock boy, he can. He does it on the loading dock. Nor is he forced to stock the shelves with alcohol, or non-Halal meat.

Amsterdam is an example of how cities can play a critical role in integration. As policies at the national level harden, Amsterdam continues to exert an openness reflected in its diverse inhabitants.

“In Holland, which went through radical change at the national level away from multiculturalism to something else — I call it civic integration — at the local level, that reorientation didn’t happen,” said Christian Joppke, an immigration expert at the University of Bern. [Toronto Star] Read more