Al Razi, an Ex-Muslim and member of the CEMB forum, has a piece about the Rotherham mess at Left Foot Forward.
…we must ask if ideological multiculturalism as a political, social policy leads to a situation in which a cover up of uncomfortable issues becomes inevitable. When this happens, suffering and abuse occurs, and rather than dealing boldly with it, what results is a pattern of denial, obfuscation and continuance.
Multiculturalism concerned exclusively with communal religious identity politics, pursued as a social policy, is deeply reactionary and leads to the oppression of women who feel its effect most acutely. It dehumanises us all, because it asserts that we are not individuals, but members of religious or ethnic groups who must be dealt with according to the mediated authority of ‘community leaders’. It creates inhibitions from confronting social attitudes that must be addressed urgently, and in doing so, it allows social problems to flourish.
It’s an issue with the Catholic church, too, especially in the US, where many Catholics are recent immigrants or the children of less-recent immigrants, and subject to the usual outgroup-ostracism and attendant disadvantages. That can make some people leery of being critical of the church…and you know the rest.
The taboos that this form of communalist identity politics engender lead to the perpetuation of reactionary attitudes and effects. The damage it can do to our social fabric, trust, and individual freedoms is an attack on everything that the Left should be defending.
The time has come for the British Left to actively defend the secular space and oppose the assumptions and practise of reactionary communalist identity politics as a social policy, and truly cosmopolitan values that reject cultural and moral relativism must be central to our movement.
It can be difficult, and tricky, but it’s the only way to go.