Mark other religious festivals, along with Christmas
17th December 2009: Defending “multiculturalism”, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for recognition to minority cultures and traditions.
It has recommended that public organisations should mark other religious festivals too, along with Christmas, to improve race relations. The IPPR has also called on Ministers to launch an urgent and upfront campaign promoting a multicultural understanding of Britishness.
IPPR is Labour think-tank and has shaped many Labour policies, including ID cards, bin taxes and road pricing.
According to available information, the report was commissioned when Nick Pearce was its director.
The report clearly stands up for multiculturalism – the idea that different communities should not be forced to integrate but should be allowed to maintain their own culture and identities
It says if they are going to continue as a nation to mark Christmas, and it will be very hard to expunge it from their national life even if they wanted to, public organisations should mark other religious festivals too.
The report by IPPR advisers Ben Rogers and Rick Muir says even-handedness dictates that they provide public recognition to minority cultures and traditions. And, they can no longer define themselves as a Christian nation, nor an especially religious one in any sense.
The report says multiculturalism can be shown to provide for a fairer and more liberal society and does not necessarily lead to social division and community conflict, as its critics have claimed.
Councils must act to "ensure children mix and are able to form friendships with pupils from different backgrounds".