Cameron’s White Out
As the leader of the National Front in France congratulated David Cameron on his views on multiculturalism for what she claimed was an endorsement of her party’s views on the failure of immigration, saying: “It is exactly this type of statement that has barred us from public life for 30 years…I sense an evolution at European level, even in classic governments. I can only congratulate him” we asked Osama Saeed to reflect on the Tory leaders vision…
Greetings from Qatar! I read David Cameron’s comments about multiculturalism having failed while in a country made up of foreign nationals. 80% of the population are not Qatari, and people cling very closely to their countries of birth.
But rather than gnashing about economic migrants taking all the jobs, this situation has been embraced for what it is – a boon to the development of the country. There is very much an early US feel to the demographic here, of over 100 nationalities coming together and bringing a multitude of experiences and cultures to the mix in order to create something quite special.
David Cameron was speaking at an international security conference. He expended his whole address on wallowing over what Muslims in his own country were up to. It was a very narrow set of views about global security as a whole and of Al-Qaeda terrorism itself. There was no analysis of the fact that this strain of lunacy exists in Muslim majority countries and is killing more Muslims than people of any other faith.
Rather than making common cause across the faiths, Cameron’s comments about Muslims not integrating risk inflaming tensions the like of which were in evidence in Luton that very day in the form of the anti-Muslim English Defence League holding their latest protest. Most disappointingly, back in 2007 the now prime minister criticized Labour’s tactic of mixing the community cohesion agenda with that of national security.
Studies show that when immigrants are economically able, they move very quickly away from “ghettos” of separation and into traditionally white suburbs to varying degrees of welcome. The key to any issues of separation then are solid education and employment opportunities. Instead, young Muslims are more likely to leave school without qualifications and more likely to be unemployed than the population as a whole. The prime minister would be well advised to prioritise tackling this than ruminating on questions of national identity.
With this being the cause for any separation, Cameron rejected his own notion by saying that AQ terrorism was not related to poverty because graduates were among those who carried out these acts. He did not reflect that many of the known bombers in the public domain spoke English, had white non-Muslim girlfriends and drank alcohol. This is not therefore about Muslims being segregated from non-Muslims.
Cameron emphasised community cohesion as the driver behind AQ terrorism at the expense of far more widely held theories behind the threat level, such as US/UK wars. Far-right extremists have similarly been galvanized by international events in recent years, with a number being jailed for planning bombing campaigns. They are riled by what they see as Muslims as terror threats. This has had a lowkey response from politicians in comparison to the AQ threat, but they would do well to consider the parallel of out-of-control extremists reacting to bombings and death. It would be ridiculous to blame all white people for this, as happens with generalized comments about Muslims.
The far-right has risen also in an atmosphere of stifling social mobility, with a blame culture emerging of attacking immigrants and Muslims. Nazis think they will make gains during the upcoming age of austerity, just as they did in the 1930s. It is something that the Tory-led government should reflect on. Preaching about British values is not going to help here either – that is if government decide to act at all.
Terrorism is not going to be solved by politicians making speeches that miss the mark. There is a good body of evidence out there about the nature of the threat, gleaned from what is on the internet, plus what we know from convicted terrorists and the increasingly large number of failed bombers. It’s time for an evidence-led approach to this issue and it’s shocking that coming up for ten years after 9/11, those on the right are still appear to be getting away with a mixture of populism and willful ignorance.