Multiculturalism and Integration

Nicolas Sarkozy declares multiculturalism had 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.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels Photo: AP
“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.

Bill’s comment:

Just because I am embroiled in a general election campaign does not mean I have become insular. I believe in integration but not monoculturalism. The European multiculturalism has effectively meant a variation of separate living and identity. This is a type of ethnic apartheid which has clearly failed. In an interview on Ghanaen TV with Affia about three years ago, I told the audience that the adults present would remain Ghanaen-Irish but their children would be Irish-Ghanaen. If parents wanted otherwise I suggested that they go home to Ghana because integration is critically important for my country – Ireland. I do not want to hear xenophobia and racism which unfortunately is becoming more common. Respect for Irish culture and “living like the Irish” is very important. In recent days I have been informed more than once that immigrants get free cars, phones and houses on welfare in this country and that the Irish cannot. I haven’t heard the one about the easy taxi driver exam for Nigerians recently but it’s only a matter of time. Another resentment is English language teaching for foreign kids in school.

It is important that TV and radio dispell myths and fight prejudice where it arises. Our futures are at stake as the world narrows.