Multiculturalism; A gateway to conflict or peace?

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Multiculturalism let goes of what we believe diversity holds, because it cannot be defined in one mould of either optimism or pessimism.

The concept of conflict and peace are distinct from each other in every possible sense but have you ever thought about the possibility of both being similar at any point? NO? let’s dig into it today.

It’s thought provoking how a single yet far-reaching concept i.e., multiculturalism, can be linked with both conflict and peace, based on different conditions suitable to both.

Multiculturalism——–conflict

Having a multicultural state and not being much in favour of it, strikes name of a state similar to such situation? hold it there for a while. Contrarily, having a multicultural society and efficiently entertaining them, pops another state reference? Now place both the states on pole of multiculturalism in your head and see if it joins ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ at some point or not.

If your guess was USA & Canada, then you must be aware of the connection we are digging out here joining conflict & peace under the term of “multiculturalism”.


Some may refer it as “ethnic pluralism”, meaning different ethnicities co-existing at same time and place same as in Canada and USA both.

What causes Conflict and Peace?

Conflict is a dynamic concept involving the notions of energy and movement. These two attributes give its destructive potential i.e., energy in terms of power and movement in terms of mobilization of that power or its transfer. Conflict develops when something is aggravated into the space already occupied by someone or something else that cannot readily accommodate this new presence. Likewise, Conflict derives from having separated societies, the closer the proximity of said societies the more likely violence is.

The opposite of conflict is the avoidance of collision which is based on each party’s interest. Such avoidance of conflict does not create negative competition for interests. Moreover, the avoidance of conflict requires keen appreciation of interests of others.

USA & Multiculturalism

USA & Multiculturalism

“America first” has been highlighted throughout Donald Trump’s media appearances and talks. It not only discriminates other races like natives and Africans but also revoke white nationalism that it has experienced in past years.

Donald Trump’s election campaign, manifesto and his policies have repeatedly and openly expressed sentiments and agenda of white nationalism and white supremacy.

America First depicts a general idea that:

“America should halt its focus, spending and donations to other parts of the world and only be concerned about the success and prosperity of Americans. It highlights an isolationist ideology and mindset”

One of the main reasons for putting up a travel ban was the widespread Islamophobia and xenophobia in white community. These widespread & longstanding phobias further leads to amplify sentiments of ethnic supremacy and racial superiority which eventually lead to racial discrimination.

The American House of Representatives passed a bill with a majority of 289-137 to make it more difficult for the Syrian refugees to come to USA. This reluctance and resistance is also a reflection of White nationalism which makes Americans believe that the superior nation of America would be threatened if infiltered by people of other races.  Numerous White Nationalist Groups have been seen in the election campaign of Donald Trump.

According to the researchers and analysts, the election of Trump has emboldened the far-right and white nationalists groups to carry out terrorist attacks and commit acts of violence. In 2017, some of the most high-profile killings in USA have been attributed to the far-right violence.  The most significant incidence in this regard is the attack in Charlottesville that was carried out by White Nationalists. In Charlottesville at the end of a white supremacist rally, a radical white Supremacist ran his car into an anti-racism march and injured about 19 people. Moreover, there have been numerous incidents of target killing and stabbings that have been carried out by White Nationalists and radical conservatives.  In this way America, despite of multicultural society, act in racist manner and does not assimilate this in the system. The reflection of this has been prominent on its foreign policy when USA banned Muslim countries and restricted their visa permits. So, this multicultural situation has become a problem for Muslims especially, to survive in such environment and the ones going there.

Canadian response to multiculturalism

While Canada has widely opened its arms and has warmly welcomed the Syrian refugees, Canada itself has a history of providing refuge to the troubled people of the world. Canada’s accommodation of refugee’s dates back to 18th century when the troubled blacks of America wanted to escape the destruction and devastation of the American Revolution. For the next two centuries, Jews, Polish, Italians, Hungarians and Vietnamese have sought refuge in Canada. With the worsening humanitarian situation in Syria, many Syrians have been forced out of Syria as mentioned earlier.

Canada has played a significant role in providing refuge to these oppressed and troubled Syrians. Keeping in view the large number of refugees accommodated by Canada, the pro-refugee resettlement policies of Canada and the favourable conditions that Canada tries to provide to refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has labelled Canada as a “haven” for refugees. Shortly after coming to power in 2015, the new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an ambitious plan to accommodate 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada. The government of Canada has opened opportunities for private sponsors to sign sponsorship agreements with the government of Canada to help, resettle and support the refugees. Prominent sponsors are Group of 5 and Community Sponsors. The position of USA in dealing with the Syrian refugees is in stark contrast with the position of Canada.

Conflict——-Multiculturalism——–Peace

Multiculturalism means existence of diversity and that refers to another dynamic of interest which is conflictual situation of a society having multiculturalism.

“It is not multiculturalism to be blamed for eruption of a conflict but it is the society that does not tolerate such concepts and assimilate other ethnos”

The resulting situation like Canada and USA keeps it more evident that how conflicts are encouraged during exchange of ethnos and diversity when there are molecules of peace floating in the society waiting to be noticed and captured.

The only reason that Canada is entertaining other ethnicities is due to various reasons and not only just because the legal framework allows it to be so such as liberal vision of the Canadian prime minister to welcome these ethnicities or his belief on multicultural societal benefits such as coexistence of different expertise regardless of cultural backgrounds etc. the consequences are however not excluded entirely and are there to be noticed and discussed as well.

Trump’s stance of building a wall with Mexico also reflects the sentiments of radical American Nationalism of which the white nationalism is a part. America has been very reluctant in hosting and accommodating the troubled and crisis-stricken people of Syria.

The American House of Representatives passed a bill with a majority of 289-137 to make it more difficult for the Syrian refugees to come to USA. This reluctance and resistance is also a reflection of White nationalism which makes Americans believe that the superior nation of America would be threatened if infiltered by people of other races. From the time Donald Trump held the US office, the number of white nationalist groups has increased tremendously. And while the radical conservatives and white nationalists support Trump, they themselves are also supported by Trump.

According to various researchers and analysts, the election of Trump has emboldened the far-right and white nationalists’ groups to carry out terrorist attacks and commit acts of violence. In 2017, some of the most high-profile killings in USA have been attributed to the far-right violence.  The most significant incidence in this regard is the attack in Charlottesville that was carried out by White Nationalists. In Charlottesville at the end of a white supremacist rally, a radical white Supremacist ran his car into an anti-racism march and injured about 19 people. Moreover, there have been numerous incidents of target killing and stabbings that have been carried out by White Nationalists and radical conservatives.  In this way America, despite of multicultural society, act in racist manner and does not assimilate this in the system. The reflection of this has been prominent in its foreign policy when USA banned Muslim countries and restricted their visa permits. So, this multicultural situation has become a problem for Muslims especially, to survive in such environment.

“The major factor behind analysis of peace and conflict is not “culture” but it is “human behavior” and human nature that encompass actions and reactions, specific approaches toward issues, individual mindsets, acceptability and many more that can be included under the broad term of human behavior”

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