What more can be done to stop the spread of extremism in London?
What could help Londoners do more to challenge hateful and intolerant views? What kind of support do communities need to help do this?
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There needs to be more proactive behaviour from local authorities, the police and in schools to prevent extremism from taking hold: they could all use positive role models to help young people focus on the positives in society, and make them feel part of society, no matter what their background. There is too much negative press, and focus on what cannot be done to stem the problems society now faces ( i.e lack of money, resourses) rather that focusing on what needs to be done. Parents need educating on what to look out for regarding grooming and exploitation, and need dedicated support if they do have children that are being groomed in extremeism and gang activity. There should also be much better signposting ( leaflets in doctors surgeries, on public noticeboards and in school newsletters ) to community groups or charities that can help within the community and offer help to families that are struggling with issues surrounding their children and the influences that they are being exposed to. This should not just be about tolerating each other, but about accepting and embracing each other's cultures and differences.
Young people should be given positive role models and encouraged to join sports clubs / take up hobbies to keep them away from detrimental environments
Thanks for sharing your views. Have you heard of the Our London map? The map was launched this summer and is hosted on the City Hall website at www.london.gov.uk/our-london. It features more than 200 activities, of which some are funded by the Mayor. There are acitivities across the capital, including in the 10 boroughs most affected by knife and violent crime.
What do you think of this initiative?
Thanks everyone for taking part in this discussion.
What could help Londoners do more to challenge hateful and intolerant views?
Do you think London is becoming more or less tolerant?
As an old woman of 72, I believe that not having been brought up with people from other countries has caused me to be slightly apprehensive when faced with a situation where l am the only English-speaker amongst a large group of people (as happened in an hospital A&E department recently). It seems to me that this might also apply to other, older people, so rather than being racist, we are just shy of mixing & feel less able to do so. I think that today we have to learn to be tolerant & respectful of all peoples no matter what their faith or culture, however, it must work both ways, they must be tolerant & respectful of us, too. Younger people, particularly school children, will grow up mixing naturally with all kinds of people, from all countries, colours, cultures & faiths which will help integration tremendously. However, I don't believe extremists can be helped/diffused this easily - we do have a bad history when it comes to overtaking other countries and sometimes imposing our faith on their people, which, with hindsight, was very wrong. People with extremist views seem to think that we must be punished for what our forefathers did & this is so wrong. It seems to me that they just assume we are all the same as our forefathers, just as many Brits assume all muslims are terrorists - nothing could be further from the truth. Britons, in general, today, are just ordinary, law-abiding citizens wanting to live a peaceful life & rubbing along with our neighbours, no matter where they come from. I live in a very multi-culteral road & my neighbours seem perfectly nice. It is my own shyness that prevents me from making close friends, nothing whatsoever to do with their colour or creed - if any one of them needed help, l would be first in line to offer it.
It has everything today to do with education (or the lack of)...Start young, continue through to young adulthood, and start again with the young. Year on year, on the sylibus, lessons about how wrong it is to hate, to fear, to differentuate.
I was taught my times table parrott fashion...and I've never forgotten them. Teach, teach, teach, the history, where we went wrong, the consequences of our and our forefathers actions, where we must be to put things right, in five, ten, twenty years and more...and teach them where we probably will be if we don't change our ways.
Above all, teach every generation where we, as HUMAN BEINGS, came from, how we evolved, how we populated the planet, that the only differences between us are purely cosmetic. Teach each generation of children that it is their responsibility to work with each other and to make their future world work.
Police should be visible on 2 wheels not in cars. They should prioritise prevention of violent muggings,, theft , knife and gang crime.
Stop grovelling to religion, any religion at all - they are all the same, at root, as they are all based on moral & physical blackmail.
Their world-pictures are proven false, so why is anybody paying any attention to this nonsense, anyway?
The "churches" in the broadest sense of the word are the problem, not part of the solution.
Stop the news being blocked by the police/government so the public can see what we are up against. Stop allowing the extremist marches which incite trouble.
This is the uninformed entitled exceptionalist nonsense that carries within it the seeds of it's holders own destruction. Stop making excuses for murder, rape and destruction. On the broadwalk in Regent's Park is a white fountain, you cannot miss it, and inscribed on the fountain are words to this effect...' from the people of xxxxxxx province of India in gratitude to the protection afforded to them by the British Government.' The total destruction of the murderous Thuggi sect, who butchered and mutilated countless innocent Indian pilgrims, was performed by the soldiers of the British East India Company. For every bad there was a good. I can see that. Why can the apologists for ethnic exceptionalism not see that ?
Money should be given to existing social groups like the Church to provide youth clubs and educate people .Great institutuions like the Cubs,Scouts are platforms for a healthy mind.
Money could be diverted from the cycle lanes to help millions rather than thousands.
Should more work be done in schools around issues of respect and tolerance?
Would a London-wide campaign challenging hate and intolerance be a good idea? Whould this focus on countering hate or promoting inclusion and diversity?
Would a London-wide pledge against hate be effective in raising the confidence of Londoners to stand up to tolerance?
Define "Respect" & "Tolerance" - please?
If I state, as a matter of fact that certain "holy books" are utterly useless for describing the world, ( if only because science has moved on a bit since then ) then I will immediatley be attacked for being disrepectful of Insert_$NAME_of_religion_HERE, won't I?
I'm a card-carrying atheist & the pathetic grovellings of the "Establishment" to religious primitives ( Including, of course the N Irish christian nutters ) fills me with despair.
I am not tolerant of lies & I am not tolerant of treating women as second-class ( or 3rd or 4th class ) citizens, simply because your chosen religion says so .....
Yes, more work needs to be done in schools..I believe it's a bit hit and miss at present. London is so diverse, it's the beauty of it, but I think 2 things have changed. 1 is Brexit which has opened up the flood gates of intolerance and hatred, people who thought these dreadful things feel they now have the right to say and act on it ...and 2. Trump...he has given people the courage to speak rubbish...'if it's good enough for him....'. Yes a London wide promotion to be kinder, more tolerant, enjoy the diversity...Promote English speaking classes, encourage people to set them up in local libraries, centres to cover evenings and weekends, there just aren't enough around. Get out of your chair and DO something to help.
I lived in a multicultutral city all my life, 66 years, never have I seen such a rise in bigotry and intolerance as in the past 2 years, they feel emboldened by that referendum and it most definitely has given the far right youth a green light for increased racism, the crime figures prove that. Out of the 9 comments so far there have been 3 blatanly xenophobic comments, 1 forum editor, 1 from the religous group (they have their own unchristian bigotry against some minorities) and a random 4 different views of which only one has expressed a real concern about use of language, I might help balance the tolerance view since I come from a minority as well, but I do find it depressing so far.
It starts with tolerance by all to all, people can have there views but they have no place in law if that means oppressive legislation directly against a minority or it they advocate violence against those same minorities. There used to be an expression when I was younger, "if you have nothing nice to say then don't say it", these days it appears to be quite the opposite, the appallingly low standards of comment on the internet has proven that. That does not mean you cannot satirise fools or irrational views not backed by fact, the village idiot still exists even today, just in the cities as well.
We will never get an intergrated community, people feel naturally comfortable in familiar cultural surroundings, so we should not be wasting time and effort on what is akin to bussing in the southern US states, it did not solve the root cause of their problems, it actually excerbated them. I do agree with Richard Morse's comment regarding language, English is the written and spoken word in this country and except for specific foreign language teaching then provision for other languages as an alternative to English needs to be removed, with a caveat that we provide remedial courses for those living here that do not speak English, for ALL and not some kept indoors.
I think I should add to my comment, I lived in España, it was made quite clear when I registered for my social security number that Spanish is the language spoken in the office, if you don't speak it then come back with your own interpreter, I did, but so many Englsih thought it was their right to have English as the language used, "shakes head".
We need to teach the ethics of living in a free, fair and tolerant society, starting in primary scholls, with NO opt outs, it is part of the education process to teach our young and I am pleased that attitudes in the vast majority of our young are not those of my peers at the time and still now as they have aged, I won't say matured as that improvement is the sign of an advanced species. Just today we had an example of the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of the law used to institutionlise bigotry, business has no code, people do and we see examples of that from all the communities that make up our country. Racism and phobia's are not the exclusive preserve of white people and trying to operate a 2 tier system will not solve our problems either, contrary to the words of a certain woman, there is such a thing as society and community, except for those that try to recreate communities resembling the ones they have just left which is not a good idea, since they were fleeing the oppression of that system to come here in the first place.
We need to tackle the bigger problem, intolerant bigotry in its many forms needs eradicating and that means the ethos of "my school is better than yours" which leads to silly interschool rivalry and fights also goes, education is or should be a co-operative partnership and not a competitive one. The State should not be following a broken business model where greed is good and being top dog is also good, especially when that means the lower and very poor dogs get trampled on, it leads to resentment and an ethnic blame culture, I never want to see that ever again.
I lived in a multicultutral city all my life, 66 years, never have I seen such a rise in bigotry and intolerance as in the past 2 years, they feel emboldened by that referendum and it most definitely has given the far right youth a green light for increased racism, the crime figures prove that. Of the 9 comments so far there have been 3 blatanly xenophobic comments, 1 forum editor, 1 from the religous group (they have their own unchristian bigotry against some minorities) and a random 4 different views of which only one has expressed a real concern about use of language, I might help balance the tolerance view since I come from a minority as well, but I do find it depressing so far.
We will never get an intergrated community, people feel naturally comfortable in familiar cultural surroundings, so we should not be wasting time and effort on what is akin to bussing in the southern US states, it did not solve the root cause of their problems, it actually excerbated them. I do agree with Richard Morse's comment regarding language, English is the written and spoken word in this country and except for specific foreign language teaching then provision for other languages as an alternative to English needs to be removed, with a caveat that we provide remedial courses for those living here that do not speak English, for ALL and not with some kept indoors.
The truth is bitter the government has to bring back the youth club to all the community,By doing that hateful we stop him how community and we tolerate each other, Because where ever is unity there must be a love then we will be able to tolerate each other, I remember in those days will you come to pick your child that is with some parents meet and deer be become friend to each order, wherever love is there will be no room for hateful challenge and intolerant, God is love, when you love God you we love everybody surrounded you,
Thanks everyone for taking part in this discussion.
Do you think difference is valued in London? As a Londoner, do you feel comfortable challenging hateful and intolerant views or behaviours? If not, why not?
As a Londoner walking through my city, I do not feel comfortable about challenging hateful behaviour etc. There are some kind and approachable people in cities but most are disrespectful and very defensive. I have, before now, asked people politely for something or other and the response I have received is either very hurtful, unnecessary or just plain disrespectful. Sad. I work with children and feel comfortable educating them about respect, about the 'good' path etc but then they go out into the community - or home even - to encounter the opposite of what people like me have tried to teach/support them with or through. I give up!
I'm a visually-impaired person. People bump into me on the street and, instead of apologising, they get angry at me. I'm the one with the white stick!
Sometimes, which is just as disrespectful, people try to show how open-minded THEY are by physically grabbing me when they learn I have a vision problem. It is NEVER ok to touch someone you don't know and without asking. They never ask if I need help. They just assume and grab me. If I need help, I'll ask for it. If I don't ask, keep your hands off me!
Just because I have a disability does not mean strangers can put their hands on me without asking. Doing so is a complete lack of respect for my boundaries.
Friends who use wheelchairs tell me people come up behind them and start pushing their chairs without asking! I can't imagine anything more frightening unless it's someone I have never seen before grabbing me without asking.
Being grabbed or touched in that way by a stranger feels exactly like an assault.
And instead of apologising for violating our boundaries, 99% of the time, when we object, they say, "But I was only trying to help!" They might preface that statement with an apology.
Something I've witnessed recently is people standing on the stairs leading down into tube stations, leaning against the railing, using their smartphone while they can still get a signal. Their nasty response when asked to move so a disabled person can hold the railing is shocking and hurtful and stays with the receptient for a long time.
It's their nasty response when we tell them...
I really value difference, I find it almost exciting encountering so many people with so many different outlooks. i am always interested to hear other views to compare with my own and possibly to modify my already held views. My only regret is that so many people in West London either do not or cannot speak English, making communication impossible and cutting them off from social interaction and I from communicating with them.
Is difference valued in london? Depends on what religion or nationality you are. Some people do not want to intergrate and dont want diversity. Others will welcome it provided it does not swamp the english way of life.
Am i comfortable challenging views or behaviours? NO. Because i wlould imediately be accused of being racist and be reported to the police who would probably arrest me!
Challenge the racism coming from commentators like Maura below who think 'extremism' and 'intolerance' is an exclusive characteristic of foreigners and non-Europeans by educating Britons in PRIMARY and SECONDARY school education on:
- Colonialism, empire, slavery and the crimes of Europeans outside Europe instead of representing non-Europeans as subhumans who 'benefitted' from European and British imperialism.
- The violent history of racism, white supremacy and orientalism.
- The history of the idea of Europe and its culture, including their inheritance of 'Arab' scientific disoveries and analysis of ancient texts.
- The history and hard facts of migration including the migration and 'settlement' of Europeans in non-European countries. Cultivating an openness to the fact that human beings have always travelled across the world and settled in new places, for different reasons and with different consequences each time.
- Cultivating cross-cultural and cross-religious knowledge and understanding.
- Cultivating an ethic that puts first the rights of all human beings not hierarchised by nationality, citizenship, colour, cultural background.
Beautifully said... I couldn't agree more. Maura's comments are a perfect example of the "us and them" mentality that promotes hatred and extremism. Until we come to terms with and take responsibility for the failures of own society in promoting tolerance and the historical and current abuses our nation has perpetrated on the rights of others around the world we can't hope to comment on others.
The poster is promoting their own exceptionalism.
Oh & "Arab" scientific discoveries, mostly came from India & were re-transmitted by the Arab centres of learning, before religious fundamentalism closed them down in the period after approx 1390
This is the uninformed entitled exceptionalist nonesense that carries within it the seeds of it's holders own destruction. Stop making excuses for murder, rape and destruction. On the broadwalk in Regent's Park is a white fountain, you cannot miss it, and inscribed on the fountain are words to this effect...' from the people of xxxxxxx province of India in gratitude to the protection afforded to them by the British Government.' The total destruction of the murderous Thuggi sect, who butchered and mutilated countless innocent Indian pilgrims, was performed by the soldiers of the British East India Company. For every bad there was a good. I can see that. Why can the apologists for ethnic exceptionalism not see that ?
Stopping people coming from other no European countries settling in the UK and making sure they understand there are lot of cultural differences. Before entering they should pass a very complex exam about the UK and European laws and how respect in perceived differently in our countries. Especially telling that we have Equality and women cannot be abused. A first attempt to use firearms will be punished with immediate deportation.
Also making sure that different cultures mix with the local people and not stay isolated between people of their same country. They need to make an effort to love and appreciate this culture if they want to stay. This will make sure they stay away from having hate and intolerance and not spreading any extremism. In few words I believe that extremism can only be stopped through education.
It's generally not new immigrants that are intolerant and hateful, so this would miss the mark.
If you seriously believe that respect, tolerance, decency etc work differently in different cultures you are the one who needs more education.
I agree anyone coming here should respect the British way of life and not try and change it live like a British person.
Primary school says we are at the heart of the community, nothing could be further than the truth.
By law there should be a parent room in every school so parents can share storys, successes. etc
I agree...schools are not the heart of the community the way they should be. Having said that, so much fear abounds everywhere that schools are too nervous to open their doors and welcome everybody! They should be more approachable though.
Invest in building communities or involving more people in sports, play together.