Islam: Tony Blair’s challenge

French journalist Claude Askolovitch is appalled by the concessions made to Muslims in Britain. Tariq Ramadan is being promoted by the Blair government “in order to appease radical Islam”. Members of Respect distribute leaflets outside mosques calling – shock, horror – for the defence of Muslim communities. The “one-time champion of the IRA”, the Mayor of London, is “today the defender of Muslim radicals”.

Still, Askolovitch does find one co-thinker. It’s our friend Kenan Malik, who declares that when he was young “racism was terrible”. Today that is no longer the case, apparently. Instead, “people fantasise about an imaginary Islamophobia”. The result is to “clear the ground for the Islamists”.

Nouvel Observateur, 27 October 2005