Should immigrants swear an “integration oath” and schoolchildren be taught “British values”?
- Credit: PA
Immigrants should swear an 'immigration oath' and school children should be taught 'British values', a Government-commissioned report has suggested.
The recommendation came in a study by Dame Louise Casey in which she also said 'misogyny and patriarchy' in some communities is widening inequality and that in some communities women were the subject of 'abuse and unequal treatment of women enacted in the name of cultural or religious values'. The Ramadhan Foundation condemned the 'inflammatory' report.
Dame Louise said a number of local authorities had raised integration issues relating to the relatively sudden emergence of new communities in their areas, particularly Polish and other Eastern Europeans, for which they had not been prepared and for which they did not feel resourced.
The senior Whitehall official said the UK could 'no longer duck difficult issues' and highlighted the problems some areas had faced because of the pace and scale of immigration.
In her report she acknowledged that elements would be 'hard to read', particularly for Muslim communities which already felt under pressure, but she said the country had to face up to 'uncomfortable' problems.
It highlighted the plight of women who found themselves marginalised through poor English language skills while being subjected to 'coercive control, violence and criminal acts of abuse'.
The review called for more English classes for isolated groups, greater mixing among young people through activities such as sport, and a new oath for holders of public office.
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The review was originally commissioned by then prime minister David Cameron in 2015 as part of a wider strategy to tackle the 'poison' of Islamic extremism.
It found that while Britain has benefited hugely from immigration and the increased ethnic and religious diversity it had brought, there had not been sufficient emphasis on integration.
It called on the Government to back a new programme to strengthen cohesion through promotion of the English language, raising employment levels among the most marginalised groups and 'emancipating' women trapped in social isolation.
It highlighted the 'huge national, cultural and symbolic value' of British citizenship, urging the promotion of British laws, history and values within the core school curriculum to build 'integration, tolerance, citizenship and resilience' in children.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, condemned the report as 'inflammatory, divisive, pandering to the agenda of the far right'.
'We are saddened that once again British Muslims have become a political football which is bashed from time to time without any regard for the impact this has on individuals who then are subjected to threats and violence,' he said.