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Hamtramck MI
Integration, American Style
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  • JR

    Detroit, Muslim-style. Seems like a lovely place all around. I’m surprised a tourist destination is not being looked at by city developers.

    • Andrew Allison

      Did you overlook “Hamtramck, MI used to be a Polish-dominated enclave, a separate city within Detroit”? Such enclaves are by no means a new phenomenon in the USA. Don’t get me wrong, I despise radical anything, but let’s try and keep a sense of proportion.

      • Beauceron

        I think where you, and the author, make the mistake is in assuming there is no cultural difference between the Polish enclave and the Islamic one. Yes, yes, let’s of course give the rote recitation that all cultures, societies and movements are equal. There’s no difference between them. We are all the same, humanity is one, Islam is a religion of peace.

        They’re not, of course.

        We will see what happens. But the argument that, hey, this was a Polish neighborhood once (or Italian, or Irish) and they adapted and changed and assimilated and that is evidence that a Muslim neighborhood will do the same is a silly and shallow one. Why? Because they’re not Polish or Italian or Irish (or Christian). I live in a neighborhood that was once Italian and Irish. It’s now mostly Caribbean. The neighborhood is not similar to the Irish and Italian neighborhood; It’s far more violent, riddled with drugs, crime and general mayhem and fear. I has gotten better over the years, but not because the residents have assimilated in some way– it’s because the neighborhood is “gentrifying”. Young professionals are moving in.

      • JR

        Experience in Europe seems to suggest that Muslims have no intention of assimilating. Hence, saying the only thing that changed is people masks a deeper issue.

        • Beauceron

          But many will say that the US is somehow different– I am not sure that’s true. In fact, I am pretty sure it is false. We just don’t have the high percentages yet, although the Left is certainly working very hard to change that it seems.

  • FriendlyGoat

    No one can predict or control the actions of individual residents, but I would guess the majority members on that new city council are going to be quite concerned about trying to be a very positive role model for Islam in America.

  • Kevin

    Who knows how this will develop – hopefully better than the banliues, but it’s really too early to tell.

  • Ofer Imanuel

    The problem is mainly with the first prayer of the day. It is before dawn.

  • Episteme

    As I read this, I’m reminded, as a Catholic who’s grown up and always lived in or just around majority- or plurality-Jewish communities in New Jersey, of the cultural factors that one gets used to: I talk to co-religionists who grew up expecting public Angelus bells and the rosary on the radio while its second nature for me to see supermarkets organized around kosher stock and the JCC as the major community center even in a well-assimilated/integrated population (besides large Irish and Italian Catholic subsets, there are major Presbyterian Korean and mixed-sect Indian populations that I’ve grown up and continue to live around these past decades) all about. I imagine that the Hamtramck is actually a similar issue one, particularly looking at the history of exurban immigrant settlement (e.g. Polish communities like those that I’m most aware of in the Philadelphia and New York areas from my own family and friends but equally appropriate to Detroit history). The previous establishment of Catholic-dominated (of various non-Saxon groups) or even Jewish-dominated populations – we forget in light of how we celebrate Thanksgiving that Low Church control of communities itself was seen as a threat to societal integration for so long – wasn’t just a matter of ethic difference but differences in total worldview (per the examples I hear from Catholic communities up through the 1960s, for example, social schedule around ringing of church bells including thrice-daily Angelus and communal Rosaries on local radio in a way that seemed truly alien to the Protestant majority only a few towns away picked that shortwave signal up).

    As some note, there’s a distinction of the US versus Europe in how we’ve – despite different waves of anti-immigrantism, nativism, Know-Nothingism, and such – operated in assimilating and integrating not just individuals but entire communities into the national fabric (such that the ‘weave’ of that fabric slows morphs over time while keeping to same very basic and very loose pattern set out in stark contrast to the strict definitions of nationality in European nations – there’s a lot of American myth-making that occludes how we’ve interpolated much more to share of immigrant/annexee customs-as-American customs than we admit historically); it’s our nature as humans placed suspended in time that we observe things how they pass and so are biased by that (the ‘threat’ of newcomers is constantly repeated because it takes time to watch assimilation, especially as communities operate governing subsidiary polities within American federalism, something that isn’t represented in countries like France which draw sharp distinctions with managing banlieues).

    The problems we see – that some have mentioned – with some of the urban communities filled with recent immigrant are the same faced by rural communities filled with the Scotch-Irish population whose families have been here since the 17th century: political management of subsidiary elements by dysfunctional machine politics that destroy chances at economic productivity and innovation. If anything, history suggests that new actors coming into governance without ties to corrupted machines have a better chance of proper American-style communities (the ‘decline’ of many of these immigrant exurbs, recall is one of two ways: either there’s effectively success that drives many of the innovative young out into the broader population, or else their a takeover by regional machine interests that exacerbates economic and often racial grievances for the benefit of external political benefit). Any concern for a Muslim-majority Hamtramck (honestly, that the council is Muslim is no different that it being Polish during previous eras) is soluble – by both definitions – by wider social integration (the sort that didn’t occur in Detroit over recent decades when union-dominated political machinery kept businesses away) and communication, the same as operated in bringing the previous immigrant Polish community (an alien Easter European and Catholic implant in their day) there into the mainstream…

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