That people from different backgrounds are leading “parallel lives” has been a recurring concern for successive governments. This may not be the term used by authors of a new report on segregation in schools in England, but it is, nevertheless, what comes to mind as we read their stark findings.
More than a quarter of primary schools are ethnically segregated with the figure jumping to a depressing 40% when we look to secondary schools. When it comes to class, the report, carried out by iCoCo Foundation, SchoolDash and The Challenge, finds that nearly a third of all primary schools are segregated along socio-economic lines.
Integration, though commonly discussed, is more often than not viewed as an important counter-terrorism strategy, rather than a social benefit in and of itself. Under such thinking, integration is an obligation that’s primarily expected of others – especially Muslims.
.... Wednesday’s terror attack has been acknowledged as the action of one Muslim – an “Islamist extremist” in May’s words, representative of only himself and not a religion. It is an important response to the very real possibility of a violent backlash against the Muslim community. Yet no one would need to say this attack is not a representative of an entire religion if we were sharing our lives with Muslim neighbours, colleagues and school friends in a more meaningful way. [344 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 326 votes] "Yet no one would need to say this attack is not a representative of an entire religion if we were sharing our lives with Muslim neighbours, colleagues and school friends in a more meaningful way."
What about areas where "...Muslim neighbours, colleagues and school friends ..." don't wish to integrate? Is it still going to be our fault when Islamic Extremists attack us then?
[2ND 300] It doesn't help when that religion actively discourages integration.
[3RD 278] There's a world of difference between sending a child to a school because it has high academic standards, and sending a child to a faith school for the purpose of religious indoctrination; and to keep children of other faiths or none at a distance.
[4TH 267] ".... no one would need to say this attack is not a representative of an entire religion if we were sharing our lives with Muslim neighbours, colleagues and school friends in a more meaningful way."
I know lots of Muslims. Many Muslims 'integrate' perfectly well. Yet there is a substantial population - from particular cultural backgrounds - who seem determined not to do so. It's silly to lump all Muslims together like this and silly to suggest that it's somehow the fault of the rest of us for not hanging out with them more.
[5TH 258] "Integration is presented as an obligation for others, mainly Muslims."
What does the quran say about 'integrating' with those it terms the 'worst of creatures'?
[6TH 257] "Under such thinking, integration is an obligation that’s primarily expected of others – especially Muslims."
Well...yeah. That's because the UK is in northern Europe, not the Middle East.
[7TH 240] I was watching local BBC in the North West and they had random pieces on two schools for different reasons.
In one school it was all asian boys.
The other school was all Muslim girls wearing black hijabs with one or two wearing full burka. The teacher had a beard and dark Shalwar kameez type outfit.
This sort of deep ethno-religious centrism and exclusivity actually chilled me.
[8TH 236] If you visit Luton, Dewsbury etc you'll see examples of immigrant communities that remain culturally separate, retain different values, religion and in some cases language. That doesn't strengthen our towns and communities, it divides them.
And it's disingenuous to talk about all faith schools as if they are equally divisive. A CoE school with 100% CoE pupils will produce citizens in line with the dominant culture of the UK, for whom ignoring a slight against there religion is normal, and a strongly worded letter to the local paper is extremism.
Where as other faith schools and families will produce young adults who absolutely believe the correct punishment for apostasy is execution.
A strong accepted dominant culture is vital for a cohesive functioning society.
This isn't about colour, my own family has people from Sri Lankan and Caribbean backgrounds in it, people who share culture and identity in one family. What you won't find in my diverse family are people from certain groups for whom strong racial and religious beliefs keep separate, and will refuse to marry outside of their group.
Immigrants that will 'add to the mix' bring them on. Immigrants that remain in separate communities...no thanks. [Guardian Cif] Read more