More pressure should be put on migrants to integrate, as “regressive religious and cultural ideologies” are taking root as the UK struggles to cope with the pace and scale of immigration and becomes increasingly segregated, a government report has said.
The extensive review, by cohesion adviser Dame Louise Casey, recommends “robust” measures such as actively promoting the English language and a new “oath of integration” enshrining British values for those who hold public office.
Dame Louise claims that complacent politicians and religious bosses have failed to act decisively for 15 years, as too many were “worrying about being labelled racist” or “hoping it might change”.
Consequently, she found whole towns have changed “out of all recognition” because of mass migration and that some Muslim communities, in particular, have fostered “regressive”, sexist, and harmful ideologies.
The report represents a signification change in rhetoric from ruling elites, as the blame and responsibility for ending segregation is placed on migrants, rather than mainstream British society being expected to adapt to newcomers and foreign cultures.
Excellent report out by Dame Louise Casey on migration and pace of change. Much of what I have been saying for years https://t.co/0zhdMjTwIB
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 5, 2016
“For generations we have welcomed immigrants to the UK but left them to find their own way in society while leaving host communities to accommodate them and the growing diversity of our nation”, the document explains.
The speed of change has been startling. The report points to census data showing there were 682 electoral wards with over 40 per cent non-white British residents in 2011 (with 17 where the figure was 90 per cent) up from just one a decade before.
One school in Sheffield has gone from 5 per cent foreign born to 95 per cent “in just a few years”, she added.
Whilst she praised “diversity” generally, Dame Louise said the UK was “developing pockets where there is a monoculture, a monoethnicity and that’s a concern”.
The report also slammed “illegal faith schools” and sharia courts which “condone” rape and violence.
“The prevalence and tolerance of regressive and harmful practices has been exploited by extremists, both ‘Islamists’ and those on the far right…” the report says.
The BBC appeared to attack the report for “focusing” on Islam on Radio 4 this morning, but Dame Louise said the UK could no longer avoid “difficult” questions and “realities”.
“We cannot hide away from an uncomfortable truth… and some religious… are pulling away…” she said.
The report also focused on how women are disadvantaged in such communities. “It’s not the women in those communities I have a problem with. It’s the misogyny and patriarchy that has to come to an end, and leaders that are Muslim and not Muslim need to unite,” Dame Louise told the BBC.
Dame Louise Casey on her new integration reportBritain is developing “pockets of monoethnicity and monoculture.”
These findings are a cause for concern says Dame Louise Casey.
Posted by The Today Programme on Monday, 5 December 2016
Her report points out that “economic inactivity levels remain unusually high among women from Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups – 57.2 per cent are inactive in the labour market compared with 25.2 per cent of White women and 38.5 per cent of all ethnic minority women”.
Regarding future immigration, the importance of British values should be emphasised early on, she said. “Increased integration expectations are to be set out earlier in the immigration process.”
“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 added.
The report was commissioned by former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, but was welcomed by senior Labour Party MP Chuka Umunna, who recognised the problems it raised in a statement this morning.
“The fact people live parallel lives in modern Britain has been swept under the carpet for far too long and deemed too difficult to deal with, which has left a vacuum for extremists and peddlers of hate on all sides to exploit,” he wrote.
However, speaking about record immigration levels into the UK on Sky News this morning, the party’s immigration spokesman Diane Abbott would not say numbers were too high, insisting Labour did not “in principle, believe in setting targets”.