Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday said multiculturalism had made western democracies vulnerable to Islamist extremists, according to an FT report.
"France is not a supermarket, it's a whole," Sarkozy said to a room of supporters in the small Alsatian town of Schiltigheim. "There is no French identity, no happy identity in a multicultural society."
France faces a strong challenge from the far-right National Front (FN) party in regional elections in early December and Sarkozy is trying to appeal to those right-leaning voters ahead of the polls.
The FN, boosted by concerns about security after the Paris attacks, is leading opinion polls in two regions in the north and southeast and running head-to-head with Sarkozy's party in the east, according to Reuters.
Mujtaba Raman, practice head of Europe at Eurasia Group, said in a note following the Paris attacks that European leaders would now find it harder to rally public opinion behind their open-door policy for migrants.
For one, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, already under pressure from her party for her accommodative stance on immigration, would find it "harder to maintain Germany's open door policy and to forge agreement with other EU states on temporary and permanent refugee burden-sharing," Raman warned.