British PM David Cameron told BBC radio that poor English could make Muslim community in Britain more vulnerable to the message of extremist groups. “I am not saying there’s some type of causal connection among not speaking English and turning into an extremist, of course not,” he said. “But if you aren’t capable to speak English, no longer able to integrate.”
Cameron outlined plans to mandatory English language test all spouses, who immigrate and join their partner living in Britain two and a half years after they come here.
Failing the language test could lead to the new arrival’s right to stay in the UK will be revoked and they will be sent back to their origin country, he added.
His comments drew criticism from opposition parties and Muslim communities.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief government of the Ramadhan foundation stated which campaigns for better community relations, accused Cameron of disgraceful stereotyping. “Cameron and his Conservative government are once again using British Muslims as a political soccer to score cheap political points,” he said.
Andy Burnham, domestic affairs spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party accused Cameron of a clumsy job which became unfairly stigmatizing an entire community.
Shuja Shafi, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain backed Cameron’s call, but asked his tactics. “The prime minister’s goal to make English widely speaking and for better integration falls at the first hurdle if he’s to link it to protection and single out Muslim ladies to illustrate his point,” he said.
Faeeza Vaid, government director of the charity Muslim Women’s Network United Kingdom, said it wasn’t only a loss of language talents preventing the whole integration of Muslim women.
“We’ve got broader societal issues of institutional discrimination and Islam phobia and all of those systems also want to be challenged.”
“I do not agree that this type of undertaking should be connected to stopping radicalization.”