“Who ought to be Mayor? The man with the vision who says: ‘I am proud of London’s reputation as the most diverse city in the world where the contribution all communities is celebrated and people’s freedom of religious expression is respected as it is one of the most essential of our civil liberties. Attacks on the rights of Muslim people to express their faith as they choose are ultimately a threat to everybody’s rights to freedom of religious and cultural expression. It should be the right of every individual to be able live their life as they wish, so long as it does not do harm to any other individual. This ability to be who you are and live as you choose is what has made London a magnet for people bringing their ideas and energy to make this the successful and dynamic city that it is’ (Ken Livingstone, June 2007).
“Or the right wing toff who believes, ‘The disaster is that we no longer make any real demands of loyalty upon those who are immigrants or the children of immigrants…. So we have drifted … and created a multi-cultural society that has many beauties and attractions, but in which too many Britons have absolutely no sense of allegiance to this country or its institutions. It is a cultural calamity that will take decades to reverse, and we must begin now with what I call in this morning’s Spectator the re-Britannification of Britain. That means insisting, in a way that is cheery and polite, on certain values that we identify as British. If that means the end of spouting hate in mosques, and treating women as second-class citizens, then so be it. We need to acculturate the second-generation Muslim communities to our way of life, and end the obvious alienation that they feel. That means the imams will have to change their tune, and it is no use the Muslim Council of Great Britain endlessly saying that “the problem is not Islam”, when it is blindingly obvious that in far too many mosques you can find sermons of hate, and literature glorifying 9/11 and vilifying Jews’ (Boris Johnson, July 2005).”
Dr Jamil Sherif at Salaam blogs, 16 July 2007