Statement on David Cameron's muliculturalism speech
We the undersigned believe David Cameron’s statement that multiculturalism has failed was a dangerous declaration of intent.
David Cameron's 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. David Cameron’s 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 onto 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 the undersigned believe that 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.
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Peter Hain MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Ken Livingstone (Politician)
Martin Smith (Love Music Hate Racism) Salma Yaqoob (Councillor and leader of Respect) Bob Crow (RMT Gen Sec) Billy Hayes (CWU Gen Sec) Mark Serwotka (PCS general secretary) Zita Holbourne (TUC Race Relations Committee) Dr Rob Berkeley (Director Runnymede Trust) Ziauddin Sardar (writer) Farooq Murad (Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain) Tariq Modood (Director of the Centre for the study of Ethnicity and citizenship at the University of Bristol) Mohammed Sawalha (President of British Muslim Iniative) 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 & playwright) N-Dubz - Tulisa Contostavlos, Dappy (Dino Contostavlos) and Richard “Fazer” Rawson Drew McConnell – Babyshambles (Musician) Lowkey (Musician) Itch - The King Blues (Musician) Daniel Stephens - Dan Le Sac (Musician) David Peter Meads - Scroobius Pip (Musician) Blaine Harrison - Mystery Jets (Singer) Kid British – Adio Merchant and Simeon McLean (Band) Jeff Mirza (Comic / actor) Sabby Dhalu (joint secretary Unite Against Fascism and One Society Many Cultures secretary) Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition Convenor Hassan Mahamdallie (activist) Weyman Bennett (joint secretary Unite Against Fascism) Gary McFarlane (NUJ London magazine branch and Expose the BNP) Kanja Ibrahim Sesay (NUS Black Students’ Officer and NUS Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Convenor) Frances Rifkin (Equity) Dr. Jonathan Githens-Mazer Co-Director European Muslim Research Centre Rabbi Lee Wax, Chairperson IKETH (Inter religious Conference for European Women Theologians) Musleh Faradhi (Islamic Forum Europe) Bruce Kent (Pax Christi) Danny Dorling (author / professor Sheffield University) Shemiza Rashid (Director Creative Muslim Network) Laura Miles (Vice chair UCU Equality Committee) Gargi Bhattachryya (UCU NEC) Sean Vernell (UCU NEC) Sue Bond (PCS vice President) Revd Ray Gaston (Interfaith Enabler Birmingham Methodist Church, personal capacity) Madani Younis (Artistic Director- Freedom Studios, Bradford, & the Artists of Freedom Studios) Mohammed Ali (Aerosolarabic) Luqman Ali Kinsi Abdulleh Sarah Pickthall Ayaan Aden (psychology student) Tristan McConnell