Now wait a minute. They’re up in arms (so to speak) because a cartoon depicts an Arab terrorist? Why does such a cartoon mean that every Arab who wears a beard and Muslim garb is a terrorist? Why must we pretend that the terrorism we face is not a Muslim movement? Why is it “racism” to acknowledge that that is exactly what it is?
From The Independent, with thanks to Nicolei:
Muslim leaders accused a Home Office terrorism document of being “deeply offensive” about their religion yesterday, plunging David Blunkett into a new race row.
The document – exclusively obtained by The Independent on Sunday – “plays into the hands” of white racists and Islamic extremists by portraying all Muslims wearing beards and traditional headgear as terrorists, they said.
Mr Blunkett should withdraw the “offensive material” – a cartoon in an official presentation by a top Home Office counter-terrorism expert , they said. The cartoon will boost the cause of Muslim militants who argue that parts of the Government suffer from “institutionalised Islamophobia”, they said.
The row, the latest involving ministers and senior officials, could not come at a worse time for the Home Secretary, who is pressing for a new offence of inciting religious hatred to be written into British law. It follows his announcement last week that leaflets preparing the public for terrorist attacks are soon to be distributed to every home in the country.
The cartoon depicts a bearded and stereotypically dressed Arab instructing apparently gormless colleagues in suicide bombing. It formed part of a slide presentation given by Graham Lippiatt, a senior official in the Home Office’s terrorism and protection unit, addressing the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.