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October 14, 2006

You grow up with this mentality that ‘we’re Bangladeshis, whites are whites and blacks are blacks’.”

Filed under: UK — limewoody @ 1:49 pm

AN east London teenager who became a drug dealer and a knife-wielding member of a street gang lays the blame on the transformation of his neighbourhood into an ethnic minority “ghetto” where turf warfare flourishes.“I fell in with the wrong crowd,” said Syed Miah, 19, who regrets his life of crime. “Before, it was mixed and you would get to know other people, but now no one meets anyone. You grow up with this mentality that ‘we’re Bangladeshis, whites are whites and blacks are blacks’.”

Miah became a full-time gangster when he was expelled from school for holding a knife to his teacher’s throat. He says he eventually earned up to £960 a week dealing heroin before being sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Miah’s account of the failure of multiculturalism encapsulates the growing debate over how ethnic minorities should be integrated into society. At last week’s Conservative conference, David Cameron, the party leader, warned that in some cities “we have allowed ghettos to develop — whole neighbourhoods cut off from the rest of society”.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2393806,00.html

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