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TV presenter Anita Rani rails at growing intolerance towards refugees

Published 12/07/2016

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani says she 'fears we are increasingly unable to see beyond someone's colour or accent'
Countryfile presenter Anita Rani says she 'fears we are increasingly unable to see beyond someone's colour or accent'

Countryfile presenter Anita Rani says she fears the West is becoming increasingly intolerant of refugees.

Shortly after taking part in Strictly Come Dancing last year, the TV presenter visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, on the border with Syria, which is now home to 80,000 people after opening four years ago.

She jumped at the chance to visit because she was "sickened by some of the rhetoric used to describe fellow humans in their most extreme hour of need" by the media.

Writing about her experience in the Radio Times, she said: " I'm deeply concerned that we are increasingly unable to see beyond someone's colour or accent.

"The West is in danger of turning away from tolerance, from the progressive, forward-thinking countries that we pride ourselves on being.

"Instead we are becoming close-minded and extreme, all within living memory of the Second World War."

The TV presenter said she was "acutely aware" of how lucky she was to live in Britain, explaining her paternal grandfather was invited to move to England from India in the 1950s to work here.

Rani expressed surprise that hardly any of the refugees spoke of wanting to come to Europe, instead wishing to return to their homeland of Syria.

She called on the UK to show more "humanity and kindness" as the crisis worsened.

She wrote: "At the moment Britain is living in a Brexit bubble, but we cannot ignore the most important story of our times ... Right now the world is in crisis and we are one of the best-placed countries to help."

:: Read the full story in this week's Radio Times, out now.

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