Saturday, 10 September 2011

Tower Hamlets as a political factor

The issue about Tower Hamlets is not about genetics. It is about something a lot more fundamental linked with rights, customs and values. Taking  into account diversity of races and religions, we shouldn't underestimate the nature of political changes that are taking place right now. It took Britain centuries to arrive where we are now.

Britain was no stranger to religious conflicts. Religious tolerance was the exception rather than the rule. Women not always had the rights that women have today. There was a time when women lived in the political wilderness without having the right to vote. Today, we talk openly about many issues that many years ago would have been taboo subjects.

Having said that, by accepting as norm certain foreign cultures and religions, we could be turning back the clock and transforming Britain into an intolerant society and this cannot be acceptable. This is a certain risk and we have seen quite a few examples across Britain. Some of them are extreme cases leading to violence.

We are talking, but not exclusively, about forced marriages, female genital mutilation and honour killings and concepts about the place of women and men in society. Those in power should be extremely careful to avoid the risk of destroying customs, values and rights that are very much the essence of who we are today.    

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