Saturday, August 19, 2006

Multiculturalism to blame for perverting young Muslims

So far South Tyneside is a model to follow.

I came across this interesting piece in Archbishop Cranmer's excellent blog a couple of days ago;

The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, is both personally and professionally qualified to comment authoritatively on religious tensions. His father converted from Islam to Roman Catholicism, and the Bishop himself is a convert from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism. This journey from darkness to light has given him considerable insight. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he says:

It is clear, therefore, that the multiculturalism beloved of our political and civic bureaucracies has not only failed to deliver peace, but is the partial cause of the present alienation of so many Muslim young people from the society in which they were born, where they have been educated and where they have lived most of their lives.

Unlike the politicians, and most of the pontificating religious types, the Bishop offers a solution:

The cultural heritage of people who come here must be respected. They should be able to take pride in their language, literature, art and spiritual background. At the same time, if they are to adjust to life in this country, they should be prepared to live in mixed communities, and not on their own. Their children should attend school along with those who come from the host culture, or from other cultures and traditions. They should be willing to learn through the medium of English and to be socially mobile, rather than "ghetto-ised" on the basis of religion, language or culture.

Cranmer simply says Amen.

Cranmer makes some very interesting points in his blog, and I'm sure that in bringing the Bishop of Rochester's article to our attention he is being sincere in his concern for certain parts of the U.K. However, whilst I share these concerns, particularly for parts of Inner London, Bradford, and other parts of West Yorkshire, I am happy to report that on the whole in South Tyneside we need not have these concerns.

We do have a significant minority of Muslims living here who have a long history and tradition of integrating well, schools are multicultural and multifaith, and political parties also have a representation (small but growing). If there are any worries, then they centre around the diversities within the Islamic faith, and I feel fairly sure that the new radicalism much feared by some, will find it rather difficult to gain a foothold in our own Muslim community. Centuries of stable integration in South Tyneside can provide a model for other towns within the follow.



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