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ASSIMILATION IN A MULTI-CULTURAL WORLD August 31, 2006

Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
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It is too easy to criticize politicians for playing the political game which includes the “new dark arts”, hypocrisy, outright lying and semantic sliding around the known truth. Still they are supposed to be leaders able to speak to and imaginatively understand all the people in the society, although the tactic of electoral polarization turns that idea into fantasy. “The clash of civilizations”, as the Cronulla rioters, for example, well understood occurs within societies as well as between them.

The problem, I suggest, may be not as some allege multiculturalism but the failure of assimilation. Multiculturalism it is seems to me is based on mutual understanding and acceptance. Assimilation is the expectation that people with a different cultural background must accept established norms. The pain for the migrant, and for the first born may be created when they have assimilated to the extent necessary, but then the wider society, reflected by political opinion leaders and policy makers who do not recognize their responsibilities in a multi-cultural society.

Patriotism is perhaps many things but it is a noble cause which may inspire people, for example, to fight for country. When people become alienated from the country of their birth, perhaps it is not surprising that they should discover their noble cause elsewhere, especially if it is conditioned by the bitter perception of injustice. For example, control orders may be easier to apply than standard policing and intelligence gathering, but this measure of effectiveness needs to be assessed in the social and political context of the message sent and understood, not least their dubious legal merit. Fortunately, the magicians evoking the dark arts have merely drawn ridicule.

Moazzam Begg, a British Muslim, incarcerated and released from Guantanamo Bay has an interesting experience to relate.

Blair and Howard will be seen as very successful electoral politicians, but failures as leaders.

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