Talk on ‘Multiculturalism’


by Sunny
27th November, 2007 at 2:50 pm    

I’m going to be speaking today at this talk at 5pm:
Multiculturalism – Dead or Alive?
Rich Mix Centre, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1
5pm – 9pm
Other speaker include: Lord Herman Ouseley, Lee Jasper, Yasmin Qureshi, Arun Kundnani, Douglas Murray and Lurline Champagnie. The debate will be chaired by Barbara Cohen, vice chair of the Discrimination Law Review.

Has multiculturalism done more damage than good, is it an outdated concept? Why have many minority communities in Britain found themselves with little option but to fall back on their own cultural resources, in their own areas, creating their own employment opportunities? Why is White British racism on the rise and are Muslims right in feeling that they are at the heart of the tabloid agendas? Academics, activists, journalists and members of the public are invited to take part and contribute to the discussion that has been making headlines. Speakers representing both sides of the debate will discuss the above issues amongst others.


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  1. Soozy — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:04 pm  

    I’m bored of these debates because I don’t even know what ‘multiculturalism’ means any more. Does it mean the official policy of funding separate projects? Well in the main I don’t see why that’s controversial, and it’s good to criticise self appointed ‘community leaders’

    However I think underlying alot of this especially from the right is the good old fashioned hostility to different people, and a stigmatising of those who are different. Define your terms first.

  2. Sofi — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:11 pm  

    >>Multiculturalism

    >>>>Rich Mix Centre

    ….

    anyway, I wish i had known abt this earlier, would have loved to come.

    tho I’m inclined to agree with previous commentor. i also feel “multiculturalism” has really lost its feel…its too cliched and needs(?) to be re branded.

  3. Leon — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

    I was meant to be going to this but something else has come up…damn shame really I would’ve liked to see you in action on a panel like that.

  4. Steve — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    “Multiculturalism”, there is no such thing, all you have is lots and lots of different cultures fighting with each other to Be the dominant culture – it is, quite simply, a contradiction in terms, unworkable and a recipe for disaster.

    The reason why the EUSSR and their puppets in McLabour are so fond of “multiculturalism” is because its a tool do divide and conquer, to be precise, the national culture of nations, especially English culture, McLabour and their EU bosses want English culture society and identity eroded, weakened, destroyed and ultimately replaced.

  5. Soozy — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

    Yeah they’ve all been plotting that in smoke filled rooms for years Steve, yeah, it’s all a centralised conspiracy.

  6. Steve — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    Read and learn.

    Multiculturalism
    As A Tool To Divide And Conquer
    The Layman’s Primer

    http://www.louisbeam.com/Multicul.htm

  7. Steve — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:51 pm  

    Soozy!, oh dear oh dear oh DEAR!

    Conspiracy?, who mentioned that word? YOU!.

    You have no answers, or even any points of view it seems!, if you cant say anything sensible than go back to sleep.

  8. Soozy — on 27th November, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    Steve! Don’t use exclamation marks with such profligacy! it makes YOU look hysterical!

    Go back to sleep yourself.

  9. Sofi — on 27th November, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    Soozy&Steve..are a couple i gather?

  10. Sofi — on 27th November, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

    >>Multiculturalism”, there is no such thing, all you have is lots and lots of different cultures fighting with each other to Be the dominant culture – it is, quite simply, a contradiction in terms, unworkable and a recipe for disaster.

    why is it a recipe for disaster? do you believe different cultures cant co exist?

  11. sonia — on 27th November, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    rich mix is an interestnig venue, spent some time there over the summer.
    soozy has a point about terms and definition. esp. with a term like multiculturalism, certainly it would be important to the debate for different people to discuss what multiculturalism means to them. it might not be a simple definition which you can give in a sentence, obviously that’s the point – but how diff. people understand the dimensions, is key – to looking for overlap in understanding.

  12. Leon — on 27th November, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

    Sonia, you spent time there over the summer? You should have said! I only work down the road from there. :)

  13. Soozy — on 27th November, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

    Sofi, a couple? Are you having a laugh? I fear that I am to him one of the conspiring hordes involved in the shenanigans he describes.

    Yes sonia it is important to define terms, because I’m not sure what multiculturalism means. I read a review of Daljit Nagra’s poetry collection, which is a very good book of poems about a wide range of subjects and themes, some of which happen to revolve around British Indian people. But in some reviews it was being described as multicultural this multicultural that. I thought how can you reduce it all to buzzwords like that? What does this word actually mean? It’s not about ‘multiculturalism’, it’s about human lives and emotions.

    And if it means to many people not just a public policy, but a general marker for anything at all in politics, society, culture or art that has anything to do with black or asian life, in other words short-hand for ‘ethnics’, then I question what it means, and how when they say ‘multiculturalism is a catastrophe!’ they just mean ‘Asians or Blacks are a catastrophe!’

    Then we’re dealing with some grade A bullshit in the public debate.

    So define the term before it can mean anything.

  14. nodn — on 27th November, 2007 at 6:02 pm  

    The full list of speakers please, Sunny?

  15. Leon — on 27th November, 2007 at 6:38 pm  

    That is the full list.

  16. Jo — on 27th November, 2007 at 9:47 pm  

    I don’t always agree with Sunny’s opinions but I generally appreciate him to be a sound bloke with sensible opinions.

    So the question/assertion “Why is White British racism on the rise..?” really sets my teeth on edge.

    Is this actually true? Is there any evidence for this other than a general ‘feel’? What exactly is a White British person anyway?

    I have absolutely no doubt that there are plenty of British racists, but casting this as a fact is actually quite offensive. There is growing fear and intolerance between groups from all communities in the UK at the moment, which is not actually helped by casting one group as the villains of the piece!

  17. soru — on 27th November, 2007 at 10:01 pm  

    Why do people arguing for or against multiculturalism never find it useful to explain what they mean by it?

    Which is multiculturalism:

    A1. adopting a bunch of welsh words into common use in English

    A2. some people speak welsh, some english

    -or-

    A1. kabaddi in the army (note singular pronoun)

    A2. multiple armies, one for each ethnic community

    A lot of people would say A2 and B1, despite them being logical opposites.

    Replace the words ‘army’ or ‘language’ with, in turn, ‘style of wedding’, ‘religious building’, ‘daily newspaper’, ‘political party’, ‘community center’, ‘tax rate’, ‘genre of music’, ‘police force’, ‘charity’.

    Say which you are for, which neutral to, which against, why, and what means you intend to use to promote your preference.

    Not hard is it? Is there some kind of secret government organisation that will step up and clip the ear of anyone who uses words an ordinary civilian can understand, make them go stand in the corner with a big ‘D’ hat on?

  18. Sunny — on 27th November, 2007 at 10:05 pm  

    I don’t know soru, but I wasn’t impressed by the debate. Douglas Murray brought Saudi Arabia into it for no reason, and went on about Muslim hate literature… while the supporters kept talking about multi-culturalism as a lived experience.

    Really, the level of debate was awful.

  19. Morgoth — on 28th November, 2007 at 1:40 am  

    Douglas Murray brought Saudi Arabia into it for no reason

    Given the way Saudi is spreading Wahabbism across the globe under the cover of “multiculturalism”, I think it is a very apt and salient point to raise.

  20. Sofi — on 28th November, 2007 at 9:49 am  

    >>Given the way Saudi is spreading Wahabbism across the globe under the cover of “multiculturalism”, I think it is a very apt and salient point to raise.

    moro-goth, i take it your version of “multiculturalism” encapsulates islam only.

  21. sonia — on 28th November, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    good point Soru. Sunny, did you define what you mean by multiculturalism when you went to this debate?

    it seemed pretty obvious to me the debate would be awful, since no one knows what they are debating in the first place. but what can you expect from media people really?

    ah right leon! yeah a mate of mine managed to wangle a whole floor ( need to check if he still has access) and threw lots of events and used it as a workspace. my understanding is that it is heavily under-utilised.

    WHite British Racism – heh, so is this now implying that when we talk about Racism we must also say if it is WHite British Racism, or Black British Racism, or Asian British Racism? And why are we only interested in Racism from “Whites”? Someone pray tell otherwise its starting to sound extremely bigoted. As a foreigner first in Britain, what racism I received was from Asians – is someone going to say if an Asian or Black person is racist it is somehow justified? And if we are going to start on that, it’s a very slippery slope.

  22. bananabrain — on 28th November, 2007 at 5:15 pm  

    you may not like morgoth, guys, but saudi has been buying up islamic education for twenty years, like it or not; the price for outsourcing the islamic brains trust to those maniacs is the situation we’re now in.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  23. Sofi — on 29th November, 2007 at 10:45 am  

    on an unrelated note will you be posting something on this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7117630.stm

  24. Leon — on 29th November, 2007 at 11:02 am  

    ah right leon! yeah a mate of mine managed to wangle a whole floor ( need to check if he still has access) and threw lots of events and used it as a workspace. my understanding is that it is heavily under-utilised.

    Yeah I’ve heard much the same. I really didn’t really how fantastic the place is, it’s a brilliant venue, got a good set up etc. Thinking about ways in which I could use it too…;)

  25. Sofia — on 29th November, 2007 at 11:33 am  

    Its funny how Saudi arabia has suddenly become the place to gain an islamic education “par excellence”…in the past it was damascus and cairo..

    Sofi:
    Interesting article…it makes me laugh though when mosques are asked to modernise when most of them are made up of retired uncle jis with nought else to do with their time…why would they want interfering women in the way? Oh yes and it’s rather like some big corporation in the city fulfilling its ethnic minority quota by hiring ethnic cleaners…yes we’ll have women working in the mosque, but they’ll only deal with “womens” issues or children..wouldn’t want them doing anything else…they haven’t got the brains…

  26. Sofi — on 29th November, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    well i would like to know who makes up the minab and how will it be funded..to start of with. and i agree with the role of women thing…lets hope it changes and they manage to represent a cross section of the muslim community..but saying that it does sound very promising.

    unrelated again: it was a pleasant surprise to read Dr Bari condemning the imprisonment of the Sudanese teacher in the Metro this morning!

  27. Sofia — on 29th November, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    teddygate…you couldn’t make it up

  28. sonia — on 29th November, 2007 at 12:02 pm  

    Yep bananabrain.
    Sofia, yeah, mosques do seem to do that. but mind you, at least they’re letting women in full stop, which is a start. i see these things as such a clear manifestation of how the current and past islamic establishments have viewed women. i’m surprised it doesn’t piss more women off, its incredible. such “accepting” beings we can be sometimes.

  29. sonia — on 29th November, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    sofi things don’t change because people “hoped” it would. if people dont stand up and say there is a big problem, and most women dont, and most men dont either, so why should anything change?

  30. Sofi — on 29th November, 2007 at 12:14 pm  

    >>sofi things don’t change because people “hoped” it would. if people dont stand up and say there is a big problem, and most women dont, and most men dont either, so why should anything change?

    clearly something is going on for women to have come into the equation in this particular example and to give credit where it due, some women arent just sitting on their laurels merely “hoping” thing will change. more people should speak up, that i agree with.

  31. Sofi — on 29th November, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

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