Why multiculturalism still matters
Press release issued: 22 May 2007
A new book by one of the world's leading authorities on multiculturalism provides a different contribution to this debate at a time when many public commentators are turning against multiculturalism in response to fears about militant Islam, immigration or social cohesion.
Multiculturalism by Bristol University sociologist, Professor Tariq Modood, comments that the rise of Islamist terrorism has neither discredited multiculturalism nor heralded a clash of civilizations.
The book explains that inclusion is not possible within some narrow forms of liberalism. He argues that while different minorities need to be accommodated in different ways, a single template is not appropriate. He suggests that such differential accommodation or multiculturalism cannot be the job of the state alone but must be shared across different civil society sectors.
Professor Modood sees the revival of ideological secularism as an obstacle to multicultural integration and yet institutional secularism can be an important resource for accommodating Muslims.
Professor Modood, commenting on his book, said: "The book highlights a central challenge for the 21st century - the urgent need to include Muslims in contemporary conceptions of democratic citizenship."