MAX FARRAR: Israel offers a lesson in the complexity of what passes for multiculturalism. As David Cameron argues for a tough-minded liberalism, the multicultural, muscular Israeli state reminds us that hard-edged approach to difference and inequality can be dangerous.
JAN DOBBERNACK AND DEREK MCGHEE: David Cameron‘s rhetoric, like that of his predecessors, has emphasised the need to build shared values and strengthen Britain’s collective identity. But his approach to toleration risks fostering social conflict and ceding ground to the far-right.
KEITH KAHN-HARRIS: The British Jewish community is one of the oldest religious minorities in the UK, and its main representative bodies date back hundreds of years. Today, these bodies benefit from the continued desire for a prominent public Jewish voice, but with the UK’s Jewish population becoming increasingly diverse and politically divided, it has become much harder for any person or organisation claim that they speak for British Jews.
JASJIT SINGH: To date, no Sikh organisation has managed to command legitimacy across the whole Sikh community. But despite this Sikhs have managed to occupy a distinctive position in the history of multiculturalism in Britain and have often been the first group to negotiate opt-outs relating to religious dress.
JOHN ZAVOS: The first national Hindu representative body was set up 1978 with the modest aim of helping British Hindus set up temples. But with growing emphasis being placed on the role of ‘faith communities’ in public life, new organisations have begun to emerge, offering advice to government and developing a public response to issues affecting the British Hindu population.