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British Report Warns against “Isolation” of Muslim Community - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London- A new government report released yesterday has warned against the isolation of some separate British groups from other elements of the society, noting that extremists are taking advantage of the government’s failure in treating the social and economic isolation from which suffer Muslims in Britain. The report also suggested imposing an integration department for migrants when they enter the country.

Louise Casey, a senior civil servant, said that the study she carried on revealed “annoying facts” on the impact of expanded migration particularly the discrimination against women among expats coming from some south Asian countries. “Inequality within certain communities in these highly segregated areas is getting worse, not better,” Casey told the BBC.

Casey highlighted issues in areas that have high concentrations of Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage.

She said that people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin were more likely to live in residentially segregated communities than other ethnic minority groups, pointing to areas where up to 85 per cent of residents were Muslim.

The report was criticized for focusing on one minority, and Casey admitted that the study’s results will impose more pressure over Muslims who live in Britain amid fears of growing hatred against them (Islamophobia).

In the introduction of the report, she considered that avoiding discussions in this matter will offer more chances for both right-wing and extremist parties to fulfill their goals. Casey added that each individual in each community across Britain should feel that he/she is part of the nation and has all the opportunities to succeed in it. Discrimination based on gender, color, or ideology should not exist, she continued.

Reportedly, some governmental officials tried to underestimate the results of the study, which was requested by the Former Prime Minister David Cameron fear of an expected debate. Louise Casey said that Pakistani and Bangladeshi residents are the most expected to live in separated residential areas compared with the other ethnic minorities.

She noted that many people who live in these areas do not receive the same opportunities as others across Britain, mostly because they don’t speak English and because their cultural and religious practices.

Casey said that this discrimination mainly affects women and warned that domestic violence, girls’ circumcision, and forced marriages have been widely spread in some regions. In her statements to BBC, she said that hatred against women and male dominance should end and that Muslim and non-Muslim leaders should collaborate to unify this country.

For his part, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said that the study is a valuable contribution, adding that its findings should be reviewed closely and that the challenges they face should be neglected.

The report faced a severe rejection and criticism among some Muslim British circles, which considered it provocative and divisional; others saw that the “Muslim minority” represents an easy target for politicians, commentators, and some media outlets.

In the recommendation part, the report suggested the imposition of the “integration oath” on migrants to encourage them on adopting the British values and on integrating in the society since their arrival, instead of waiting the final citizenship test. Casey urged the promotion of British laws, history and values within the core school curriculum to build “integration, tolerance, citizenship and resilience”.

She also called for greater mixing among young people through activities such as sport, and efforts to raise employment levels among marginalized groups.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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