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Monday, July 25, 2011

The failures of multiculturalism

In an editorial in Monday's paper, the Jerusalem Post urges that Friday's tragedy in Norway not be allowed to shut off criticism of the failures of multiculturalism.
Undoubtedly, there will be those – particularly on the Left – who will extrapolate out from Breivik’s horrific act that the real danger facing contemporary Europe is rightwing extremism and that criticism of multiculturalism is nothing more than so much Islamophobia.

While it is still too early to determine definitively Breivik’s precise motives, it could very well be that the attack was more pernicious – and more widespread – than the isolated act of a lunatic. Perhaps Brievik’s inexcusable act of vicious terror should serve not only as a warning that there may be more elements on the extreme Right willing to use violence to further their goals, but also as an opportunity to seriously reevaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere. While there is absolutely no justification for the sort of heinous act perpetrated this weekend in Norway, discontent with multiculturalism’s failure must not be delegitimatized or mistakenly portrayed as an opinion held by only the most extremist elements of the Right.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel have both recently lamented the “failure of multiculturalism” in their respective countries.

Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Prize laureate for welfare economics from India, has noted how terribly impractical it is to believe that the coexistence of an array of cultures in close proximity will lead to peace. Without a shared cultural foundation, no meaningful communication among diverse groups is possible, Sen has argued.

Norway, a country so oriented toward promoting peace, where the Muslim population is forecast to increase from 3 percent to 6.5% of the population by 2030, should heed Sen’s incisive analysis.

The challenge for Norway in particular and for Europe as a whole, where the Muslim population is expected to account for 8% of the population by 2030 according to a Pew Research Center, is to strike the right balance. Fostering an open society untainted by xenophobia or racism should go hand in hand with protection of unique European culture and values.

Europe’s fringe right-wing extremists present a real danger to society. But Oslo’s devastating tragedy should not be allowed to be manipulated by those who would cover up the abject failure of multiculturalism.
Read the whole thing.

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At 6:07 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

The thing that confuses me is how the Right is pegged with this (and other) violence. This guy Breivik was apparently raised in a leftist houshold. He did not attack Muslims; he attacked the left Labor people (children!). Loughner in Arizona was raised in schools with the new age Ayers curriculum and was described as a left leaning person by people who knew him; and he attacked a Democrat (left) congressperson. I know there is other violence here and there in the western countries and it is coming from the Left.

Actually, these kinds of people are nutty fruitcakes. Brain malfunctions. I wouldn't necessarily blame the left for the ideas they raise kids with. But to accept the marxist caliphate propaganda that somehow these people are violent because the right holds a different opinion of how things should run in the world is ridiculous.


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