As UK Commission on Integration and Cohesion is Launched, Secretary Describes Need to Tackle Tensions

August 24, 2006

Source: BBC News

On August 24, 2006 BBC News reported, "Tensions between people of different ethnic groups and faiths in British society must be tackled, says Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly. As she launched a Commission on Integration and Cohesion, she urged a 'new and honest' debate on diversity. The body, which will start work next month, will look at how communities in England tackle tensions and extremism. But Ms Kelly says it will not look at whether faith schools are a good thing, insisting parents should have a choice. The government plans to have more faiths schools but critics say they increase segregation between people of different beliefs. The launch of the commission, which was originally mooted last July, comes amid growing fears of alienation, especially among young Muslims. It will tour the UK before reporting next June, looking at how towns, cities and communities tackle challenges such as segregation and social or economic divisions between different ethnic groups. The commission is designed to carry on some of the research that followed riots in northern towns in 2001. Following that violence, experts warned the government some communities were leading 'parallel lives' with little or no contact with each other."