Them is Us: More Thoughts on Oslo and Multiculturalism

by Roger Koppl

An editorial in yesterday’s New York Times rightly notes, “A disturbing, and growing, intolerance across Europe for Muslims and other immigrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  Inflammatory political rhetoric is increasingly tolerated. And anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic parties are getting stronger notably in northern European countries that have long had liberal immigration policies.”  Right.  The trends are real and bad.  But the next paragraph goes off the rails by equating multiculturalism with tolerance and (relatively) open borders. Continue reading

Oslo and Multiculturalism

by Roger Koppl

The terrible Oslo killings by Anders Breivik have appropriately prompted discussion of the political implications of his act and his manifesto.  Multiculturalism is an important theme in the discussion around Breivik’s crimes and ideology.  A story in yesterday’s NYTimes links Breivik to the repudiation of multiculturalism by three European political leaders.

“Yet some of the primary motivations cited by the suspect in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, are now mainstream issues.  Mrs. Merkel, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Prime Minister David Cameron in Britain all recently declared an end to multiculturalism.”  The article links Breivik’s actions to a supposed “climate” created by “right-wing” discourse.  “[S]ome experts say a climate of hatred in the political discourse has encouraged violent individuals.” Continue reading