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Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Thursday, 26 October 2006 16:06 UK

Alesha

THIS WEEK
Alesha
Children should learn that in society we have to mix and live together.
Alesha
We asked R&B singer Alesha for her Take Of The Week.

I'm Alesha. I am a singer-songwriter. I'm mixed race. My father's Jamaican and my mother is English.

I grew up in a predominantly white area. When I was younger, I did suffer with racism.

But I never saw myself as a victim. I saw myself as lucky.

It was an advantage for me to be mixed-race. I had a black father, I had a white mother and I got to enjoy two different cultures. To me, that's fantastic.

A lot of people are saying that multi-culturalism cannot work. But I think it can. I think that we can make it work by respecting each other and celebrating each other's differences.

School time should be mixed

There's been a lot of talk this week about faith schools. I think it's a fantastic idea to study your religion, preferably on the weekend or at evening classes.

But I do think that school time should be mixed. From an early age, children should learn that in society we have to mix and live together and I think that should be reflected in school life.

Muslims should meet us halfway

There's also been a lot of debate recently about whether Muslim women should wear the veil.

I personally think that they should be allowed to wear the veil. That's their religion, that's their beliefs and we should respect that.

At the same time, I strongly believe that they should meet us halfway.

We live in Britain; they live in Britain; we all have to live together and respect each other's boundaries.

It's up to us

So in situations involving authority like airports, if they're asked to remove the veil, I think they should co-operate. But let's respect their wishes and respect their religion.

In the light of terrorism, I think that the Muslim community has been targeted.

There's a lot of fear spread throughout the country and a lot of distrust. As much as we look to the government to find a resolution and curb terrorism, it's for us as a society to start changing our attitudes so we can start rebuilding that trust and stop living in fear.



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