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Are Bradford's Troubles Ethnic or Social?

on 2001/4/26 9:49:02 ( 1329 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, April 25, 2001: A recent outbreak of violence in West Yorkshire County and Bradford has led to controversy as to the cause. This Times of India article is just the latest of several articles that discuss the incident. By appearances the looting, fire-bombing and street fighting could be attributed to racial tensions between Hindus and Muslims. However the writer of this article digs deeper and speculates that the real source of tension lies in a class difference where poor whites and Muslims are pitted against middle-class whites and Hindus. Stacy Burlett of Bradford University, who has studied the multi-ethnic community for several years, believes that the fight was about the "poor working class fighting the richer outsiders." In the case of the recent uprising, it would have been the rich wedding party of Hindu girl and white boy celebrating under the noses of the poor whites and Muslims in the neighborhood. True to fact, most Hindus arrived in Britain well educated and with money, whereas most Bangladeshis and Pakistanis came to Britain with very little education and less money. By appearances, each group migrated socially toward peers among the English with similar levels of education and income. Thus a poor Bangladeshi teen living on the streets finds a comrade in the poor Irish youth, while the well-educated son of an Indian doctor finds friends among the better-off whites. The debate continues and politicians have been warned that the situation is escalating from a multi-ethnic one to a huge social problem.

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