“The government has stated that it is doing its best to tackle Islamists who are the source of extremism. According to the government, Islamists are all without exception terribly violent and bloodthirsty…. The only good Islamist is an ex-Islamist…. But the problem is that the term ‘Islamism’ has now been stretched to mean any Muslim who is political.
“Blears insinuates that Muslims who are not politically active are the preferred kind of Muslim. She said in a speech to the Policy Exchange: ‘The fact remains that most British Muslims, like the wider community, are not politically active, do not sit on committees, and do not attend seminars and meetings. They are working hard, bringing up families, planning their holidays, and going about their business.’ …
“The recent refusal of ministers to attend IslamExpo is a case in point. Irrespective of their opinion of the organisers, it was a chance to engage with forty thousand Muslims who want to create and settle into a comfortable peaceful British Islam. It smacks of an increasing confusion on the part of the government who are now not only failing to engage with Muslims, but are actively disengaging with those Muslims who are working to a positive peaceful agenda….
“Blears said that ‘You can’t win political arguments with the leaders of groups… who believe in the destruction of the very democratic process of debate and deliberation’. By excluding the Muslim opinions that the government doesn’t want to engage with through the devious method of saying that being a political Muslim is unpalatable, it is the government itself who is destroying the democratic process of debate.”