Are refugees a threat to Europe's values?

The debate on the attacks against women by migrants in Sweden and Germany continues. Some commentators see immigrants as a threat to Europe's values and norms. Are these fears justified?

Open/close all quotes
Planet Siol.net (SI) /

European spirit must stand firm

Europeans must not relinquish their values out of misplaced consideration for the hundreds of thousands of new arrivals, sociologist Matevž Tomšič demands on website Planet Siol.net:

“Europeans should be proud of their society's achievements and values, and they should resolutely defend their norms and principles. There must be no tolerance for disrespect of these achievements on the part of the refugees! If the moderate political forces in Europe aren't able to solve the refugee crisis, the people will withdraw their support and give it to truly xenophobic politicians who take a far less civilised approach to these problems.”

Göteborgs-Posten (SE) /

Culture, values and religion play key role

The culture and religion in the countries of origin are at the root of the migrants' attacks against women in Germany and Sweden, the liberal daily Göteborgs-Posten writes:

“In a country with very traditional ideas about the role of women there is a high degree of tolerance for harassment and molestation. … To understand the differences it is not enough to say that gender explains everything. That there is a connection between violence and gender is so obvious that it's almost trivial. But what then? How to explain the fact that the situation of women in countries like Afghanistan or Egypt is so much worse than in other countries? The economic situation, stability, education and state system explain this in part. But one cannot simply ignore factors like culture, values and the role of religion.”

Elsevier (NL) /

Fear of foreign men grows after Cologne

The sexual attacks in Cologne have fueled irrational fears of foreigners in the Netherlands as well, the right-wing conservative Weekly newspaper Elsevier comments:

“After Cologne the fear suddenly seems to have spread like wildfire. The moral offences acted like a catalyst. Nothing fans fear more than the idea that strangers will start groping your wife or child. Above all when those strangers are foreigners. At the end of the 1950s Italian migrant workers suffered under such apprehensions, in the 1960s and 1970s it was the Moroccans and the Turks. ... Fear, distrust, and yes, also bad experiences: all that is part and parcel of migration. Forty years on, little has changed. Any politician who fails to take that into account is frivolous. But so is any politician who fails to look the facts in the eye.”