Cant on cohesion

Ever since Margaret Thatcher’s comment in 1978, that the British people were worried that ‘this country might be rather swamped by people with a different culture’, those on the Right of British politics have seen cultural diversity as a threat to national cohesion and security. But since 9/11, it has been parts of the ‘liberal’ Left that have attacked multiculturalism most forcefully, seeing in it the cause of segregation in Britain.

“…  a cacophony of voices has singled out Muslims in the ‘integration’ debate: it is their cultural difference which needs limits placed on it; it is they who must subsume their cultural heritage within ‘Britishness’; it is they who must declare their allegiance to (ill-defined) British values. In so doing, an idea that Muslims are inherently at odds with modern values, into which they need to be forcibly integrated, has been reinforced …. But it is entirely dishonest to pretend this is a demand for ‘integration’, when what is really being called for is assimilation.”

Arun Kundnani on the IRR website, 24 August 2004