Now Sarkozy declares multiculturalism has failed
French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday declared that multiculturalism had failed, joining a growing number of world leaders or ex-leaders who have condemned it.
"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 said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a "failure".
Prime Minister David Cameron last month pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's former prime minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also in recent months said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.
Canadian multiculturalism is failing too: Tarek Fatah
A prominent voice in Canada’s Muslim community said British Prime Minister David Cameron was “spot on” when he insisted British multiculturalism has failed. And just like Britain, Canada’s will fail, said Muslim Canadian Congress founder Tarek Fatah.
He said Monday that, like Britain, Canada has been too tolerant in allowing Muslim immigrants to settle into closed communities, some of which preach Islamic values and a hatred toward the West. “The Canadian multicultural model has failed, as the British model has,” said Fatah. “When first generation (Muslims) are more loyal to Canada than the second generation, then we have sufficient evidence to say that multiculturalism has failed.”
Citing the Toronto 18 terrorist plot as an example of the extremism that can result from ethnic isolation, Fatah said he hoped Canada can “pick up on” the points Cameron made in a controversial speech on Saturday.
While speaking at a security conference in Germany, Cameron called for an end to Britain’s “passive tolerance” of divided ethnic communities. He also said beefing up was needed in the prevention of extremism.
Fatah said Canada’s Liberal and Conservative governments push a tolerant, passive form of multiculturalism as a way of preserving votes. “The newcomer finds solace in his or her own community,” said Fatah, “and when there is states-sponsored multiculturalism, there are people who make money out of the marginalization of these people.”
Multiculturalism in Canada hasn’t failed, countered Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress. But pockets of younger immigrants — particularly Muslims — have been slow to integrate into a Canadian way of life. “(They) are not moving forward as quickly as we did in generations past,” said Farber. “You can have a large population of Muslims living in one area, and they have not yet seemed to be able to break out entirely from that one area and become part of the Canadian fabric.”