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News Analysis

Europe: Waking Up to Multiculturalism

Sun, February 3, 2013

by: 
Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

Europeans do not have a record of religious tolerance, as can be clearly seen in their history of religious wars (16th - 18th centuries) and their appalling Anti-Semitism for 2,000 years, culminating in the Holocaust.

But in the newly emerging Europe after World War II, Western European countries (Britain, France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Germany) were determined to create a new European multiculturalism. First, national barriers were coming down as European elites created the European Union (EU), sharing not only a monetary system but also a raft of common values.

As Europe recovered from the devastation of World War II and a new issue, population decline, the floodgates were opened to immigrants and refugees from the less fortunate world, the Middle East, Africa, Indonesia, and India/Pakistan. The newcomers were welcomed by their new governments with monetary assistance, housing, and welfare.

What should have been temporary assistance turned into permanent ghettoes, and because the immigrants were not offered a real opportunity to integrate, they became a new constituency for today's neo-fascist movement, Islamism.

France. Recognizing their well-intentioned generosity has had unforeseen consequences, the French are beginning to reverse their laws. France, which has a huge Muslim population, has learned that locking up Muslim criminals has created a perfect environment for turning French prisons into schools for converting French delinquents to Islam.

In September, French police rounded up a number of young terrorists, almost all of them new converts, with plans to sow mayhem and murder in French Jewish neighborhoods. There are also neighborhoods in France so dangerously under the control of Islamists that the French police dare not go there.

England. The UK has been inundated with Muslims from the former British colonies of today's India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.  The first generation of these new immigrants wanted nothing more than to become British (and many did, such as Salman Rushdie, author of Satanic Verses).

But now the third and fourth generations find themselves in Muslim ghettoes, undereducated, too long on welfare, and easily seduced by Islamist clerics and operatives into going to Pakistan or Yemen to “learn Arabic” and ready themselves to become suicide bombers.

London has already survived one huge suicide bombing attack on their metro system and has scurried to prevent an encore.  Now, finally, despite EU law, they have deported some of their worst Islamists to the United States, where they have been wanted for terrorism and murder.

Netherlands.  The Dutch, who have had the freest and most tolerant of European societies, have finally learned the unforeseen consequences of their good-hearted policies. Several early critics of militant Islam have been assassinated by Muslim killers -- one a member of parliament and another a film maker.

The immigrant crime statistics (especially rape) horrify the stolid Dutch, and the behavior of pious Muslims toward their women and children shock Dutch liberal sensibilities.

The Dutch have a new government and some new legislation that has become a model for their neighbor, Denmark. With six percent of the population now Muslim, the Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented this new law to Parliament on June 16, 2012:

"The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.

"Immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law. The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because,” according to Donner, "it is not the government's job to integrate immigrants."

These countries are beginning to remember that they have a distinct culture that has brought them to their current values. It is no longer chic to be scornful of one's own cultural heritage in favor of some imagined notion of a multicultural, global society. Idealistic Americans need to remember this too.

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer and author of “Ten Inventions That Changed Everything.” You may contact her at [email protected] or www.globalthink.net.