A CULTURAL cohesion review commissioned by the Tory government claimed yesterday that the pace and scale of immigration has made social integration and equality among Muslims worse.
Dame Louise Casey — who was brought in by former prime minister David Cameron to report on social integration — warned that the country is becoming more divided as it becomes more diverse.
But this claim was rubbished by campaigners who said the report is conflating religious teachings with socio-economic problems and extreme cultural practices such as forced marriage, social exclusion and female genital mutilation (FGM).
Mr Cameron commissioned the review last year to help tackle the “poison” of Islamist extremism after a number of British citizens had travelled to Syria to join Isis.
Ms Casey suggested that the government should promote the learning of the English language, enable the mixing of children through sport, raise employment levels and “emancipate” women.
These women are trapped in social isolation because of “misogyny and patriarchy” of their male relatives, she added.
The review recommended that schoolchildren be taught “British values” of tolerance and suggested that immigrants intending to settle in Britain could swear an “integration oath” on arrival.
Ramadhan Foundation chief executive Mohammed Shafiq said the report findings are “inflammatory and pander to the agenda of the far-right.”
Stand up to Racism co-convener Sabby Dhalu said: “Launching political attacks about the importance of speaking English while cutting funding for English languages classes is grotesque hypocrisy.”
And the group’s other co-convener Weyman Bennett said that self-segregation is a “lie,” adding that the Casey report is “institutionally racist” and its suggestions should be rejected.
Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan said that a few of the suggestions — such as the promotion and funding of English for speakers of other languages classes — are “fair.”
However he also argued that Islam is being confused with cultural practices such as forced marriage, FGM and “honour-based” killings — all of which have “no place in modern Britain.”
Mr Khan continued: “As former prime minister David Cameron has stated, ‘integration is a two-way street.’
“The report has little discussion on white flight, and could have delved deeper into the economic structural barriers to integration.”