[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
TUC wants Muslim 'poverty' ended
Some 63% of children in the two communities live in poverty
More must be done to tackle poverty and poor health and create jobs for UK Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, according to a union study.

A Trades Union Congress study says some 69% of the communities live in poverty and, at 43%, they have the lowest employment rate of any ethnic group.

In comparison, 20% of white people are said to be living in poverty.

General Secretary Brendan Barber is to visit the East London Mosque to "show solidarity" for Muslim communities.

More than 90% of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities were Muslim and together they made up 60% of UK Muslims, said the union.

Mr Barber said there had been "much debate about the future of our multicultural society" in the aftermath of the London bomb attacks.

Racist attacks

"Trade unions were quick to call for support for Muslim communities, who were as horrified by these attacks as anyone else, but have been subject to racist attacks and far-right abuse," he said.

Mr Barber warned that while social deprivation and poverty were no excuse for criminality, they "could be a breeding ground for poisonous beliefs of all kinds".

He continued: "And even if there had been no bomb attacks, a civilised country should not tolerate such high levels of poverty and deprivation."

The TUC report also found Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were more likely to have a "limiting long-term illness".

It also found 63% of children from the two communities suffered from child poverty.

Its report 'Poverty, Exclusion and British people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Origin' was based on independent research and official data, including from the Office of National Statistics and 2001 Census.
TUC Findings
54% of Bangladeshis live in London
21% of Pakistanis live in the Midlands
11% of Bangladeshis live in the West Midlands
12% of UK Muslims are white

The TUC is calling for job creation schemes to be focused in areas of high unemployment.

Mr Barber said there had been too many "cheap calls" for Muslims to integrate, some coming close to asking people to "give up crucial parts of their identity".

Instead, he called for the building of a "tolerant liberal society".

Mr Barber plans to visit Muslim community groups in Leeds and Birmingham next week.

Your comments

It's probably about time the Government took a little corrective action after creating these problems in the first place by lumping together migrant workers of the 1950s-70s into 'private communities.' The consequence has been that many of these migrant workers' children still live in those same communities without being made to feel part of the British system.
Pat Nately, London, UK

As an educated and very well integrated British Muslim, I have contributed a lot to the development of Britain's employment services. I see myself as a practicing British Muslim, I have very similar beliefs to the Saudi's, but culturally I am very different. What I wear, eat, behave, read, act, etc are British. I have lots on non Muslim friends but wonder how many Muslim or black friends the political leaders have.
Asif, Saudi Arabia

How do you define poverty? Are larger families more likely to be included within a definition of poverty? Since when have the Unions had an competence or role in the prevention of poverty or extremist groups?
Jon, Midland

I fail to see why Muslims require any kind of special consideration, when other immigrant groups from similar areas (such as Hindus and Sikhs)are doing well as a community. Singling Muslims out for special attention will only cause resentment in other communities.
Rustam Roy, London, UK

I agree that poverty is an issue here. Poverty always breeds disaffection and makes a community vulnerable to extreme ideas. If such communities have more wealth they will be less inclined to act against the nation that sponsors it.
Alex, London UK

Hate crimes soar after bombings
04 Aug 05 |  London


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific