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7/19/2005

Giving multi-culturalism a rethink

Mark Steyn takes a pick-axe to the cult of multi-cult in the Telegraph,

It has been sobering this past week watching some of my "woollier" colleagues (in Vicki Woods's self-designation) gradually awake to the realisation that the real suicide bomb is "multiculturalism". Its remorseless tick-tock, suddenly louder than the ethnic drumming at an anti-globalisation demo, drove poor old Boris Johnson into rampaging around this page last Thursday like some demented late-night karaoke one-man Fiddler on the Roof, stamping his feet and bellowing, "Tradition! Tradition!" Boris's plea for more Britishness was heartfelt and valiant, but I'm not sure I'd bet on it. The London bombers were, to the naked eye, assimilated - they ate fish 'n' chips, played cricket, sported appalling leisurewear. They'd adopted so many trees we couldn't see they lacked the big overarching forest - the essence of identity, of allegiance. As I've said before, you can't assimilate with a nullity - which is what multiculturalism is.
telegraph
It brings up the interesting question whether immigration is about coming to, for example, Canada to become Canadian or is it about coming to Canada to be Pakistani somewhere other than Pakistan.

Canadian orthodoxy, invented to appease Diefenbaker who pointed out that there were rather more Ukranians than French Canadians on the prairies, during the debates on bilingualism and bi-culturalism, suggests that multi-culturalism is the state religion. This makes us ever so different from America. In America you are dumped into the melting pot and you come out an American. Not in Canada. Here we are celebrating our diversity.

The problem with this orthodoxy is that it results in the celebration of a nullity. A Canada reduced to the logotype which purports to be our flag. A nation without history.

In a sense, what the orthodoxy has done is denied everyone in Canada the ability to be Canadian because we have stripped the very idea of Canadian of any meaning at all. Except, of course, that we are not American and have free health care.

Little wonder that Canadian politicians have wasted so much time searching for the Canadian identity. Our own fixation with ensuring diversity and multi-culturalism has left the concept as meaningless as our flag.