At a security conference in Munich, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron proclaimed the failure of “state multiculturalism” and announced a policy of promoting a unified British culture in order to defeat radical Islam:
Entering the debate on national identity and religious tolerance, the Prime Minister will declare an end to “passive tolerance” of divided communities, and say that members of all faiths must integrate into wider society and accept core values.
To be British is to believe in freedom of speech and religion, democracy and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality, he will say. Proclaiming a doctrine of “muscular liberalism”, he will say that everyone, from ministers to ordinary voters, should actively confront those who hold extremist views.
He will also warn that groups that fail to promote British values will no longer receive public money or be able to engage with the state.
Here is a key section of the Prime Minister’s speech; the whole thing can be viewed on YouTube:
What is not clear to me is whether a post-Christian Great Britain has enough self-confidence to promote its own values; and also, whether the weak tea of contemporary liberalism, which has difficulty articulating ideals beyond the equal treatment of women and homosexuals, has enough appeal to counteract the attraction of radical Islam.
The immediate reaction to Cameron’s speech was not encouraging. It was denounced both by Labour Party spokesmen and by prominent Muslims.