LETTER:Bradford riots: stereotypes, harassment and policing

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Roman

Sir: "Asians pride themselves on being peaceful and compliant", "inner- city Muslims feel victims of liberal toleration", "young Asians are `adrift from the values of their elders' ". These are quotes from the Independent's News Analysis of the Bradford riots last weekend ("Bradford's culture clash", 12 June).

All contain a grain of truth when applied to a certain proportion of Bradford's Asians, but, taken as a whole, they are ludicrous generalisations. The picture is built up of a deprived, insular community torn apart by crime and drugs, indulging only in the worst aspects of "Western culture". It fits a stereotype which most readers probably carry in the back of their minds, unwittingly and unwillingly.

Asians are as different from each other as white people are. Some are religious, some not; some are political, some not; and to my knowledge drug abuse is no more of a problem than with any other sector of the population.

The Asian areas of Bradford are good places to live (I know, I live in one), but - yes - run- down. If Manningham was a council estate it would have had millions of pounds pumped into it by now, like most of Bradford's (mainly white) estates. But it isn't, and it is only when a riot breaks out (not over drugs, prostitution or even race) that it gets noticed.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID ROMAN

Bradford

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