Pandaemonium

TALKING ABOUT MULTICULTURALISM

In a Eurozine debate in Bratislava:

‘The irony about multiculturalism as a political process is that it undermines much of what is good about diversity as a lived experience. The question that multiculturalists very rarely ask themselves is why is diversity good? Diversity isn’t good in and of itself; it’s good because it allows us to expand our horizons, to break out of the boxes – by they cultural, ethnic, or religious – in which we find ourselves. To think about other values, other beliefs, other lifestyles, to make judgements upon those values and beliefs and lifestyles. To enter, in other words, into a dialogue, a debate, through which a more universal language of citizenship can arise. It is precisely such dialogue and debate that multiculturalism as a political process undermines and erodes in the name of “respect” and “tolerance”. So the very thing that diversity is good for, the very thing we should cherish it for, is the very thing that multiculturalism as a political process undermines.’

And in an interview in Information (in Danish):

‘Tidligere handlede lighed om, at alle skulle behandles ens uanset deres forskelle. I dag handler det om, at man skal behandles forskelligt på grund af sine forskelle. Venstrefløjen har altså overtaget højrefløjens partikularisme,’ fastslår Kenan Malik.

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