The Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, has written a fine piece for the Daily Telegraph online today responding to Charles Moore. Charles Moore – an influential conservative columnist and former editor of the Daily Telegraph – wrote a column in last Saturday’s paper in which he expressed dismay that the barbaric killing of Lee Rigby in Woolwich last month was being allegedly ‘forgotten’ by the media and he seemed to belittle the ferocity of the anti-Muslim backlash that has followed saying that “the only serious violence was against a British soldier”.
Khan reminds Moore that there have been a number of arson attacks against mosques around the country since the Woolwich killing including incidents involving children being evacuated in the middle of the night from Islamic boarding schools following arson attacks.
Anyway, it is good to see Sadiq Khan facing Charles Moore down. You do not honour the memory of a murdered soldier by trying whitewash how far right groups have been busy exploiting that killing to whip up animosity towards UK Muslims.
Sadiq Khan came in for considerable criticism earlier this year from parts of the UK Muslim community for voting in favour of same sex marriages. I argued at the time that Sadiq had done the right thing by voting in favour of gay equality. It must be better to live in a society where legislation seeks to prohibit discrimination against others based on their gender, ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation than one that does not. It is an important lesson that many Islamic movements have yet to grasp.