Every so often we are asked to take part in integration and social cohesion studies in the hope that eventually this will lead to some utopian British culture that looks as good in real life as it does on paper.

But is it time to face the facts? That some people have no desire to integrate and are happier living isolated lives within their own culture.

I am not just talking about those from a Muslim background but also from a white British background.

And I am not saying this is okay, but it is a fact that we choose to ignore.

The problem with social cohesion policies in recent years is two-fold. First, the onus remains on the minorities and in particular Muslims to integrate with British culture.

It is the Muslims who will have policies and ideas posted their way because it is the Muslims who it seems are not integrating with British culture. The aim is to change how Muslims act and what they believe in.

This can be quite patronising when Muslims are usually the ones who make a huge effort to integrate. How do you sell the idea of integration to someone who is already integrated?

Secondly, we have social cohesion policies that do not know exactly why communities are supposedly not mixing. We have had research on the subject done but again it is managed by academics who have little or no experience of living within these neighbourhoods or the issues facing these communities.

The result is we have a white-middle class perception of the answers to social cohesion.

Yet, there is something we have to face.

Some Muslims are happier living in their own communities and living a life where they do not mix with those from other religions. I am sorry to say but we have some parents who see this as a utopia of their version British culture.

The less their children mix with non-Muslims the less likely they are to pick up these non-Muslim habits.

To those who say this does not happen let me take you back thirty years. Our political and religious leaders actually encouraged this and for decades we insisted that our bad habits and ills were picked up only by ‘mixing’ with non-Muslims.

This attitude became ingrained in our culture and in particular British Muslim culture.

We still have many religious teachers who privately encourage this in our communities. Yet, we tend to turn a blind eye as to say anything would mean we are in some way encouraging more attention when none is needed.

There is also a real issue of convenience. Why would you want to go out of your way to see non-Muslims when there really is no need?

We have our own educational systems, food and prayer halls. Anything else is something which could lead to some sort of infection in our Puritan way of life.

Yet, Muslims are not solely guilty of this. Other communities, say for instance the Orthodox Jewish community in Manchester would similarly like to live apart.

We also clearly have white British communities who quickly move away to a predominantly white area when an Asian person moves in next door. Throughout the eighties and nineties we had white people moving in their droves to the suburbs.

This was one of the biggest and more common reasons for the creation of segregated areas. And one which does not seem to come high up on the list of social cohesion studies.

The reasoning behind is simple – Many of those moving away were middle-class white people with respectable jobs and titles.

Social integration has never been a problem for the working classes. It never actually has been. It has got to do with middle-classes who wrongly believe that their status was being eroded because they were living next door an Asian.

Yet, the wider media would have you believe it is the Muslims who do not wish to fit in.

The frustration many Muslims reading this will feel is that integration and social cohesion projects tend to indirectly put the blame of them. It is very much trying to encourage someone to do something that person already does naturally.

Not because they were paid to or were part of some project but because it is the way they live their life.

Equally so, we have to admit that regardless of social cohesion priorities some communities simply do not wish to integrate. And that is the biggest hurdle to get across.

Maybe it is time to face up to this and admit that as Britons we have prejudice towards others?