Muslims – ‘a community which is the source of such a great menace’

“If there are, indeed, 100,000 Muslims who cannot see the wrong of 7 July, then we are in trouble. The only people who can change this are Muslims, but there is no obvious effort to address the problem from within. The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, couldn’t have been more bald about the Muslim community last week. ‘Their complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims … and always wrong when Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists.’

“If the perpetrators of these outrages are Muslim – sometimes rather well-to-do Muslims, it seems – and the members of the 200-odd cells that MI5 is investigating are Muslim, it is not good enough for Muslims to fall back on bristling victimhood. To the rest of us, it simply seems nonsensical that a community which is the source of such a great menace, and which has offered support to it, can at the same time claim persecution. We need leadership from British Muslims and a contract between their community and the vast majority, in which the same ideals of peace, law and order are agreed upon without reference to religious needs. For this is not a religious matter; it is about law and order in a secular society.

“Is this illiberal? No, and nor is the concern that Islamic faith schools are being used to distance a generation of young people from the values of the surrounding society…. These schools are undesirable in the extreme and steps should be taken to end the separate development that they posit. But the government would rather reduce all liberties than be seen to target a minority.”

Henry Porter in the Observer, 12 November 2006