A little more impurity, please

Salman Rushdie in The Times:

SalmanrushdieNo question about it: it’s harder to celebrate polyculture when Belgian women are being persuaded by Belgians “of North African descent” to blow themselves — and others — up. Comedians have been trying to defuse (wrong verb) people’s fears by facing up to them: “My name’s Shazia Mirza, or at least that what it says on my pilot’s licence.” But it will take more than comedy to calm things down.

Britain, the most determinedly “multiculturist” of European nations, is at the heart of the debate. According to some opinion polls the British people avowed their continued support for multiculturalism even in the immediate aftermath of the July 7 bombings; many commentators, however, have been less affirmative. David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine, asks the old philosophical question — “Who is my brother?” — and suggests that an over-diverse society may become an unsustainable one. Britain’s first black Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu, accuses multiculturalism of being bad for English national identity. And the Government announces that new citizens will have to pass a “Britishness test” from now on: a passport will be a kind of driving licence proving you’ve learnt the rules of the nationalist road.

More here.