France learned the hard way this week that the liberal utopian ideal of multiculturalism is a mirage and a trap.
The suspects in the Charlie Hebdo murders of 12 were described in some media as “French,” but while they may have been French citizens, there was nothing French about their culture or beliefs.
At the time of this writing, there is a hostage situation occurring just blocks from the Charlie Hebdo offices, at a kosher supermarket. Initial reports are saying that at least one of the suspects is believed to belong to the same jihadi group as the Charlie Hebdo murderers.
These acts of terror are not the French way. French culture is one of the roots of American culture and Western civilization.
Murdering people for their religious beliefs went out of fashion centuries ago. Particularly since two wars fought on French soil in the 20th century, there have been many lessons taken to heart about tolerating different points of view.
But that strength of Western culture is also a weakness, as recent events prove.
The concept of multiculturalism may have good intent, but the end, possibly inevitable, result is hatred, bloodshed and violence. Generations of immigration from Muslim-majority countries have left France and much of Europe fractured.
That’s because multicultural ideals encourage foreigners to come to a country and bring all the social baggage of their homeland with them. When immigrants come and take over communities en masse, they set up Third World pockets that seek to replicate the same problems they were presumably fleeing. The culture of the nation being settled in cannot penetrate in such situations.
Normally, the second generation would assimilate to the surrounding culture by virtue of being brought up through existing schools. But what happens when an immigrant group is so insular and backwards that the second generation never acclimates?
The answer is what the world has seen in Paris this week, where Muslim jihadi ignorance and xenophobia have lashed out with deadly results.
We can see similar developments in the United States, not just with Muslim immigrants, but with waves of illegals from Central and South America that have for years been eroding what had previously been American culture. The ongoing failure of multiculturalism can also be seen in the Ferguson shooting and the killings of two NYPD officers. Large swaths of black communities are filled with people who still consider themselves outsiders in their own country.
We used to talk about the concept of America being a big melting pot in which immigrants from all over the world could come here and adopt American values and way of life, with the effect of creating a country where families had many different histories and backgrounds, but one shared culture — American culture.
But somewhere along the way, multiculturalism became the trend. Another word for multiculturalism is balkanization — communities set apart from and against each other.
The only end of that is to tear a country apart.
France is feeling the results of multiculturalism firsthand. Let’s hope America can learn from France’s mistake.