In today’s Sunday Times the CRE chief Trevor Phillips has written an article. It’s mostly a sensible article (surprisingly) without much of the scare-mongering language he usually uses to grab the headlines. In my mind the most significant (and agreeable) is this bit:
Strawâ€™s comments could have liberated us to say that sometimes we donâ€™t like the way others behave, without turning it into an accusation about their faith or race. The so-called Muslim leaders who initially attacked Straw were wrong. They were overly defensive and need to accept that in a diverse society we should be free to make polite requests of this kind.
Then something went wrong. This important but fragile piece of ground that needed a gentle, nuanced discussion about how we talk to each other with respect in a diverse society turned into what the political folk call an air war, fought on TV studio couches and radio phone-ins across the land.
On one side of the trenches we have those who want a fully fledged auto-da-fÃ© against British Muslims, in which anything any Muslim does or says must be condemned as a signal of their wilful alienation and separation…
As I indicated in my recent comment is free article, I would agree with that. The most interesting thing is this. Phillips ends with a quote: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, Said no more water, but the fire next time.” Whatever. But this leads The Times to declare that “Race boss warns of â€˜fireâ€™ on streets.” That is possibly the most idiotic extrapolation I’ve read.
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Filed in: Race politics