Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride….

….to the General Election, as identity politics comes to the fore.

Lest week, Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick poked his head above the parapet, in a move condemned by various pundits and professional grievance-mongers as politically motivated.

One of his fellows thought this was a bandwagon worth jumping on:
A Labour peer has demanded an apology from Jim Fitzpatrick, the Farming minister, after Mr Fitzpatrick publicly criticised the segregation of men and women at Muslim weddings.

Lord Patel of Blackburn, a senior figure in Britain's Muslim community, accused Mr Fitzpatrick of launching a "cowardly attack" on Muslims who opted for a segregated wedding, accusing him of pandering to "anti-Muslim sentiment" within his constituency.
And whose sentiments are you pandering to, Lord Patel of Blackburn?
"I suspect Mr Fitzpatrick has one eye on the general election and has mistakenly used this event for political gain," he said. "He is playing to a section of the voters with whom anti-Muslim sentiment is appealing. This is underhand and dangerous."
But it was ok when Lord Ali of the M1 threatened to bring 10,000 Muslims onto the streets if Geert Wilders was allowed into the HoC, I suppose?

No ‘playing to a section of the voters’ there, eh?
The bridegroom has also asked for an apology from Mr Fitzpatrick for "hijacking" the ceremony for political gain.

Bodrul Islam said he had been "amazed and shocked" by Mr Fitzpatrick's protest.

Just why would you invite your local MP to your wedding unless you stood to gain (or believed you stood to gain) something from it?

So acting hurt and shocked now isn’t going to cut the mustard, Mr Islam…

Fitzpatrick is hitting back:
The minister blamed the decision to segregate men and women at the ceremony on the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), a conservative group with an office at the East London Mosque next door to the wedding venue. However, Mr Islam denied that he or his wife had come under any pressure to separate their guests.

Mr Fitzpatrick yesterday said he had been seeking to highlight the growing influence of the IFE, rather than criticise the wishes of the families involved.
Of course, it no doubt didn’t hurt that you could frame it thus…
"There was nothing cowardly about the attack on the IFE. It was very direct and very open," he said.

"The IFE are intolerant, not the community. The community is a very generous and open one. My beef is that the IFE is starting to influence the social and political life of the Bangladeshi and Muslim community.

"I have apologised on camera to the families and to the community for any offence that I may have caused. That was not what I was trying to do."
But your opponents will frame it that way if they can.

So next time, be better prepared for the inevitable attack, Jim lad….

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