UK Prime Minister David Cameron has apparently taken a cue from his German counterpart, Chancellor Angela Merkel. At an international conference attended by world leaders last Saturday in Munich, Germany, Mr. Cameron characterized his country's policy of multiculturalism as "a failure," and one of the elements that has fostered Islamic extremism. "If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it's time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past," he said.
Cameron continued: "Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream. We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong."
Unsurprisingly, Mr. Cameron's assessment was condemned by Muslim groups in the UK. Faisal Hanjra, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, a group which receives government funding to combat extremism, called the remarks "disappointing," in an interview with BBC radio. "Again it just seems the Muslim community is very much in the spotlight, being treated as part of the problem as opposed to part of the solution," he added. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive the Ramadhan Foundation, a British Muslim welfare group claimed that "[S]ingling out Muslims as he has done feeds the hysteria and paranoia about Islam and Muslims…. British Muslims abhor terrorism and extremism, and we have worked hard to eradicate this evil from our country. It would help if politicians stopped pandering to the agenda of the BNP and the fascist EDL."