The politics of Policy Exchange

Abdul Bari at TUCThe Guardian publishes corespondence in response to the article by Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning exposing the politically biased “research” carried out by the Tory-aligned think-tank Policy Exchange. Muhammad Abdul Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain writes:

“We concur with Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning. Policy Exchange has assembled disparate arguments and ‘facts’ to fetishise difference and give credence to an emerging culture of bigotry. The report shows consistent vehemence towards the MCB. While we welcome constructive criticism, Policy Exchange appears to have made its research findings fit its political aims – not the other way round.

“More importantly, the report seeks to stigmatise young Britons with its monochromatic treatment of the Muslim diaspora as a homogeneous category, as opposed to the heterogeneous mosaic it truly represents. By confusing Islamism with increasing religiosity, it implies that those who seek to negotiate their faith with modern British values are somehow suspect. This is condescending to young Britons. Identity, ultimately, will be forged through consensus, not compliance. We are all in need of credible research that informs a mature discussion. Sadly, this is a missed opportunity.”

Guardian, 16 February 2007