Below is an essay by the Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels on a topic that has greatly preoccupied Western European leaders in recent months: the failure of Multiculturalism.
Why multiculture will always fail
by Dr. Nicolai Sennels
Several leading European politicians have now declared the multicultural project dead and impossible to implement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has concluded that the “so-called ‘multikulti’ concept — where people would ‘live side-by-side’ happily — did not work” (BBC, 17. October 2010). Merkel said straight out that the attempt to build a multicultural society has “utterly failed”. British prime minister David Cameron (BBC, 5 Feb 2011) and French president Nicolas Sarkozy (The Telegraph, 11 Feb 2011) quickly followed suit and declared multiculturalism a “failed” effort. Cameron added that the “UK needed a stronger national identity” and Sarkozy argued that “We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him.”
As a psychologist who has had hundreds of immigrants as clients, my conclusion is that the multicultural society will always fail because it is contrary to the fundamental psychological principles that are needed for building healthy communities. This basic psychological principle concerns identity — national identity. As quoted above, Cameron and Sarkozy reached the same conclusion.
For a society to succeed, its citizens must be able to unite around common core values. The most fundamental values are national identity and a wish for fellowship with one’s countrymen. National identity means that you feel like a Dane if you live in Denmark. Fellowship means that similarities — first of all the fact that you live in the same country — means more than differences, for example religion, color, or country of origin.
National identity and the feeling of fellowship increase work morale, taxpaying morale, morale in relation to social services, and respect for the country’s laws in general. People who experience themselves as part of the community will feel that they harm themselves if they harm the community. National identity is also important for respect towards the nation’s authorities.
The sense of community is crucial to the quality of life for us “pack” animals, and common core values are the foundation of the mutual trust and mutual helpfulness, openness, understanding and respect among the population. People who are deeply divided on core values and who want the community to evolve in completely different directions simply feel less fellowship with one another.
When people identify with a culture whose values are not rooted in the nation’s indigenous culture, this identification happens at the expense of identification with the greater community. The step towards acting in violation of the community’s interest is therefore shorter, which is one of the reasons for the dramatic over-representation of certain immigrant groups in crime and unemployment statistics.
Multiculturalization of a society, therefore, leads to an increased need for control, prohibitions, police, and tougher sentences in order to prevent internal factions from cheating or committing crimes against the community. Multicultural societies thus move easily towards a less democratic and more fascistic condition. The former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt concludes in hindsight: “The concept of multiculturalism is actually incompatible with a democratic society. … If one asks, where in the world are multicultural societies functioning, he quickly comes to the conclusion, that multiculturalism can only exist peacefully within strong authoritarian states.” (Hamburger Abendblatt, 24 Nov 2004).
Fortunately, immigrants from almost all over the world have been able to accept and identify with our basic Western values. There are a few problems with organized crime and demographic clumping among immigrants from Asia and Eastern Europe but it has never became a threat to society.
Despite certain success stories and role models, one culture has proved impossible to integrate sufficiently, namely the Islamic one. Muslim culture and religion have demonstrated some inherent self-protective mechanisms which makes Muslim immigrants resistant to external influences from the host culture.
What we are dealing with here is a culture that in the most important areas — including true democracy, free speech, equality of women, and tolerance towards other faiths — has changed very little or not at all since it first appeared in a medieval clan society 1,400 years ago. It is almost unbelievable, given how much the rest of the world has changed during that time. The unfortunate combination of excessive Western tolerance and a lack of flexibility from the Muslim culture’s side has resulted in a kind of cultural osmosis, where Western values have not yet been able to penetrate the Islamic world while Islamization diffuses from the Muslim community into non-Muslim societies.
In multicultures which includes Muslim culture, the problems arising from lack of national identity and sense of community are therefore proportionately larger. Hence today the term “multiculture” is equivalent to societies where both Muslim and non-Muslim cultures exists. A more precise term would therefore be “bi-culture”. Instead of integrating into the common society, parallel societies appears, where benefit fraud and tax evasion are highly prevalent and where lawlessness and hostility against non-Islamic authorities are extreme and often violent.
According to police, Denmark has 25 to 30 “sensitive areas” with many immigrants, where police and fire departments can not work without risking being attacked (Midtjyllands Avis, August 7th, 2010). One among many examples is the Facebook page “Ishoj Ghetto”, which encourages its 650 members with the following battle cry: “My brothers. We shall destroy all the police cars approaching Ishoj. It is our city.” (Ekstrabladet, August 3rd, 2010). Holland, France, Britain, Belgium, Germany and most other Western European countries have cities and ghettos with similar problems. A study in Taastrup (city in Denmark) shows that immigrants and their descendants are behind 75 percent of all benefit fraud cases — although the proportion of immigrants is only 21 percent (Jyllands-Posten, August 31st, 2010).
Across Western Europe, there are parallel Muslim societies that have reached a stage so advanced that they have built their own political, economic and legal infrastructure. The executive, legislative and judicial power lies with the imams, police-like Muslim father patrol groups, homemade Sharia Courts and Islamic mediation meetings. The economy is characterized by the fact that Muslims prefer to buy goods and services from other Muslims, and the Islamic Havala banking (a system of private money transfers outside of authorities and banks) has largely replaced the normal ways of conducting financial transactions. It is too short a jump from this well-developed Islamic infrastructure and aggressive attitude toward the non-Islamic environment to the demands for autonomy and secession. Such demands have been made by Muslims throughout Islamic history, and in today’s China, Russia, Thailand, Africa, and the Balkans Muslims use guerrilla warfare, terrorism, kidnappings and threats to achieve this end.
Common sense and mature life experience could have prevented us from making the mistake to begin with. A couple of decades too late — always being the last to admit a mistake — our politicians finally admit the obvious problems (but only after opinion polls proved that the majority of voters do not want multiculture). But what will they do about it?
Three obvious solutions
The first and most basic solution is to stop immigration from countries that are not Western-oriented, which primarily applies to the Islamic world. As the Americans says: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
Secondly, we need to do as Angela Merkel, David Cameron, and Nicolas Sarkozy recommend: We must strengthen the national identity both among immigrants and the indigenous population. This is done primarily by making our educational institutions and public service media focus more on our countries’ history, culture and values. Moreover, we must force immigrants to integrate by making language proficiency, knowledge about our culture and history, adherence to the law and tax payment for e.g. 10 years a condition for receiving social benefits. Problematic demographic developments can partly be solved by limiting the state’s economic child support to the country’s average amount of children per mother (2 children). We do that in Denmark and it prevents immigrants from moving to Denmark, having/bringing a lot of kids and living on the money that the family get from the state for each child.
Thirdly, we must stop diluting and challenging our own culture and national identity through Islamization and parallel societies. The influential mosques and Islamic cultural centers makes Muslims stay in a very rigid version of their original culture. Dominant symbols like minarets, Halal food in public institutions, closure of public taxpayer-funded sports facilities in order to make Muslim women able to use them, state-supported Koranic schools, prayer rooms in public workplaces, hospitals, etc. are also harmful to the development of national identity among both immigrants and the rest of us. Islamization and parallel societies make it possible to live from cradle to grave in non-Muslim countries without ever leaving the circle of Muslim culture. It is contradictory and counterproductive to want national identity among immigrants when the government simultaneously allows and even supports Islamization.
Muslim parallel societies in the West produce tens of thousands of alienated citizens with very low or no national identity and loyalty — every year. These parallel communities must be dissolved by all means possible. This includes zero tolerance towards any breach of the law. Tax authorities, Social Services and the police play a crucial role in this context.
I would like to add that after working as a prison psychologist for years, my conclusion is that the only thing criminal immigrants really fear is being deported. We also need to do as the Danish Municipality of Aarhus does: Send female social workers or midwives into the homes of non-Western immigrants to meet with the women (without participation of male family members) to ensure that they and their daughters are safe, free and know their rights to divorce, and about family planning, contraception, women’s shelters and repatriation (state-paid emigration to the family’s country of origin).
In order to stop multiculture and challenge the rigid traditionalistic, unassimilable and widespread version of Muslim culture, the women have to be freed to choose their sexual partners, number of children, clothing style, and religion. As the Danish Muslim activist Kristina Khader, initiator of the women’s advisory centre Project New Hymen, told me in an interview: “The social control of women aims to preserve the core of the Muslim culture. A big part of the Muslim culture’s core is about female sexuality.” (JP-blog “Kulturkloeften”, November 2, 2009).
In general multiculture must be fought by making the inability or unwillingness to integrate so practically difficult and economically unprofitable that repatriation the only attractive option.
This is a long list of necessary demands and consequences, but the carrot is equally big: Participation on equal footing in the world’s freest, richest and best functioning culture — the West.
Nicolai Sennels is a psychologist and the author of “Among Criminal Muslims: A Psychologist’s experiences with the Copenhagen Municipality”. A list of his previous articles is here.