Learn English or Face Deportation: Cameron to Muslim Women
NEW DELHI: If you are a Muslim woman living in Britain for more than two and half years and can’t speak English, then chances are that you may be shown the door and deported back to your country, writes David Cameron, the British Prime Minister.
In an article penned by him for The Times newspaper, Cameron talked about the “passive tolerance” of Muslim women when they are discriminated against by the male members of their community which often results in their lagging behind in education. He cited the numbers, saying that there are 22 per cent of Muslim women in Britain who speak little to no English.
"Someone can move to here with very basic English and there's no requirement to improve it over time. We will change that. We will now say: if you don't improve your fluency, that could affect your ability to stay in the UK," wrote Cameron in the article for the conservative newspaper.
"This will help make it clear to those men who stop their partners from integrating that there are consequences."
He said he doesn’t think that there is a direct link between poor English skills and extremism, but didn’t rule out the “susceptibility’ of such immigrants to radical and extreme ideas.
The government has announced that it will invest 20 million pounds in teaching English language to Muslim women who have come on spousal visas. From October onwards they will be tested on their proficiency of English, deciding on whether they have made improvements or not.
The move hasn’t gone down well with everyone and Cameron has since been accused of “alienating” Muslim women and of “denigrating” them.
“The statements from this government regarding Muslims continue to further demonize and marginalize the Muslim community and are counter-productive," the Muslim Women's Council said in a statement.
"Whilst we welcome the additional funding pledged today by the Prime Minister for English language support for Muslim women, we do not agree with the assertion that there is a link between a lack of English and extremism." It read further.
Muslims make for one third of the minority population in Britain. The largest chunk of them comes from Pakistan, followed by Bangladesh. According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) Britain, Pakistani migrants are somewhere between 400,000 to 4, 50,000, while migrants from Bangladesh were just under 200,000 at last survey done in 2011. Muslims from other nationalities were from Somalia, India, Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan among others.