What she said yesterday has desperately needed saying by a mainstream politician for a very long time. I know this because, over the past few years, I have visited many Muslim communities and spoken to scores of Muslim leaders. With very few exceptions (such as Anjem Choudary, the fanatic who tried to organise a protest march by British Muslims through Wootton Bassett) they are decent people. Many have come from countries which persecute their citizens and trash human rights. So they are even more keenly aware of what it means to be a British citizen.
But – and this is why what Baroness Warsi has to say is so important – British Muslims get spat at, abused, insulted and physically attacked. Vandalism and mosque burnings are common, and often unrecorded. The far‑Right in Britain has changed its nature. In the 1980s, organisations such as the National Front and the BNP concentrated their hatred and odium on blacks and Jews. Today, racist organisations such as the English Defence League focus on Muslim immigrants.
One of the most troubling things about this racist violence and abuse is that it is legitimised and made respectable by so much of the daily conversation which takes place in the media. Over the decades, Britain has learnt through ugly experience not to insult and discriminate against almost every other minority: blacks, Jews, homosexuals, Irish. For some reason, Muslims are still seen as fair game.
Peter Oborne responds to Sayeeda Warsi's speech, Telegraph blog, 20 January 2011
If anyone doubts the prevalence of Islamophobia, and the acceptability of abusing Muslims in terms that would be unacceptable in relation to any other minority community, they should scroll through the avalanche of bigoted comments that follow Peter Oborne's article. Some examples:
"Crawl back to one of your beloved muslim communities and stay there."
"Standard fare for muslim-apologists."
"It is Islam which Britons (quite rightly) despise- whether it is the ideology spewed by a white British convert/traitor or a Pakistani or a Persian or an Arab. I have no problem at all with (quite brown) Hindus or Sikhs, nor Lebanese Maronites nor Iraqi Chaldeans nor Iranian Parsees, because they do not profess a murderous death-cult bent on the destruction of civilization."
"the question of whether the Derby rapists were Muslims is important. People are bound to wonder whether there is something in Islam that permits men to do violence to women."
"We have here the perfect example of the treason our political class have been inflicting on us."
"with muslims its wan,t want, want rights for this and rights for that, islamic schools that teach how to chop up homosexuals hands and legs funded by Saudi Arabia ... Right to kill British citizens e.g Salman Rushdie."
"the Jews contribute to society, Muslims don't"
"The 'muslims are victims' card is worn out. Islam must be forced to abandon it's barbarous attitudes, or it must be forced from this country."
"I have watched Fitna [Geert Wilders film] on youtube which shows and quotes the hate filled passages in the Koran about Jews, unbelievers, heathens, homosexuals, apostates and others, go on deny they are there."
"I have to push my way through the crowds of Pakistanis waiting for their friends at Manchester Airport. Whilst the majority might be peace loving Muslims, their dress and their inability to speak English gives the impression that they have no intention to assimilate into British society, the nationality of which they crave. Is it any wonder why the British suffer from Islamaphobia?"
"Get a sheet of A4 paper. On the left-hand side, write 'Positives of having Islam in the UK'. On the right-hand side, write 'Negatives of having Islam in the UK'. If you fill out the right-hand side first, you will have run out of ink before you can write 'curry' on the left-hand side."
"Islam is not a color or ethnicity or race or any other accident of birth, indelible and involuntary. It is an ideology, freely accepted or rejected, like Nazism; and those who choose the former have by their own act rendered themselves hostis humani generis."
"this is not just about a 'group', but an ever expanding group that is displacing indigenous residents in cities"
"The crusades were implemented to stop the slaughter inflicted by Islam."
"The facts around Islam are right in front of your face. Does that make all muslims bad? No, i don't think so. Do I think Islam is a dangerous ideology? Most certainly. Does that excuse the one-sided apologetic crud that Oborne writes either? I don't think so."
"the basic tenants of Islam are counter to the secular traditions many (most?) hold dear. Such as equality of gender, freedom of speech and expression, equality under the law"
"Go write for the Guardianista apologists - you have no place here."
"Where are the Christian ghettoes? Where are the Christian suicide bombers? Where are the Christians calling for the death of our soldiers? Where are the Christians calling for the death of unbelievers?"
"The way we're being colonized, I'll give it 20 years before wearing a burqa is law."
"Peter, if Christianity preached violence against non-Christians, described Jews as apes, and taught that women were inferior beings, decent people like you would have nothing to do with it. How, then, can Muslims be decent people—decent by our standards—when they adhere to a religion that holds exactly those views?"
"'Islamaphobia' is a joke. We Britains have a right to be angry about the way our country is being changed. We have a right to discuss the things that concern us over the dinner table and by god we'll do it."
"muslims don't treat the indigenous population with any courtesy, nor do they have any intention of doing so"
"You overlook one important thing Pete. The areas inundated with immigrants with vastly differing cultures weren't lumped next door to you and yours.... Instead, these newcomers were dumped next to me and mine."
"Just what does it take this guy to get into his head that fundamentalist Islam has been opposed to the west for a very long time. The bigotry goes one way - from Islam, to the west."
"it's just more muslim victimhood. The 'solution' is simple. Stop murdering people and saying God say's it's all right."
"Terrorism is the natural consequence of Islamic teachings. It's been going on for 1400 years"
"Few doubt that the majority of Muslims simply want to go about their lives in peace but THEY are not calling the shots and don't appear to have any say or influence over the minority of fundamentalists that do. In fact, it appears to take a great deal of courage for a Muslim to speak out, for fear of reprisals within their own community. It has come to the point where even indigenous Europeans can no longer speak out, if only to report facts, for fear of prosecution by their OWN governments"
"It's going to be a sad day when I unable to 'told you so' to you the pro-Muslim apologists. When they establish their Caliphate the white Europeans are destined for slavery, servitude and will be cowed or killed."
"Face reality - muslims hate us and want to destroy us. We have to declare war on them and exterminate them from our democratic countries, before they do it to us"
"Been to the muslim ghettos in Bham, Leicester, Bradford, Leeds - the only muslim missing is called Mustaphajob"
"I left the UK after Uni in Brum, could see then how the muslims were taking over. Decided to travel and work round the world. Lived on\off in Aus for 20 yrs - they are repeating the exact same things that have caused England to be called Englandistan, so I left. Their illegals are in the news every week - robberies, rapes, dole scams, people trafficking."
"They work the benefits system to the max and work at cash businesses on the side driving taxis and running other little businesses such as corner shops."
"Being anti-Islam is not 'evil'.... It's not the same thing as being an anti-semite. I can't remember the last time a Jew blew up a bus in Central London."
"If people copied the life of Jesus, they would be peaceful. If people copy the life of Mohammed, they become egocentric mysogynists, using and abusing all to get their hands on money and power. Defending the personality cult of Islam is like defending Nazis."
"In the lifetime of Mohammed, 'Islam' was no more or less than a cult of personality. Unfortunately, through the political ideology of this man - conversion through conquest, subordination of all 'others' etc, Islam became the very first fully articulated generic fascism the world has ever known. It has not evolved in 400 years."
"The left-wing pinko PC pro-muslim idiots have a real shock (and bullet probably) coming if the muslims get more influence. They plan LONG TERM to destroy us"
"It is not a faith, a philosophy, or a religion that co-exists with other views. It seeks an international caliphate. You are the dhimmi, the infidel. Your complacency is the kind that overlooks the bleedin' obvious: most Muslim men and women in Britain are officially 'unemployed', pay no taxes, take every welfare state benefit available to the detriment of schools, health services, infrastructure etc whilst living in vibrant, cash-only local communities among their own. If others did that, they would be scorned as shameless parasites. Do learn something about the life of Mohammed, the serial rapist, thief, murderer and sadistic persecutor of anyone who opposed him, and then you might understand why 'honour killings' take place in Britain.... Complacency kills. You are a collaborator; wilfully ignorant."
"I have yet to visit a muslim country that I did not feel relief on leaving."
"the whole Warsi claim is a sham and represents a single point of view. It is essential in a free society to be able to express opinion. To deny that freedom creates tensions, frustration and is divisive in the extreme. She should be glad that these issues are subjects for the dinner table"
"I'm amazed that the person I regard as the Telegraph' best writer could write such a foolish article. And as for Baroness Warsi, I wonder how many Christians in a Muslim land enjoy the social standing she does in England - despite the constant terrorist activities by adherents of her religion. She should indeed 'shut up' or get out. I will never read another article by this man again."
"Just because the general population isn't as willing as our Government to welcome to our country every extremest Muslim, does not make us bigots."
"Warsi was right about one thing - we should not make such an issue of the difference between 'moderate' and 'extreme' muslims. This is a distinction that exists mainly in the minds of gullible liberal westerners. Islam will always be led and formed by the people we consider its most 'extreme' proponents."
"The problem in the UK is many Muslims refuse to respect and abide by British cultural norms and the law of the land. They wish to live amongst us, benefit from everything our society offers yet live by a totally different set of norms, some insisting on the right to Sharia law to supercede British law. Our politicians have even enacted laws entitling them to do so whilst effectively curtailing the rights of the indigenous people."
"I assume, Oborne, you live in an upmarket desirable part of town (or country) along with the rest of the media mafia, and not some poor area changed beyond recognition by a too-rapid and ill-thought out immigration policy."
"the likes of 'Sayeeda' provide a respectable cloak for the brute Muslim men who live by the ways of Mohammed - and can't get their grubby paws on her. David Cameron ought to be ashamed for promoting this two-faced harpie."
"Warsi is showing up the stupidity of Camelion in making an unelected immigrant Muslim Chairman of the Tory Party! She is totally unrepresentative of longstanding British voters. After this display of igorance Camelion should sack her.... If Muslims actually have dinner parties where women are welcome, Warsi should get herself invited to a few and listen to some Muslim bigotry! She could also pipe up to protest at the anti-Christian and anti-Hindu bigotry on display among her fellow diners."
"Utter rubbish. I fear people who are stupid and gullible enough to believe Dark-Ages camelherders' myths."
"There is justifiable anger by the infidels as to how the country has been invaded by an alien culture with little intent in integrating. They have even been encouraged to keep separate by the multicult madness of the Labour Party."
"I wonder how many muslims n this country regard the welfare benefits they receive from us already as their due, as jizyah, the tax infidels always had to pay."
"Warsi & ISLAM? This is a murderous sect that has over a billion people caught up in the world's biggest ever mass-hysteria based on a book of extraordinary hatred towards apostates and a total perversion of the Human Spirit; that no politician dares say this is a disgrace.... Frankly, the American pastor who wanted to burn a pile of Korans had it about right."
"British people, in the main, are very tolerant. But there is nothing tolerant about many practising Muslims. We are all supposed to honour their beliefs and allow them to operate their own mysoginistic belifes (female repression); sharia law and turn a blind eye to the abuse and honour killings = because they believe they have the right to do as they please - and our cowardly political elite have allowed it."
"Non Muslims get arrested for expressing Free Speech against Muslims - witness the American Pastor banned from the UK - whilst Muslims threaten to kill, maim, and bomb UK citizens without fear of arrest, or, if they do get nicked its for stupid Public Order Offences."
"Why not convert to islam then Oborne eh? Sounds like you would be right at home in the mosque.... Stockholm syndrome is infecting the appeaser community, they see no muslim bigotry and hatred and violence, islam grows like a cancer in our nation and Oborne blames the victims?"