In the past 25 years or so, most European countries have absorbed large Muslim populations from other countries. The nations of "old Europe" - England, France, Germany, Spain, etc. - would have zero or negative population growth, were it not for the immigrants.
And they bent over backwards to make the Islamists feel at home, without any thought as to how the newcomers might be assimilated into society. Under the banner of "celebrating diversity," the immigrants were allowed to establish their own communities, often quite free from the rules and regulations that governed the rest of society. Such unique Muslim traditions as "honor killings" and female circumcision were allowed to proliferate, and anyone who pointed out that these were inconsistent with traditional Western values was called "intolerant" or "racist."
In France, there are so-called "no-go zones" which non-muslims are advised not to enter, since police protection is not available. We're not talking about a bad neighborhood or two; The government has designated more than 700 of these no-go zones, in all areas of the country.
In Great Britain, some Muslims were allowed to establish their own court system, governed by Sharia, the Islamic code of justice. When a crime took place, British authorities were told to stay out, and to let the local court system deal with it. Meekly, they did.
Of course, the result has been chaos. There is so much about Islam that is incompatible with Western values - or any decent sense of human rights - and the end result is that these countries are being eaten away from within, all in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity." The terrorist bombings of London and Madrid were planned and executed by these home-grown Islamists, who operated freely in their Muslim enclaves, unhindered by a society that was afraid to appear "intolerant."
We may finally be reaching a turning point. Recently British Prime David Cameron spoke out against the destabilizing effect of allowing mass immigration without requiring some level of assimilation. At a conference in Munich he said "Multiculturalism has failed," noting that "we have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values.
"Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years," he continued. "Let's properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights - including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?"
Cameron's remarks were decried by the usual suspects: Academics who see "diversity" as some kind of Holy Grail, and the Islamists themselves, who demonstrated one Western value they were quick to grasp: The ability to claim victimhood and cry "racism" whenever they are criticized.
But Cameron is right on the money. And he got some backup a few days later, when French President Nikolas Sarkozy - asked about Cameron's remarks - agreed wholeheartedly. "My answer is clearly yes, it is a failure," he said of multiculturalism. "We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him."
The fact that both Cameron and Sarkozy are willing to recognize the problem might be an indication that we are reaching some kind of turning point. The kind of knuckleheaded political correctness that says every society's customs and traditions are of equal value and should be universally embraced might be on its way out.
The question is this: Is there still time for these countries to remove - and recover from - the poison that is killing their societies?