Daily Mail – February 11, 2011
French president Nicolas Sarkozy has joined David Cameron in condemning multiculturalism as a failure.
Cameron launched a scathing attack earlier this months on 30 years of multiculturalism in Britain warning that it fostered extremism.
His damning verdict came just months after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that multiculturalism in Germany had failed.
Now Sarkozy has joined the growing number of European leaders who have adopted identical views on multiculturalism.
He told the French people: ‘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.’
The president made the declaration in a TV debate last night after being asked if the policy of encouraging the religious and cultural differences of immigrants was not working.
He told viewers: ‘My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure.
‘Of course we must all respect differences, but we do not want a society where communities coexist side by side.
‘Our Muslim compatriots must be able to practise their religion, as any citizen can, but we in France do not want people to pray in an ostentatious way in the street.
‘If you come to France, you accept to melt into a single community, which is the national community, and if you do not want to accept that, you cannot be welcome in France.
‘The French national community cannot accept a change in its lifestyle, equality between men and women and freedom for little girls to go to school.’
Sarkozy’s statement comes after Prime Minister Mr Cameron said last week that public money should not be handed to ethnic groups who did not share British values.
He called for an end to the ‘passive tolerance’ of divided communities and said members of all faiths must integrate into wider society and accept core values.
His remarks were praised by the leader of the French National Front Marine Le Pen, who said Mr Cameron’s views proved that he supported her far right-wing party’s ideals.
She said: ‘I sense an evolution at European level, even in classic governments. I can only congratulate him.’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia’s former prime minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also said in recent months that multicultural policies had not successfully integrated immigrants.