Multiculturalism more necessary than ever
Press release issued: 16 September 2010
The notion that 9/11 and 7/7 signalled the end of multiculturalism is based on a false understanding of multiculturalism and a fixation on terrorism and extreme marginal issues like the burqa. Such are the reflections of Professor Tariq Modood in his new book.
Prof Modood, Director of the University of Bristol’s Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, and a renowned commentator on Muslim politics, offers a concept of multiculturalism that is compatible with and strongly based on liberal citizenship, moderate secularism and an inclusive Britishness.
“We need to review the kind of society that we think Britain is becoming and ensure that we do not, through unthinking prejudice, confine religious people and especially Muslims to the margins,” says Prof Modood.
“But we should not be over-anxious; we are making progress, especially in terms of political integration and mutual understanding. However, we must stop demonising Muslims and multiculturalism. The scare about multiculturalism is based on caricatures.”
Coinciding with the release of the book, Prof Modood will be giving a lecture as part of The Wells Cathedral Annual Lectures 2010 programme, entitled Present Hope, Future Vision, on September 21 at 7.30pm.
The lecture will focus on how the attitudes of secularists and religionists of all denominations threaten to create long term divisions in Europe over religion and religious identity, creating obstacles for the accommodation of Muslims. Looking at sources of hope, Prof Modood will go on to explore the pragmatic and religion-friendly character of political secularism in Britain and in North-West Europe, and the respect that many people have for religions other than their own.