by A. Millar
February 15, 2011 at 4:50 am
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, co-Chairperson of the Conservative Party, the senior partner in the United Kingdom’s coalition government, in January gave the Sternberg Lecture Speech at Leicester University on the subject, “Islamophobia.” “For far too many people,” she said, “Islamophobia is seen as a legitimate – even commendable – thing. You could even say that Islamophobia has now passed the dinner-table-test.” This, she told The Telegraph, prior to delivering the speech, meant that: “It has seeped into our society in a way where it is acceptable around dinner to have these conversations where anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry is quite openly discussed.”
The “dinner-table” image is clever, suggesting not only that “Islamophobia” is respectable, but that whenever two or three non-Muslims get together the conversation surely turns to attacking Muslims. Despite rampant political correctness in the media and political class, the speech was almost universally attacked. The Prime Minister’s office also denied seeing the speech prior to its having been delivered, although the media had reported on it 24 hours earlier, and some reports suggested that it had, in fact, been seen there.
Among the critics was Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn, who reminded his readers that “In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything.” With the recent enquiry into the London 7/7 bombings and fresh revelations of Pakistani Muslim gangs raping and pimping White non-Muslim girls, Wari’s timing, he suggested, could not have been worse. According to reports, at least hundreds of girls, between the ages of 11 and 16 have been abused, raped, drugged, and prostituted by the gangs. There had been a history of the police authorities overlooking the gangs and their sexual crimes against children since they feared being branded “racist and, of course, “Islamophobic.”
However, in a certain respect, Littlejohn’s remark was unfair to the baroness. After all, when would have been the right time for the speech? If Warsi had given it a month earlier it would have been during the aftermath of the Stockholm suicide terrorist bombing (the perpetrator of which had been radicalized in the British city of Luton), and on the same day as 12 Islamist terror suspects were arrested for planning mass casualty attacks inside the UK.