European leaders are one by one denouncing the policy of multiculturalism. The latest 'fail' stamp came from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who said he does not want people to pray in an “ostentatious way” in the street.
You could say it is official: the grand concept of multiculturalism has been deemed an “epic fail” by European leaders.
The one who started the trend was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Of course, the multicultural approach – living side by side and being happy with each other – this approach has failed, utterly,” she said.
Then British Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in, saying, “We’ve encouraged different cultures to live separate lives apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.”
And now France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy has made an admission, as well. “My answer is, clearly, yes, it's a failure.”
Apparently, heads of state have only now realized what many observers and radicals have been saying for quite some time.
“Multiculturalism will only function if people coming to the country will have a job, have their own money and feel responsible for the community,” says immigration officer Arnold Mengelkoch from Copenhagen. “Otherwise, they are jobless people who lead a passive life with social welfare.”
The concept of multiculturalism seems to be failing all around Europe.
Take Odense – a quiet Danish town, known as the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, one of the world’s best-known fairytale authors.
There, recent bouts of discord between the local population and Muslim immigrants forced officials and residents to spin a different yarn. Voices are being raised about doing something before the situation gets out of hand.
“If we take those 200 people and split them all over the city with the help from the state and police, and kick them out of the country, we won’t have any problems,” says Odense City Council member Alex Ahrendtsen.
Gassan Khorani, a Danish immigrant and civil engineer, says immigrants and natives just perceive the idea of integration differently.
“The Danes think that integration means becoming fully Danish. Immigrants have to eat, drink and live just like the Danes. But those who come here think integration means earning some money, having their kids speak Danish and going to Danish schools. That’s why there’s a discord,” he says.