There are about 6500 spoken languages in the world today, and this diversity of languages can pose as a barrier to communication, across countries and continents. English Language is the world’s second most spoken language with over 508,000 speakers, and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, gave out his comments on Monday 18th January, 2016 when he talked about language and communication.
Cameron stated that Muslim women who fail to learn English to a high enough standard are at a risk of being deported to their respective countries. He also suggested that poor English skills can create more susceptibility to these women, with regards to messaging of groups like Islamic State (IS).
I am not saying there is some sort of causal connection between not speaking English and becoming an extremist, of course not,” he told BBC radio.
But if you are not able to speak English, not able to integrate, you may find challenges understanding what your identity is and therefore, could be more susceptible to the extremist message.”
The comments of the British Prime Minister drew criticisms from Muslim groups and opposition parties. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, which campaigns for better community relations, accused Cameron of “disgraceful stereotyping”.
David Cameron and his Conservative government are once again using British Muslims as a political football to score cheap points to appear tough,” he added.
Also Andy Burnham, who is the home affairs spokesman for the main opposition Labour party, accused Cameron of a “clumsy and simplistic approach” which was “unfairly stigmatising a whole community,” in his words.
David Cameron had made this world controversial comment when his centre-right Conservatives launched a £20 million ($28.5 million, 26 million euro) language fund for women in isolated communities as part of a drive to build community integration. He also said that, the immigration, which forces spouses to speak English before they come to Britain to live with their partners, would also conduct further tests for visitors who have stayed for two and a half years in the country, to ensure their language skills were improving.
You can’t guarantee you will be able to stay if you are not improving your language,” he told BBC radio. “People coming to our country, they have responsibilities too.”
Fact is, the number rule of coming into any country is you should be able to communicate in the local tongue. So if Muslims want to live in England they should be able to speak English with confidence.
Cameron’s government estimates that about 22% of the 190,000 Muslim women in England speak little or no English. This is due to the fact that most of these women live within their Muslim community who speak either their native language or Arabic, which is the general Muslim language. In total, there is an estimation that says England is home to about 2.7 million Muslims out of a total population of some 53 million people. The Muslim men have not been cautioned, it is believed that they are more fluent in English language than their wives, sisters and mothers.