Britain’s Prime Minister Attacks Multiculturalism

According to MSNBC

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.

Britian’s new parliamentary leader goes on to make this all about “Islamic extremism,” a biased and stereotyped framing of contemporary Islam seldom questioned in the mainstream media. Apparently operating out of a one-sided and highly stereotyped white Eurocentric framing of Muslims, he does not mention the increase in whites’ neo-Nazi and racist extremism in Britain or Europe, or indeed the recurring verbal and actual attacks by apparent Christians on ordinary Muslims in Britain.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also been making the same white-framed noises about the dangers of multiculturalism in Germany, not exactly the poster country for anti-racism and tolerance.

Cameron recently said that

Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream. We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.

Here is some old white-centric framing, with the “we” obviously not including the Muslim British folks, who are othered as a “they.” Presumably this means the “we” are the virtuous ones so central to the traditional white Eurocentric framing and the stereotyped “they” must confrom to this conception of (white European) virtue?

Is it only coincidental that Prime Minister Cameron made these inflamatory comments on the very day the far-right (“extremist” and probably Christian) English Defence League (EDL) had a racialized demonstration in racially diverse Luton? Notice too that Cameron did not call out or condemn this nativistic, anti-immigrant group for its intolerance and inflamatory actions.

One report also noted that

Stephen Lennon, the EDL leader, reportedly said of Mr Cameron: “He’s now saying what we’re saying. He knows his base.”

And, ironcially, when he was strongly criticized by human rights and Islamic groups, Cameron made this claim:

We don’t tolerate racism in our society carried out by white people; we shouldn’t tolerate extremism carried out by other people.

But I see no criticisms of white racism or the English Defence League in his statements recently. He does seem to have his conservative white base mainly and firmly in mind.