Focus on ethnic minority treatment

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THE WAY ethnic communities are treated is to come under the spotlight at a De Montfort University (DMU) conference this weekend.

The two-day event is set to attract experts from around the World and will look at how the continent has dealt with established and emerging immigrant groups since World War II.

The conference is entitled Europe and Its Established and Emerging Immigrant Communities: Assimilation. Multiculturalism or Integration? It takes place on Saturday, 11 November and Sunday, 12 November and will examine topics such as Islamophobia, security and terrorism, race relations and education.  

Speakers will include Halifah Sallah from the People’s Centre for Sciences Research Civic Awareness and Community Initiative, Gambia; Leicester West MP Patricia Hewitt; Professor Tariq Ramadan, President of the European Muslim Network and Professor Ted Cantle, head of the Institute of Community Cohesion.

It has been organised by Momodou Sallah and Carlton Howson, both senior lecturers in DMU’s Youth and Community Division

Mr Howson said: “Since the terror attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 and of course the Madrid train bombings, there has been intense scrutiny of the way European countries deal with their ethnic communities.  This has ranged from the way they have dealt with the communities already established in those countries to those which are developing right now.

“The conference aims to shed some light on the different aspects of policy and changes which could be made.

“Many communities live together in harmony. But in many instances they live parallel lives and have virtually no contact with each other, thus many are only informed of the other by the often negative portrayal witnessed in the media as it purports to reflect the dominant values. This can lead to a situation where one group blames the other as the course of their particular marginalisation. This can lead to problems as we have seen with the Paris riots and in the UK in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford.  The conference examines how countries deal with these issues – do they work towards assimilation, multiculturalism or integration? And what are the benefits and disadvantages of the different approaches?”

Papers presented to the conference are expected to be published together in a book next year.

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