Eric Pickles is a Conservative MP and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
With the consent and backing of our PM David Cameron, Eric Pickles sent this letter out to mosques, and Muslim leaders across London.
You can read the letter [here]
Eric Pickles and co are at a loss to understand how or why anyone could be affronted by this
... well.. lets see... as perhaps... that's at the root of many problems we face in multicultural London.
Never underestimate the impact, of a lack of understanding.
My 1st reaction was.. how rude
and then I thought.. well what do you expect Dawna
and then I thought.. hey,perhaps they really are oblivious, and honestly mean no harm
and then, the questions...
Question 1 is... exactly what is British Islam?... and what is the 'true nature of British Islam today?.. as mentioned in the letter
Tell me..Is there now a special brand of Islam for Brits.. or is Islam... Islam.?
What are British values?.. is another recurring question
..and since when, were British 'values'... Muslim values?
As the daughter of immigrants, I remember a time when the idea of embracing 'British values'.. would have caused a few shudders
We need to be honest
Someone needs to be honest
what are these values.. and what makes them specifically 'British'?
Are we talking about 'Christian' values?
The 10 commandments and all that?
Or are we talking about humanitarian values? values that we can all relate to, and should or could be adopted across the world?
This 'British-ness' thing appears as confused as Eric Pickles letter...
For some.. Britishness still equates to Whiteness
For others... it's beer, chips, easy sex, pop culture, loutish behaviour, lack of respect for elders and parents, racism and general disarray
For others , it's tolerance, multiculturalism , understanding, liberalism, democracy, free speech and the rule of law
For some it's the monarchy, *sings* 'rule- Britania', the Proms , and all that
In truth.. it means different things to different people,
The letter was poor taste.
Similar letters could be sent to all black parents in the wake of any 'incident ' that the government or police term - 'black on black violence'
A similar letter could be sent to all white people, based on the racist actions of a few people.
Did anyone send a similar letter out to white Londoners after the murder of Steven Lawrence?
I don't think so
Imagine... a letter stating something along the lines of..' raise your children right.. we will not tolerate white racist bigotry, and if you suspect any family member of indulging in racist or white supremacist thought.. me pa cho....call this hotline....
If you really want to build relations with anyone, be as honest as you can.. engage with them properly .. and be respectful
resist the urge to blame, or be 'superior'
Tell me... how can one condone the ridiculing and disrespect of a peoples faith on one hand...
then say you share the same values on the other?
Surely British-ness does not stand for hypocrisy
Secretary of state for communities and local government
.. with seemingly little understanding of communities
lord have mercy.