Multiculturalism Fails Worldwide
Multiculturalism Is a Failure
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that in Germany, multiculturalism has “utterly failed.” Both Australia’s ex-prime minister John Howard and Spain’s ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar reached the same conclusion about multiculturalism in their countries. British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that multiculturalism is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to homegrown Islamic terrorism. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the United Kingdom’s push for multiculturalism has not united Britons but pushed them apart. It has allowed for Islam to emerge despite Britain’s Judeo-Christian culture. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the roots of violent Islamism are not “superficial but deep” and can be found “in the extremist minority that now, in every European city, preach hatred of the West and our way of life.”
The Failure of Multiculturalism
Community Versus Society in Europe
Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them. That perception has led some mainstream politicians, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to publicly denounce multiculturalism and speak out against its dangers. It has fueled the success of far-right parties and populist politicians across Europe, from the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands to the National Front in France. And in the most extreme cases, it has inspired obscene acts of violence, such as Anders Behring Breivik’s homicidal rampage on the Norwegian island of Utoya in July 2011.
How did this transformation come about? According to multiculturalism’s critics, Europe has allowed excessive immigration without demanding enough integration—a mismatch that has eroded social cohesion, undermined national identities, and degraded public trust. Multiculturalism’s proponents, on the other hand, counter that the problem is not too much diversity but too much racism.
The Failure of British Multiculturalism
British Prime Minister David Cameron says his country’s long-standing policy of multiculturalism is a failure, and responsible for fostering Islamist extremism. In a speech to the Munich Security Conference 2011 on February 5, Cameron said: “Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.”
Cameron continued: “So, when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who is not white, we have been too cautious, frankly -– frankly, even fearful –- to stand up to them…. This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared. And this all leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist ideology…. What we see — and what we see in so many European countries — is a process of radicalization.”