Ihmisten jakautuminen erillisiksi etniseksi yhteisöiksi oli suurelta osin eurooppalaisen ns. monikulttuurisuus-politiikan seuraus, eikä välttämättä maahanmuuttajien oma pyrkimys. Radikaalit muslimi-järjestöt ovat sittemmin ottaneet kaiken hyödyn tästä monikultturismin luomasta osin keinotekoisesta etnisestä jakautumisesta:
"Take Muslim identity. Today there is much talk in European countries of a so-called Muslim community—of its views, its needs, its aspirations. But the concept is entirely new. Until the late 1980s, few Muslim immigrants to Europe thought of themselves as belonging to any such thing. That wasn’t because they were few in number. In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, for example, there were already large and well-established South Asian, North African, and Turkish immigrant communities by the 1980s.
The first generation of North African immigrants to France was broadly secular, as was the first generation of Turkish immigrants to Germany. By contrast, the first wave of South Asian immigrants to arrive in the United Kingdom after World War II was more religious. Yet even they thought of themselves not as Muslims first but as Punjabis or Bengalis or Sylhetis. Although pious, they wore their faith lightly. Many men drank alcohol. Few women wore a hijab, let alone a burqa or a niqab (a full-faced veil). Most attended mosque only occasionally. Islam was not, in their eyes, an all-encompassing philosophy. Their faith defined their relationship with God, not a sacrosanct public identity.
Members of the second generation of Britons with Muslim backgrounds were even less likely to identify with their religion. The same went for those whose parents were Hindu or Sikh. Religious organizations were barely visible within minority communities. The organizations that bound immigrants together were primarily secular and often political; in the United Kingdom, for example, such groups included the Asian Youth Movements, which fought racism, and the Indian Workers’ Association, which focused on labor rights.
Only in the late 1980s did the question of cultural differences become important. A generation that, ironically, is far more integrated and westernized than the first turned out to be the more insistent on maintaining its alleged distinctiveness. The reasons for this shift are complex. Partly they lie in a tangled web of larger social, political, and economic changes over the past half century, such as the collapse of the left and the rise of identity politics. Partly they lie in international developments, such as the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the Bosnian war of the early 1990s, both of which played an important role in fostering a more heightened sense of Muslim identity in Europe. And partly they lie in European multicultural policies.
Group identities are not natural categories; they arise out of social interaction. But as cultural categories received official sanction, certain identities came to seem fixed. In channeling financial resources and political power through ethnically based organizations, governments provided a form of authenticity to certain ethnic identities and denied it to others.
Multicultural policies seek to build a bridge between the state and minority communities by looking to particular community organizations and leaders to act as intermediaries. Rather than appeal to Muslims and other minorities as citizens, politicians tend to assume minorities’ true loyalty is to their faith or ethnic community. In effect, governments subcontract their political responsibilities out to minority leaders."
Siitä en toki ole samaa mieltä, että ryhmä- identiteetti olisi jotenkin luonnoton - mitä lie luonnottomuudella sitten tässä tarkoitetaankaan. Mutta kieltämättä se voi joskus johtaa ongelmiin.