Guardian letter: signatories warn against Cameron’s ‘dangerous declaration of intent’

We believe David Cameron’s statement that multiculturalism has failed was a dangerous declaration of intent (Blaming the victims, Editorial, 7 February). His speech was reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher’s infamous 1978 statement that Britain was “being swamped by alien cultures”. He has branded Britain’s Muslims as the new “enemy within” in the same way as Thatcher attacked the miners and trade unions.

David Cameron is attempting to drive a wedge between different communities by linking Britain’s multicultural society with terrorism and national security. His speech was made on the same day as the English Defence League brought its bigotry and violence to the streets of Luton. Mr Cameron’s aim is simple as it is crude – to deflect the anger against his government’s cuts from the bankers and on to the Muslim community. The prime minister is aping attacks by other European leaders like France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, who passed legislation banning the veil, and Angela Merkel, who has also made statements denouncing multiculturalism in Germany. We believe our multicultural society and the respect and solidarity it is built on is a cause for pride, and reject any moves by this government to undermine and destroy it.

We must not allow this coalition government to turn the tide back to the days when it was acceptable, through ignorance and fear, for people with a different religion, culture or skin colour to be scapegoated and treated as inferior or outsiders (

Martin Smith Love Music Hate Racism

Peter Hain MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Ken Livingstone

Salma Yaqoob Respect

Bob Crow National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers

Billy Hayes Communication Workers Union

Mark Serwotka Public and Commercial Services Union

Zita Holbourne TUC

Dr Rob Berkeley Runnymede Trust

Ziauddin Sardar writer

Farooq Murad Muslim Council of Britain

Dr Rob Berkeley Director, Runnymede Trust

Professor Tariq Modood Centre for the study of ethnicity and citizenship,University of Bristol

Mohammed Sawalha British Muslim Initiative

Dr Chris Shannahan

Benjamin Zephaniah poet

Lauren Booth broadcaster and journalist

Michael Rosen author

China Miéville author

Dr Avaes Mohammad poet, playwright, performer, analytical chemist

Sabrina Mahfouz poet and playwright

Tulisa Contostavlos, Dino Contostavlos and Richard Rawson N-Dubz,

Drew McConnell Babyshambles

Lowkey musician

Itch The King Blues

Daniel Stephens musician

David Peter Meads musician

Blaine Harrison Mystery Jets

Adio Merchant, Simeon McLean Kid British

Jeff Mirza comic/actor

Sabby Dhalu Unite Against Fascism and One Society Many Cultures

Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition

Hassan Mahamdallie

Weyman Bennett Unite Against Fascism

Gary McFarlane NUJ and Expose the BNP

Kanja Ibrahim Sesay NUS

Frances Rifkin Equity

Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer European Muslim Research Centre

Bruce Kent One Society Many Cultures

Shemiza Rashid Creative Muslim Network

Laura Miles University and College Union

Gargi Bhattachryya University and College Union

Sean Vernell University and College Union

Sue Bond Public and Commercial Services Union

Revd Ray Gaston

Madani Younis Freedom Studios, Bradford, and the Artists of Freedom Studios

Mohammed Ali Aerosolarabic

Luqman Ali

Kinsi Abdulleh

Sarah Pickthall

Ayaan Aden

Tristan McConnell

Rabbi Lee Wax Chairperson, Inter religious Conference for European Women Theologians

Musleh Faradhi Islamic Forum Europe

Bruce Kent Pax Christi

Professor Danny Dorling Sheffield University

Letter in the Guardian, 9 January 2011