Yesterday David Cameron pledged a new £20 million community fund to teach English to isolated women, but simplistically tied this money to cracking down on extremism.
While I welcome more money for language skills, over David Cameron’s last five years as Prime Minister his government has only cut funding from language classes. These classes are a fantastically powerful way to further integrate people into society, but shouldn’t be a tool in dog whistle politics. The singling out of Muslim women will only further stigmatise a group that is demonised too often in political discourse. Threatening to remove a woman from her family because she has been too busy caring for them to read Jane Austen is indicative of how this out of touch government thinks.”
Virendra Sharma MP
Labour is committed to achieving that as a genuine alternative to this Government’s counter-productive approach. We will soon be launching a new initiative working with the Muslim community to develop a better understanding of the issues and empowering it to tackle the very small minority at risk of radicalisation.
In his desire to grab easy headlines, David Cameron risks doing more harm than good. His clumsy and simplistic approach to challenging extremism is unfairly stigmatising a whole community. There is a real danger that it could end up driving further radicalisation, rather than tackling it.”
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary