So Shabina, what’s the point of Britain? (Rod Liddle wants to know)

“It is one thing for a rancid, stone-age clique like Hizb ut-Tahrir to insist upon the metaphoric subjugation of women by dressing young girls from top to toe in sackcloth and ashes. It is another thing entirely for a sort of Allah-lite version to have been institutionalised in state schools and for the rest of us to smile indulgently and pretend that it is evidence of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity’….

“What we need now is to inculcate a ‘core of Britishness’…. But a state school which kowtows to the un-British (for want of a better phrase) demands of its black and ethnic minority constituency is far more damaging to this national cohesion business than an insignificant little ginger group such as Hizb ut-Tahrir. We cannot force parents to inculcate that core of Britishness in their homes; but we can ensure that it takes place in our schools. The French seem to have grasped this point; it is about time that we did.”

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times, 6 March 2005