Conservative Baroness Warsi is much in the news in recent times and usually for the same reason – she seems focused on erasing that which she calls “Islamophobia.”
It’s reported today that..
The Conservative Party has been accused of “institutional” Islamophobia and “turning a blind eye” to prejudice. Baroness Warsi is angry about the case of a Tory council candidate who had been reinstated after apologising for what she said were “vile” comments. Peter Lamb has now quit the party, following the outcry. Baroness Warsi said the fact he had been seen as “an appropriate candidate for us” showed why “the problem is not just individuals, it’s institutional”.
Peter Lamb’s ‘vile’ crime was to tweet this in 2017…
I wonder had he said “Radical Islam is like alcoholism…” would he have been such an easy target? I wonder had he referenced any other religion would the Baroness have intervened?
Here’s a quick review of how Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, who comes from a Pakistani Muslim background, has reached her current position of public prominence.
She was added to the Cameron-approved Conservative Party “A-List for priority candidates” and ran for Parliament in Dewsbury in 2005. She lost. This did not stop the advance of her political career as she was promptly appointed to the position of Special Adviser to then Conservative Leader Michael Howard for (sic) Community Relations!
Her star was in the ascendent as she was then appointed by new Conservative Leader David Cameron to the position of Vice Chair of the Conservative Party with specific responsibility for “Cities” In July 2007, Warsi was further appointed Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion. Enabling her to fulfil this post, she was created a Life peer as Baroness Warsi, of Dewsbury in October 2007. It took her two years to get herself into to the House of Lords.
So she has never been elected to any political office but has been the beneficiary of appointment after appointment by “stale pale male Conservatives’ Given her Muslim background and this rapid elevation to the Lords, one wonders how she concluded her party is riven with “Islamophobia”?
She resigned from Government in 2014 blaming the Government for supporting Israel in the conflict then taking place with Palestinians.
Having resigned she then demanded that there should be an arms embargo against Israel. Her antipathy towards Israel would seem to resonate with a significant section of the British Muslim community which is avowedly anti-Israel.
ALL PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON BRITISH MUSLIMS
Warsi is now Treasurer on an-all Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims, which is led by anti-Brexit Tory MP Anna Soubry. This group is currently seeking to designate “Islamophobia as a form of racism – like antisemitism it’s time it got its own definition.” Despite the fact that Muslims are found in pretty much ALL races, Warsi and her associates appear to want to make Islamophobia a race crime. In the document produced by this group it also claims Muslims are widely oppressed in the UK and blames British society for Muslims not being as economically successful as some other groups.
Warsi also features in this 2018 Channel 4 “Undercover Dispatches” programme entitled “Who speaks for British Muslims”? The documentary examines two Muslim groups in particular. The first of these is a group called MEND ‘which monitors daily media coverage pertaining to British Muslims and provides commentary on stories where it believes Islamophobic narratives are present’ MEND Founder Sufyan Ismail is secretly filmed boasting how MEND has easy access to Baroness Warsi and how she provides advice to them. Warsi stated that Ismail has subsequently apologised to her and that the communication never happened. Which begs the question – why did he lie? If he lied about this as she contends then what else might he lie about? We will never know because the UK media did not see fit to follow up on this “misunderstanding”. MEND has given support to another group called CAGE which campaigns for Jihadi “human rights” and which has been accused of being pro-terrorist.
You can read an excellent analysis of MEND and the alleged Warsi connection here.
At a time when Labour is riven with charges of Anti-Semitism the Baroness Warsi seems on a crusade to imply that the Conservative Party is riddled with “Islamophobia” and that a punitive new law to deal with this. But by trying to suggest that any critique of Islam is a race-based crime, Warsi could be deemed to be imperilling the essence of free speech in the UK.
No Religion should not be placed beyond healthy criticism.
The questions Baroness Warsi must answer are; why does she think Islam is beyond criticism? That may be the case in Islamic countries, but the UK does not quite fall into the category. Why did MEND – a Islamist group which many see as extreme – consider her a trusted ally?
We all support tolerance towards others and hatred has no place in polite discourse but should we submit to be silenced to Warsi just because she might not like what we say? By suppressing reasonable debate on Islam, isn’t she damaging the Conservative party.