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Why Europe is turning away from multiculturalism

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Most controversially, he said many Muslim groups that act as intermediaries with the larger society are insufficiently straightforward and take public money while pushing concepts of worldwide sharia (Islamic law) and jihad that radicalize youths.

A setback to better relations?

In Britain, Muslims complain Cam­eron is singling out their faith. Some experts worry his approach may reverse modest but significant gains in improved relations since the national shock in 2005 when Muslims who were born in Britain bombed the London transit system. Cameron's new tack, they say, could give comfort to jihadi recruiters.

"This mixes multiculturalism and integration with the wider issue of terrorism and extremism in a way that tarnishes Muslims and blames the entire community," says Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, one of Britain's largest Muslim organizations.

"In the trenches, among those Muslims who deal directly with the street, Cameron's message undermines their credibility and damages the trust needed for them to help, to sit with kids in mosques and homes," says Jonathan Githens-Mazer, director of the European Muslim Research Center at the University of Exeter. "It looks like a double standard. It is very difficult to see what Cameron thought he would achieve with that speech."

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