Chris Shannahan asks does Louise Casey’s report represent a great leap forward on the debate on diversity and integration, or a missed opportunity?
HUSNA AHMAD: My reasons for engaging in faith based social action, from a Muslim perspective.
DAVID BARCLAY: Faith-based social action can be a valuable mechanism for building lasting friendships across religious and cultural difference, but these can only begin to flourish in an environment that is open to public expression of religious perspectives.
SEAN MCLOUGHLIN: The diverse local character and trajectories of South Asian diasporas in Britain have been written and represented by different constituencies in scholarship, oral history, novels and other forms of cultural production, as well as in the media and official reports. In this article, Seán McLoughlin uses these sources to look at the history of Asian migration to Leicester, and offers an account of the emergence of multicultural Leicester that challenges dominant narratives.
STEPHEN H. JONES: Taking a closer look at Leicester shows that many of our assumptions about multicultural policies are questionable. Yet the city faces new challenges as its population undergoes rapid change.
JAWAAHIR DAHIR: Although best known for its South Asian population, Leicester has since the turn of the millennium hosted between 6,000 and 9,000 Somalis, many of whom moved to the city from the Netherlands. This article offers reflections on the reasons why Somalis came to Leicester and the challenges that they faced – and continue to face – in the city.
JOHN HALL: Leicester is not only a religiously diverse city but a place where faith groups and faith leaders play an unusually significant role, working with the council and playing a central part in the city’s public life. This short commentary offers an introduction to the festivals and community work for which Leiecster is well known, but warns against viewing the city through ‘rose tinted spectacles’.
CLAIRE DWYER: Faith schools are consistently opposed on the grounds that they inhibit social cohesion and accentuate existing social inequalities. Yet while some have been forced to amend their admissions criteria, others have found novel ways of addressing concerns about social segregation.
TARIQ MODOOD: In the twenty-first century it is the presence and accommodation of Muslims that is Western Europe’s main multicultural challenge. Governments can engage with Muslims in a range of different ways. Yet even in anti-multiculturalist states such as France corporate engagement with Muslims has been necessary.
JONATHAN CHAPLIN: Successive UK governments have been working to engage with faith communities on issues of ‘integration’ for over a decade. But the coalition replicates familiar ambiguities at the heart of government thinking about ‘faith’ and ‘multiculturalism’.