Andrew Castle is Leading Britain's Conversation.
26 February 2017, 15:07
Here Maajid Nawaz gives his take on whether British Muslims are doing enough to integrate themselves in communities across the UK.
The Times has reported that plans are being drawn up to open Christian and other free schools in Muslim-dominated areas such as Oldham, Birmingham and Derby.
Here LBC Presenter Maajid Nawaz gives his take on whether British Muslims are doing enough to integrate themselves.
He said: "Now the question of integration is something that I, you would assume, have a lot to say about. I do, I have some views.
"The problem we've had in this country is that for so long we've been pretty paralysed from being able to speak about it.
"Those who have spoken about integration, those who have questioned the multiculturalism policies of the 90s have been usually tarnished, by either being racists, or bigots, or xenophobes, and the truth is that the very communities that those people, who are using words, who are deploying words such as racists, bigots, and xenophobes, are the very communities they were trying to defend, minority communities.
"And in this case, for this question, Britain's Muslim communities, were the same communities that were falling behind due to those policies, the multiculturalism policies of the 90s. On every conceivable metric.
"And I've said this before on my show, on every conceivable metric that you could come up with. Whether it's being disproportionately represented in prisons, whether it's being under employed, whether it's being disproportionately represented in our country's higher education institutions.
"Whether it is looking at the level of English language qualifications in this country, whether it's looking at female and gender rights, whether it's looking at opinions toward sexuality, and gay marriage in particular, or blasphemy and free speech.
"Whether it's a values based metric, or an economic success based metric, any possible metric you could come up with, British Muslims are disproportionately falling behind.
"Nobody, whether Muslim or otherwise, can come up with statistics or facts to show, because they don't exist, to show that this country is...succeeding when it comes to integrating my own Muslim communities.
"There is a huge problem and it doesn't serve British Muslim communities to pretend that there's not a problem from fear of being considered racist, or bigoted, or xenophobic.
"Indeed the true bigotry is the bigotry of low expectations that doesn't wish for the same success within those communities that other migrant communities have enjoyed.
"Whether it's those who are of a Chinese British background, or an Indian non-Muslim British background. They have succeeded in higher education where British Muslims have fallen behind.
"So something we cannot deny is that there is a problem with integration. And as I said, I challenge anyone to bring me a metric whether it's economic, or values based, that doesn't show that British Muslims, in accordance to the metric that you bring, are falling behind.
"Talk to me about prison rates, talk to me about employment, talk to me about education, or talk to me about values and views towards homosexuality, views towards secularism, views towards theocracy, free speech, blasphemy.
"We aren't where we need to be, and I want us to be better because I genuinely care for my fellow British Muslims in this country. I want them to be better because I care for them.
"Not because I want to disparage them, or us, or make us look bad. So with that said, there's another problem.
"That if you look at the issue of schools in particular. This is shocking. This is shocking. In more than 500 schools in England, the pupils are either 100 per cent from ethnic minority families, or 100 per cent from white families, that, dear listeners, is a disaster. It is a tragedy.
"You cannot convince me that this country has successfully integrated our communities with that fact staring at us in the face."