Right now, virtually anywhere in Europe, elections can turn on debates over immigration and integration. In Sweden, extreme anti-immigration parties have gained a foothold in parliament for the first time. In Holland, the anti-immigrant and Islamaphobic Party for Freedom is now the third-largest, ahead of the traditional conservative Christian Democrats. In France and Belgium, debate rages over state bans of the veil, and Italy may be next.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that multiculturalism had failed. In the United Kingdom, immigration was a key issue in the last election. Even in Switzerland, voters last year approved a referendum banning minarets, to the surprise of practically the whole European intellectual and political elite.
This is a big and growing issue, and it cannot be understood simply in terms of cultural questions about immigration.