Muslims rebuff Tebbit’s rant on culture
Morning Star, 20 August 2005
Muslims condemned a primitive attack on their culture from crackpot Tory bigot Lord Tebbit yesterday.
The Tory former chairman denounced multiculturalism and claimed that there had been “no real advances” in art, literature or science in the Muslim world in the last 500 years. The venomous peer proclaimed that the London bombings may never have happened if the nation had listened to his demand 15 years ago that British Asians must pass the “cricket test” and support the England team. In an interview with ePolitix.com, he claimed that multiculturalism was now in danger of undermining British society.
The Muslim Council of Britain accused him of a “blinkered and dangerous” attempt to reduce the terrorism problem to simply blaming multiculturalism. The spokesman conceded that science had not progressed in the Muslim world as it had in the West. However, this was caused not by Islam itself, but “a restrictive interpretation of the faith by too many Muslims”.
When it comes to art and literature, “Lord Tebbit is completely wrong”, noted the spokesman. “There is a vibrant arts scene in many Muslim countries. He would recognise this if he understood Arabic or Persian or Turkish or any of the many languages in the Muslim world.”
National Assembly Against Racism co-ordinator Denis Fernando accused Tebbit of “cultural imperialism”, stressing that his comments “have no place in a modern, progressive society”.
• The Nobel Prize for physics was awarded in 1979 to Pakistani-born Dr Abdus Salam.
• The Nobel Prize for literature was won in 1988 by leading Arab novelist Naguib Mahfouz.
• The Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1999 went to Egyptian-born Dr Ahmed Hassan Zewail.