Multicultralism has failed? So what’s the solution David?

“Multicultralism has failed” says David Cameron at the Munich Security Conference. It means people now lead very separate lives resulting in segregation between communities both culturally and socially. Mr Cameron makes the statement that this segregation can lead to radicalisation and even extremism as people are left needing something to believe in.

The speech has been topic of much controversial debate this week. One of the key questions has been “Is multiculturalism responsible for radicalisation?” There are points of view like those of journalist Mehdi Hasan who claims that Mr Cameron “is singing from a tired and discredited hymn sheet” by making such generalised claims. In contrast, there is also support of his speech like that of Maajid Nawaz who states that even though Mr Cameron doesn’t quite hit all the right notes he’s started a really important discussion for big society.

Multiculturalism is when “several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country.” Are people of different culture, ethnicity, religion currently coexisting peacefully in Britain? When you look at groups like the English Defence League – intentions towards your neighbour can seem far from peaceful.

When Bold Worked with the Coexistence trust in Autumn 2010 we found that an uprising in radicalisation manifests in a distinct lack of understanding for other groups of people. When a person doesn’t understand the other, they get fearful and even panic about the threat to their own way of life.

The Coexistence trust work to ensure people from Jewish & Islamic communities coexist without conflict. The Trust has a collective of Youth ambassadors, many of whom are academics and critical thinkers. They tour round Jewsish and Islamic schools in England to spread the values that the Trust holds. More specifically, they explore what these different communities have in common in order to prevent prejudice and discrimination.

For the Campus project FaithHub, Bold created a series of Viral videos for the Youth Ambassadors to be used on tours around different university campuses. They can be used in seminars by the ambassadors with the intention that they will ignite new discussion about difference, diversity & identity.

You can view all videos on the FaithHub website

This project has become very relevant to current affairs this week due to 1) It’s attempt to improve the ability to understand others  as a basis to effective multiculturalism and 2) Suspicion surrounding growth in radical students leaving universities.


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