"The fact of pluralism, to paraphrase Rawls, emerges as self-evident in a world comprising over six hundred languages, five hundred ethno-cultural groups and innumerable religions spread across nearly two hundred recognised sovereign states. By definition, therefore, pluralism is an inescapable feature of human societies, and 'can neither be wished out of existence nor suppressed without an unacceptable degree of coercion, and often not even then'.
"Different kinds of polities have long struggled with reconciling cultural pluralism with an idea of collective membership. In one respect this is odd because the intermingling of cultural (including religious and ethnic) diversity is as old as we can record. On the other hand it may well be anticipated that unsettling established social and identity configurations creates challenges, something that is no less apparent in modern polities. The way pluralism is conceived obviously has implications for understanding the relationships between interculturalism and multiculturalism and other ways of reconciling unity or diversity."
Nasar Meer, Tariq Moddod and Ricard Zapata-Barrero, "A Plural Century: Situating Interculturalism and Multiculturalism", in: Multiculturalism and Interculturalism. Debating the Dividing Lines, Edinburg University Press, 2016, p. 1, 11.