Angry Muslim groups hit back last night after a government report said deepening segregation along race and religious lines had fuelled extremism and child sex abuse.
The report accused public bodies of ignoring or condoning ‘regressive, divisive and harmful’ cultural and religious practices for fear of being called racist.
Public institutions have ‘swept problems under the carpet’ rather than confronting them – scuppering opportunities to tackle terror sympathisers, hate preachers, criminal gangs and paedophiles.
In a damning indictment, author Dame Louise Casey blamed successive governments for failing to handle mass immigration, leading to growing numbers of neighbourhoods becoming ghettos.
The senior civil servant slammed ‘right-on’ critics for turning a blind eye to ‘worrying levels’ of segregation and social exclusion. Deep-seated ‘misogyny and patriarchy’ in some communities had contributed to divides in Britain, she concluded.
Theresa May last night denied seeing Dame Louise’s report before it was published. Her denial followed claims the critical document was watered down following interventions from civil servants.
was Home Secretary for six years, covering the period when the problems uncovered by the study developed.
Dame Louise’s shocking verdict came after David Cameron asked her to study how some Muslim communities were cut off from the rest of society – leaving vulnerable people at risk of radicalisation.
But it drew an angry response from Muslim groups.
Angry Muslim groups hit back last night after a government report said deepening segregation along race and religious lines had fuelled extremism and child sex abuse. Pictured: Blackburn
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation think-tank, condemned it as ‘inflammatory, divisive, pandering to the agenda of the far-Right’.
He said: ‘We are saddened that once again British Muslims have become a political football which is bashed from time to time without any regard for the impact this has on individuals who are then subjected to threats and violence.’
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid vowed to study the year-long report’s findings ‘closely’.
Dame Louise, the Government’s community cohesion tsar, made a series of recommendations, including all new migrants taking an oath of allegiance, promising to embrace Britain’s liberal values before arriving. She also said everyone living here should be ‘expected’ to speak good English.
Her review found that the UK has ‘benefited hugely’ from immigration, but is becoming more divided.
The report accused public bodies of ignoring or condoning ‘regressive, divisive and harmful’ cultural and religious practices for fear of being called racist. Pictured: Blackburn
Dame Louise’s report also highlighted the plight of women in some Muslim communities, saying she encountered ‘countless examples of abuse and unequal treatment’. She said only one in five Muslim women could speak English proficiently, and they were more likely to be kept at home and were ‘disempowered and treated as second-class citizens’ by the ‘abusive and controlling behaviour of men’.
The report also found the practice of ‘unregistered polygamy’, where a man illegally takes more than one wife, to be ‘more commonplace than might be expected’. Dame Louise cited specialist match-making websites such as ‘secondwife.com’ and anecdotes during interviews which ‘implied a common acceptance of polygamy’, which had a negative impact on women and children.
Dame Louise said: ‘Too many leaders have chosen to take the easier path when confronted with these issues in the past – sometimes with good intent – and that has often resulted in problems being ducked, swept under the carpet or allowed to fester. This accommodation can range from relatively trivial issues such as altering traditional cultural terms to avoid giving offence. [But] at its most serious, it might mean public sector leaders ignoring harm or denying abuse.’
51 LANGUAGES ON CITY STREET SIGNS
More than 50 languages are used in signs and notices across Manchester, a study reveals.
Researchers said it is a result of the city’s ‘superdiverse’ population produced by successive waves of immigration. Their report said that in one area, eight out of ten schoolchildren are thought to have a first language which is not English.
Academics at Manchester University found 51 languages written in 16 alphabets and scripts. Public signs included one saying ‘do not feed the pigeons’ in English and two other languages. An NHS health centre touchscreen featured English as well as Greek, French, Albanian, Hindi, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish, Urdu, and Polish.
Such approaches have been criticised in the past for not encouraging newcomers to learn English. The Casey report yesterday urged public authorities to actively promote the use of English.
Professor Yaron Matras, who led the study, said: ‘It shows that the people who speak these languages feel at home in Manchester and are confident to display their heritage, and that the city’s public institutions make an effort to be inclusive.’
The report highlighted the child abuse scandal in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, where Asian sex gangs abused more than 1,400 children, as a ‘catastrophic example of authorities turning a blind eye to harm in order to avoid the need to confront a particular community’.
The report is another blow to those public figures – particularly under New Labour – who championed multiculturalism, the Left-wing doctrine which encourages migrants to keep their own traditions rather than integrate into British ways.
Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said it endorsed the ‘few, fair and supportable suggestions’ proposed by Dame Louise. He added: ‘I hope we can facilitate robust and active conversations in British Muslim communities where we are frank about the challenges facing us and creative enough to meet them head on.’
Labour MP Chuka Umunna, who chairs the all-party group on social integration, agreed that division had bred extremism and was ‘sapping our communities of trust’.