Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Feb 6th, 2011

British PM: Multiculturalism Has Failed

David Cameron’s remarks on West’s policy draw fire from Muslim community

Image: David Cameron, Hillary Rodham Clinton
British Prime Minister David Cameron talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the sidelines of the Conference on Security Policy in Munich, Germany, on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. (Frank Augstein / AP)

February 6, 2011

MUNICH, Germany — Prime Minister David Cameron, in a speech attended by world leaders, on Saturday criticized his country’s longstanding policy of multiculturalism, saying it was an outright failure and partly to blame for fostering Islamist extremism.

He said the U.K. needs a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to extremism. …

“Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream,” Cameron said during a panel discussion attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. …

He said the “hands-off tolerance” in Britain and other European nations has encouraged Muslims and other immigrant groups “to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.” …

Many … criticized the timing of the speech, which took place on the day that members of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) held a rally in the ethnically mixed city of Luton to protest the spread of Islam in Britain. …

Cameron’s remarks echoed statements made last year by Merkel last year, when she also called multiculturalism a failure.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — February 6, 2010

Palin E-Mails Exposed


‘First Dude’s’ influence exposed (NBC Nightly News, Feb. 5, 2010) — Emails show former Governor Sarah Palin’s husband Todd played a major policy role behind the scenes. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports. (03:30)

One year ago today, I reported that nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin, husband of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, exchanged with state officials had been released to and NBC News by the state of Alaska under its public records law. The e-mails draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor’s husband got involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments, and passed financial information marked “confidential” from his oil company employer to a state attorney.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — February 6, 2009

Army: Stunning Spike in Suicides

Video: ‘We lost more soldiers to suicide than to al-Qaida’

Steep rise in soldier suicides (MSNBC, Feb. 5, 2009) — 24 soldiers committed suicide in January 2009, more than were killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. John Soltz of discusses. (02:53)

Two years ago today, on Feb. 6, 2009, I reported that the Army was investigating an unexplained and stunning spike in suicides during the month of January. The count was said to be likely to surpass the number of combat deaths during the same period reported by all branches of the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the fight against terrorism. “In January, we lost more soldiers to suicide than to al-Qaida,” said Paul Rieckhoff, director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

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