Britain Launches War on Multiculturalism (STONEGATE INSTITUTE) by Soeren Kern 02/24/12)
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"We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways
that run completely counter to our values. ... I believe a genuinely
liberal country... believes in certain values and actively promotes
them." -- David Cameron
The British government has unveiled a new "integration strategy"
designed to "champion a united British identity."
The new policy will require immigrants seeking admission to live in
the United Kingdom to learn English and adhere to "mainstream"
British culture and values such as democracy and the rule of law.
The measures represent a continuation of recent efforts by the
government to reverse decades of state-sponsored multicultural
policies that have allowed Muslim immigrants to avoid integration and
establish a parallel society in Britain.
The new strategy document titled "Creating the Conditions for
Integration" was published on February 21 and states: "We will
robustly challenge behaviors and views which run counter to our
shared values such as democracy, rule of law, equality of opportunity
and treatment, freedom of speech and the rights of all men and women
to live free from persecution of any kind. We will marginalize and
challenge extremists who seek to undermine our society and we will
neither engage with nor fund such organizations."
The document continues: "The long-term presence of a highly diverse
population is generally an indicator of good integration and a strong
sense that different people get on well. But this can be undermined
and even reversed by a range of factors, for example if groups within
the local community work and socialize separately."
Among a series of other measures, the government says it will reform
laws on immigration and settlement by increasing the requirements on
those who want to settle in Britain. Those coming to the United
Kingdom to work, study or marry will be required to demonstrate an
ability to speak English, and those wishing to remain permanently or
seek British citizenship will be required to demonstrate their
knowledge of language and life within the United Kingdom.
The new strategy also promotes the teaching of British history and
culture in schools and encourages the flying of flags in public
places. In addition, the government says it will work to restore the
Christian faith to the center of public life in Britain.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles,
who is responsible for implementing the strategy, says the new
measures represent a frontal attack on the multicultural policies
introduced by the previous Labour government. Those policies included
the watering down of the teaching of British history and policies
which promoted "aggressive secularism."
Speaking to the London-based Daily Mail newspaper, Pickles
said: "Under [Equality Minister] Harriet Harman´s agenda, the Labour
Government encouraged different cultures to live separate lives,
apart from each other and the mainstream. Political correctness
replaced common sense. People were left afraid to express legitimate
concerns and frustrations. We need a new approach. One that
emphasizes what we have in common rather than difference."
Pickles continued: "It´s sad to see how, in recent years, the idea of
tolerance has become twisted. A few people, a handful of activists,
have insisted that it isn´t enough simply to celebrate the beliefs of
minority communities; they want to disown the traditions and heritage
of the majority, including the Christian faith and the English
The new integration strategy comes after British Prime British Prime
Minister David Cameron publicly repudiated his country´s long-
standing policy of multiculturalism, declaring it to be a failure and
responsible for fostering Islamist extremism.
In a speech to the Munich Security Conference in February 2011,
Cameron said: "Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have
encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each
other and apart from the mainstream. 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
completely counter to our values."
Cameron continued: "This hands-off tolerance has only served to
reinforce the sense that not enough is shared. And this all leaves
some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to
belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist
ideology. What we see -- and what we see in so many European
countries -- is a process of radicalization."
Cameron said a two-pronged approach would be needed to neuter the
threat of radical Islam in Europe: confronting extremist ideology
and, instead of encouraging people to live apart, promoting a clear
sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone.
On this second challenge of fostering a shared national identity,
Cameron said: "Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance
of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism. A
passively tolerant society says to its citizens as long as you obey
the law we will just leave you alone. It stands neutral between
different values. But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much
more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them.
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 in these things."
In a follow-up to that speech, Cameron in October 2011 announced a
series of wide-ranging reforms aimed at cracking down on illegal
immigration and visa fraud in order to "reclaim our borders and send
illegal immigrants home."
Cameron said that in the future, immigrants applying for visas to
live in Britain must show that they can speak English, and must also
prove they have the financial resources to support themselves while
in the country.
In some of his strongest rhetoric yet on the spiraling problem of
illegal immigration, particularly from Muslim countries, Cameron also
urged Britons to report suspected illegal immigrants to the
authorities so they can be deported.
Cameron further said that in the future, all immigrants applying for
a British passport would be required to pass a British history exam
Migrants wanting to settle in Britain permanently have been required
to take a Citizenship Test since 2005. But that test, a multiple-
choice quiz called Life in the UK, was reduced to a laughing stock
when the previous Labour government ruled that immigrants should not
be required to learn British history because there was too much of it
and "it would not be fair."
Instead, applicants were asked questions about equal rights,
discrimination and on how to claim social welfare benefits from the
Cameron said: "We´re also going to change the citizenship test. There
is a whole chapter in the citizenship handbook on British history
but, incredibly, there is no question on British history in the
actual test. Instead you´ll find questions on the roles and powers of
the main institutions of Europe and the benefits system within the
UK. So we are going to revise the whole test … and put British
history and culture at the heart of it."
Despite its efforts to reverse multiculturalism, the British
government faces an uphill battle to achieve an integrated society.
One day after the government announced its new integration strategy,
the Office for National Statistics revealed that two-thirds of the
babies born in London in 2010 had at least one foreign-born parent.
In some inner-city areas, more than three-quarters of infants are now
being born into immigrant families. The figure is below 50% in only
six of the 32 London boroughs.
Migration Watch UK, a think tank that focuses on immigration and
asylum issues, said: "These extraordinary figures illustrate the huge
and rapid change that is taking place in our capital city. They
illustrate the way in which London is being changed beyond
recognition and on a scale and at a speed that makes successful
integration so much more difficult."
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