This morning I started shaping my response to that antithesis of meritocracy, Baroness Warsi, who is now directing her hectoring tones to the issue of ‘Islamophobia’ and what she describes as prejudice against Muslims.
The focus of my post was on the definition of the words prejudice and phobia and how these two words are now routinely abused by those who seek to unjustly demonise people for what they think. But I have just seen that Longrider has already said it all with great clarity, and therefore I warmly commend his fine post to you.
There are people who are ignorant and hostile to a group of people purely because of their identity or race. That stereotyping makes them bigots. But for many people their dislike of certain individuals has been formed through experience and knowledge gained through interaction and close observation. There is a big difference.
When such discerning people are criticised for possessing the informed viewpoint they do – which is what Warsi risks doing – that makes the critics the bigoted ones. It is something Baroness Warsi would be well advised to be mindful of, before her comments form the central plank of a new attack on freedom of thought.
Update: Gawain also offers a valuable contribution to the debate. Lord Tebbit explains why Warsi should not have plunged into this argument. His Grace also turns his formidable intellect to the discussion. Dick Puddlecote says Warsi should not be surprised at concern about Muslims after the hysterical security measures against Islamist terror attacks.