I believe one of the great failings of politics over the last decade has been the lack of moderate, good-faith, humane voices in debates about difficult issues
Ever since the announcement yesterday of my candidacy as a London MEP for Change UK – The Independent Group, I have been subjected to an online campaign of false allegations of racism, including an accusation by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) that I am Islamophobic.
I have never – not once – expressed anti-Muslim hatred or bigotry. I have always been clear that any criticisms I may make are about Islamism, and conservative Islamic cultures or beliefs; never Muslims. I am horrified, appalled and deeply upset to have been targeted by what appears to be an active campaign of smears and lies from hard-left activists and the MCB.
It is important to remember that neither the last Labour government, the coalition government, nor the Conservative government would work with the MCB due to their perceived extreme associations. It is deeply sad to see this group quoted as a morally legitimate voice and I reject their characterisation of me, completel
For many years, I have written and spoken about the erosion of women’s rights in deeply conservative Islamic cultures. I have written about the need for liberal societies to explore and face up to the tensions between deeply conservative beliefs and secular liberalism.
I have argued that in order to have any chance of countering terrorism, it is essential that government acknowledges the ideological motivation, whether that be far-right ideology, or an Islamist ideology, of the attacks.