The Strange Death of Multiculturalism

European society once was organized according to religion. People headed to neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and even jobs based on religious affiliation and word of mouth from fellow congregants. Muslims began immigrating into European communities after secularization took hold, and secular society became alarmed about a religious pillar rising alone in integrated communities. “In the end, the only thing that can truly damage European values is Europe's response to its non-Muslim majority,” writes Ian Buruma, author of “A Murder in Amsterdam,” a book about the murder of liberal filmmaker Theo van Gogh’s by an extremist. “Fear of Islam and of immigrants could lead to the adoption of non-liberal laws. By defending Enlightenment values in a dogmatic way Europeans will be the ones who undermine them.” Enlightenment values in essence can belong to all. Dividing people into categories, creating a “them” against “us” with any set of values, only drives people on both sides to extreme behavior. – YaleGlobal

The Strange Death of Multiculturalism

Ian Buruma
Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Click here for the original article on Project Syndicate's website.

The writer’s most recent book is “A Murder in Amsterdam.”

Copyright: Project Syndicate in cooperation with Dziennik, Poland, 2007.