03 April 2004

Blair calls race summit amid election jitters - [Sunday Herald]
Tony Blair has decided to place the almost-taboo subject of race in Britain at the top of his government’s agenda and ordered a “cross-government assault to tackle abuse of the immigration system”.
The Prime Minister has called a “race and immigration summit” for Tuesday.

The head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips, who is close to Blair, said yesterday that multiculturalism in Britain was “out of date” and encouraged “separateness”.

He said there was an urgent need to “assert a core of Britishness” because multiculturalism in the present political era “means the wrong thing”.

The Muslim Council of Britain tried to conceal its anger , and general secretary Iqbal Sacranie said: “Multiculturalism is something to cherish and be proud of.” He said Phillips’s comments had been “too Muslim-specific”.

Robina Qureshi, director of a Glasgow-based anti-racism pressure group, said she was “disgusted” by Phillips’s comments and questioned what “Britishness” meant to Scots, Irish and Welsh as well as Asians.

Other Muslim leaders were equally sceptical that Phillips had contributed positively to a new and growing debate on race . The Glasgow MP, Mohammad Sarwar, said: “I don’t have a problem with multiculturalism and a multi-faith society. That diversity is a source of strength, not weakness.”

(ya, strength for Islam, which would be no problem if Islam's goal weren't to take over and subjugate everything else.)

The black peer and former Tory candidate, Lord Taylor of Warwick, branded Phillips “too right-wing for me.” Taylor said Phillips’s motivation seemed to be driven by a belief that some Muslims were “anti-British”.

I can't imagine where anyone gets the belief that some Muslims are anti-British:
Police and Crown Prosecution lawyers are examining an interview with Abdul Haq, spokesman for extremist Muslim group Al-Muhajiroun, after receiving a flood of complaints from listeners.

Mr Haq said on BBC Radio 2's Jimmy Young show that the Muslim struggle would continue "until we see the flag of Islam flying over 10 Downing Street".