Oh, I can’t keep up the pretence any longer. Of course they didn’t!
First up was John Battle, ex-MP for Leeds West, on how the terrible atrocity affected…Muslims!
They appear to have been his first thoughts:
It was an early-hours call to me in my flat in London from the home secretary informing me that those who had bombed London two weeks earlier on 7 July were from Leeds that raised fears of reprisals…My fear at the time was not only a major house explosion among the inner-city terraced streets of Burley – but reprisals, including personal attacks on Asians, their shops and the local mosques.And despite John’s evident contempt for his constituents, whom he clearly views as little more than brute, unreasoning savages, there were no such reprisals…
Encouragingly, I got back to find residents did not need the emergency facilities provided by the council at Kirkstall sports centre – people across the street just opened their homes and took in their neighbours – even though many had hardly spoken previously. The local community rose to the crisis, cutting straight through ethnic, religious and family barriers.That didn’t stop him immediately lobbying his government to curry favour with the ‘Muslim community’, however:
That memo was not aimed specifically at young Muslims, but it reflected the need to move off a "war on terror" and to listen and engage with young people in a constituency like mine where there is low-paid service sector work but few facilities for young people and a significant ceiling on job opportunities for young people of Asian origin.I think you’ll find, in your area, there is a significant ceiling on job opportunities for young people of all backgrounds.
The remaining ongoing task, of course, is to practically address the economic realities that leave young Muslims locked out of job opportunities and dreaming of a different life.Were you just elected by Muslims, then? Because you clearly think your only job was to represent them...
Next comes Murtaza Shibli, described as a writer and consultant on Muslim issues:
Amid the pain and anguish of the London bombings, one significant narrative was lost – that of British Muslims. They became victims, both of the terrorists and of overzealous sections of the media, which accepted the terrorists' definitions of Islam and imposed them blindly on Muslim communities living in the UK.It was all the media’s fault!
The majority of British Muslims have watched helplessly as a section of the media has encouraged leadership of the Muslim community to be overtaken by fringe elements, whipping up passions through an iconography of angry Muslims, deployed to discredit the rest of the country's Muslim population.See, it’s the media forcing those fringe elements to the fore! It’s not Muslims inviting them to speak at conferences, or attending their mosques.
Muslims categorically reject terror as a means of achieving political goals.All of them. Everywhere. Every single one.
Anyone believe this? Nope, me neither.
Every Muslim group of any standing has unreservedly condemned 7 July bombings. Unfortunately, the media has failed to give sufficient prominence to this overwhelming condemnation, and has often even "counterbalanced" them with statements from wholly unrepresentative fringe groups which support terrorism or extremism.Ah, obviously, they are not ‘real’ Muslims.
The pressure created by policies such as Prevent has placed a terrible burden upon Muslims to identify, fight and root out terrorists from within their communities.Wait a minute, I thought you said there weren’t any?
The most challenging and disturbing aspect of Muslim life that can fuel radicalisation is an increasingly hate-filled and divisive discourse that casts Muslims as different and as the "other".Oh, right. Let me guess, the media again?
It’s never Muslims doing that, is it?
It’s never Muslims refusing to obey laws that they disagree with, or insisting everyone else change their way of doing things to fit in with their barmy beliefs, right?
Pull the other one, CiF. It's got bells on. No-one with any ounce of intelligence believes that Muslims are a monolithic block, whether that be all slavering rabid proto-terrorists or it's corollary, put-upon saints more sinned against than sinning.
So to let not one, but two contributors try to paint just such a picture leaves a nasty taste in the mouth....