Outline Some of the Reasons Why Multiculturalism Has Become Such a Controversial Issue in Britain in Recent Years. (12)

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Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures. Multiculralists believe that in a multi-ethnic society, culture difference should be preserved and celebrated because such a vision sees diversity as a positive force, increasing richness of communities and actually encouraging tolerance. Multiculturalism supporters embrace diversity as a positive force, encouraging and enabling different cultures to learn about each others art, literature and philosophy as well as to influence each others cuisine, fashion and music. However, opponents to multiculturalism tend to see it as an unwanted vision that has been imposed on them by liberal, progressive elite. They fear it will lead to cultural ghettos and undermine a sense of national identity and unity. In other words, they dislike the way that in practice, it means the creation of more single-faith schools and undue emphasis upon minority rights. Political parties also have a different view on multiculturalism. For example; Labour party has traditionally been sympathetic to multiculturalism, placing more emphasis on the rights of minorities to preserve and celebrate their culture whilst encouraging their participation as citizens. However, this has come into question in recent years. The existences of poor social conditions and racism have become barriers to the integration of minorities. This has led to such events as the riot of 2001 and the London bombing. Labour politicians have seen a need to stress social cohesion and inclusion, rather than diversity. Lord Ousely, a former member of the Commission for Racial Equality, and his team were asked to examine the nature of Britain’s multiracial, multicultural society. In this report, members of the inquiry urged the need for members of ethnic minorities to be allowed to practice their customs and traditions without fear or prejudice. Also, Muslims felt excluded from society but were criticised for their isolation in Islamic ghettos....
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