Sunday, 30 October 2011

Ministry for the Moroccan Community Resident Abroad

An agreement has just been signed by an Italian university and the Moroccan government about providing education to Moroccan immigrants in Italy. Via distance learning, they are to be taught Arabic and instructed in elements of Moroccan culture "to improve integration".

As far as I can tell, this is all being paid for by the Moroccan government itself, although it wouldn't surprise me if the Italian taxpayer was being mugged in secret somewhere behind the scenes.

There are 450,000 Moroccans living in Italy at present. The Moroccan government is clearly seeking to instrumentalise its diaspora and ensure it remains loyal to Morocco. There are similar initiatives I know of in France and Spain. In Spain, the the Moroccan government even controls many of the Muslim associations and mosques. Earlier this year Spanish intelligence warned that this Moroccan schooling was a barrier to integration.

It is clear the concept of immigrant being used is multi-generational. Otherwise the immigrants would hardly have to learn their own language and culture; and the agreement speaks of "Moroccan children resident in Italy".

In the western world the traditional sense of nationhood - a rich concept embracing ancestry, language, culture and a subjective sense of belonging - has been replaced with nationality: an arid administrative convenience devoid of all the elements mentioned above. In the West, anyone who talks about nationhood in the deep sense will immediately be denounced as evil and compared to Hitler. The only 'moral' definition of national belonging is now the administrative one, it seems. But non-western countries feel no inhibitions whatsoever about asserting the primacy of tribal loyalty among their extended diasporas. They often have ministries of state dedicated to representing the interests of emigrés and their descendants, even those who were born abroad or have foreign naionality. Turkey has one. Morocco has one. (It signed the agreement mentioned above.) In its recent elections, Tunisia even gave its diaspora the vote and it now has dedicated political representation.

In large part the catastrophe that Europe is experiencing thanks to Muslim immigration results from the clash of these two differing conceptions of nationhood: one administrative and shallow; the other tribal and deep.



BunBun4life said...

I don't get it - how does teaching MOROCCANS 'arabic' help them integrate in Italy?



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