From the Telegraph (excerpt):
Something is broken. Terribly broken. We are now being confronted on a monthly basis with fresh evidence of our failure – and it is a collective failure – to successfully integrate the British Muslim community within British society.
Terrorism. Rape. School segregation. Political corruption. These are the products of that failure that we have been presented with since June alone.
Each time one of these fresh abuses comes to light we undergo the same ritual. A report will be issued, and a sombre statement read out in the House of Commons. We will be stunned by what is revealed, and say to ourselves “How can this have happened? Here? In Britain? In 2014?”
Then two armies will mobilise. The ranks of one of those armies will be filled primarily with hardcore racists and professional Islamophobes. Their bile will spew forth, overtly and subliminally, as they summon up images of Britain’s green and pleasant land being turned into the West’s first Islamic caliphate.
They will quickly be met in battle by representatives of the Muslim community, Muslim commentators and some of their colleagues in the liberal commentariat. They will point to their opponents, conjure their own apocalyptic images of a white, anti-Muslim backlash, and push the original abuses to the side.
And what of the rest of us? This is what we do. We look down upon these two warring armies, tearing each other to pieces, and we say to ourselves “I’m not getting mixed up in that.” So we turn away. We take the terrorism and the rape and the school segregation and the political corruption, and we attempt to rationalise it and compartmentalise it and neutralise it. Yes, we face a Muslim terror threat, we say, but we have faced other terror threats. Yes, the abuses in Rotherham were appalling, but it isn’t only Muslims who commit rape. Yes the segregation in Birmingham’s schools was scandalous, but there are other single-faith schools. Yes, there is no excuse for political corruption. But political corruption is not the preserve of one community.
And of course we are right. So then we move on. But as we do so we leave behind a gaping – and widening – fissure between ourselves and Britain’s Muslims.
We live in the age of the public inquiry. Hillsborough. Bloody Sunday. Phone hacking. Jimmy Savile. Each of those represents an important issue. But none of them is surely as important or as fundamental as the fact that in front of our eyes an entire section of British society is in danger of being left to break off and simply drift away.