Another European leader announced the failure of multicultural policies. French President Nicolas Sarkozy cracked down on Muslim individuals praying in the streets of Paris and other cities of France.
"The truth is that in all our democracies, we have been too concerned with the identity of the person who arrives and not enough with the identity of the country that takes that person in. Times have changed, and I understand that this could be found shocking. So it must stop. If you come to France, you accept to melt into one community which is the national community. If you can't accept that, you can't be welcome in France," Sarkozy said.
"Our Muslim compatriots must be able to live and practice their religion, like anyone else. In France we don't want people to pray in an ostentatious manner in the street. Prayer offends no one but we do not want . . . aggressive religious proselytising," he stated.
Sarkozy is not the first European leader, who speaks so openly about the failure of the politics of Muslims' integration in Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel shared a similar point of view last autumn. British Prime Minister virtually reiterated Merkel's views last week. Now it is time for the president of Europe's third largest country - France - to take the floor.
Until recently, such harsh statements about the French Muslims could be heard from the leaders of the far-right National Front only - Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter, Marine Le Pen. She particularly said that the sight of Muslim people praying in the streets reminded her of the time of Hitler's occupation of France in 1940-1944. There are nearly 20 places in the country, she added, where the Muslims can block streets for prayers.
The Muslim issue in France is probably more serious than in any other country of Western Europe. The number of Muslims living in France is estimated from two to seven million people. This is the largest Muslim community in the Old World. Immigrants from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco are especially plentiful in the country.
After the residents of French colonies took part in WWI, some of them decided to settle in the mother country during the 1920s. After WWII, France was suffering from the lack of workers. In addition, the country started feeling guilty of its colonial past. The French authorities granted residents of former colonies, including Muslims ones, entry to the country.
In 1976, France approved the law about the reunification of families. In Muslim countries, the notion of 'family' includes very distant relatives. As a result, millions of Algerians, Moroccans and Senegalese started flowing in. They gradually settled down in suburban areas of Paris, Marcel, Lyon and other large cities. Some of those suburbs lost their European appearance entirely. Until 1993, the inflow of immigrants was not restricted at all.
French laws demand strict observation of secular principles and stipulate people's integration in the French society. Many France-based Muslims forgot the faith of their ancestors completely, although many others continued living under Shariah laws. Muslim families are a lot larger than French families. As a result, the share of those, who live in the Muslim European world, has been constantly growing in the country. A head scarf, hijab, has become an inseparable part of everyday live in French cities.
Many French Muslims do not want to work - they prefer to be on welfare instead. Native French have to pay more and more taxes to maintain the growing number of immigrants. The level of criminality among Muslim immigrants is considerably higher in comparison with that among the native French. To crown it all, a number of mosques promote Jihad and urge others to support terrorists in the Caucasus, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots. Terrorists used to conduct subversive activities in Paris and other cities for years. However, the most recent terrorist attack in the French capital took place in 1995, when nine were killed and tens of others were injured in a subway explosion.
Will France and other countries of the previously tolerant Europe have to take extreme measures to make Muslims obey the national laws?
Scientist of politics Geidar Jemal told Pravda.Ru that Sarkozy had become a third European leader to have announced a failure of multiculturalism in Europe.
"He came third after Merkel and Cameron. I believe that his statements are related to a political struggle inside the European Union, rather than to Muslims themselves. The standoff between the rightist forces and liberals has been particularly intense in the European Union recently, and the Muslim issue in this struggle is secondary.
"As for the possible reaction to Sarkozy's statements, one may predict that they will do what their will and conscience tell them to do. Sarkozy can easily trigger massive Muslim riots in the country. Leftist forces may join Muslims in the protests. The financial crisis is not over, and one can expect many people taking to the street and joining Muslims in their protests. Sarkozy should think twice before he puts any pressure on Muslims - he is likely to commit political suicide otherwise," the expert said.
Elena Chudinova, the author of the controversial novel "The Mosque of Notre Dame de Paris," shares Sarkozy's views on the issue. Multiculturalism, Chudinova believes, can be extremely dangerous to all European countries.
"One can witness the rush of Middle Ages in the 21st century, and Europe is being aware of that. As for Sarkozy, he at first cracked down on gypsies, who create a lot less problems than Muslims do. The political climate in Europe has been changing speedily lately. At the end of December, I took part in the international conference in Paris against the islamization of our countries. About one thousand people took part in the discussion, and 230,000 followed it on the Internet. Millions of people of other cultures inundate France and other countries of Europe and they do not want to accept European traditions and culture. The French, the Germans and the British begin to realize that they are in trouble, but they demonstrate their readiness to improve the situation.
"As for the possible reaction on the part of the immigrants - there is nothing one can do about it. Muslims only understand the language of force, it's a part of their mentality," Chudinova concluded.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko had a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan