Prejudice against Islam and Muslims has become socially acceptable in Britain, a Birmingham MP has claimed.
Labour MP Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) backed comments by senior Conservative Sayeeda Warsi, who spoke out against Islamophobia in a high-profile speech.
The 2001 census found that one in seven Birmingham residents, about 140,000 people, are Muslims. [Then Brummies should know the truth about Islam and Muslims. Not like Peter Oborne who lives twenty miles from the closest Muslim ghettor or 'enclave'. And no wonder there are no Islamophobes in places like Ilkley and Rye.]
Lady Warsi, co-chairman of the Conservative Party and a member of David Cameron’s Cabinet, said that terrorist offences committed by a small number of Muslims were used to condemn all who follow Islam. [Political activists are always a minority. That's how politics usually works. Many people are Conservatives/Labourites, but only a few of that number are politically active. More sinisterly, both the Russian Bolsheviks and German Nazi Party were minority groups - think what they achieved.]
And she warned that a tendency to divide Muslims into “moderates” and “extremists” could fuel intolerance. [What is she saying here, precisely? I don't get it. That we should call all Muslims 'moderate'? That we shouldn't use these words at all. Why? Where would that get us? What if some - or many - Muslims are extreme? Should we call them 'moderate' and that will help make them moderate? Bullshit!]
She said: “It’s not a big leap of imagination to predict where the talk of ‘moderate’ Muslims leads; in the factory, where they’ve just hired a Muslim worker, the boss says to his employees:
‘Not to worry, he’s only fairly Muslim’. [Why would Muslim 'extremists', or even potential terrorists, make a stink in the workplace anyway? A boss would not care about a Muslim's political beliefs, as long as he doesn't disrupt the workplace. One of the 7/7 killers acted perfectly naturally during his hours as a school teacher.]
“In the school, the kids say: ‘The family next door are Muslim but they’re not too bad’.
“And in the road, as a woman walks past wearing a burka, the passers-by think: ‘That woman’s either oppressed or is making a political statement’.” [Here in the West, a Muslim woman usually wears a burka to 'make a political statement'. In Afghanistan, it symbolises female oppression.]
Mr Mahmood said: “I think she is right in that there are issues about the way the Muslim community is treated, because you see the entire community castigated for the actions of extremists and terrorists. [No! That is simply untrue. Entire Muslim communities are not 'castigated'. Quite the opposite. Most journalists stand on eggshells when it comes to the Muslim community and its actions. Indeed, what exactly does it mean to 'castigate' an entire community? It is just a meaningless cliche which really amounts to saying: Don't castigate Muslims at all. In fact, don't mention 'Muslims' or 'Islam' at all. That is, adopt sharia law.]
“It is seen as easy pickings for people who in the past would have spoken about race but now focus on religion instead. [Yes. A person cannot change his race. Religion is largely a cultural issue. We are all in control of our actions - even Muslims. Racism is dumb. It has long been seen as a pseudo-science. Culture and beliefs are everything - and they can change. We cannot change our blood - our DNA.]
“You can’t bring in new laws to deal with this problem but what you can do is raise awareness and try to start a debate which is what I think Baroness Warsi is doing.”
Lady Warsi also criticised “the patronising, superficial way faith is discussed in certain quarters, including the media” for making Britain a less tolerant place for believers. [Does 'superficial' really mean negative. Thus are positive remarks about Islam automatically sophisticated?
Asked whether the Prime Minister agreed with Lady Warsi that prejudice against Muslims was becoming more widespread, David Cameron’s official spokesman said: “She is expressing her view. He agrees that this is an important debate.” [Maybe it is - and for good and rational reasons!]