Armed Hostilities

Spread of Multiculturalism After 9, 11


Multiculturalism can be defined as the practice of acceptance or promotion of the existence of multiple ethnic cultures in a country, school, college, business and neighborhoods among many other contexts. The advocates of multiculturalism are focused towards ensuring that all ethnic and religious groupings are accorded equal status in society without taking into account the cultural, ethnic or religious values that define them. However, in Britain and other parts of Europe, multiculturalism is defined relative to immigration of non-white people into the white dominated nations. In this context, multiculturalism is defined as the identification of cultural and ethnic differences in the public sphere of laws, politics, education and the terms of dual citizenship and national identity (Modood, 2007, p.2).

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Multiculturalism is also referred to as a fairer way that gives people the opportunity to express who they are in society. This is also the moral unacceptability of racism, sexism and discrimination on the basis of gender in society (Goldberg, 1994, p.17). A political goodwill is that which recognizes the values that a cultural or linguistic community gives to a person’s life and discourages the political evils leveled against a particular community all in the name of civilization and race (Levy, 2000, p.7).

This essay presents a two-fold objective. In the first case, we are going to look at how this notion of multiculturalism spread relative to the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York in addition to how this issue was looked at before the 9/11 terror. Secondly, we will look at the relevance of this practice in the twenty first century. In this case, we are going to ask ourselves whether this is the only option that is left of us in terms of ensuring that security threats are avoided and civil liberties are observed.

The spread of Multiculturalism before 9/11

The 1960s was marked with the activities that gave importance to a single human race. Practices such Nazism segregated between Jew, Aryan, slaves among many other social classes. These practices were later to be defeated by anti-racist activists notably Martin Luther King Jr. This was also the time that Black Americans started pressing for recognition of their own black political movements. The women also became aware of their sexual differences from men. The gays also were determined to make their own social class recognized in society in order to live without fear or having to copy heterosexuality (Modood, 2007, p.1).

These developments were immediately followed by the emergency of ideas concerning human rights and equal citizenship. This gave way to a new wave of politics where individuals teamed up with other individuals of the same status in society in seeking recognition. These activities came to be regarded as multiculturalism in the United States (Modood, 2007, p.2).

In Australia, the rise in multicultural politics was associated with the end of the long economic boom in the country. This is because the economic recovery of the 1950s and 1960s was largely due to exploitation of immigrant labor. Due to this exploitation, ethnic organizations rose amongst the working class against the vice with the hope of securing avenues that can recognize the rights of these immigrants (Foster & Stockley, 1984, p.3). Through what was seen as an act of faith, the major political parties in Australia then rose in support of multiculturalism in the 1980s. These activities led to the establishment of the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs with funds being directed towards establishment of education systems that were intended to investigate into the importance of practicing multiculturalism.

The Spread of Multiculturalism after 9/11

It is quite evident that America is a country that is a true multicultural society. Historically, it is clear that Americans have managed to pass the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1991.After this they also passed two acts which include the Americans with disabilities act of 1994 and the equal pay act of 1963. Moreover, 2009 was an historic year when an African American was elected as president of America. Although this became a success, the election of an African America was regarded as an unprecedented event. This then indicates that the country has a long way to go. Either way, after the 1990s’ multicultural citizenship politics and debates, we can today note a change in the direction of multicultural politics (Modood et al., 2006, p.1). There has been increased security awareness around the world after the horrific events of New York, 9/11/2001 which have led to a crisis concerning multiculturalism.

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These events also led to the revision and securitization of the immigration rules by most European countries. Over the past years, most western countries have been competing for the educated and middle class immigrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle-East but that is not the case nowadays. This is because, the group has been linked with terrorism and thus this has been used as the reason for toughening the immigration rules. Most of these European countries have chosen to employ assimilationist approach in place of the multicultural policies which they now view as failed (Modood et al., 2006, p.1).

The events of 9/11 have led to renewed focus of the world on how to unite the world population that has been divided along ethnic, racial and religious lines for so long. The intensified war on terror has led to increased multi-media campaigns in many countries aimed at stopping racism and selling the multicultural policies. It is quite evident that the war on terror, the invasion of Iraq, and the debates about the civil liberties in Guatanamo Bay and the terrorist attacks by radical Muslims forced Americans to reconsider their stand concerning multiculturalism (Rubin & Verheul, 2009, p.7). Today, multiculturalism has entered into American Universities though forcefully. This is considered as one of the ways in which literary and cultural studies can be appreciated among the scholars and their students (Derek & Verheul, 2009, p.9).

After the 9/11 attack, America was torn between being concerned about its national security and giving allowance for civil liberties to the minorities. Moreover, multiculturalism became a key factor that defined America and therefore allowing multiculturalism to spread into international arenas like never before. Moreover, the issues concerning cultural diversity became relevant to most western and European countries amidst heightened terrorist threats such as the attacks on Madrid in 2004 and the London, 7/7.

Despite all these developments, blatant discrimination against minorities is still prevalent in most organizations world over. This occurs despite the existence of legislations put in place to protect the minorities. Multiculturalism is essential because it helps employees feel appreciated and not marginalized by anyone.

How relevant is Multiculturalism in the 21st Century

This is the timely and most appropriate opportunity to embrace multiculturalism. This is because; the practice is a form of integration that can comfortably normalize the repercussions of ignorance of equal citizenship in the post – 9/11 and post – 7/7 eras (Modood, 2007, p.14). By giving others room to express their opinion, many people will come to take challenges from others with the seriousness that they deserve.

The war on terror can be looked at from a different perspective (that is), tolerance. We must try to tolerate everyone and through tolerance we become aware of the concerns of each individual in the society.

Finally, Multiculturalism can also be considered as an educational reform agenda aimed at eliminating racism, sexism and gender discrimination.

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Multiculturalism is an important tool in terms of developing and maintaining international relations between nations and between the people of the world. It is a requirement that should be fulfilled if at all peace was to triumph in the world.

It is equally important to recognize the assorted cultural wealth of the world by appreciating it and giving other people the respect they deserve through stringent observation of their denominational organizations just like any other. The civil liberties of different ethnic groups should also be held with utmost respect in order to avoid conflicts and security threats.

Reference List

Foster, L. & Stockley, D., 1984. Multiculturalism: the changing Australian paradigm. [e-book]. England: Multilingual Matters Ltd.

Goldberg, D.T., 1994. Multiculturalism: a critical reader. [e-book]. Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Levy, J.T., 2000. The multiculturalism of fear. [e-book]. New York: Oxford University Press.

Modood, T., 2007. Multiculturalism. [e-book]. Cambridge: Polity press.

Modood, T., Triandafyllidou, A. & Zapata-Barrero, R., 2006. Multiculturalism, Muslims and citizenship: a European approach. [e-book]. New York: Roultledge.

Rubin, D., & Verheul, J., 2009. American multiculturalism after 9/11: transatlantic perspectives. [e-book]. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

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