Multiculturalism is undermining democracy

Faith-based bloc-voting is a threat to our shared values and interests.

Rakib Ehsan
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Last Tuesday marked a truly tragic day in British politics. The day began with extensive media coverage of the Chief Rabbi’s attack on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. He asked the British public to ‘vote with their conscience’. Hours later, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) featured on BBC Politics Live, accusing the Conservative Party of tolerating Islamophobia within its party.

No doubt feeling left out, the Hindu Council UK issued a statement expressing solidarity with the Chief Rabbi, then proceeding to label Labour an anti-Hindu party. And to top off the grievance merry-go-round, the Sikh Federation UK offered the view that there was ‘too much emphasis on anti-Semitism and Islamophobia’. When it comes to racism and discrimination, ‘others like Sikhs are overlooked time and again’, it added. What better illustration of how our wonderfully diverse democracy has become infected by the virus of identity politics and is descending into a farcical competition for victimhood.

For some time, our political class has been wedded to multiculturalism, championing difference and diversity over cohesion. In doing so, it has failed to articulate a set of moral standards that can tie together the UK’s diverse set of ethnic and religious groups.

As I have previously pointed out on spiked, one consequence of this failure is that Middle Eastern and South Asian geopolitics have become major considerations for ethnic-minority voters in this General Election. Politicians have, for some time, championed particular sides in international conflicts and disputes on the grounds of what is electorally beneficial. This has also involved developing close ties with divisive group-specific organisations. This includes the MCB, which within two weeks of the brutal Islamist murder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim shopkeeper Asad Shah in Glasgow published a position statement which declared that its members were not obliged to recognise Ahmadis as fellow Muslims.

There are many religiously affiliated organisations operating in the UK which are responsible for the crudest forms of prejudice imaginable. Individuals are accused of betraying their faith if they adopt a certain position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the ongoing Indo-Pakistani Kashmir dispute, or the Khalistan secessionist movement in the Punjab region. Self-appointed community leaders position themselves as the ultimate authority on deciding what constitutes a good Jew, a loyal Muslim, a proper Hindu and a real Sikh. A flurry of religious associations, as well as organisations affiliated to foreign political parties, are now threatening to use these geopolitical positions to influence domestic electoral outcomes.

Following a Labour Party conference motion which condemned the Indian government and called for ‘international intervention’ over Kashmir, the Overseas Friends of BJP UK declared that they would seek to defeat the party’s candidates in a number of constituencies across the country. The body’s president, Kuldeep Singh Shekhawat, has claimed that ‘if the entire Indian community in the UK votes Tory, we will see a swing of around 40 seats to the Tories’. ‘This will swing the actual election result’, he said.

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) has launched a campaign encouraging British Muslim voters to defeat ‘Islamophobic’ Conservative MPs – identifying 14 constituencies of importance under its Operation Muslim Vote campaign. The MPAC’s propaganda is hugely oriented towards territorial disputes in other parts of the world, including Kashmir and Palestine.

As a British Muslim of South Asian origin, I can personally say that I have heard far too much about territorial disputes taking place in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent during the build-up to what is meant to be a UK General Election. The efforts of religious organisations and affiliate bodies for non-UK political parties – large and small – to generate faith-based bloc voting should be a cause for political concern.

Only a few weeks ago, swathes of the UK were devastated by flooding, ruining family homes and small businesses. Social care for the elderly and disabled is at breaking point. Many deprived inner-city areas continue to be ravaged by crime and delinquency. Left-behind former coal-mining and steel communities have been starved of meaningful state investment in infrastructure for decades. Domestic extremist threats continue to loom over the law-abiding British majority. Brexit hangs in the balance. Territorial disputes across the globe may be of great interest to faith-based actors, but how interested is the average British voter in such issues?

The UK could be on the verge of an identity-politics breakdown. And make no mistake: our politicians are reaping what they have sowed.

Dr Rakib Ehsan is a researcher who specialises in British public attitudes and political behaviour. Views expressed in this article are solely his own.

Picture by: Getty

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Comments

steve moxon

2nd December 2019 at 7:22 pm

Not according to the BBC. Pointing out faults with multiculturalism is “extremism”; as is pointing to demographic trends, and as is preferring your own culture. [BBC2 Countryfile October 6]
With non-replies (no point addressed) from the Boob’s Executive Complaints Unit, my complaint is now off to OFCOM
BBC Complaints — Case number CAS-5666819-0CQLRZ. Extreme political bias, hate-mongering.
* Unfounded and actually themselves hate-mongering claims of extremism by the BBC here. It is in no sense “extremist” to criticise ‘multiculturalism’, which is a discredited political philosophy that has failed in practice, and from which there has been retreat, condemned as it is by none other than Trevor Philips, among many prominent public figures with a well-known anti-racism stance.
It is likewise in no sense “extremist” to point to the well-documented demographic changes that are on a firm, well-evidenced and researched trajectory to render a minority those with deep British Isles ancestry, and, indeed, to lead to their replacement — through the evident persistence of migrant enclaves together with dilution in admixture, as it were. It is also in no sense “extremist” but perfectly natural to express a preference for one’s own cultural major in-group (especially when this is that of the nation in which you yourself reside), as when those with deep British Isles ancestry often do. Research reveals that intuitively distinguising between one’s in-group and others envisaged in effect as belonging instead to an out-group is not through hostility to the out-group but affinity with the in-group. [Seminal paper: Yamagishi & Mifune (2009). Social exchange and solidarity: in-group love or out-group hate?] The extremism here was in the BBC report itself: ’identity politics’ totalitarian hatred towards the UK populace. For a referenced outline of the origin, development and manifestation of this ideology, to see why it’s been adopted by the BBC, see my referenced review, ‘The Origin of “Identity Politics” and Political Correctness’. It’s published in The Quarterly Review, within a journal-published science review paper, and at my site.
The BBC is now a non-reformable ‘hate group’ in the full meaning of that term, and would be a proscribed extremist organisation under government rules.

steve moxon

2nd December 2019 at 7:23 pm

THE BOOB’S REPLY [JEREMY HAYES, COMPLAINTS DIRECTOR]
Thank you for your email about an item in Countryfile about far-right extremist groups operating in the English countryside. In your original complaint you stated that the programme had failed to make it clear why the groups discussed in the report should be regarded as extremist. In a subsequent email you stated that it was not, in your opinion, extremist to oppose multiculturalism, to point to demographic changes or to express a preference for “one’s own” demographic group.
The BBC’s approach to such matters is set out in the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines on Accuracy and Impartiality, which refer to due accuracy and due impartiality, that which is “adequate and appropriate” in the context of the output. In this case the questions you raise concern the accuracy of the terms used to describe the groups mentioned in the report. I have reviewed the programme. The reporter, Charlotte Smith began by referring to reports that Neo-Nazi groups had been holding ritual events at a well known heritage site in Avebury. This had been confirmed by the National Trust which manages the site. She then referred to and showed videos of demonstrations by a pan-European organisation called Generation Identity, which aims to “preserve” what it describes as to “our peoples’ ethnocultural identity”. She also documented the activities of a British group, which shares many of Generation Identity’s core principles, called British Revival. She interviewed its leader, Michael Wrenn, a previous organiser for Generation Identity who said the two organisations were “in the same ball park”.
It is a matter of record that the Government’s Commission for Countering Extremism has referred to “the explicitly racial ethnopluralism of groups like Generation Identity.” An Overview of the Far Right report commissioned by the CCE by Dr Benjamin Lee of Lancaster University says that Generation Identity is among groups which have made a concerted effort to improve their overall aesthetic appeal and distinguish themselves from older forms of far-right activism. The leader of the Commission for Countering Extremism remarked in response to the Countryfile report:
When a group like British Revival turns out to be founded by a former leader of Generation Identity it is cause for significant concern.
I therefore conclude that the examples given in the programme did refer to groups whose aims and philosophies are regarded by experts and a government advisory organisation as far right, which would in my judgment bear out the reporter’s references to “far right extremists,” and lead me not to uphold your complaint.

steve moxon

2nd December 2019 at 7:25 pm

MY REPLY TO JEREMY HAYES, BBC COMPLAINTS DIRECTOR:
As ever from the BBC with any and every complaint anybody ever makes about the BBC’s institutional extreme politics — its hate-mongering towards the mass of ordinary people, indeed — there is complete failure even to begin to address the points raised.
You in no way defend the three extremist positions the BBC adopts in the broadcast that I outline, and pretend the extremism in the broadcast somehow is by others, or that the extremism you suppose by others somehow absolves the BBC of extremism of its own.
I will of course complain to OFCOM, which is, of course, just as big a bunch of groupthink ‘identity politics’ totalitarians (‘PC’-fascists, as it were) as your appallingly bad selves, as are the institutions you here hide behind in citing, as if this were some sort of defence. Obviously you easily can find others in the echo chamber of our contemporary totalitarianism of ‘identity politics’ / ‘PC’. The prime job of any public service broadcaster is precisely to cut through such malicious nonsense to engage with truth and reality.
The BBC is not funded by legally enforced taxation on the basis that it is a public disservice, but that is just what the BBC now is — the Boob, we call it round here. You may reflect on how long this can continue before a comeuppance: surely the greater the longer the impasse persists.

David Webb

2nd December 2019 at 3:46 pm

We don’t have shared values. The point of multiculturalism is to allow the immigration of people who ARE NOT LIKE US and will never share our values. If you support non-white immigration, you should celebrate the London Bridge killings. It’s that simple.

charles barry

3rd December 2019 at 11:11 am

i am writing an essay on to what extent has multiculturalism failed in the uk for my school assignment. any suggestions or points of view?

Jim Lawrie

2nd December 2019 at 1:26 pm

Gerrymandering is not democracy. That is what “Faith-based bloc-voting” is.

Neil John

11th December 2019 at 11:35 am

It goes deeper than that, with bloc voting by post, and in a number of cases female voters handing their slips over to their male guardian for him to mark as he see’s fit, with the voting being overseen by those who if not part of the scheme are too afraid to stop it happening.

Marvin Jones

12th December 2019 at 10:29 am

With the justifiable mistrust in our politicians, judiciary, police, councils and every corner of every aspect of our society, how is it that people were informed on a national news channel, that voters today would not require ANY ID when voting, just a name and address. SO! are the Tories in for a hammering?

Robert Spowart

2nd December 2019 at 12:26 pm

And what is “Islamophobia and why, in their efforts to stir up division do so many people ignore the most pertinent question, “What is it about Islam that has led to it, alone of the non-British Religions, having it’s own personal “~ophobia”? Other than Judaism’s problems with the institutionally antisemitic & increasingly Islamised @ukLabour, no other belief has such a suffix or apparent slur added to its name.

After all, Sikhophobia, Buddhistophobia, Hinduophobia, Jainophobia etc are conspicuous by their absence and generally the followers of those religions have not only become a part of, but contributed to British Society in a way that, by and large, Islam has never even tried to emulate.

Why is that?
Could it be that individual followers of those other religions do not have a tendency to blow themselves up in pop concerts? Nor, generally speaking, do they take part in the gang organised rape, sexual exploitation & trafficking of young girls.

If the apologists for Islam take their blinkers off and take a broader, world wide look at the actions of Islamists in the wider world they will see a different picture to the “Religion Of Peace” to the one they try so hard to portray.
The murder and mutilation of concert goers at The Bataclan or the recent bombings in Sri Lanka for example.

The bombing of the Rawda Mosque and other internecine violence within Islam points to a tragic truth that the most common cause of violent death to Muslims today is other Muslim.

Nor do they comment on the the continuing slaughter of Christians by Islamists in many parts of Africa, largely ignored by Western media.
It is things like this that create the legitimate fear & distrust they pass of as “Islamophobia.”

Davy Hayes

2nd December 2019 at 12:59 pm

Well said, sir

Marvin Jones

12th December 2019 at 10:39 am

Islamophobia is the impending fear of an waking up one morning and finding that one’s religion, culture and even their country is ruled by a cancerous and barbarian cult.

JS QT

2nd December 2019 at 11:01 am

This is a fair assessment. However, it’s also worth taking into account that the Hindu community only came out with this endorsement as a counter-reaction to the Pakistani weaponisation of the issue within the Labour party over decades.

The motion that Labour recently passed unanimously was unnecessarily divisive and made no reference to the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities by armed militias in the Valley in the 1990s, a pain which is still being felt by them and their descendants to this day.

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