Multiculturalism isn’t working out in Europe, at least for the Europeans.
One after another, leaders of the major powers have expressed misgivings over multiculturalism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, compelled by the million-selling “Germany Does Away With Itself,” started the denunciations in October by declaring that multiculturalism has “failed, utterly failed.” Multiculturalism is a “failure,” concurred French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week. “We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” he explained on a nationally-televised interview. Former prime ministers of Spain and Australia have issued essentially the same verdict.
The most forceful denunciation of multiculturalism from a European leader came from British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also calls it a “failure.” “We will not defeat terrorism simply by the action we take outside our borders,” he acknowledged at a Munich security conference earlier this month. “Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries.”
Indeed, alarm bells have included London’s July 7, 2005 subway attacks that killed 56, the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, and honor killings in such unlikely locales as Denmark and Germany. But after each homegrown atrocity Europe’s leaders kept hitting snooze. Only recently has expressing alarm at the Islamization of Europe even been considered within the bounds of legitimate political discourse. And still beyond the pale seems a discussion of what native-born Europeans, rather than the continent’s newer arrivals, are doing to undermine the survival of their civilization.
Cameron emphasizes the importance of transforming indigenous Muslims into Englishmen, or, in the more inclusive vernacular, Brits. He doesn’t quite grasp how Muslims have already transformed England into a place more resembling their mother countries. The adopted homeland can change the immigrant population through assimilation. Last-call soccer hooligan Arabs with cockney accents and Oxford-educated Muslim gentlemen attest that newcomers are capable of absorbing the best and worst of English culture. But the homeland can be changed by the immigrant population, too. Women wearing masks, arranged marriages, Sharia law separate from the law, and the de facto suppression of speech are a few of the ways in which European cities differ from themselves just a generation ago.
But before Muslims changed Europe, Europeans did.
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