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The Islam & Bankers Forum

January 20th, 2011 Posted in Conservatives, Personal Freedom by

We have a campaign solution for Baroness Warsi that will kill two birds with one stone (no inference intended to the criminal justice practices of the Islamic Republic).

She and the Chancellor  should set up a forum for mutual understanding between representatives of Muslim communities and bankers.

These are two groups do mostly good in the world misrepresented by the actions of extremists, some of whom live half a world away. They are united in misunderstanding. Islam prohibits lending money for interest.

Surely if the Muslim Council of Britain and the British Bankers Association can learn to get along, many good things will follow?

Less flippantly her comments about discrimination against Muslims have some basis in fact. Muslims in the UK are more likely to be referred to negatively and unfairly as a group than many other groups.

Whether it is a something that has achieved “dinner-party acceptability” I find less credible. That sounds like a really bad evening out.

It certainly feels less pervasive than the anti-Irish bigotry commonplace when I was growing up in the 1980s. We do not for example see comedians (other than Muslim ones) appearing on popular television making the equivalent of thick-Paddy jokes.

Nor would I expect a Muslim neighbour to introduce himself to me (seriously) as “Don’t worry I’m a loyalist” as happened at college.

The common thread between the two is that the terror threat of the time was linked to extremist elements in both communities. Whilst being born on the island of Ireland did not make you a terrorist, it did not help community relations that nearly all the terrorists were Irish.

Until then, the threat from militant Islamic groups retreats, it is highly likely the threatened and unsophisticated are going to express their feelings crudely and unfairly.

The Conservative Party Chair though feels labels like ‘moderate’ are ‘extremist’ unhelpful.

I find this a little bizarre. It is perfectly correct to label unbending interpretations of religions and political philosophies that exhort violence, with no concern for human life as extreme. It may not be her interpretation of her faith, but she is… well moderate.

If she needs alternate labels perhaps she should consider ‘liberal’.

Meanwhile the Islam & Bankers forum is surely a force for tolerance whose time has come.

Lead on Baroness, lead on.

One Response to “The Islam & Bankers Forum”

  1. Psi Says:

    I don’t think she was objecting to the word “extremist” but to “moderate” perhaps “normal” would be a better choice.