Labour minister ‘storms out’ of Muslim wedding
‘Evil Muslims!’ some will cry. ‘Appalling discrimination!’ ‘The unacceptable face of Islam!’ ‘Misogynists!’ Blah, blah.
Cranmer is quite frankly appalled and the arrogance and ignorance of this Labour MP and his wife. His Grace can hear Mr Fitzpatrick now, losing his composure and barking at the hosts: “I don’t just want to sit down, I want to sit down with my wife.” And he adds, contemptuously: “I am a Minister of State, am I not?”
And indeed he is. But the Executive has no status in the London Muslim Centre, where there are people more important than he who hold customs which are not his.
His arrogance and rudeness are symptomatic of this Labour government, which has become insensitive to its traditional supporters and ignorant of its limits.
Where is the courtesy, the grace, the humility, the respect for the fact that this was somebody else’s day? The arrangements were the personal choice of the bride and groom. How they chose to seat people and conduct their wedding was entirely up to them.
But Jim Fitzpatrick has succeeded in turning the biggest and happiest day of their lives into a PR stunt and an anti-Muslim media fest. He has made their wedding day his ‘anti-extremism’ day, creating tarnished memories which will forever overshadow the anniversary.
And he had the audacity to assert that enforced segregation threatened community cohesion. Apparently he fears the growing influence of the Islamic Forum of Europe, which favours shari’a law, some members of which have links to the wedding venue. Mr Fitzpatrick said: “We've been attending Muslim weddings together for years but only recently has this strict line been taken. The segregation of men and women didn’t used to be as much of a strong feature. But it is an indication of the stricter application of rules that is taking place that didn’t exist before. We left so as not to cause offence.”
It is quite incredible that anyone in public life could be so obtuse as not to realise that their actual leaving might cause offence.
And then they chose to talk to the press, doubtless to avoid giving further offence.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “It is a disappointment. I think the stranglehold influence of the IFE is present more than ever before. We are trying to build social cohesion in a community but this is not the way forward.”
The problem, Mr Fitzpatrick, is that your party has mistaken social cohesion for multiculturalism. You have destroyed community cohesion by pandering to the whims of every minority and creating a hierarchy of rights in which each and every disparate group now vies for supremacy. There can be no cohesion where there is no harmony, and no harmony in a climate of perpetual struggle for supreme rights.
But Mr Fitzpatrick declares defiantly: "I’m not pandering to any minority opinion.”
Labour's raison d'être of the past decade has been to pander to every minority opinion - and principally that of Muslims and homosexuals. Jim Fitzpatrick is either a fool or a liar.
A spokesman for the London Muslim Centre astutely observed: ‘Labour is in complete disarray. Maybe Mr Fitzgerald (sic) is worried about the election next year. It’s yet another case of “let’s just blame the Muslims”.’
George Galloway is to contest the Poplar and Canning Town constituency for Respect, and most of the seat is in Tower Hamlets where an estimated 35 per cent of the residents are Bangladeshi Muslims. For them, George Galloway is almost the Mahdi. If Mr Fitzpatrick is to avoid the fate of Oona King, who was ousted from Bethnal Green and Bow by Mr Galloway at the last general election, he clearly needs to shore up his white, working class vote.
What better way than a bit of Muslim-bashing?
Segregated weddings have always been popular among some religious communities, and they are by no means peculiar to Islam. Mr Fitzpatrick must learn to adjust to the culture and be sensitive to religious customs. If he were to attend a papal audience, would he mind being separated from his wife? If he were to attend an orthodox synagogue, a gurdwara, or a service in the Eastern Orthodox Church, would he insist on sitting with his wife and storm out when he was segregated?
You have simply experienced the reality of multiculturalism, Mr Fitzpatrick. Your political philosophy spawned it and your party has propagated it.
Please don’t blame the Muslims for Labour’s incompetence, inadequacy and insufficiency.