Prime minister David Cameron announced Monday that going forward, Muslim women who live in Britain will be tested on their English language skills to ensure that they are integrating into their communities and are less susceptible to terrorist messages. Current rules already require immigrant spouses to speak English before they come to the country to live with their partners, but the new rule would institute language tests after two-and-a-half years in the country. The announcement came with the creation of a new language-improvement fund aimed at improving the English skills of the estimated 190,000 Muslim women in England who don’t currently speak the language. “If you are not able to speak English, not able to integrate, you may find therefore you have challenges understanding what your identity is and therefore you could be more susceptible to the extremist message,” he told BBC Radio.
Cameron drew swift criticism from Muslim and liberal groups, who said the rule and the Prime Minister’s comments only served to stereotype the country’s Muslim population, which is estimated to be about 2.7 million people.
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