During the past decade as Europe witnessed an economic explosion, it became common in m any nations of the EU to encourage immigrants to migrate in order to have people around wiling to deal with the dirty, dangerous, and physically difficult jobs required in society. However, the economic decline has resulted in unleashing latent feelings of hate toward those who are different. Immigrant centers in Belfast recently received leaflets that threatened immigrants with death. The message was clear. “Get out of our Queen’s country before our bonfire night and parade day.” The leaflet was delivered to centers whose clientele is mainly Muslim, Indian or Polish. It threatened to blow up buildings in which immigrants live. Patrick Yu, who heads the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, believes the leaflets were mainly designed to frighten. There is even suspicion the leaflets might be the work of angry teenagers rather than an organized adult group seeking to kill people.
Northern Irish celebrate on July 12th an historic holiday which is strongly jingoistic. The Police have made clear they will not tolerate any violence toward minorities even during the week of celebrations and parades which ordinarily stir up feelings of nationalism and hate toward those who are different. Historically, the enemy of Protestants were the Catholics, but these days the target is anyone who is not born in Ireland. Perhaps, that is good news for Catholics– provided they don’t come from Poland or Romania!