Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Demos need to grow a spine

From the ePolitix.com report:

"The think tank also accused ministers of failing to address "reasonable" grievances, including policy in Iraq and elsewhere."


"It would be naïve in the extreme to imagine that neither government rhetoric or foreign and domestic policy have an effect on the opinions of those in our Muslim communities who might be susceptible to the hateful propaganda of extremists.

We are now entering a phase where the impact of ministerial words and policies, especially on young men in Muslim communities, must be assessed at all times."

So because one group in our society is more prone to violence we should give their voice extra weight? Utter cowardice. Suggesting that the war on Iraq was a bad idea or that the marginalisation of immigrant groups is a problem we should deal with are both entirely legitimate contributions. However, to argue not that a certain action is the right one but that we should make our decisions contingent upon whether we anger particular, violent, groups is both unprincipled and unlikely to be effective; these groups know surrender when they see it and will take it as an opportunity.

If our democratic decisions are dependent upon the goodwill of violent groups within our community this poses an existential threat to our democracy and values. Paying a human and financial cost to defeat such a threat is the lot of a free people in a dangerous world.


Gracchi said...

I agree with your sentiment though I disagree your use of the word group. I think we have to be careful. Many Muslims don't want a disproportionate influence on UK policy- a few make the argument appease us or else- but many don't and we ought to recognise that disparity.

Matthew Sinclair said...

You are absolutely right.