London, Feb 7 (ANI): British Prime Minister David Cameron has been forced to defend his views on "state multiculturalism" after facing opposition from Muslim groups and Labour MPs.
Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan had accused Cameron of "writing propaganda for the English Defence League," while Muslim groups said he was attempting to "rip communities apart", The Independent reports.
Cameron, however, defended his views, saying: "You have to confront the extremism itself. You have to say to the people in Birmingham Central Mosque, or wherever, who are saying 9/11 is a Jewish conspiracy, that that is not an acceptable attitude to have."
"We don't tolerate racism in our society carried out by white people; we shouldn't tolerate extremism carried out by other people. It certainly means changing the practice, changing the groups you fund, the people you engage . . .the people you let into the country. It needs a whole new way of thinking, he added.
Cameron also indicated that tougher action should be taken against some Muslim groups who receive public money, but do little to tackle extremism.
Cameron's comments were made on the same day as the anti-Muslim EDL held a big demonstration in Luton, prompting accusations that he was playing into the hands of the far-right. Stephen Lennon, the EDL leader, reportedly said Cameron was "now saying what we're saying. He knows his base."
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth group, however differed from Cameron's views, and said that: "Singling out Muslims as he has done feeds the hysteria and paranoia about Islam and Muslims. Multi-culturalism is about understanding each others' faiths and cultures while being proud of our British citizenship. It would help if politicians stopped pandering to the agenda of the BNP and the fascist EDL." (ANI)