UAF officers have joined MPs, musicians, artists, campaigners, academics, trade unionists and others to condemn prime minister David Cameron’s recent declaration that multiculturalism had “failed” and his attacks on Briatin’s Muslims.
They have signed a joint statement, published in today’s Guardian newspaper, branding the prime minister’s comments “dangerous” and “crude”.
Cameron launched his attack to huge publicity on the same day that the racist thugs of the English Defence League staged their demonstration in Luton.
The full text of the statement and a list of initial signatories is below.
We believe David Cameron’s statement that multiculturalism has failed was a dangerous declaration of intent. David Cameron’s speech was reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher’s infamous 1978 statement that Britain was “being swamped by alien cultures”. He has branded Britain’s Muslims as the new “enemy within” in the same way as Thatcher attacked the miners and trade unions.
David Cameron is attempting to drive a wedge between different communities by linking Britain’s multicultural society with terrorism and national security. David Cameron’s speech was made on the same day as the English Defence League brought its bigotry and violence to the streets of Luton.
Mr Cameron’s aim is simple as it is crude – to deflect the anger against his government’s cuts from the bankers and onto the Muslim community. The prime minister is aping attacks by other European leaders like France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, who passed legislation banning the veil, and Angela Merkel, who has also made statements denouncing multiculturalism in Germany.
We believe that our multicultural society and the respect and solidarity it is built on is a cause for pride, and reject any moves by this government to undermine and destroy it.
We must not allow this coalition government to turn the tide back to the days when it was acceptable, through ignorance and fear, for people with a different religion, culture or skin colour to be scapegoated and treated as inferior or outsiders.
Martin Smith Love Music Hate Racism, Peter Hain MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Ken Livingstone politician, Salma Yaqoob councillor and leader of Respect, Bob Crow RMT general secretary, Billy Hayes CWU general secretary, Mark Serwotka PCS general secretary, Zita Holbourne TUC race relations committee, Dr Rob Berkeley director, Runnymede Trust, Ziauddin Sardar writer, Farooq Murad secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Professor Tariq Modood director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship at the University of Bristol, Mohammed Sawalha president of British Muslim Iniative, Dr Chris Shannahan, Benjamin Zephaniah poet, Lauren Booth broadcaster and journalist, Michael Rosen author, China Miéville author, Dr Avaes Mohammad poet, playwright, performer, analytical chemist, Sabrina Mahfouz, poet and playwright, N-Dubz band – Tulisa Contostavlos, Dappy (Dino Contostavlos) and Richard “Fazer” Rawson, Drew McConnell musician, Babyshambles, Lowkey musician, Itch musician, The King Blues, Daniel Stephens (Dan Le Sac) musician, David Peter Meads (Scroobius Pip) musician, Blaine Harrison singer, Mystery Jets, Kid British band – Adio Merchant and Simeon McLean, Jeff Mirza comic and actor, Sabby Dhalu joint secretary Unite Against Fascism and secretary One Society Many Cultures, Lindsey German convenor, Stop the War Coalition, Hassan Mahamdallie activist, Weyman Bennett joint secretary Unite Against Fascism, Gary McFarlane NUJ London magazine branch and Expose the BNP, Kanja Ibrahim Sesay NUS black students’ officer and NUS antiracism antifascism convenor, Frances Rifkin Equity, Dr Jonathan Githens-Mazer, co-director, European Muslim Research Centre, Bruce Kent Pax Christi and vice-chair One Society Many Cultures, Shemiza Rashid director, Creative Muslim Network, Laura Miles vice-chair UCU equality committee, Gargi Bhattachryya UCU NEC, Sean Vernell UCU NEC, Sue Bond PCS vice-president, Rev. Ray Gaston interfaith enabler, Birmingham Methodist Church (personal capacity), Madani Younis artistic director, Freedom Studios, Bradford, and the Artists of Freedom Studios, Mohammed Ali Aerosolarabic, Rabbi Lee Wax, chair, IKETH (Inter-religious Conference for European Women Theologians, Musleh Faradhi Islamic Forum Europe, Danny Dorling author and professor, Sheffield University, David Armstrong UCU NEC, Jean Crocker UCU NEC, Futureheads band – Barry Hyde David “Jaff” Craig, Peter Brewsi, Ross Millard, Logic musician, Tubelord band – Joseph Prendergast, David Catmur, Tom Coulson-Smith and James Elliot Field, Dinosaur Pile-up band – Matt Bigland, Harry Johns and Mike Sheils, Luqman Ali, Kinsi Abdulleh, Sarah Pickthall, Ayaan Aden, Tristan McConnell, Alan Whitaker, president UCU, Keith Malinson UCU NEC, Malcolm Povey UCU NEC, Angie McConnell chair, UCU equality committee, Maeve Landman vice-chair UCU equality committee, Marion Hersh UCU NEC, Mark Campbell UCU NEC, Gavin Reid, chair UCU education committee, John Murphy UCU NEC, Richard McEwan UCU NEC