Mhambi has been redeployed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

UK multiculturalism come in two flavours - Anglo and Saxon

One of the UK Guardian's most interesting columnists - Gary Young - this week contrasted the US and UK's approach to multiculturalism:

This private Muslim school is the only one of its kind in Minnesota. Wazwaz, who is originally from Jerusalem, does not regard her desire to send Maryam there as one of segregation but as one of "preserving some sense of Islamic identity for the child". "Everybody needs a sense of their identity," she says.

In a country where every national group gets its own day, complete with a parade, flags and delicacies from the home country, there is greater scope for understanding the difference between autonomy - a distinct cultural space base from which people interact with the rest of society; and segregation - where people seek to separate themselves from the mainstream. To qualify your national allegiance through ethnicity, race or religion is not necessarily regarded as diluting it (unless you're Mexican and demanding immigration rights).

The Britishness currently on offer from New Labour, however, comes in just two flavours: Anglo and Saxon. Thus are the limits of the political class's understanding of cultural hybridity, rendering Britain a racially monolithic, ethnically pure and culturally static state into which non-white and non-Christian people can either adapt, or from which they should be banished.

Read the whole article At least in America they understand the notion of cultural difference

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