A celebrity chef has come under fire after making "hurtful" comments about the city’s Muslim community.*gasp* Oh noes! It’s a passage in her recent book that has them upset:
She describes coming off the ring road to escape a traffic jam and becoming lost.
"I found myself in an area where all the men were wearing Islamic clothing and all the women were wearing burkas and walking slightly behind them," she wrote. She said the men would not talk to her "because I was an English female and they don't talk to females they don't know".
She said: "Here I was, in the heart of a city in the middle of my own country, a complete outcast and pariah.
"If multiculturalism works, which I have always been rather dubious of, surely it must be multicultural and not monocultural.
"I can only hope that in generations to come there will be a merging of the cultures and not the exclusion zone that is the ghetto."What’s ‘hurtful’ about that? I think you’ll find those sentiments are shared by a good many of the population!
Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, and a city imam, said: "How is she judging an entire community on her one-off rare time of getting lost in Leicester?
"I find it very hurtful to read because everybody is working so hard to create a peaceful and happy Leicester.
"It showed a complete lack of appreciation of the fact we are almost two million in this country, doing our bit for our country."Really? Just what is it that you are ‘doing for the country’, then? Nothing, as far as I and others can see, that warrants this fawning obsequiousness towards your sensibilities...
"When she says that she was in the centre of a city in the centre of her own country, I take objection. This is also my country and this is also my city."If that’s the case, why do you want to make it look less like the ‘green and pleasant hills’ of England and more like an Islamabad slum?
Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "That is the sort of thing that makes me very angry – when someone breezes in from outside and paints a picture of Leicester that does not have any foundation in reality.It’s what she saw and felt. How is that somehow ‘unreal’?
The doughty old gal certainly wasn't backing down, or uttering some appeasing ‘apology’ either:
When contacted by the Mercury, the chef, who lives in Edinburgh, said: "I'm surprised any of the people who might object could read what I wrote as it is written in English."/applause
More here at Orphans of Liberty from Quiet Man.