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David Cameron’s article in this morning’s Observer makes reference to Labour’s "clunking" approach to issues of community cohesion but if you are going to address issues of Muslim integration into Britain it is best, as George W Bush discovered to his cost, not to talk about fighting a "crusade".

Nonetheless Mr Cameron’s desire to champion the Muslim women who "are being denied access to education, work, involvement in the political process and surprisingly even denied access to mosques" will be widely welcomed by those worried about ghetto Muslim communities.

Ahead of a major speech tomorrow on community cohesion Mr Cameron uses his Observer article to say that Britain must become defined by its commitment to ‘equality of opportunity’:

"Questions of social cohesion are also questions of social justice and social inclusion. Cohesion is as much about rich and poor, included and left behind as it is about English and Scot or Muslim and Christian. Inspiring as well as demanding loyalty from every citizen will require a new crusade for fairness. A society that consistently denies some of its people the chance to escape poverty, to get on in life, to fulfil their dreams and to feel that their contribution is part of a national effort: such a society will struggle to inspire loyalty, however many citizenship classes it provides.  Fairness will be our most powerful weapon against fragmentation. In America, new immigrants feel part of something from the moment they arrive because they feel they have the opportunity to succeed. It is that belief in equal opportunity that we need in Britain today and it is why the denial of quality education to so many is such a vital part of the cohesion argument."

If, as is reported, John Bird seeks the Tory nomination for London Mayor Mr Cameron will have a powerful champion for his compassionate conservatism.

The Observer also reports that a report from the Tory security policy group will – this week – suggest that forced marriage should be made illegal.  That policy idea – from Louise Bagshawe – was the second approved policy on ConservativeHome’s 100policies.com.

50 comments for: Cameron’s new “crusade” embraces rights of Muslim women

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