‘When will you Brits wake up?’ French journalist asks

“In the ten years I have lived in London, I often wondered when it would happen. I don’t mean when British-born suicide bombers would blow themselves up, killing dozens of their fellow citizens – I would never have thought that possible – but rather, when British multiculturalism would finally show its inherent weaknesses.

“France and Britain have always had opposite views and policies about foreigners and their integration into society. British people often fail to understand the underlying principles of the French approach, prefering to brand it as intolerance, or even blatant racism – as, for example in the recent headscarf ban.”

Agnes Poirier of the French “leftist” newspaper Libération – who goes on to argue that “The message to Muslims has been, in effect, that it is all right for them to be a separate country-within-a-country” – joins the right-wing campaign to blame the London bombings on multiculturalism.

Evening Standard, 29 July 2005