Late last month, we reported that Austria may cut social benefits for asylum seekers who fail to attend “special integration training courses" and more specifically, for refugees who don't make an honest effort to learn German.
“Those who are not willing to learn German, who do not want to be part of the labor market, who are not ready to attend an integration course, will face social benefits cuts," Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in Davos.
The “integration courses" are an example of how, in the absence of a bloc-wide “solution" to the migrant crisis, EU nations are increasingly turning to country-by-country solutions, a situation that French economy minister Emmanuel Macron recently said marks “the beginning of the dismantling [of the euro] for sure."
Those who have followed Europe's bungled attempt to resettle millions of asylum seekers fleeing war in the Mid-East know that EU officials are having a hard time deciding just who it is that should learn to adapt.
On the one hand, various countries - including Austria and Germany - have published pictographs and cartoon strips which are designed to teach refugees societal norms. Randomly grabbing women's behinds and beating small children feature prominently in almost all of the “guides."
On the other hand, some officials have suggested that perhaps it is Europeans who need to adapt. Cologne mayor Henriette Reker for instance, drew universal condemnation for saying that it is German women's responsibility to adopt a “code of conduct" that wards of would-be rapists and Bad Schlema mayor Jens Müller caused an uproar at a town hall meeting when he said that if schoolgirls wanted to avoid cat-calls from the windows of the city's refugee home, they should take the long way to class.
In the same vein, one German computer science teacher says Arabic should be compulsory for all students through high school. Here's Spiegel (translated):
Not only refugee children who come from the Middle East to Germany should learn in school, a new language but also German children. The calls of the president of the private Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, Thomas Strothotte. "In this country should be added that the German children learn Arabic," writes the computer science professor in a commentary for the weekly newspaper "Die Zeit".
German and Arabic should therefore be obligatory for all students until graduation.A German core competence ", access to the Arab world possible. We would therefore appreciate to be a country of immigration and a multilingual society" would like that.
And here's Die Welt (translated):
The Hamburg computer science professor Thomas Strothotte calls for the introduction of Arabic as a language school in Germany. This would allow access to the Arab world, the president of the Hamburg Kühne Logistics University writes in "Die Zeit".
German and Arabic should be mandatory for all students through high school."We would appreciate it, to be a country of immigration and a multilingual society."
It to use German and Arabic as equal languages ??of instruction is even more demanding, writes Strothotte. Thus the children would now prepare
for the profound transformation process in the Middle East.
By learning the Arabic language, the young generation of Germany as a great economic, cultural and political partner to accompany this transformation process.
To be sure, there are practical and intellectual benefits that accrue to those who speak multiple languages. That is, no one is going to argue that being bilingual wouldn't be a good thing for German students.
The question is whether mandating that the second language be Arabic is a good idea - especially considering the palpable tension in Germany, which took in more than 1 million refugees in 2015.
Expect this to reinforce the notion - perpetuated by the likes of Hungary's Viktor Orban - that Europe is becoming "Islamicized". And expect that, in turn, to add fuel to the nationalistic fires burning across the bloc.