Woolas dismisses young Muslim’s views as ‘crap’

Phil WoolasThe Government reacts tetchily to suggestions that British foreign policy has anything to do with the rise in radicalism among young Muslims.

When Muslim leaders wrote an open letter a fortnight ago suggesting just that, Foreign Office minister Kim Howells and Home Secretary John Reid fell over one another to condemn the comments as “irrational” and ” facile”. The Communities minister, Phil Woolas, has taken up the baton at Bolton Wanderers Football Club, dismissing a young Muslim woman’s views as “a load of crap”.

Woolas, launching the Government’s “tackling extremism” roadshow, got into a heated 10-minute discussion with Komal Adris, 27, there on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. “I told him that foreign policy was a real concern of mine,” explains Adris. “He suggested I had an extremist view and my concerns were illegitimate. I accused him of patronising me.”

Civil servants tried to usher Woolas away – to no avail. The minister snapped: “That’s a load of crap,” before walking off.

Independent, 29 August 2006