Just when you thought that opinion might be shifting towards a recognition of the existence of widespread and atrocious media bigotry against the Muslim community, in steps Ed Husain to assure everyone that Islamophobia is just a myth promoted by Islamist extremists.
In an article in today’s Evening Standard marking the third anniversary of the July 2005 London bombings, he writes:
“What has changed since 7/7 is the tactics and the public rhetoric of the extremists. Under pressure from Muslim activists, ‘Islamophobia’ has become accepted as a phenomenon on a par with racism, as examined in tonight’s Channel 4 documentary by political journalist Peter Oborne, for example.”
But it’s all nonsense, according to Ed:
“Outside a few flashpoints where the BNP is at work, most Muslims would be hard-pressed to identify Islamophobia in their lives. Yet that is the charge every time the extremists press for new ‘rights’ – over dress in the workplace, for example. If there is anti-Muslim sentiment, we Muslims have to ask what some of us have done to provoke such feelings in a country that is proudly multi-cultural. Islamist extremism might be a good starting point.”
And who are the proponents of “Islamist extremism”? Well, the people organising Islam Expo later this week are among them, according to Ed Husain. Because some of those involved in the event are supporters of the Palestinian resistance they are no different from the 7/7 bombers, in Husain’s analysis. And worse still, supposedly as a result of “a Ken Livingstone commitment to his friends”, the London Development Agency is one of the sponsors of Islam Expo.
Husain concludes with an appeal to the current Mayor of London: “Boris Johnson has a fresh mandate. He knows the organisers behind this week’s event are those that cry Islamophobia. Will he co-opt them, appease or oppose them? His starting point could be to expose their Westophobia, and empower the right side in this battle of ideas.”
Which I think could be translated as: “Please can I have some GLA funding for the Quilliam Foundation?”