Islamophobia Watch backs Harry’s Place shock

Blimey. There’s a post on Harry’s Place we can agree with – this one by Rupa Huq, who lays into the Bishop of Rochester. And also into the likes of Shiraz Maher. Taking up a Times article in which Maher stated that “Nazir-Ali’s observations are not only valid, but don’t go far enough”, Rupa writes: “Articles with headlines like ‘Muslim Britain [sic] is becoming one big no-go area’ will be music to the ears of the far right but white liberals scared to offend insist on calling them ‘brave’.”

Coincidentally, Shiraz Maher has a piece in the current New Statesman, presumably commissioned by the magazine’s political editor Martin Bright, which attacks the Muslims who signed a letter endorsing Ken Livingstone’s mayoral campaign.

In all seriousness, Maher attaches significance to the “finding” by the right-wing and woefully misnamed Centre for Social Cohesion that a large number of signatories were associated with the Muslim Council of Britain – a situation possibly not unconnected with the fact that the MCB is the largest umbrella group for Muslim organisations in the UK, with over 400 affiliates. Maher accuses the mayor of “pandering to the Arab-centric agendas of pressure groups” – when in fact far more of the MCB’s affiliated groups have connections with South Asia than with the Middle East.