U.K. chief rabbi: Multiculturalism is a threat to liberal democracy

By The Associated Press

Multiculturalism promotes segregation, stifles free speech and threatens liberal democracy, Britain’s top Jewish official warned in extracts from his book published Saturday.

Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief rabbi, defined multiculturalism as an attempt to affirm Britain’s diverse communities and make ethnic and religious minorities more appreciated and respected. But in his book, “The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society,” he said the movement had run its course.

“Multiculturalism has led not to integration but to segregation,” Sacks wrote in his book, an extract of which was published in the Times of London.

“Liberal democracy is in danger,” Sacks said, adding later: “The politics of freedom risks descending into the politics of fear.”

Sacks said Britain’s politics had been poisoned by the rise of identity politics, as minorities and aggrieved groups jockeyed first for rights, then for special treatment.

The process, he said, began with Jews, before being taken up by blacks, women and gays. He said the effect had been inexorably divisive.

“A culture of victimhood sets group against group, each claiming that its pain, injury, oppression, humiliation is greater than that of others,” he said.

In an interview with the Times, Sacks said he wanted his book to be extremely politically incorrect. But Sacks defended his strong support for Jewish schools in Britain, saying the promotion of Jewish education was compatible with integration.

Photogenic and outspoken, Sacks is highly regarded in Britain and makes frequent appearances on television, radio and in the national press.

His reputation among Britain’s 260,000-strong Jewish community is more varied.

Ultra-orthodox believers were dismayed by the suggestion in Sacks’ earlier book, “The Dignity of Difference,” that the faith did not contain the absolute truth, according to The Times.

Sacks also raised hackles when, in 2002, he said in an interview that there were many things that happened in Israel that made him very uncomfortable as a Jew.

October 21, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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  1. Rabbi Sack’s comment of things happening in Israel that made him uncomfortable to be a Jew is found in a reported interview in the Guardian. The Guardian report of the interview called Prophet of Hope and published on August 27th, 2002 is at the following site:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,781042,00.html

    An open letter and stinging rebuke to British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks over his comments in the Guardian by Isi Leibler September 12, 2002 found at the following site:

    http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/1429.htm

    Leibler in his letter to Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks took the Rabbi to task for saying to a Guardian reporter that he was uncomfortable being a Jew because of a single incident of a published photo of Israeli soldiers smiling over the dead body of a Palestinian. Liebler notes that this was a single incident, roundly condemned in Israel and yet Rabbi Sacks’ comment gave ammunition to the British Jew haters and anti-Israel media.

    Liebler characterized the Guardian as:

    The primary UK media vehicle for undermining and de-legitimizing Israel

    Those who are familiar with the Guardian’s reporting on the Middle East and the Israel – Palestinian conflict would agree wholeheartedly with Liebler’s characterization of the Guardian.

  2. I think one should bear in mind that the word “multiculturalism” is itself a falsification of the social or cultural reality it is meant to describe. In each and every case where someone is promoting “multiculturalism”, the obvious objective is actually to impose monoculturalism, or more precisely Islam, as the dominant and ultimately the only existing and permitted “culture”. There is no “multiculturalism”. It is a bluff invented by politicians in order to deceive themselves and others, just like “moderate Muslims”.

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