Hapless Tory leader David Cameron put his upper-class foot in it with Britain’s Muslim population on Sunday when he declared a new “crusade for fairness.”
Mr Cameron attacked “clunking” government attempts to promote community cohesion, such as urging Muslim parents to spy on their children or encouraging people to fly the union flag on their lawns. “It’s no use behaving like the proverbial English tourist abroad, shouting ever more loudly at the hapless foreigner who doesn’t understand what is being said. “We can’t bully people into feeling British – we have to inspire them,” he said.
He pledged to tackle the oppression of Muslim women who are prevented from going out to work or attending university. But, by invoking the language of the bloody Medieval crusades, he risked antagonising the very community that he was seeking to win over.
Muslim Association of Britain spokesman Osama Saeed said that Mr Cameron’s use of the word “crusade” was “extraordinarily sloppy” and warned that it risked undermining his central message.
“We do see prominent leaders in the West use this word. George Bush launched his ‘crusade’ against terrorism a few years ago and I do not understand their fixation with it. It is not a nice word and nice things do not happen on the back of crusades,” said Mr Saeed. “Whatever David Cameron’s message was today – and I agree with much of it – it will be lost amid words like this. It devalues his message.”
Morning Star, 29 January 2007
For further comments by Osama Saeed see Rolled Up Trousers, 29 January 2007