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Far right welcome Sacks

by: JTA - Last updated: 2007-10-30

Sir Jonathan Sacks

Sir Jonathan Sacks

A new book by Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has received accolades from the far right for his views on multiculturalism.

In The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society, Sir Jonathan writes that multiculturalism encourages individual ethnic groups to define themselves as victims and has led to segregation instead of integration.

After excerpts of the book were printed in The Times, message boards for far right groups included comments saying that Sir Jonathan's work was helping them out "big time" even though he was a Jew.

Nick Griffin, leader of the far right British National Party, called the book "important and welcome."

But London's Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron, criticised the work, saying that attacks on multiculturalism feed on ignorance about other cultures and religious faiths, which can lead to intolerance.

Other human rights groups have accused Sir Jonathan of making the statements merely to garner publicity for the book. In his defence, Sir Jonathan told the free newspaper Jewish News that he saw multiculturalism as a form of separation and stressed that he was proposing the creation of a unifying culture, calling for a "national Britishness day."

(c) JTA