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Demanding Muslim to Adapt Is ‘Disrespectful’: Trevor Phillips

Expecting Muslims to simply abandon their culture to suit Britain is “the deepest form of disrespect,” according to former Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Trevor Phillips.

Expecting Muslims to simply abandon their culture to suit Britain is “the deepest form of disrespect,” according to former Equality and Human Rights Commission chair Trevor Phillips, who says Muslim communities are fundamentally different from those of other religions.

Speaking at a meeting of the Policy Exchange think tank, Former British Equality and Human Rights Commission ChairTrevor Phillips says Britain’s Muslims are a unique community, adding it is important to grasp that people won’t change their view simply because they are repeatedly told to do so.

“Continuously pretending that a group is somehow eventually going to become like the rest of us is perhaps the deepest form of disrespect,” he said.

 He called integration a two-way street in which more than one side must adapt to change.

“Part of the integration process is for the rest of us to grasp that people aren’t going to change their views simply because we are constantly telling them that basically they should be like us,” he said.

Muslim organizations have expressed concern on many occasions about the worrying level of Islamophobia in the UK. Last year, more than 60 Imams, Muslims community leaders and rights activists called on the British government to stop demonizing Muslims. In an open letter to the government, the signatories accused it of criminalizing Islam in an attempt to deflect attention from crises in the economy and health service.

The signatories also slammed criminalization of “legitimate political discourse and criticism of the stance of successive governments towards Muslims” and condemned crackdown on dissenting voices in Muslim community.

“We live in a world which is highly diverse so it is strange to ask somebody to leave their belief,” a London-base political commentator said.

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