, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 181-190
Date: 05 Feb 2008

Islamists in the “Rainbow” Coalition

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Abstract

In the 1980s, Britain’s Labour Party promoted a system of race-relations that envisioned Britain as a collection of discrete cultures with equal status. This multicultural model for organizing society conflicted with traditional British notions of a unified national culture, with an assimilationist model of immigrant incorporation. Today, the Labour Party’s relationship with Islamists is sharply dividing Labour’s “rainbow” constituency. Whereas the horrific events of 9/11 and 7/7 have led many Labour leaders to replace its defense of multiculturalism with Tory-sounding calls for immigrant assimilation, other Labour leaders are working harder than ever to accommodate their Muslim constituents.