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‘Racial Segregation on Worrying Levels’

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Dame Louise Casey, appointed by David Cameron, submitted her report on racial segregation in the country. The report says segregation and social exclusion has reached “worrying levels” and is fuelling inequality in some areas of Britain

Indian Muslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr on Saturday. A view from  Chennai

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, a Pakistani-origin politivian, said he would study the findings “closely”.

“Britain had long been home to lots of different cultures and communities”, but added that “all of us have to be part of one society,” Mr Sajid said. “While it was right to celebrate the positive contribution diverse groups make to British life, nobody should be excluded from it or left behind.  We need to take a serious look at the facts and must not shy away from the challenges we face. Dame Louise’s report is a valuable contribution, and I will be studying her findings closely.”

“Women in some communities are denied “even their basic rights as British residents”, the Casey Review said.

She accused public bodies of ignoring or condoning divisive or harmful religious practices for fear of being called racist.

Dame Louise’s review into the integration of minorities was commissioned by former prime minister David Cameron as part of the government’s efforts to tackle extremism.

Among her recommendations are that immigrants could take an “integration oath” and schoolchildren be taught British values.

Her review said there was a sense that people from different backgrounds got on well together at a general level, but community cohesion “did not feel universally strong across the country”.

Muslims offer prayers on occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr in Patna on July 29, 2014. (Photo: IANS)She found “high levels of social and economic isolation in some places, and cultural and religious practices in communities that are not only holding some of our citizens back but run contrary to British values and sometimes our laws”.

Her report highlighted the plight of women in some Muslim communities, who she said were less likely to speak English and more likely to be kept at home.

“Misogyny and patriarchy has to come to an end,” Dame Louise said. “We must not fear being racist or homophobic.”

Dame Louise spoke to 800 people for her review, including public servants, religious representatives, teachers, pupils and local leaders.

She said there were areas which were struggling to cope with the pace and scale of change they faced as a result of immigration, while there were still large social and economic gaps between different ethnic groups.

Division between communities had been bad for Britain, leading to poorer social and economic opportunities for some groups, she added.

“We need more effort to be put into integration policies to help communities cope with the pace and scale of immigration and population change in recent years,” Dame Louise said.

“Nowhere near enough emphasis” had been put on integrating communities, she added.

THE 10 HOT SPOTS

Bastwell, Blackburn with Darwen, Muslim/Pakistani; Latimer, Leicester, Indian/Hindu; Shear Brow, Blackburn with Darwen, Muslim/Indian ; Washwood Heath, Birmingham Muslim/Pakistani; Daneshouse with Stone Burnley Muslim/Pakistani;  Toller Bradford Muslim/Pakistani; Manningham Bradford Muslim/Pakistani; Bordesley Green Birmingham Muslim/Pakistani; Bradford Moor Bradford Muslim/Pakistani;  and Whitefield Pendle Pakistani/Muslim

The report made 12 recommendations, including:

A programme of projects to boost cohesion, such as local IT courses and sport activities for children

Councils should regularly collect statistics on hate crime or deficiencies in English

Government and councils should share their approaches to tackling segregation

Schools should promote British values to help build integration, tolerance and citizenship

A review of the “rights and obligations” of immigrants likely to settle in the UK

New immigrants could have to swear “an oath of integration with British values and society”

Funding for school projects that encourage children of different backgrounds to mix

On top of English language classes for adults, special classes to tackle any “cultural barriers” to a person’s employment prospects

More funding for local English language classes and a review of whether courses are reaching people who need them

Councils should investigate whether their housing policies help or hinder integration

Better checks when children are removed from mainstream education

New oath for public office-holders pledging “tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”

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