The Daily Telegraph reports that Sayeeda Warsi will say in a speech today that Islamophobia has “passed the dinner-table test” and is seen by many as normal and uncontroversial.
She will blame “the patronising, superficial way faith is discussed in certain quarters, including the media”.
Baroness Warsi will also criticise the categorisation of Muslims as either “moderate” or “extremist”:
“It’s not a big leap of imagination to predict where the talk of ‘moderate’ Muslims leads; in the factory, where they’ve just hired a Muslim worker, the boss says to his employees: ‘Not to worry, he’s only fairly Muslim’. In the school, the kids say: ‘The family next door are Muslim but they’re not too bad’. And in the road, as a woman walks past wearing a burka, the passers-by think: ‘That woman’s either oppressed or is making a political statement’.”
Also in the Telegraph, Norman Tebbit weighs in to the debate, urging Warsi to shut up. According to Tebbit, there was no problem with Islamophobic dinner-table conversations “before large numbers of Muslims came here to our country”.
Update: The Telegraph report of Warsi’s speech drew over 1500 comments from readers, all of which have now been deleted by the moderators, which gives you an indication of the content.