Wednesday, August 03, 2005

British Stance On Multiculturalism Changing – But Everyone Is Accountable For It’s Success

What a great article from David Davis of the Telegraph (read the whole article):


His article focuses on a “balancing” of needs within a country that has many different cultures and all of those cultures are valued. However, for the society and democracy itself to succeed, all those cultures, everyone, must respect and preserve the larger collective culture that in this case makes them all British.

He discusses the need for stronger laws and other measures to deal with terrorism which were all good points, but the cultural points I think were incredibly well stated:

But the terrorist threat will not be beaten by security measures alone. Searching questions now have to be asked about what has been happening inside Britain's Muslim communities, and how the perverted values of the suicide bomber have been allowed to take root. Britain has pursued a policy of multiculturalism - allowing people of different cultures to settle without expecting them to integrate into society. Often the authorities have seemed more concerned with encouraging distinctive identities than with promoting common values of nationhood. The chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality has called multiculturalism "outdated". He is right. We should learn lessons from abroad - from the United States, where pride in the nation's values is much more prevalent among minorities than here. Above all, we must speak openly of what we expect of those who settle here - and of ourselves.

He also holds Non-Muslims accountable as he should to the fact that an open democracy is for everyone and for them to stay true to that critical requirement:

Let us be clear. Non-Muslims have obligations to their Muslim fellow citizens - to strive for equal opportunities for all, to accept the mainstream version of Islam as a part of society, and to reject the vile racism of the BNP and its like. But Muslims in turn have obligations: not simply to condemn terror, as one Labour MP put it, but to confront it.

He closes with a clear and obvious point that is never the less powerful and fundamental:

Britain has a proud history of tolerance and respect towards people of different views, faiths and backgrounds. But we should not flinch from demanding the same tolerance and respect for the British way of life. This is a large programme and it will take years to bring to fruition. But this wake-up call should spur us, as September 11 spurred America, to face up to what needs to be done. We must build a single nation in which every individual believes, of which each community is proud, and where all may prosper.

A proud country with a proud history of tolerance, but that tolerance is demanded from all back towards the country itself to preserve the democracy that provides their freedom and liberties. Well said Mr. Davis, well said…….