Alain Finkielkraut (links) met SPIEGEL's Mathieu von Rohr & Romain Leick [Robert Kluba / DER SPIEGEL]French Philosopher Finkielkraut: ‘There Is a Clash of Civilizations’

Interview Conducted by Mathieu von Rohr and Romain Leick – Spiegel Online International – December 06, 2013

French society is under threat, argues philosopher Alain Finkielkraut in a controversial new book. The conservative spoke to SPIEGEL about what he sees as the failure of multiculturalism and the need for better integration of Muslim immigrants. …

Alain Finkielkraut is one of France’s most controversial essayists. His new book, “L’Identité Malheureuse” (“The Unhappy Identity,” Éditions Stock ), has been the subject of heated debate. It comes at a time when France finds itself in the midst of an identity crisis. But rather than framing things from a social or political perspective, Finkielkraut explores what he sees as a hostile confrontation between indigenous French people and immigrants. He was interviewed in his Parisian apartment on the Left Bank.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Finkielkraut, are you unhappy with today’s France?

Finkielkraut: I am pained to see that the French mode of European civilization is threatened. France is in the process of transforming into a post-national and multicultural society. It seems to me that this enormous transformation does not bring anything good.SPIEGEL: Why is that? Post-national and multicultural sounds rather promising.

Finkielkraut: It is presented to us as the model for the future. But multiculturalism does not mean that cultures blend. Mistrust prevails, communitarianism is rampant — parallel societies are forming that continuously distance themselves from each other.

SPIEGEL: Aren’t you giving in here to the right-wingers’ fears of demise? …

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Spiegel Online International – Foto: Alain Finkielkraut (links) met SPIEGEL’s Mathieu von Rohr & Romain Leick [Robert Kluba / DER SPIEGEL]