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Opinion State Multiculturalism Has Failed, Says David Cameron

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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Forwarded by forum member Tejwant Singh ji Malik


The prime minister will criticise "state multiculturalism" in his first speech on radicalisation and the causes of terrorism since being elected.

Addressing a security conference in Germany, David Cameron will argue the UK needs a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to extremism.

Different cultures are encouraged to live apart, and objectionable views met with "passive tolerance", he will say.

He will also signal a tougher stance on groups promoting Islamist extremism.

Mr Cameron is to suggest there will be greater scrutiny of some Muslim groups that get public money but do little to tackle extremism.

Ministers should refuse to share platforms or engage with such groups, which should be denied access to public funds and barred from spreading their message in universities and prisons, he will argue.

"Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism," the prime minister will say.

"Let's properly judge these organisations: Do they believe in universal human rights - including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separatism?

"These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations," he will add.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values”

End Quote David Cameron

BBC political correspondent Ben Wright said the prime minister would be delivering a stark message to his audience in Munich - that European countries must "wake up to what's happening within their borders".

Mr Cameron will draw a clear distinction between Islam the religion and what he describes as "Islamist extremism" - a political ideology he says attracts people who feel "rootless" within their own countries.

"We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing."

The government is currently reviewing its policy to prevent violent extremism, known as Prevent, which is a key part of its wider counter-terrorism strategy.

The short speech will make it clear that Mr Cameron wants a stronger sense of citizenship and national belonging to replace an approach he thinks has failed, added our correspondent.
'I am a Londoner too'

A genuinely liberal country "believes in certain values and actively promotes them," Mr Cameron will say.

"Freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. Democracy. The rule of law. Equal rights, regardless of race, sex or sexuality.

"It says to its citizens: This is what defines us as a society. To belong here is to believe these things.

"Each of us in our own countries must be unambiguous and hard-nosed about this defence of our liberty."

He will say that under the "doctrine of state multiculturalism", different cultures have been encouraged to live separate lives.

"We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values."

Building a stronger sense of national and local identity holds "the key to achieving true cohesion" by allowing people to say "I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, but I am a Londoner... too", he will say.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994
 

Seeker9

Cleverness is not wisdom
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May 3, 2010
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UK
There should be 2-way traffic with each side recognising and assimilating what's best in each other's respective culture

Sadly, I feel there has been a lot of one-way traffic and the UK has bent over backwards and let migrant cultures take more and more.....Things like changing long-standing traditional christmas carols for example so as not to cause offence

It is not surprising this has led to a rise in support for the far right and the government is keen to reclaim those lost votes
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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imho

Language is seductive and politicians have used language to seduce both logic and common sense for centuries.

There can be no such thing as "state multiculturalism." There is no "multi" when the "state" dictates reality from a position of power.

State multiculturalism is a meaningless notion. Who is making the stew? A cook who is trying to divest any sense that all the vegetables and spices give their distinct contribution to the total -- in order to satisfy the majority with a homogeneous result. The result is pulp and none of the contributing ingredients are recognizable for their true worth. The role of a great cook is to create a great culinary result where the distinctive ingredients are kept from going to war with one another. There are few great cooks.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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David Cameron, unfortunately lacks intellect, forth-sight, insight and political savvy to be the PM. It was true luck of the Irish, the betrayal of the Liberals to their own ideology along with faux pas by the Labour that made him what and where he is today. And more important, he lacks the knowledge about his own British history.

He has forgotten that the "multi- cultures" did not barge in to spoil the stiff upper lipped society but they were invited to come in as labourers, as their coolies to do the jobs that the Brits thought they were too high and mighty to perform. These people were the same what we call "Latinos" crossing the borders to get into the US.

When these "multi- cultures" through their hard work became wealthy and started participating in the society as semi-equals, because one can not be English if one is not White, they naturally brought their own cultural values with them some of which were and are radical in any society. Rather than reigning the radicals in through law and order, they gave them the freedom to impose their radical views unto the society. The case in point is concept of Khalistan among the Sikhs and radical Islamic views among the Muslims.

Cameron is only talking about the radical Islam which has become the sore thumb in all the Euorpe but subliminally, he is pointing his fingers at all the minorities. Unfortunately, all minorities suffer when put in the same tent.

On the brighter side, it is a challenge for the Sikhs to follow the beautiful Gurmat ideals given to us in the SGGS, our only Guru and weed out the radicalism in those who have ignored the true message of Gurbani.

Tejwant Singh
 

Seeker9

Cleverness is not wisdom
SPNer
May 3, 2010
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980
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Dear Tejwant Ji

These are all valid points

But I think it is fair to say that the main target here is Islam and generally people don't have as big a problem with Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Chinese etc

The Sikhs in particular are even held in high regard by right wing groups like the British National Party and the English Defence League

This is because these groups don't have the same profile within UK society as Islam which is more prominent for a number of reasons:

1) Terrorist activity
2) Insistence on promoting their own ideals e.g Sharia Law, Halal school meals, removing references to certain animals in traditional Christmas Carols etc
3) Treatment of women
4) Consequences of Sharia Law e.g stoning, amputation etc
5) Some dodgy passages in the Qu'ran

I daresay I could go on if I put my mind to it

It is a pity that all peaceful Muslims will be tarred with the same brush but I fully agree and support any policy to reassert the national UK culture and identity and promote integration through initiatives like ESOL for example, (English for Speakers of other Languages)

Instead of being viewed as an attack on migrant cultures, integration should be seen as an opportunity. A basic knowledge of the English language for example will be of enormous benefit when applying for basic support services or day-to-day shopping and travel etc

This is a western nation with western values. It is not a corner of the world for anyone to set up their own culture to the detriment of the pre-existing one. An ironic statement perhaps considering the legacy of the British Empire but times have moved on.....

I write this as a child of two nations with UK citizenship as I was born in Glasgow and consider myself to be well versed in both Indian and Scottish (and I guess in a broader context, Eastern VS Western) cultures. But I am still unequivocally Indian first and Scottish second and I have never had any problem with that and neither have my friends and colleagues.

I agree any kind of assertion of national identity can potentially be the thin end of the wedge and I do wonder where this is heading. But for now, much as I am not a fan of the Tories, I would applaud their taking this bold stance and sending a message that enough is enough and if you come to this country, you will be expected to recognise this country's own long-standing culture, values and rules.

Having said all that, I do not agree multi-culturalism has been a failure. As SPN Admin Ji noted very effectively with the cooking analogy, it requires skill and finesse to get the right balance of each element. But sadly, multiculturalism has been ruthlessly exploited by a minority and this is having an adverse impact for everyone else and leaving a bitter taste
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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I think Cameron was misunderstood in what he said as he was not very coherent for this speech. He has been the only politician willing to speak out against the extremist groups that get state funding despite declaring wanting a sharia state. David Cameron has never pointed fingers at other minority groups or promoted white elitism. I think the halalisation of British meat across the board is one of the factors that has brought this issue to peoples minds.

I saw a televised debate last weekend as a result of this speech with the title, "Should the intolerant be tolerated?" I think that perfectly sums up what is being said and it makes an interesting issue. There was a young British born Muslim in the audience who was even advocating banning football as the half naked men are indecent. On the other hand there was another young Muslim man who didn't feel the clash in being British and Muslim and was all for democracy, womens rights and freedom of choice.

I put the question to SPN members: Should the intolerant be tolerated?
 

spnadmin

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findingmyway ji

Good question.

tolerate |ˈtäləˌrāt|
verb [ trans. ]
allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference : a regime unwilling to tolerate dissent.
• accept or endure (someone or something unpleasant or disliked) with forbearance : how was it that she could tolerate such noise?
• be capable of continued subjection to (a drug, toxin, or environmental condition) without adverse reaction : lichens grow in conditions that no other plants tolerate.
In the first and second instance of the definition, I do not see how not. A democracy must be able tolerate dissenting views, even when they are intolerant. Islam, or extreme forms of it, can be seen as a dissenting view within in many western societies. The ability to "tolerate" dissenting views makes the difference imho between a democratic society and an Islamist/theocratic society where dissenting religious opinion is forcibly suppressed (e.g., Pakistan and its Blasphemy Law).

In the third instance of the definition: "continued subjection to" obnoxious conditions, then, no. Political tolerance should not extend that far. Minority values should not be permitted to infringe on the freedoms and rights of the majority, individuals, and other minority groups. But this would or should be equally true, whether speaking of religious extremists, or of the very rich and privileged who look for ways to exploit the middle class and the poor, or attempts by native citizens to exploit immigrants economically.

So I think Cameron's argument fails on logic. Tolerance must extend in every direction. In other words, Cameron should be using the language of tolerance to unite people, not divide them. Did he do that?

A democratic political process prevents individual and minority rights from being trampled in a majority stampede. It also does not permit minorities by law or government policy, to infringe on the rights of other individuals and groups. This requires government to lead a public dialog in which "rights" are valued and the public is informed well-enough to evaluate risks and gains. Does Cameron's speech achieve that level?
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Henderson, NV.
Jasleen ji,

Guru Fateh.

Excellent question.

Allow me to answer them with a couple of questions to the SPN cyber sadh sangat.

1. How did they become intolerant in the tolerant society to start with?

2. Why were they given so much lee way to become intolerant?

3. Is the Genie out of the bottle?

4. If it is, then can it be put back in by hook or crook?

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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World citizen!
2. Why were they given so much lee way to become intolerant?
Tolerance and freedom!!


Spnadmin ji, you make some good points. The line I see as hazy and struggle to grasp is how far should tolerance go? Is that same tolerance and freedom threatening its very own existence? An example would be whether its reasonable to allow sharia law to take precedence over the law of the land in some cases-would allowing this be classed as tolerance and is it reasonable tolerance when it breeds inequality?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4749183.ece
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,209
2. Why were they given so much lee way to become intolerant?
Tolerance and freedom!!


Spnadmin ji, you make some good points. The line I see as hazy and struggle to grasp is how far should tolerance go? Is that same tolerance and freedom threatening its very own existence? An example would be whether its reasonable to allow sharia law to take precedence over the law of the land in some cases-would allowing this be classed as tolerance and is it reasonable tolerance when it breeds inequality?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4749183.ece
findingmyway ji

I totally empathize with the frustration caused by these current dilemmas. the reason I highlighted one of Tejwant Singh ji's quesitons is precisely because it points to the problem of yielding on fundamentals -- in order to either appear "inspired" or to get votes.

The law of the land should be imho the touchstone against which conflicts between the rights of minorities, individuals and the majority are either adjudicated or legislated. And the law of the land typically has a lawful way of doing that. Sidestepping into other purely politically expedient reasons for setting or changing policy results in what is going on now. One day group X feels cheated, then tries to retake is dominance, and the next day group Y feels cheated. and on and on. The result is social hatred and fragmentation instead of a civil society that can debate differences.
 

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