East Enders react to Warsi speech attacking acceptable Islamophobia

A speech by the first Muslim woman to sit in the British Cabinet tonight is set to fuel debate and discussion on the subject of Islamophobia.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, co-chair of the Conservative party, will take the opportunity of an address to the University of Leicester to warn that discrimination against Muslims has become socially acceptable in Britain and must be tackled.

In it she will say that prejudice against Muslims has become normal and “passed the dinner table test.”

There was a reluctance to talk about the issue at a busy Whitechapel market today though and it was hard to tell whether people living and working in Tower Hamlets, where a large Muslim community live alongside a non-Muslim population, do not agree with the Baroness – or simply do not want to discuss her comments publicly.

Amelia Ali, a student waiting outside Whitechapel underground said: “It’s down to the media. I don’t blame it on religion, I blame it on the media, but you need to get past that bridge.”

Tower Hamlets resident Jashim Uddin said: “Everyone has freedom of speech. Everyone should respect each other’s religion. I have never found anything like that (the problems the Baroness described).”

Shahin Miah, who lives in Bethnal Green, suggested the Baroness could be wide of the mark.

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He said: “I have never found any problems. I have never seen anything like this.”

Is Baroness Warsi right to say that anti-Islamic feeling is openly accepted and is that the case in east London?

Or does our borough prove that she is wrong?

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