David Cameron made a speech recently in Munich on the subject of state multiculturalism and religious radicalisation. You can read the speech in full on the Number 10 website.
Amidst the flurry of public reaction to it, a great deal of which relied on misrepresentation of what was actually said, it is worth drawing attention to several different responses from the Christian blogosphere.
First, John Milbank, a Fellow of the Contextual Theology Centre, wrote a response to Cameron’s speech on the Respublica blog which argued for a more communitarian understanding of multiculturalism.
Milbanks suggests that “mere liberalism encourages a clumping into a restricted number of group-identities and so gives us, precisely multiculturalism of the most anarchic kind”. He writes, “if Cameron could express more boldly the positive shared character of the British identity, including its peculiar religious aspect, he would far less risk offending Muslims and corroding British solidarity for the future. In order fully to reject merely liberal multiculturalism he needs to move beyond mere liberalism. But in doing so he could be kinder to a multiculturalism of a more organicist variety.”
Second, Robert Jackson wrote an insightful comment on the website of think-tank Ekklesia which sought a more nuanced understanding of the reality of a multifaith culture than the picture painted by Cameron. In particular, Jackson argues for the importance of religious education in schools in facilitating greater understanding between religions and cultures.
Finally, the Charities Parliament blog from Faithworks has a short response from the Christian and Muslim Forum.