Halsall, Jamie (2007) English Muslims and the Debates in Segregation. Global Built Environment Review. pp. 18-28. ISSN 1474-6824

In the context of segregation, the issues around English Muslims have attracted critical attention
from social scientists and policy makers. Past socio-econonmic indicators demonstrate that
English Muslims, particularly those of Bangladeshi and Pakistani orgin, are the most deprived
ethnic minority groups. During the spring and summer of 2001 civil unrest erupted in Oldham,
Bradford and Burnley. Hundreds of people were hurt and millions of pounds worth of damage
was caused to the local communities. At the time it was a blatant signifier of racism and
cultural intolerance in Britain. After the disturbances independent panels were set up to
investigate what was the main cause of the problems in particular areas of Oldham, Bradford
and Burnley. In each inquiry the findings revealed that communities were living ‘Parallel
Lives’, which was seen to be a failure within communities and of social policy, citing ‘Social
Segregation’ as a contributory factor. More recently in September 2005 Trevor Phillips,
chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) gave a stark warning that Britain is
‘sleepwalking’ into racial segregation, with white, Muslims and black ‘ghettos’ dividing
cities. Currently there is major debate on the issues surrounding ethnic segregation in the
British context. There are two current schools of thought, firstly that ethnic minorities are
experiencing segregation and secondly, the opposing view, that there is little evidence to
suggest that segregation is occurring.

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