Sunday, 2 July 2017

Ethnic enclaves in Britain

Another  letter was published in Straits Times on 8th of June:

The original under-400-word letter reads:

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My thesis supervisor asked, “Do you think multiculturalism is a good thing?” His tone of voice suggested that he did not approve, which is most unusual for a British academic.

My answer: Multiculturalism is great. Public services can be run on religious holidays as we take turns to go on leave.

What is there not to like?

However British children do not start the school day by pledging unity with fellow citizens ‘regardless of race, language or religion’.

Previously school assemblies were required to be ‘Christian’ in perspective, providing some semblance of cultural glue. These days, liberals, humanists, agnostics, atheists, etc have ensured that religion, and especially the Christian religion, is kept out of the classroom.

An elderly friend was furious on learning that her grandchildren were being taught – at school – that divorce is ‘normal’. (What, I wonder, would she think of same-sex relationships being taught.)

Previously most immigrants chose to integrate. We hear accounts of people changing their surnames (hiding their German/Jewish/Polish/etc roots), adopting Anglicized names (my son says I should call myself ‘Susan’) and adopting western dress, even to the point of cutting their hair and removing their turban, just so to find work.

Even Muslim immigrants adapted, becoming vegetarians as there was no halal food. They worked hard and learned the English language. They needed to feed their families.

Multiculturalism became more prevalent in the late 1990s. Two things happened.

‘White flight’ is the phenomenon of locals (of whatever colour) ‘fleeing’ to other areas to avoid being swamped by people of a ‘wrong’ ethnicity.

The vacuum was filled by new migrants, leading to monocultural ethnic and linguistic enclaves.

Women in particular did not learn to speak/read English and instead became dependent on husbands and so-called community leaders in matters of marriage and politics, including their right to vote (by post).

If children did not have a chance to interact with families outside of their own ethnic group in monocultural schools, how are they to learn ‘British ways’?

If university students are unable to use a knife and fork, how are they going to land (well-paid) jobs requiring fine-dining with clients?

Some insist on wearing Islamic robes to interviews, and then claim racism for their continuing unemployment.

Frustration, boredom, drug addiction, criminal behaviour, and then it’s only one small step to being radicalized by someone who promises an alternative to such purposelessness
.

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Spot the difference. This is the published version:

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It is not hard to see how someone could be radicalised.

In the past, immigrants to Britain chose to integrate.

We heard accounts of people changing their surnames to hide their German, Jewish or Polish roots, and adopting Anglicised names and western dress.

Some removed their turbans and cut their hair so as to find work. Muslim immigrants became vegetarian, as there was no halal food.

They learnt English and worked hard to feed their families.

When multiculturalism became more prevalent in the late 1990s, two things happened.

Residents in some areas moved en masse to other neighbourhoods to avoid being swamped by people of a "wrong" ethnicity.

This led to a vacuum, which was filled by new immigrants, resulting in monocultural ethnic and linguistic enclaves.

Women, in particular, did not learn to speak or read English, and instead became dependent on their husbands and community leaders in matters of marriage and politics, including their right to vote (by post).

Children did not have a chance to interact with families outside of their ethnic group because the schools were monocultural.

How, then, are they to learn "British ways"?

The isolation brought about by living in ethnic enclaves could provide fertile ground for radicalisation.

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