David Cameron calls for English tests for “Muslim spouses”
The Muslim community of the UK was taken aback by Cameron’s sweeping statement declaring that “Muslim women must pass English tests or risk being deported.”
This latest comment has shed light on UK’s stance as a multicultural state, one side of the coin suggests this is an uneducated statement, the Metro newspaper highlights the statement as being labelled as “lazy and sloppy stereotyping” purely by the extreme demand of being forced to speak English. The other side suggests Cameron is correct in promoting the integration of the Muslim community through these extended proposals which do correlate with the UK ethos of multiculturalism and diversity.
The Guardian reports that it is not only Muslim women that are being targeted, but much rather any woman who enters the UK. Yet the emphasis on Muslim women remained clear in order to perhaps help against the rise in Islamophobia.
At a first glance his statement and proposal seems discriminatory rather than a system which ensures a stronger society. Yet looking at a deeper level we can see the positives, Muslim dominated areas have become segregated and fail to interact with the English community. Issues on equality, from education to the work place may benefit from an emphasis on literacy skills and provide a better chance for the Muslim woman to feel a part of society.
Although these are positives and can provide the road to a stronger society, it is unfortunate that an emphasis has been on the Muslim woman when of course immigrants come from a variety of Jewish, Christian and Hindu backgrounds. The use of the word “Muslim” has become more of a buzzword to perhaps gain coverage, hits or publicity; in reality the same idea could have been promoted if Cameron had addressed non-English speaking immigrants as a whole without pinpointing a faith.
As a whole, the concept of integration and greater opportunities for immigrants is being addressed, yet the insensitive use of a faith and presenting Muslim mothers as a forefront can often make them seem ‘difficult’ or ‘uneducated’. The statement holds promise in its aims, yet the unfortunate wording and use of a religion has perhaps victimized a certain community.