The Backlash Against European Multiculturalism

Growing support for anti-immigrant parties.

Multiculturalism, the “religion” of the European Union (EU) elites, enforced by many EU states through “diversity” programs, has begun to lose its luster.   The recent elections in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Sicily, points to growing support for far-right, and nationalist parties.  The growing trend of such parties as the Alternative for Germany, Austria’s People’s Party, and the Czech ANO Party, winning elections in recent months is fueled by the arrival of more than a million unassimilable migrants and refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.  It has contributed to a huge jump in terrorist attacks, crime, and an economic burden on the host European states.  The slow economic growth in most EU countries has put the squeeze on the native population.  They are now compelled to compete for limited jobs and resources with migrants and refugees. 

In the Czech Republic, Andrej Babis, a billionaire media mogul, who people like to compare to Donald Trump, has triumphed in the October 21, 2017 elections.  He is against absorbing Middle Eastern migrants into the Czech Republic, and is opposed to multiculturalism, much like many European leaders who have admitted that multiculturalism in Europe has failed.

Babis’ anti-establishment, and anti-EU, ANO party won 29.64% of the vote, (projected to have 78 seats) replacing as the top party the center-left Czech Social-Democratic party that garnered only 7.27% of the parliamentary vote.  The Civic Democratic Party (ODS), a right-of-center conservative party, took second place with 11.32% of the vote (projected to have 25 seats).  Another anti-establishment party, the Pirate party, received 10.79% (projected to have 22 seats).  The Czech parliament or the Chamber of Deputies has 200 seats.  The outcome of this election points to a right-of center coalition with Babis as Prime Minister and a majority of at least 125 seats in the Chamber.

In Austria, where legislative elections were held on October 15, 2017, Sebastian Kurz, leader of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the youngest government leader in Europe, garnered 31.6% of the vote.  A confirmed Eurosceptic, he won the election and will become its next Chancellor of Austria.  U.K.’s Sunday Express headline on October 16, 2017 was, “Eurosceptic Sebastian Kurz declares Victory in Nightmare for EU.”  The 31-year-old Kurz is likely to form a coalition with the right-wing populist Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), which was founded by a former SS officer.  The FPO received 26.9% of the vote.  The Social Democratic Party, which hitherto governed Austria (The People’s Party was the junior partner in the coalition and Kurz served as Foreign Minister at the age of 27) was relegated to third place with 26% of the vote. 

Kurz and his party are tough on immigration and easy on taxes.  As part of the previous government, Kurz backed a recent law that imposed a ban on Muslim women wearing Burkas.  He also pledged to do away with welfare payments to refugees.

The National Council of the Austrian Parliament’s 183 seats is projected to have 61 representatives from the OVP (People’s Party), a gain of 14 from the previous elections.  The FPO (Freedom Party) will be represented by 51 members, a gain of 11, and the SPO (Social Democrats) has lost 3 seats and will have 49 seats in the new national Council according to OE24 polling.  According to the Sunday Express “The stunning result will come as a crushing blow to the EU and essentially a strong vote against liberal politics pedaled by France and Germany.”

In September, 2017, Germany’s anti-Islamic immigrants party, Alternatives fur Deutschland (AfD) received 13% of the vote in the federal elections to the Bundestag.  It was a clear rebuke of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies.  In Sicily earlier this month, another right-of-center party won the regional elections.  The New York Times reported that, “Berlusconi’s candidate, Nello Musumeci, the candidate of a coalition of center-right parties for governor of Sicily, won with 39% of the vote, while the Five Star Movement’s Giancarlo Cancelleri, took nearly 35%. The anti-establishment movement ran on its own, becoming the island’s leading party.”

France and Germany, along with other Western European and Scandinavian EU members, have pushed the multiculturalist line. The pattern throughout central Europe however, is in the reverse, with the parties of the left losing ground to anti-immigration, Eurosceptic, and anti-multiculturalist parties.  Poland and Hungary too, have elected parties that are vehemently opposed to immigration from Muslim countries as well as multiculturalism.

The BBC-TV reported on October 17, 2010 that at a meeting with younger members of the Christian-Democratic party, Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out that “We kidded ourselves a while, we said: ‘They won’t stay, sometime they will be gone,’ but this isn’t reality.”  Merkel was referring to the 16 million foreign workers who flooded Germany in the 1960’s.  Merkel added, “And of course, the approach to build a multicultural society and live side-by-side and to enjoy each other…has failed, utterly failed.”  The current wave of Muslim immigrants, over a million who entered Germany by invitation from Merkel, brought along with them terrorism and crime.  Many of these migrants are unlikely to be culturally assimilated.  What’s more, the native European birthrates, which is below replacement, is no match for the Muslim migrant explosive birthrates.  The anti-immigrant parties warn that within a generation or two, European societies will change beyond recognition, and not for the better.   

The Europeans, unlike the U.S. (the Melting Pot that was America for most of its history), have done little to assimilate their Muslim immigrants from North Africa, the Middle East, and Africa (South of the Sahara) into a homogenized European culture.  The nature of Islamic practices, whether in attitudes toward women, or the notion of individual rights in a democratic system, is threatening European democracy. 

Dutch legal philosopher, Paul Cliteur, considered non-western cultures as anachronistic, and multiculturalism as an unacceptable ideology of cultural relativism.  He argues that multiculturalism leads to the acceptance of barbaric practices (brought by Muslim immigrants to the West) including slavery, homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, female genital mutilation, etc.  In “Falling Prey to Relativism,” Cliteur writes, “Multiculturalism is nowadays affiliated with a postmodern outlook.  The pivotal ideas of this vision of life are relativism (cultural relativism in particular), a negative attitude toward Western political tradition, the cultivation of collective guilt for the transgressions of the colonial past, and other real or presumed black pages in Western history.”

Native European citizens, leaders, and intellectuals from the entire political spectrum are now demanding that their governments seek the assimilation of Muslim migrants into European culture.  The concern is not only over the newly arrived millions that flooded Europe as the result of Middle East conflicts, but also the children and grandchildren of Muslim immigrants who have lived in Europe for a long time.

Countries such as Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands, which have granted immigrants easy access to equal rights, but did not provide strong incentives for immigrants to acquire the native language, created little contact between the immigrants and the native population.  The same countries provided generous welfare to the immigrant population, which has produced low level participation in the labor market, high levels of segregation, and overrepresentation of immigrants in criminal behavior.

The anti-immigrant parties in central Europe and beyond reflect a rising tide of European citizens who reject multiculturalism, and the immigration of non-Europeans.  There is a feeling among these European natives that they are losing their culture and their country.  It is now just a matter of time before Western European political and social elites face the rage of their people.