Controversial Does Racialized Media Harm Multiculturalism?


1947-2014 (Archived)
By Rizwan Syed

The recent riots have demonstrated that, contrary to Thatcher’s sentiments, society does exist.

Last week, Sikh men in Southall stood defending a mosque whilst Muslims prayed. We see a clear example of multiculturalism and community cohesion at work; two different communities working together as part of the same community to achieve a common goal.

London is a clear example of this. Over 250 languages are spoken here – making it the most multi-lingual city on Earth. This is a clear triumph of multiculturalism.

The ability of a 21st century Brit to eat a Turkish kebab, watch Indian TV, take part in a Sikh festival and go to Church every Sunday is a blessing of our multiculturalism. A person is not restricted in what culture he or she can consume and express.

Ken Livingstone, writing for The Independent, said: “Multiculturalism has made London a diverse city with the greatest range of individual choice on earth.”

Yet we see a different story in the media. It is argued that racialised mediadoes not work for community cohesion and multicultural harmony.

Media outlets such as BBC Asian Network and The Voice segregate media consumption along racial lines by target specific racial audiences. Media outlets such as BBC Asian Network also work to ‘tick boxes’ for ethnic quotas.

The BBC almost took down BBC Asian Network in July – partly because they could not identify their target audience. This makes a lot of sense. Painting the radio station with the ‘Asian’ brush suggests a target audience with a diverse range of languages and cultures – there is no ‘Asian’ audience.

In addition, painting the Asian community as the BBC Asian Network also inhibits the usual gender and age targeting which most successful radio stations do effectively.

Vijay Rana, former BBC radio editor, said: “They were never sure who they were broadcasting to. South Asian radio audience in this country is largely 45+ and a large part of them are women”.

Ethnic media outlets allow the establishment to ‘tick boxes’ and keep themselves on the right side of quota requirements. This is the problem with the ‘tick box’ culture –a culture which plagues society as a whole. It is a culture which works to segment ethnic groups.

But there is a flipside to this argument. Ethnic and mainstream media can work to improve community cohesion and multicultural harmony by competing for each other’s audiences –forcing them to target their material at more than one community. By doing so, they would be forced to find common grounds between communities.

I caught up with Sunny Hundal, editor of Liberal Conspiracy and founder of Asians in Media. He said: ‘‘I think it is good for mainstream audiences to poach ethnic audiences and for ethnic stations to poach mainstream audiences.’

The varying ethnic communities in the UK need to find common ground – an area the media can improve by poaching audiences. However, the industry must remain vigilant and not compartmentalise its audiences on racial lines.

Doing so would be detrimental to multiculturalism.


Interesting points.

Multiculturalism means many things to many different people. From each ones perspective, each may be right.

However whilst we should be proud as a nation to have so much variety and peoples living here, society as a whole should and must adhere to common bonds that bind us all together. Perhaps the democratic tradition and freedom is one aspect.

As the post says "Last week, Sikh men in Southall stood defending a mosque whilst Muslims prayed". Any cases of it being the other way around ??

Im first generation British and love my country. I feel I am English with a Punjabi heritage of which I am proud of. I wish some people would stop trying to put me into an "ethnic" box.

MC is the freedom to think and worship...not the demand to impose "alien" values on that I mean female circumcision,sharia zones, forced arranged marriages etc and creating enclaves that are hostile to others.

As the original post states The varying ethnic communities in the UK need to find common ground

I wonder who is being racist ?


1947-2014 (Archived)
We have a long history of defending the religious liberty of others. To the point of grizzly martyrdom. It is not our destiny to be the defended, as we were born to be defenders. So why would anyone want, let alone expect, that Muslims in Friday services should defend us on Saturday or Sunday. The fundamental point is that two very different religions with a long and sometimes bloody history could strike common ground, their shared humanity, and solve shared problems at hand together. That is the good side of Sikhi...we rise above our lesser selves and stave off the need to look for a *** for a tat.


The point was about MC.

I am well aware of the sacrifices made and those that continue to be made. Supporting peoples right to worship in their way is a fundamental point.

However supporting any religion/dogma that is against humanity and our basic values is clearly wrong. Would we encourage the "Aryan white church" and its values ?

Although religion has been implicated in mass killings, there is often a reluctance to acknowledge its role; indeed, religions themselves typically deny their complicity. In fact, it is even controversial to suggest the role that religion and religious communities may have played in atrocities. For example, the Nazi state is typically portrayed as atheist; religious people of the period are often considered either as heroes, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the clergy who spoke out against Adolf Hitler, or as victims, such as the Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses.

Sikhs have a long history supporting freedom and long may that continue. But we have an obligation to question practices that are wrong. Being born and raised in England, we have common bonds in democracy and tolerance.Its why Sikhs have flourished in this great country.



1947-2014 (Archived)
Well your response indicates that you have taken a 90 degree turn and so we need to decide what you were really pinpointing in the original article.


Well your response indicates that you have taken a 90 degree turn and so we need to decide what you were really pinpointing in the original article.

Think it is very simple. Is it too hard to understand ?

Only 90 degree turn ? I think you need to clarify yourself as you mentioned

It is not our destiny to be the defended, as we were born to be defenders

Defend what ? I have said that people should have the right to worship..have also said that some strands of religious thought are fundamentally against the concept of Sikhism. In the democracy we live in we support many universal values such as the right of women, gay rights, peaceful assembly, equality , freedom.

I am quite liberal in fact.

But will not support all other religious cults and groups when they are against human rights and dignity.

Several examples... against major religions though main stream groups will deny them... Will question them and denounce them and their views

1)...CHRISTIANITY Mormonism... "God used to be a man on another planet and Mormon members may become gods of their own worlds" , ? Jehovah's Witnesses... "Blood transfusions are sinful" , Aryan Nations/Church of Jesus Christ ..."We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The phrase has become a popular battle cry for white supremacists and neo-Nazis."

Pope Innocent VIII issued a bill titled Summis desiderantes, which allowed the Inquisition to pursue witches and witchcraft as enemies of Christianity. According to the Malleus Maleficarum,"[A]ll wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman . . . What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colours. . . . Women are by nature instruments of Satan—they are by nature carnal, a structural defect rooted in the original creation" (Accessed at

2) ISLAM Well...If this is the real word of God...then this is what she/he/it has to say.....not very tolerant is it ?

"O Prophet! Make war against the unbelievers [all non-Muslims] and the hypocrites and be merciless against them. Their home is hell, an evil refuge indeed." (Koran, 9:73)

"When you meet the unbelievers in jihad [holy war], chop off their heads. And when you have brought them low, bind your prisoners rigorously. Then set them free or take ransom from them until the war is ended." (Koran, 47:4)

"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be to be killed or crucified, or to have their hands and feet chopped off on opposite sides, or to be expelled out of the land. Such will be their humiliation in the world, and in the next world they will face an awful horror." (Koran, 5:33-34)
"In order that Allah may separate the pure from the impure, put all the impure ones [all non-Muslims] one on top of another in a heap and cast them into hell. They will have been the ones to have lost." (Koran, 8:37)

"How many were the populations we utterly destroyed because of their sins, setting up in their place other peoples." (Koran, 21:11)

"Remember Allah inspired the angels: I am with you. Give firmness to the believers. I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: you smite them above their necks and smite all their fingertips off of them." (Koran, 8:12)

And can introduce other religions as well.




Does media geared towards a certian communites inhibit multiculturalism?

No of course it does not. I am white, English born and bred. I have no desire to listen to Asian radio, or read Asian new papers or even to watch Asian TV (although I must admit to a liking for Japanese horror). Yet I am freinds with many, many people, of all types from all backgrounds and from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds also.

Nor do I belive that I am the only Londoner who can make such a claim.

No we are differant and our cultures make us so. Even a third generation British/Indian has grown up in a household where Indian not UK culture is prevelant, and why not?

The great thing about multiculturalism is not this much vaunted word 'Tolerance', but another word instead, 'Understanding'. Do you Singhs and Kaurs of Punjabi exctraction want to be tolerated or understood?

We are differant, multicuturalism revels in these differances, so yes keep ethic media. Culture a sense of belonging is important to some people, I would not like to be the one to force Britishness upon another in the name of non racisim.

We should except and attempt to understand these differances rather than declare ethic media as against multiculturalism, because when it gets down to it, it simply is not. Instead it is the whole point of multiculruralism, isn't it?


1947-2014 (Archived)
spnadmin ji is now on her lunch break taking a look at new posts. When she has a longer break in her day you will see her reply. Do not assume that babysitting the biases expressed on these threads is the only demand on her time. japposatnamwaheguru:


No of course it does not. I am white, English born and bred. I have no desire to listen to Asian radio, or read Asian new papers or even to watch Asian TV

Can agree with you but exchange the word white for brown.

As to Asian ? What does that mean ? But, of course, there is a problem. Asia is big; taking up, as it does, 30% of the surface of the globe, and with a population of approximately 3,879,000,000....hee hee google it ;-)

sikh WW - YouTube

Sarfraz Manzoor, writer and presenter of the BBC’s ‘Don’t call me Asian’ illustrates exactly that point:
“No longer can we say the interests of Sikhs and Hindus are the same as those of all British Asians. The government, will, at some point have to formulate more specific and targeted legislation, not just for all Asians but for specific strands within.”

With the term "Asian" ... who are they..The Chinese,Koreans,Japanese,Indians,Pakistanis,Vietnamese, .... who exactly ..and from what heritage ?

With some countries multi-faith democracies exist to the benefit of all. Maybe in an ideal India we can see Christians,Jews,Muslims,Jains ,Sikhs living peacefully together. In the UK we strive to achieve that.

With the definition of "Asian" ..Its becomes meaningless...a word to describe peoples who are not white nor black origin...a lazy way to describe the so called "in-betweens".

Ergo....Asian culture does not exist. Many wonderful cultures and beliefs and great peoples exist from Asia as a continent....... whereas European can be used generally to describe white caucasian and predominately a christian culture, it can NOT BE SAID for "Asian".

As to radicaliSed is a free media. It asks uncomfortable questions.

As to the posters point

Even a third generation British/Indian has grown up in a household where Indian not UK culture is prevelant, and why not?

Sorry mate. England is my country...That is patronising. Many Sikhs are loyal to the UK and its values. Many died fighting for it.
My country..and British Sikhs value our freedoms and tolerance.

sikh WW - YouTube swordfight

We accept different beliefs but should be free to question them. We question history and question many things. A video I made of the Sikh sacrifices for this country of ours. This is just some images of WW1 and WW2. Bless the fallen.

Did they ever teach that at school ...the Indians who died protecting this concept of equality and how Sikhs fought against Nazis while asking for freedom at the same time ?

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