Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Baroness Warsi: Labour's Young Muslim Advisory Group is patronising and divisive

It is a curious assertion from a baroness who was so elevated solely because, according to her co-religionist, of her faith. It is even more curious coming from a member of the Shadow Cabinet which shamelessly espouses the ‘patronising and divisive’ A-list policy which is designed to advance ethnic minorities to Westminster on the basis of their skin colour. And it is even more curious coming from a party which, the moment it embraces a Muslim like Rehman Chisti, appoints him to the chairman’s advisory group on ethnic matters.

Yet Labour’s creation of a group of young Muslims ‘to advise ministers on extremism and discrimination’ has indeed been condemned by Baroness Warsi, to whom The Daily Telegraph refers as ‘a leading Muslim peer’. The Young Muslim Advisory Group is made up equally of men and women, includes three Oxford University graduates, several medical students, a teenager who is currently studying for seven A-levels and a solicitor who is also Cub Scout leader.

She is herself the shadow minister for community cohesion, which is itself a little patronising. Is this all that ethnic minorities are expert in? Is it the limit of her capability to journey to Islamic lands to free schoolteachers who inadvertently call teddy bears Mohammed?

If, as she says, Muslims face the same issues as young people from other backgrounds, why is she not a shadow spokesmanperson for health or education? Do Muslims not drive or use the train? Do they not know about 'global warming' or food and agriculture? Why has David Cameron pigeon-holed her in ‘community cohesion’? Why has she not complained at this, or condemned it as ‘patronising and divisive’?

If ‘it is wrong to chose advisory groups purely on the basis of faith’, why is she content when the Conservative Party does this, but pours scorn upon Labour for pursuing the same policy?

Baroness Warsi refers to Labour’s advisory group as ‘another example of the Government engaging with the British Muslim communities on the basis purely of their faith’.

This is a curious complaint, since Muslims do indeed generally define themselves by their faith, and set themselves apart by faith. Does not the Conservative Party have its own Conservative Muslim Forum? Does not this group advise the party on 'Muslim issues', and this is not deemed to be ‘patronising’ or ‘deeply concerning’.

If she wishes to preach to Labour that ‘the Muslim community is not a homogenous block’, she might do better to start educating her own party with this undoubted truth.


Blogger Bert Rustle said...

BBC Radio 4 Today Program : Wednesday 8 October 2008 ... A "tool kit for schools on preventing extremism" is being launched by the government. The idea is to train teachers in ways of spotting and preventing extremism in their pupils. Anthony Glees, professor of security and intelligence studies at the University of Buckingham, says it treats British Muslim school children differently from non-Muslim children. ...

The BBC Radio 4 Sunday program, which can be downloaded at

has an article (ten minutes in, five minutes long) regarding Sikhs, Muslims, BNP, forced conversions of Sikh females to Islam and British Government sponsored meetings between Sikhs and Muslims held in Northern Ireland.

8 October 2008 at 09:02  
Blogger The Half-Blood Welshman said...

"Do they not know about 'global warming' or food and agriculture?"

Well, if they're anywhere near fully integrated, almost certainly not, as most of the Great British public have at best only a dim idea, if any at all, of what constitutes food and agriculture. As for the changing climate...

8 October 2008 at 10:13  
Blogger Dave said...

This lady is a double tick in the box of political correctness. Female and muslim.

I'm constantly amazed how white UK born males like me are portrayed as being homophobic, misogenist and racist. Is it cos I is white?

I'm also amazed that it's OK for women to ogle male strippers but not OK for men to ogle women.
It's OK for muslim minorities to have special treatment but not for the Christian minority.

There is no such thing as positive discrimination. Discriminating in favour of one group must also discriminate against another.

The Bible says that "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"

O how we need wisdom now

8 October 2008 at 13:40  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

" Do Muslims not drive or use the train? Do they not know about 'global warming' or food and agriculture? "

Well ... I've never seen one working as a bin man. Ever. Not even in the Gulf, where they import Indians and Filipinos to do it. In Egypt the Copts do it. Never ever Muslims. Anyone care to put me right?

I have though, seen a woman doing said work.

8 October 2008 at 13:45  
Blogger Dave said...

Would your Grace care to comment on this?
Car bomb trial doctors "motivated by religion"

St Francis practised an extreme form of the Christian religion. He sold all he had and gave to teh poor and encouraged others to do the same
Two religions, one based on love , the other on hatred.

8 October 2008 at 16:59  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8 October 2008 at 18:12  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Dave,

There is not really much to say.

8 October 2008 at 18:49  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Islam, as revealed in the Koran is pretty "homogenous". It's not the bad Muslims I care about, it's the good ones who live by the Koran. Ergo, anyway who is likely to have a certain level of traditional sympathy for that book should not be in the UK.

8 October 2008 at 22:38  
Anonymous bearer of light said...

Got myself a crying, talking, sleeping, walking, living doll...

... what a wonderful Winterval present for any little girl!

8 October 2008 at 22:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when are the beheadings out in the street going to start? now we have sharia law....

9 October 2008 at 07:51  
Blogger Unsworth said...

@ Anon 07:51

It will not be long now.

I can recall seeing a goat being ritually slaughtered in a street in North London just outside a Halal butchers. The rainwater drain was conveniently close by. No one turned a hair.

That was in the early 1970s.

9 October 2008 at 20:02  
Anonymous len said...

A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit!.

11 October 2008 at 20:04  
Blogger IftikharA said...

The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a safe environment with an Islamic ethos.Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won't feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith.Muslim schools are working to try to create a bridge between communities. There is a belief among ethnic minority parens that the British schooling
does not adequatly address their cultural needs. Failing to meet this need could result in feeling resentment among a group who already feel excluded. Setting up Muslim school is a defensive response. There are hundreds of state and Church schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school because bilingual Muslim children need bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods.
Iftikhar Ahmad

21 March 2009 at 18:36  

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