Asim Karim: A Backlash Against Multiculturalism

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As Asim Karim quotes Vertovec (2010) in his article “Multiculturalism”: there has emerged in public discourse across numerous settings- especially in Europe- a broad backlash against multiculturalism. From the political Right many critics now see multiculturalism as a foremost contributor to social breakdown, ethnic tension and the growth of extremism and terrorism (cited in Karim 126). Kymlicka and other theorists of multiculturalism have claimed that antidiscrimination law falls short of treating members of minority groups as equals; because states cannot be neutral with respect to culture. Yet we can find state support for some cultural groups over others in culturally diverse societies. As Jeremy Waldron (1995, 100) argues, “We live in a world formed by technology and trade; by economic, religious, and political imperialism and their offspring; by mass migration and the dispersion of cultural influences. In this context, to immerse oneself in the traditional practices of, say, an aboriginal culture might be a fascinating anthropological experiment, but it involves an artificial dislocation from what actually is going on in the world” (cited in Sarah). Barry argues that cultural minorities should be held accountable for bearing the consequences of their own beliefs and practices, likewise the members of the dominant culture are held responsible for bearing the consequences of their beliefs. Some postcolonial critics have critical view about multiculturalism and the

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