Sir: Three days before your report 'Britain 'is sleepwalking into New Orleans style segregation' ' (19 September) we were walking in a predominantly Muslim part of our Blackburn community. We have agreed to walk there regularly because we believe that if an Asian woman in a hijab and a white priest in a dog collar are seen talking together the messages sent out will speak louder than staged interfaith photo opportunities or reams of social commentary. Our walk also gives us the opportunity to gauge how people are feeling.
Last Friday we stopped to talk with one young shopkeeper. We asked him what his concerns were in the light of recent events. He replied that he didn't have that many concerns. His main one was getting up early and ensuring that his business was running well and serving the community. He added, however, that he knew of lots of young people who were unemployed, who spent all day watching Sky News and all night fulminating with their friends about issues such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Iraq and US dominance.
Jobs " or the lack of them " are at the root of the problem. Even in the 21st century, the devil makes work for idle hands.
We live in one of the most segregated communities in the country. And we agree with much of what Harriet Harman and Trevor Phillips say. We see a desire to provide beautiful buildings for the centre of Blackburn, but much …