Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011 | National Post | Agence France-Presse
Nicolas Sarkozy: Multiculturalism ‘Clearly’ a Failure
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday in a panel discussion that multiculturalism had failed. He is joining a growing number of world leaders who also recently have said that multicultural policy is a failure.
“My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure,” he said in a television interview when asked about the policy which advocates that host societies welcome and foster distinct cultural and religious immigrant groups.
“Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want … a society where communities coexist side by side. If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France,” the French president said.
“The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women … freedom for little girls to go to school … 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,” Mr. Sarkozy said in the TFI channel show.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia’s ex-prime minister John Howard and Spanish ex-premier Jose Maria Aznar have also recently said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.
German Chancellor Merkel in October said efforts towards multiculturalism in Germany had “failed, totally.”
Britain’s prime minister Mr. Cameron last week pronounced his country’s long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.
He urged a “more active, muscular liberalism” where equal rights, the rule of law, freedom of speech and democracy are actively promoted to create a stronger national identity and argued that “under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”
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