A View of British Muslims

· People
Authors

British Muslim

(5089 words)


I want to collect the profiles of some Muslims trusted by the West. and had positions of influence.

LORD Nazir AHMED (1958- )
“Lord Ahmed is a member of the House of Lords, having become the United Kindom’s first Muslim life peer in 1998.

Lord Ahmed


Baron Nazir Ahmed was born (1958) in a Jat family of Mirpur (Azad Kashmir, Pakistan) and is a nephew of late Kalyal Mohammand Yousaf who was also a member of Mahraja Hari singhs’s perjah Sabah in 1944, but soon after his birth, at the age of 7, his family migrated to the UK, where he was brought up. He attended Spurley Hey Comprehensive school, then Thomas Rotherham Sixth Form College. He studied Public Administration at Sheffield Hallam University and joined the Labour Party when he was 18 years old.

While he worked during the week-day as a greengrocer in a local market, he began his political career as a local councillor, with most of his activity centred around the North of England. He founded the British Muslim Councillors’ Forum in 1992. Ahmed was also made a Justice of Peace (JP) in the same year and chaired the South Yorkshire Labour Party for some years.

In 1998 Ahmed was appointed to the House of Lords, becoming the first Muslim life peer as Baron Ahmed, of Rotherham in the County of South Yorkshire. Lord Ahmed took his oath on the Quran. At the age of 40, he was also one of the youngest peers to achieve this position. As a Muslim peer, much of his activities relate to the Muslim community, both at home and internationally. Ahmed led one of the first delegations on behalf of the British Government on the Muslim pilgrimage of the Hajj, to Saudi Arabia and has advocated legislation against religious discrimination, international terrorism and forced marriages.

At home, Ahmed speaks on wider equality issues, and has spoken several times on issues of race, religion and gender. He is seen as one of the leaders of the Muslim community in Britain. He claims to have tried to calm tensions following the aftermath of the 11 September attacks in 2001. However, on 23 February 2005, he hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for the controversial Israel Shamir, during which the latter claimed, among other things: “The Jews like an Empire… This love of Empire explains the easiness Jews change their allegiance… Simple minds call it ‘treacherous behaviour’, but it is actually love of Empire per se.” Although this invitation raised some controversy, Ahmed firmly refused to discuss the matter

In August 2006 he was a signatory to an open letter to Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, criticising the UK’s foreign policy (war against Islamic countries.) In 2007 he responded to the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie by “claiming he was appalled, stating the Rushdie had ‘blood on his hands.’

In September 2007, Ahmed flew to Islamabad with Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a bid to end Sharif’s exile from the country by military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who had ousted him in a coup d’état. Ahmed negotiated with police to allow Sharif to enter the airport terminal and pass through customs, but Sharif was arrested later, and deported.[3]

After the reform of the House of Lords, Ahmed took over from Lord Sudeley to act as Host for the Forum for Stable Currencies.

On 19 June 2007 Lord Ahmed criticised the honouring of Salman Rushdie with  a knighthood because of what Lord Ahmed saw as Rushdie’sb offensiveness to Islam. He was reported to have said, “It’s hypocrisy by tony Blair who two weeks ago was talking about building bridges to mainstream Muslims, and then honouring a man who has insulted the British public (not only Muslims) and been divisive in community relations.” “This man not only provoked violence around the world because of his writings, but there were many people who were killed around the world. Forgiving and forgetting is one thing, but honouring the man who has blood on his hands, sort of, because of what he did, I think is going a bit too far.” He also said on BBC Radio 4‘s PM programme that he had been appalled by the award to a man he accused of having ‘blood on his hands’.[4][6]

In November 2007 Ahmed was involved in a diplomatic effort to secure the release of Gillian Gibbons from custody in Sudan. The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, allowed her class to name a teddy bear Muhammad. Lord Ahmed, from Britain’s ruling Labour Party, and Baroness Warsi, an opposition Conservative, visited Khartoum and had a meeting with the President of Sudan. Following this the President pardoned Ms Gibbons and she was allowed to return to the UK.[7]

In June 2008, political editor of Newsnight, Michael Crick, reported that Ahmed had been rumoured to be preparing to defect to the Conservative Party, but that he had denied this. (Indication that the labour party must have showed their displeasure at his outspokenness.)

Geert Wilders’ Threat

On the 11th of February, Melanie Phillips (columnist) claimed that Lord Ahmed had threatened to,
“bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords if the campaigning anti-Islamist Dutch MP Geert Wilders was allowed to speak” at a broadcast on the film Fitna. Mr. Wilders’ had been invited by Peers from the House of Lords to debate issues of social inclusion. This claim was later denied by Lord Ahmed although House of Lords’ authorities had determined to provide adequate security if necessary, in the event, the film Fitna was broadcast as planned but Mr. Wilders  was denied entry (by the Home Office) to the UK, this meanwhile led many commentators to deplore the action of the Home Secretary, Jacquki Smith, as appeasement (which of course it was.)”[1]

Lord Nazir Ahmed, seen as a potential leader and influential Muslim who could win over the Muslims to the British War of life, by the Labour Party appointing him, using “positive discrimination” to the House of Lords has proven without a shadow of a doubt that his “First and foremost loyalty” is to Islam long before his loyalty to Queen, Country, House of Lords, or the Principle of Freedom of Speech.


  • Labour Muslim life peer Lord Ahmed
  • On Salman Rushdie:
    • On the Rushdie knighthood, Lord Ahmed is quoted as saying“Actually I was appalled to hear that Salman Rushdie had been given [a] knighthood, particularly when this man has been very divisive. This man – as you can see – not only provoked violence around the world because of his writings, but there were many people that were killed around the world and honouring the man who has blood on his hands, sort of because of what he did, honouring him I think is going a bit too far.”
    • If this is an accurate quote, then Lord Ahmed should be expelled from the Labour Party. How dare he blame the victim of violence for the violence? Why doesn’t he blame the medieval savages that actually carried out the violence?
  • On Geert Wilders:
    • Lord Ahmed prevents free speech in the House of Lords, Jan 2009. He gets a showing of Fitna by Geert Wilders stopped, because it offends Lord Ahmed’s supernatural beliefs. He then helps to get Geert Wilders banned from the UK.
    • In 2005, Lord Ahmed himself hosted in the House of Lords the far right “anti-Zionist” Israel Shamir, who believes in world Jewish conspiracies and the blood libel against the Jews.
    • Reformed ex-Islamist Ed Husain says: “Geert Wilders is undoubtedly an ill-informed, hate-driven bigot with many unpleasant views but he is not directly inciting violence. As a result, unlike in the case of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, I do not support the decision to ban him from the UK. By threatening parliament with a mob, Lord Ahmed is contributing to the negative portrayal of Muslims and their religion.” [1a]

    Lord Ahmed Supplement 15.03.13

Lord Ahmed controversy: if a Labour politician said something rude about Muslims instead of Jews, they’d be drummed out immediately

By Religion Last updated: March 14th, 2013

This morning, the Labour Party suspended the whip from Lord Ahmed, a life peer whose career has been notable for little other than a jail sentence for dangerous driving and his unsavoury allies.

Last night, it was claimed that Lord Ahmed had engaged in an anti-Semitic tirade on a Pakistani TV channel last April that would have shamed Mel Gibson.

In the clip, he apparently said that a conspiracy by Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels” had in 2009 forced the courts to pass an undeservedly harsh 12 week sentence, and that the judge who sentenced him was then appointed to the High Court after helping a “Jewish colleague” of Tony Blair during “an important case”.

Mr Justice Wilkie was, he said, chosen specially and sent to Sheffield from London for the case because the Jews wanted to punish him for supporting the Palestinian cause.

Need I point out that every dot and comma of his diatribe is drivel?

Here are some facts. A 28 year old man died on Christmas Day in 2007 after his car, which was stationary, was hit by Lord Ahmed’s Jaguar. The man who had been elevated to the peerage by Tony Blair had sent and received a series of long texts while he was driving – at speeds of up to 70mph. The last text was sent less two minutes before the crash.

Mr Justice Wilkie said that Lord Ahmed was guilty of “prolonged bad driving involving deliberate disregard for the safety of others”. It was, the judge said, “of the greatest importance that people realise what a serious offence dangerous driving of this type is”.

In Lord Ahmed’s mind, however, it’s the Jews’ fault.

But the point about Lord Ahmed and his fellow anti-Semites is that facts and truth are irrelevant. There is a Jewish conspiracy and everything follows from that.

Quite rightly, Labour suspended the whip earlier today. But we have been here before, and the fact that Lord Ahmed still had the whip to be suspended from says much about how anti-Semitism is still viewed – and particularly the kid gloves with which Muslim anti-Semitism is treated.

Eight years ago, I first exposed Lord Ahmed’s penchant for anti-Semites.

In February 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the Lords for a man who calls himself Israel Shamir – who is also a Swedish-domiciled anti-Semite called Jöran Jermas.

At the meeting – “Jews and the Empire” – Shamir/Jermas informed the audience that: “All the [political] parties are Zionist-infiltrated.” “Your newspapers belong to Zionists … Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media, this mainstay of Imperial thinking.

“In the Middle East we have just one reason for wars, terror and trouble — and that is Jewish supremacy drive. . . in Iraq, the US and its British dependency continue the same old fight for ensuring Jewish supremacy in the Middle East.” “The Jews like an Empire … This love of Empire explains the easiness Jews change their allegiance … Simple minds call it ‘treacherous behaviour’, but it is actually love of Empire per se.

“Now, there is a large and thriving Muslim community in England … they are now on the side of freedom, against the Empire, and they are not afraid of enforcers of Judaic values, Jewish or Gentile. This community is very important in order to turn the tide.”

Unless Ahmed is a complete fool, he must have known Shamir/Jermas’ views on Jews. It takes a few seconds to Google him and those views are at the top of any search. Shamir’s website informs us that “Jews asked God to kill, destroy, humiliate, exterminate, defame, starve, impale Christians, to usher in Divine Vengeance and to cover God’s mantle with blood of goyim … The Ashkenazi Jews believed that spilt Jewish blood has a magic effect of calling down Divine Vengeance on the heads of the Gentiles … The picture of Jews slaughtering children for cultic reasons exerted huge impact on the Christian peoples of Europe.” On and on it goes.

It is possible, I suppose, that Ahmed is indeed a fool and never thought to look up anything about a man who he had chosen to host in the Lords. But after Shamir/Jermas’ speech, he refused to utter a word of disagreement.

After the meeting, I wrote to Lord Ahmed with two questions. Was the invitation a mistake and did he condemn the remarks?

No reply.

So I phoned him, catching him off-guard. I said I wanted to give every chance to respond. He replied: “I am not even going to speak with you.” Then he put the phone down.

So don’t say that his latest outburst comes as a shock. All that is surprising is that he has been caught on camera. The likes of Lord Ahmed are usually careful to make sure that they can’t be pinned down, restricting their attacks – as Shamir/Jermas did at the meeting Ahmed hosted for him – to attacks on Zionists, which is the get our of jail free card for anti-Semites.

Ahmed appears to have been busy when he was in Pakistan last April.

Because it was during that visit that he was reported to have talked about a bounty on the life of President Obama and former President George Bush.

According to the Express Tribune newspaper, Lord Ahmed reacted to the US offer of a $10 million reward for the capture of Pakistani militant leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed with this comment: “If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the (capture) of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million (for the capture of) President Obama and his predecessor, George Bush.”

The Labour Party suspended him – but that suspension was short lived.

Now he’s been suspended again. Forgive me if I remain to be convinced that this suspension will turn into anything more serious. Because back in 2005, when I contacted Lord Ahmed, I also wrote to Lord Grocott, then the Labour Chief Whip in the Lords. I asked him if, given Lord Ahmed’s apparent lack of contrition, Lord Grocott considered it appropriate that Lord Ahmed should still hold the Labour whip? I received no reply.

To give Labour some credit, it has at least suspended Lord Ahmed. The Lib Dems harbour an MP – David Ward – who believes that “the Jews” are responsible for the ills of the Middle East, and have not properly learned the lesson we were taught in the Holocaust. That’s me, by the way. As a Jew, I have apparently not properly absorbed the lesson Hitler was teaching my ancestors.

The MP was forced to apologise, but how did the Lib Dem Chief Whip respond. Eventually, after weeks of nothingness, he suggested that Mr Ward might have a meeting with the Lib Dem Friends of Israel – compounding the issue, in conflating the idea of support for Israel’s case in Middle East politics with opposition to naked anti-Semitism.

Mr Ward remains a man the Lib Dems are apparently proud to have on their benches. His whip was not suspended even for a day.

Let me tell you what will happen as a result of this post. I will received a series of emails. Some will tell me that Hitler should have finished the job. I put those in the “usual nutters” folder. Some will say that I am accusing anyone who doesn’t support Benjamin Netanyahu of being an anti-Semite. I put those in the “can’t understand English” folder.

But others will say, yes, all a bit off, that Ahmed chap is clearly not very savoury … but maybe you ought to recognise that by droning on about anti-Semitism you’re looking for special treatment and you should just get on with your life.

Well here’s what’s wrong. If one of Lord Ahmed or Mr Ward’s respective party allies had said something similar about Muslims, you can bet your life that they’d – quite rightly – be drummed out of Westminster before you can say racist.

Invite a well-known anti-Semite to speak at a meeting you’re hosting, or launch into an attack on “the Jews”, and your party will not lift a finger to oust you.

Perhaps revealing his true colours so unambiguously means that Lord Ahmed will now have forced Labour’s hand and he will indeed be kicked out from a party that claims to be against racism of all types.

But it hasn’t happened to the Lib Dem, David Ward. And so we know now how seriously that party takes anti-Semitism.

And if the allegations are proved and it doesn’t happen to Lord Ahmed, we will have learned a lot more about Labour.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/stephenpollard/100207038/lord-ahmed-controversy-if-a-labour-politician-said-something-rude-about-muslims-instead-of-jews-theyd-be-drummed-out-immediately/

Shahid Rafique Malik (b.24Nov.1967)

Shahid Rafique Malik[1] (born 24 November 1967) is a British Labour Party politician who became the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dewsbury in 2005.

In 2007 he became Britain’s first Muslim Minister in International Development Minister, and subsequently served as a Justice Minister, Home Office Minister and most recently as Minister for Race, Faith and Community Cohesion at the Department for Communities and Local Government. He lost his seat in the House of Commons at the 2010 general election following significant boundary changes.

Malik was born in Burnley, Lancashire, in 1967. His father Rafique Malik was a district councillor between 1976 and 2006 and a mayor of Burnley, having emigrated from Pakistan in the 1960s.[5] His mother was a Justice of the Peace.[citation needed][6] He attended Barden High School[7] and Burnley Sixth Form Centre before studying Business Studies at the South Bank Polytechnic in London and later attending Durham University.[8] Malik is one of six siblings.

Prior to Parliament, his three main areas of work have been in the urban regeneration and development field; the voluntary and community sector; and domestic and international anti-poverty, education, human rights and equalities sector.

In local/regional regeneration terms after graduating Malik initially worked with the East Lancashire Training and Enterprise Council in a business development capacity. This was followed by roles as Group Chief Executive of the Pakistan Muslim Centre (PMC), Sheffield; Head of Policy and Development at the Greater Nottingham Training and Enterprise Council; and then as Chief Executive of Haringey Regeneration Agency, managing a £150 million development programme.

He also served for three years as Chair of the Board of Directors of VONEF (voluntary organisations network for European funding in Yorkshire and the Humber); and served as National Chair of the voluntary sector body Urban Forum (1999–2002) elected annually by the 400 plus member organizations. The Forum was a respected national regeneration policy network made up of residents and community organisations, with the aim of pushing power to local people in deprived neighbourhoods.

Following the Good Friday Peace Agreement of 1998 he was appointed by then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon Mo Mowlam MP, as an Equality Commissioner for Northern Ireland (1999–2002). The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland was born out of the ‘Good Friday’ peace agreement and was charged with dealing with equalities issues between Catholics & Protestants, Unionists & Nationalists, and discrimination by race, gender, disability, sexuality and age. Malik served as the only ever person from England, Scotland or Wales (Great Britain) to have been appointed a Commissioner in Northern Ireland.[9]

From 1998–2002 he was appointed as a Commissioner to the Commission for Racial Equality. The organization was a law enforcement agency under the Race Relations Act 1976 and worked to eliminate racial discrimination across Great Britain. It has subsequently been subsumed into the Equality and Human Rights Commission EHRC

He served for six years as an Independent Governor of Sheffield Hallam University[10]; and for several years as a member, Queen Mary University Policy Advisory Board and as an Adviser to Middlesex University.

Internationally, Malik served Vice-Chair of United Nations body, UNESCO UK, Working to engage UK civic society in UNESCO’s work in contributing to world peace, security, justice and human rights, by promoting collaboration between nations on educational, scientific, cultural and communications projects. Malik also served as an international election monitor for the Palestinian Presidential elections in 2005 (and subsequently, as an MP helped monitor the Palestinian Parliamentary elections in January 2006).

Between 2001-2005 he also worked as an adviser to Government on Community Cohesion and Neighbourhood Renewal. He has also been a Fellow of the Institute of Management (FIMgt) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Shahid Malik’s Political career

In 2004 Malik was selected as the Labour candidate in Dewsbury for the 2005 general election. Labour saw a 6% drop in its vote nationally in 2005,[19] and despite a 4.2% swing to the Conservatives in Dewsbury, Malik comfortably retained the seat for Labour with a majority of 4,615 ahead of Sayeeda Warsi, now Conservative Chair Baroness Warsi.[20] Upon his election Malik became one of the first British born Muslim’s to become an MP.[21]

At the 2005 House Magazine Awards, his was awarded the best Maiden Speech among the one hundred plus new MPs elected in 2005. In February 2006 he was runner-up in the Channel Four News awards in the ‘Rising Star’ category.[9] Upon election, Malik was appointed to the Home Affairs Select Committee. He also served on the Environmental Audit Select Committee until the cabinet reshuffle of May 2006 when he was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the then Minister of State for Schools Jim Knight. He served as an international monitor for the Palestinian Presidential elections in 2005 and Parliamentary elections in January 2006. In June 2007 Malik became Britain’s first Muslim Minister after Gordon Brown appointed him as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for International Development.[22]

In October 2008, Malik was appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice and in March 2009 was subsequently appointed into a dual role as a Home Office Minister. In June 2009 was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government.

In the 2010 general election Malik lost his seat. There had been significant boundary changes in his constituency which he felt had counted against him.[23] Malik commented that the changes “‘brought in 26,000 extra Tories’ from rural areas including Denby Dale and Kirkburton”.[3] In his speech on election night Malik also drew attention to the role played by an independent candidate, Khizar Iqbal. He said Iqbal had been “brought forward not to win but to make sure that I lost”.[23] Iqbal had been supported by anti-sleaze campaigner Martin Bell.[24] Iqbal’s election agent, Jonathan Scott, was also a former Conservative Councillor and had been the election agent for Baroness Warsi in her unsuccessful bid to become the Dewsbury MP in 2005. UPDATE: Councillor Khizar Iqbal was allowed to re-join the Conservative party in May 2011.

SHAHID MALIK’S Islamic Ambitions

This can best be illustrated in the following video:

Shahid Malik predicts domination of UK by a Muslim Parliament and a Muslim Prime Minister

Shahid Malik preached for a Muslim ruled parliament and a Muslim Prime Minister for the UK.  What’s wrong with that?  Well, nothing if we are talking about a religious leader, and one that recognises the separation between Church and State, which is one of the few things that Tony Blair actually did very well.  But Islam does not recognise such a separation, it is a political ideology with a religious veneer (and not a very thick veneer at that). Note that he keeps saying “Allah willing”.  He doesn’t make the secular statement “with luck” or “if we work hard”, but makes a religious statement, joining the destiny of the body politic to theology.  Worse still, he focuses just on the Islamic god.  He doesn’t say “God willing”, which is a phrase that many people could relate to, no, he just reaches out to his Muslim brothers, divides them off from the kuffar, and predicts a bright future for them alone, in their own language.

So, if Islam does not recognise the division between Church an State, if Islam is a political movement, then what is wrong with preaching for a parliament dominated by Political Islam, in the same way that Labour could preach for a parliament dominated by socialism? What’s wrong is two things:
(a) The agenda is hidden.  Shahid Malik is supposed to be representing the interests of all his constituents, not just getting ready to promote a subset of them to principal authority.  He let the cat out of the bag with his statements, which, if made prior to the election, would I am sure, have seen his non-muslim voters reject him.
(b) Note that I said “Labour could preach for a parliament dominated by socialism” and not communism or fascism.  Socialism still accepts the maintenance of our democratic institutions and freedoms.  Islam does not.  So in preaching for an Islam dominated parliament and Muslim prime minister, Malik is advocating a route leading the end of our freedoms and the institution of Sharia Law.

ShahidMalik’s Islamisation of Britain

Shahid Malik’s Islamisation of Britain


Shahid Malik Milked the Golden Cow for Expenses

Malik claimed £185,421 in parliamentary expenses for 2006, the highest amount claimed by any MP.[38] His claims included £2,600 for a home cinema system, half of which was allowed by the Parliamentary fees office; £66,827 over three years (the maximum allowed) for his second home, a £65 council tax summons, and a £730 massage chair.[39] It also emerged that Malik regularly claimed the maximum £400 a month allowance for food.[40] Many of Malik’s claims were blocked by the fees office, including claims for a portable DVD player, an iPod.[40] He also twice attempted to claim for Remembrance Sunday wreaths.[41] Malik was ordered to repay £1,300 for claims relating to his council tax, the massage chair and television which were both above the allowable maximum price. His appeal against repayment was rejected.[39]

The Parliamentary Standards and Privileges Committee later investigated a complaint by Jonathan Scott, a Conservative, about Malik’s expenses. The investigation found Malik was in breach of Parliamentary rules and that he should repay a further £235 which he had claimed for insurance of his wife’s £8,000 diamond engagement ring. Malik had already repaid the sum when the investigation concluded.[42][43] The investigation ordered that Malik apologise in writing to the House “for breaching the rules of the House when he was a Member of Parliament and for his failure while still a member to respond sufficiently promptly to the Commissioner’s investigation”. It noted Malik had failed “to recognise his personal responsibility” to respond thus making the situation “more serious.” A spokesman for Malik said the claim had previously been “approved twice by the Parliamentary authorities and subsequently audited as eligible.”

Shahid Malik is fundamentally an Islamist.

Baroness Warsi

Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, Baroness Warsi (Urdu: سعیده حسین وارثی, born 28 March 1971) is a British lawyer and politician. She is the Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party (with Andrew Feldman).

A life peer, she is also the Minister without Portfolio in David Cameron’s Cabinet, and although she is the third minister to be a Muslim, following Shahid Malik and Sadiq Khan, she is the first ever unelected Muslim, and the first ever female Muslim, to serve as a minister in the UK.

Baroness Warsi’s Speech on Islamophobia

(The following will show that Baroness Warsi does carry a big chip on her shoulders.)

Baroness Warsi’s Speech on Islamophobia

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Friday, 21 January 2011 11:06

Baroness Warsi Cabinet Minister and Chairman of the Conservative Party, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, delivered the 2011 Sir Sigmund Sternberg Interfaith Lecture yesterday at the University of Leicester in which she highlighted that Islamophobia has become widespread and socially acceptable in Britain.

She told the audience that she wanted to use the opportunity to “make the case against the rising tide of anti-religious bigotry.”

Among the many other themes addressed in her speech were the role of the “sensationalist media” in framing the discourse around discussions of faith; the idea of ‘unity through diversity’; the impact of Islamophobia; and the actions which both leaders and individuals can take in response to the challenge of Islamophobia.

Her speech has been welcomed and supported by commentators such as Peter Oborne and Mehdi Hasan, as well as by Muslim leaders.

Excerpts from Lady Warsi’s speech are highlighted below and you can read the full text of her speech here.

She said:“…there is a large, untapped appetite for a more mature discussion of faith in this country.“I sensed that people were fed up of the patronising, superficial way faith is discussed in certain quarters, including the media…

“….and that sadly there has been a rise in a sloppy kind of religious illiteracy.

“So it was important to take stock of where Britain is with faith.”

Lady Warsi addressed the rise of “unreasonable, unfounded, irrational bigotry.” She said:

“In my last speech I made the evidential case for faith in our country.

“I showed that contrary to popular belief, faith in this country is certainly not fading away;

“I explained that faith inspires many people to do good things which help build a bigger society;

“Today… I want to make the case against the rising tide of anti-religious bigotry.”

“What I am opposed to is the rise of unreasonable, unfounded, irrational bigotry.

“Where religion itself becomes a loaded word……where free discussion is drowned out by a sensationalist media…and where there simply is no room for fair-minded debate.”

“Controversial stories are inflated by the media…detracting from serious faith-based debate…and leaving us with a situation where instead of philosophy, we’re fed anti-faith phobias.”

Commenting both on how Islamophobia has become socially acceptable and on how Islam is perceived, Lady Warsi said:

“Indeed, it seems to me that Islamophobia has now crossed the threshold of middle class respectability.”

“For far too many people, Islamophobia is seen as a legitimate – even commendable – thing.

“You could even say that Islamophobia has now passed the dinner-table-test.

“Take this from Polly Toynbee: ‘I am an Islamophobe, and proud of it.’”

“But of course, Islamophobia should be seen as totally abhorrent – just like homophobia or Judeophobia – because any phobia is by definition the opposite of a philosophy.

“A phobia is an irrational fear.

“It takes on a life of its own and no longer needs to be justified.

“And all this filters through.

“The drip feeding of fear fuels a rising tide of prejudice.

“And what’s particularly worrying is that this can lead down the slippery slope to violence.”

Speaking on some of the ideas that lead to bigotry, she said:

“You need to delve deep into the Dark Ages to find a time when the state was under the exclusive control of one tribe or ethnicity.”

“This idea of unity from diversity runs through our own history.

“It has helped to forge the values of pluralism, tolerance and diversity which define our society.

“But the British battle against bigotry will always be an ongoing battle.”

“Why is bigotry so resilient?

“A big part of the problem is the intellectual challenge of reconciling religious and national identities.

“One of the most frequent arguments made against Islam in Britain is the idea that all British Muslims want to overturn British sovereignty and obey a transnational, Islamic authority.

“Let me repeat again: extremists are a minority of a minority.

“But from this flows a steady drip of suspicion and sense of sedition…all feeding the rise of a wider Islamophobia.”

On Islamophobia:

“Ultimately, Islamophobia challenges our basic British identity.

“One of the most important aspects of our identity is our belief in equality before the law.

“But deep, entrenched anti-Muslim bigotry challenges that tradition…because it implies that one section of society is less deserving of our protection than the rest.”

“I know that there is also a perverted line of argument which says that Muslims have only got themselves to blame for this hatred.

“After all, they’re the ones who blow up tubes and aeroplanes…..so treating them differently is actually ok.

“But think about it for one second, and you see that this argument is self-defeating.

“The deeper Islamophobia seeps into our culture, the easier becomes the task of the extremist recruiting sergeant.

“Those who commit criminal acts of terrorism in our country need to be dealt with not just by the full force of the law…they also should face social rejection and alienation across society….and their acts must not be used as an opportunity to tar all Muslims…or divide our society on the basis of faith.”

Lady Warsi then spoke of the role of political leaders, faith leaders and individuals in responding to the challenge of Islamophobia, as well as the dangers of labelling the Muslim community in terms of ‘moderates’ or ‘extremists’. She also stressed the important role which British Muslims have to play in addressing anti-Muslim bigotry.

“First and foremost, we need political leadership.

“Government has got to show that it gets it.”

“We need to think harder about the language we use.

“And we should be careful about language around religious ‘moderates’.

“It’s not a big leap of imagination to predict where the talk of ‘moderate’ Muslims leads:

“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 Burkha, the passers-by think: ‘that woman’s either oppressed or making a political statement’.

“So we need to stop talking about moderate Muslims, and instead talk about British Muslims.

“And when it comes to extremism, we should be absolutely clear:

“These people are extremists, plain and simple, because their behaviour has detached them from the thought process within their religion.”

“Second, we need a response from society.

“It doesn’t take rocket science to know what that means.

“‘Love thy Neighbour’ may be a cliché, but it’s a cliche’ because it’s eternally relevant.

“Ultimately, that’s the test for everyone in society:

“‘Do I treat my neighbour the way I want to be treated myself?’”

“Muslim communities must speak out against those who promote violence.

“And above all, not stand on the sidelines, but step forward and help to lead a progressive, united fight.”

“Second, British Muslims need to learn from and build on the work done throughout history by other communities.”

“The first step in addressing the problem is to measure the scale of it.

“And I hope that this project will support the work of the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia, chaired by Kris Hopkins MP.

“…and above all, British Muslims needs to remember that with rights come responsibilities.

“That means no burying our heads in the sand and denying the problem…but standing up and doing something about it.

“The reason I came into politics is because I felt my country can be better.

“I want more Muslims to do that same thing and help ease the relationship between their country and their faith.”


Baroness Warsi on her way out as Conservative Party Chairman is Revealing

Tim Montgomerie has just tweeted this at Conservativehome:

Sayeeda Warsi will be replaced says top source. Cameron needs a Pty Chrmn to bat for him in difficult times. Warsi too lightweight to do so.

Baroness Warsi’s reported impending departure is long overdue. She has been one of the most controversial, least qualified and least effective appointments in the modern history of the British Conservative Party, and it is hard to see what she actually achieved during her time in office. Indeed, the term “lightweight” may be far too charitable a description.

Warsi will be remembered overwhelmingly for her ill-conceived attack on Middle England back in January, basically labeling Britain as a nation of dinner party bigots, in a condescending and insulting speech that had not been cleared by Downing Street. She declared at the time:

It seems to me that Islamophobia has now crossed the threshold of middle class respectability. For far too many people, Islamophobia is seen as a legitimate – even commendable – thing. You could even say that Islamophobia has now passed the dinner-table-test.

The drip feeding of fear fuels a rising tide of prejudice. So when people get on the tube and see a bearded Muslim, they think “terrorist” …when they hear “Halal” they think “that sounds like contaminated food”…and when they walk past a woman wearing a veil, they think automatically “that woman’s oppressed”. And what’s particularly worrying is that this can lead down the slippery slope to violence.

As I wrote soon after, this was hardly the kind of message one expected from the Chairman of the Tory Party:

This was a distinctly elitist lecture with a hectoring top-down approach, clearly targeted at millions of ordinary hard-working Britons, who are being unfairly tarnished with a sweeping broad brush by one of their own leaders, albeit an unelected one. Her words are the antithesis of what a great leader such as Margaret Thatcher would say about the British people, a nation whose soldiers have bravely laid down their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq in the defence of their country, but also in the selfless liberation of tens of millions of Muslims from Islamist tyranny.

Significantly, Lady Warsi had a long track record of extreme statements before her extraordinary appointment as Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion in 2007, which had included her reckless description of Britain asa “police state”, and her appalling decision to welcome the election of Iranian-backed terrorist organisation Hamas in 2006. She had also urged engagement with Islamic extremist groups in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings, telling a BBC press conference:

We must engage with, not agreeing with, the radical groups who we have said in the past are complete nutters. We need to bring these groups into the fold of the democratic process. As long as we exclude them and don’t hear them out, we will allow them to continue their hate. It may not achieve results immediately, but it may stop the immediate violence.

Last month, James Forsyth at The Spectator speculated that Warsi might be heading for Pakistan:

Given that the Tory high command does not believe Warsi to be suited to being an election-campaign party chairman or to running a department, this raises the intriguing prospect that they might instead appoint her as Britain’s next high commissioner to Pakistan. One former colleague, who often clashed with her, thinks that this would be her ideal job. The argument goes that with an effective Foreign Office number two, Warsi could get far more out of the Pakistani government than a regular diplomat could.

If she does make an exit from Millbank to Islamabad, Baroness Warsi will leave behind a remarkably undistinguished track record, peppered with a series of distinctly un-conservative outbursts, which were frequently at odds with the views of her own prime minister. Only time will tell if she proves more successful in the realm of international diplomacy. One thing is certain though: her contribution to the cause of British conservatism has been practically non-existent.” [3a]


Baroness Warsi exposes her complex alienation to British values with this speech.

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan

REFERENCES:
[1] Lord Ahmed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazir_Ahmed,_Baron_Ahmed
[1a] Lord Ahmed: http://markhumphrys.com/islam.uk.html
[2] Shahid Malik: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahid_Malik

[3] Baroness Warsi’s speech:http://www.iengage.org.uk/component/content/article/1187-baroness-warsis-speech-on-islamophobia

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