Reply to Sookhdeo in the Spectator

The Spectator has finally published a reply to Patrick Sookhdeo’s diatribe in the “Eurabia” issue two weeks ago. Headed “Eirenic Islam”, it’s not in the online edition, so here’s an extract:

I imagine many people, when confronted by the choice of Tory v. Labour, run into the same emotional conflict as I do. We have a basic and practical sympathy for the social and economic views of the Conservatives, but have a terrible suspicion that, lurking under the skin of the reasonable Tory, there is a racist, intolerant bigot - the kind of fellow-traveller who passively elected the Nazis in the early 1930s.

Your issue of 12 November is a confirmation that our suspicion is justified.

The letter writer, John Goodman of Bombay, goes onto explain that he has never heard of the “doctrine of sacred space” to which the Sookhdevil refers in all the years he has studied and discussed Islam; were it true, Muslims “would be angrily laying claim to Spain, Austria, chunks of China, most of the Balkans and the 800-million-strong Hindu population of India”.

This confirms for Muslims that, while we may sympathise with some of the social and economic views associated with the Tories, we should not vote for anyone who is as soft on bigotry as the editor of this magazine (he is MP for Henley on Thames; I’m not sure if many Muslims will face the choice of whether or not to vote for him). It’s all very well publishing this letter two weeks after the original article (then again, the original may have taken some time to reach Bombay); the fact is that there should have been some balance in the “Eurabia” issue, and indeed, in the issue which discussed the July bombings as well.

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