But he doesn't seem to be an optimist :
Bradford has slipped into a political vacuum where debate on community cohesion is stifled, allowing "fascism and Islamism" to thrive, according to academic Dr Alan Carling.
He says the city is in danger of becoming "a patchwork quilt of rival ethnic fiefdoms" that makes it a "fault line" in the clash between cultures.
The former chairman of the Bradford University Programme for a Peaceful City group said politicians, charities and academics who remained silent risked helping extremist groups split the city.
But he said if the divisions were confronted now, Bradford could become a worldwide example on how two cultures could coexist.
Dr Carling, writing in the March edition of the Urban Spaces journal, said: "In the post-9/11 world, Bradford looks like one of the fault lines in a supposed global confrontation between 'Islam' and 'the West'.
"The scale and nature of the challenges faced by the district make it one of the key places in Britain, and possibly in Europe, in which the relationships between populations of Muslim and non-Muslim background in the West are likely to be worked out in the future, either for good or for ill."
He said "white flight" from Bradford's inner-city wards showed clear evidence of an increase in segregation in the city since 1991. Statistical analysis shows that about 75 per cent of Muslims would now need to move to white neighbourhoods to get an equal distribution of ethnic communities in each.
While 20.5 per cent of residents in the city were Muslim in 2001, the Bradford Health Academy predicts that figure will rise to 28 per cent by 2011. A recent study by Leeds University suggests the proportion of minorities will reach 38.2 per cent by 2030, including 31.9 per cent from south Asia.
"It would be astonishing if a cultural shift of this potential magnitude were to take place without some friction and challenges of adjustment," said Dr Carling.
He believes the dominance of Pakistani Muslims in the city has meant that instead of its becoming a multicultural community, as in London where no minority dominates, Bradford has become bi-cultural.
Because of the Pakistani population's desire to create "ethnic colonies", he said, the best Bradford could hope for in the long term was accommodation rather than integration.
But he said the "unpalatable truth" was that up to 18,000 citizens of Bradford had voted for the BNP – they "have chosen over the last few years to step across the line that has defined the boundary of reputable politics ever since the defeat of the Nazis 60 years ago".
Likewise, the popularity of jihadi Islamic groups in the city was further promoting polarisation.
"The presence of these authoritarian groups carry especial dangers in places like Bradford," Dr Carling said. "Their messages are likely to find some resonance within existing attitudes and social conditions. In addition, there is a particular danger these two political currents will feed off each other."
Hmm. It just goes to show that even a good left-liberal will see what's in front of his eyes, given enough time. Notice his take on 'ethnic colonies' is pretty close to the 'colonisation' thesis of the 2001 Race Relations Review. And his 'white flight' thesis directly contradicts his former colleague Dr Steven Ludicrous 'Ludi' Simpson. What with him and Marie Macey, the right-on Uni is getting all realist.
I can't find the Urban Spaces journal anywhere though. Anyone got a copy ?
UPDATE - the "Parade of Celebration", timed for St George's Day and designed as a show of unity for all Bradfordians and routed through Girlington and Manningham, scene of the 2001 riots, has been cancelled at short notice for 'health and safety' reasons. Not quite cancelled, to be fair - they can celebrate on 1st July if they wish.
Councillor Qasim Khan (Lib Dem, Manningham) said the original intention of the parade was to mark St George's Day and bring the Manningham and Girlington communities together after the 2001 riots. He said "It was basically to cover the areas which had been affected by the riots. It was all about bringing communities together," he said. "All the schools had prepared flags and will be obviously upset to hear the news. About 2,000 schoolchildren were due to take part plus members of the general public. There could have been five or 10,000 people."
Coun Khan said senior police officers had now objected on safety grounds and had proposed an alternative route which had been rejected by many of those taking part causing it to be cancelled. A West Yorkshire Police spokesman admitted the neighbourhood policing team had been involved in the "early stages" of planning the parade but denied it was a police event. She said: "A member of the Neighbourhood Policing Team was involved in the early stages of planning a Parade of Celebration. This is being dealt with by a group of community members, and is not a police event. Routes were offered to allow a smaller St George's Day Parade to go ahead, but these were rejected by the group of organisers, who are seeking a more substantial parade to celebrate community cohesion in a post-riot Bradford. The parade has not been cancelled but has been postponed."
Hmm. It looks as if St George is being co-opted to serve an agenda he might have raised an eyebrow at, but I have no real problem with that. The more little Muslim kids brandishing the red cross shield of England, the better. I wonder why the police and council knocked it on the head ?
UPDATE2 - I believe this is the sort of thing that Ann Cryer gets justifiably cross about.