I’m of the opinion that willing diversity is a good thing. That is to say that if society is diverse and the members of that society are willing for it to be so then that society will be more agile and better able to cope with change. The problems start to occur when the people are unwilling.
The hope of the Multi Culturalists will have been that having generations grow up with multiplicity of culture would mean that such a thing would be second nature to many. The problem is the sudden influx of many others for whom this is not second nature and also who have not allowed such diversity to flourish, combining this with the economic downturn and Labour policy of excessive immigration has meant that this achievable goal has been stymied.
As we see with such groups as the EDL there are people who are unwilling to allow such diversity to exist, the UAF would like perhaps to extol themselves as those who are willing to allow the diveristy. But of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, life isn’t polarised.
There is a Muslim portion to this, there are some in the Muslim community (particularly more recent arrivals) that would rather live their lives their way without exposing themselves to the diversity of other cultures around them. That’s as bad as EDLers who’d like to see all practitioners of Islam ejected from the country. Equally bad are those UAFers who are dismissive of the EDL as a whole. Some people who have joined with the EDL may have genuine concerns. They can’t all be dole queuers who are just looking for a fight. I’m sure there are those in the UAF camp who are just spoiling for a rumble too. Another aggravating factor will be those who saw the initial long term plan as a plot against them, there are crazies everywhere who will see such things and there are nasties too who will leverage such concerns for their own aggrandisement.
So we have lots of groups of segregationists who want to exclude themselves from the diversity of other cultures, the EDL from anything to do with Islam, some Muslims from anything not to do with Islam (some Muslims do want a fight too) and the UAF from anyone who they feel threatens them. But that leaves out a huge swathe of other people who just want to get on with their lives.
For most people they’d just like such people to shut up and stop whinging. I’ve heard some agreement for the idea of taking all the people who want a fight, fencing them off in a large area of the countryside and letting them get on with it, in the meantime the rest of us can live our lives.
The thing is that once you step away from the polarising factions things are mostly calm. People just want to get on. They recognise that some diversity is a good thing, that whatever we do in life we will always cross paths with people who are going to disagree with us on a variety of subjects and we can’t sit and argue about such things all day, every day. The extremists in all camps should be marginalised from within their own communities. If no one will talk to them they’ll eventually shut up, you’d hope.