Saturday, 14 November 2009

Multicultural…ism, schism and Racism

This should be a lively event for those near Birmingham on 26 November, though alas I won't be able to get there.

The Drum in partnership with South Asian Alliance presents a debate, Multicultural…ism, schism and Racism.

"Is multiculturalism a good thing or a bad thing? Immigration has transformed Britain, making it a more vibrant, cosmopolitan nation. But have multicultural policies also left it more divided? How should we deal with questions of free speech and religious freedom in a multiculturalism society? And has multiculturalism helped or hindered the struggle for equality? Writer, lecturer and broadcaster Kenan Malik and author of The End of Tolerance, Arun Kundnani debate the vexed question of multiculturalism, racism and equality." 

Malik is often billed as one of the early 'left-wing' critics of multiculturalism whilst expect Kundnani to defend multiculturalism and talk about the 'new racism' especially since the 9/11 terror attacks in USA. I think much depends on what exactly we mean by multiculturalism but broadly I think it is a good way to organise modern society where people of different backgrounds find themselves living together - I've yet to hear about more attractive alternatives. The debate starts at 7pm at The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham. If you make it I'd like to hear about how it went?

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