Response to the Casey Review

Posted on Wed 7 Dec 2016

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Jabeer Butt, Deputy CEO of the Race Equality Foundation responded to Louise Casey's Review of Integration in a letter to the Guardian

Alan Travis (Pace of change has overtaken flawed study, 6 December), commenting on the Casey review, suggests that “it is odd her inquiry focuses almost totally on Britain’s Muslim community”, whereas this was entirely expected by many of us who heard of the setting up of the commission and Casey’s appointment to lead it. While many of us have repeatedly highlighted not only the persistence of inequality, but the likely undermining of the ties that bind us together by the cuts to in-work benefits, the decimation of affordable housing, and the wholesale cleansing of poor people from parts of London; David Cameron instead commissioned Casey to produce this stilted review which posits the problem of “integration” at the feet of Muslim communities.

Like a bad Hollywood movie, the temptation is to ignore this review with the hope that denying it the oxygen of publicity will see it disappear in to the ether. However, the lesson from Casey’s leadership of the troubled families agenda (which the government’s own study shows has achieved nothing) is that it will lead to ill-thought-through initiatives and policies that will at best be irrelevant to creating communities where everyone believes they belong, and at worst will further stigmatise and isolate. Casey may well believe she is championing the cause of Muslim women, but it is very likely that this review will do nothing for their families who are just about managing.
Jabeer Butt
Deputy chief executive, Race Equality Foundation

Like a bad Hollywood movie, the temptation is to ignore this review with the hope that denying it the oxygen of publicity will see it disappear in to the ether. However, the lesson from Casey’s leadership of the troubled families agenda (which the government’s own study shows has achieved nothing) is that it will lead to ill-thought-through initiatives and policies that will at best be irrelevant to creating communities where everyone believes they belong, and at worst will further stigmatise and isolate. Casey may well believe she is championing the cause of Muslim women, but it is very likely that this review will do nothing for their families who are just about managing.

Jabeer Butt

Deputy chief executive, Race Equality Foundation