Melanie Phillips subjects us to yet another episode of her paranoid “Eurabia” ravings, according to which 1.6 million British Muslims are engaged in the “Islamicisation” of a country with a total population of 60 million:
“The Christian values that once defined national identity have simply collapsed, creating a cultural vacuum which Islam – Britain’s fastest-growing and most assertive religion – is busily filling.
“Those who defend the Muslim veil are grossly misreading the situation. It is not some picturesque religious garment equivalent to the often curious attire worn by members of other religions. It is associated instead with the most extreme version of Islam, which holds that Islamic values must take precedence over the secular state. Only a small minority of British Muslim women choose to wear this veil. But unlike other religious attire, it is thus inherently separatist and perceived by some as intimidatory. That is why it is unacceptable.
“Belatedly, there seems to be a dawning recognition in Government of the extreme danger into which British society has been placed both by the doctrine of multiculturalism, which holds that upholding majority values is somehow illegitimate, and by the official policy of appeasing Islamic extremism. Hence Mr Woolas’s remarks, the show of ministerial support for Jack Straw, and the threat last week made by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to withhold funding from Muslim institutions that do not combat extremism….
“This is not about prejudice or discrimination. It is about cultural survival.”