University of Birmingham expert on 7/7 bombings
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the 7/7 terror attacks, attention will rightly focus on the sheer horror of the unfolding events and the tragic loss of life.
The legacy left by these events has, however, been more far-reaching than expected, having a profound impact on how we go about our everyday lives. From more security checks at airports and increased monitoring of social media, to new counter-terror measures requiring public sector workers to play a greater role in combating extremism and schools being required to teach ‘British values’, the impact has been significant.
Maybe, though, the greatest impact is in terms of Britain’s multiculturalism. Blamed by some for having created a raft of different social problems, the past decade has seen many, including David Cameron, call for the death of multiculturalism.
The consequences of this can be seen in research showing that as well as people becoming less tolerant of each other, levels of racism are at a 20-year high.
Similarly, research shows that we are less trusting and more suspicious of different communities, especially Muslims. As a result, Muslim communities feel under greater scrutiny and increasingly marginalised.
With British society becoming ever more diverse, and with new challenges presented by young British Muslims going to fight in Syria and Iraq, the shadow of 7/7 is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.
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