Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Analysis: Europe's failed multiculturalism - (United Press International)

Analysis: Europe's failed multiculturalism - (United Press International): "Analysis: Europe's failed multiculturalism

By Claude Salhani
UPI International Editor

PARIS, France, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- For almost 50 years, Western Europe weathered the storm of the Cold War, living with the threat of the Soviet Union on its doorstep. Now Europe is waking up to a new threat, only this time the danger comes from within.

From Paris to Amsterdam and from Brussels to Berlin, decades of liberal open-door immigration policies are making their mark on Europe's domestic politics, not to mention the demographics of the old continent.

The arrival of several million immigrants -- mostly from North Africa, Turkey and Southwest Asia, and mostly Muslims -- has forever changed the face of a once largely white, overwhelmingly Christian Europe. Germany alone has some 7 million non-German residents, mostly Turks.

This influx of immigrants has caused a reaction from worried Europeans who have turned to rightwing parties for answers. Witness France's National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who came close to winning the last presidential election.

The failure of many immigrants to integrate has resulted in communities living parallel to one another instead of blending. Compounding the problem, Islamist activists have found refuge and anonymity among these communities, where they can easily blend in.

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