Multiculturalism failing in Germany

Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have “utterly failed”, while the so-called “multikulti” concept – where people would “live side-by-side” happily – did not work, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel and the BBC.

The comments came amid rising anti-immigration feeling in Germany. A recent survey suggested that more than 30% of the people believed the country was “overrun by foreigners.”

“Since Germany cannot abandon multiculturalism dictated upon it because of the existence of so many minorities, including the not that small ethnic-Turkish and ethnic-Kurdish populations from Anatolia, admitting failure means at the same time delivering an assurance that more efforts will be spent by the federal government to help nourish multiculturalism,” Yusuf Kanli wrote in his article Multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism used to be a kind of new religion, since it “is considered one of the basic markers of a liberal democracy,” Jyoti Chowdhury wrote in an article that appeared on the World Poverty and Human Rights website. The doctrine of multiculturalism is best explained by reference to its three most prominent components: its advocacy of collectivism, egalitarianism, and diversity. “Multiculturalism is important because it dilutes and dissipates the divisiveness of ignorance. It is important because it encourages dialogue, often between radically different cultures that have radically different perspectives. It is important because it softens the indifference of tolerance, and embraces it with the genuine humanity of acceptance. It is a bridge between the divide of tolerance and acceptance,” Louis MacPherson wrote in an article titled: The value of multiculturalism.

The famous American writer and civil-rights essayist James Baldwin wrote: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

One therefore begins to wonder what has really failed in Germany. Is it multiculturalism or democracy?

Dmitry Babich wrote in his article Has the multiculturalism failed, that the multicultural communities had a long history. And  for all those communities it was curiosity towards the other cultures that really mattered. It was not respect. It was not tolerance, but curiosity. What are the tools that are used nowadays to make people curious about other cultures? What do we usually hear about Islam, for example, that is considered to be “one of the main threats” to the European culture?

“Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to dump multiculturalism because of its sometimes regressive interpretation. Just because some sections of liberal and left opinion seem to have gone soft on their commitment to universal human rights, and lapsed into a dodgy “cultural relativism, this is no reason to reject the multicultural ethos per se. Progressive multiculturalism is worth defending. It involves respecting and celebrating difference, but within a framework of equality and human rights. It is premised on embracing cultural diversity, providing it does not involve the oppression of other people,” an Australian-born British activist Peter Tatchell wrote in an article published by the New Politics. “To paraphrase American educator Howard Shorr, “mankind must make global multiculturalism a cornerstone of education … events occurring in our community could have consequences beyond the borders of our world.”

“Multiculturalism is an antidote for ignorance,” MacPherson noted.


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