Richard Dawkins makes a scathing attack on Islam and multiculturalism in today's Sunday Times:
"Islam is importing creationism into this country," he says. "Most devout Muslims are creationists – so when you go to schools, there are a large number of children of Islamic parents who trot out what they have been taught."
"Teachers are bending over backwards to 'respect' home prejudices that children have been brought up with," he says . "The government could do more, but it doesn’t want to because it is fanatical about multi-culturalism and the need to 'respect' the different 'traditions' from which these children come. The government – particularly under Tony Blair – thinks it is wonderful to have children brought up with their traditional religions. I call it brainwashing."
"It seems as though teachers are terribly frightened of being thought racist," says Dawkins. "It’s almost impossible to say anything against Islam in this country, because [if you do] you are accused of being racist or Islamophobic."
This last point is particularly important, because when Norman Tebbit pointed in the early 1990s to the failure of certain immigrant communities, and Muslims in particular, to integrate into British society, he was roundly slandered as a racist. Tebbit pointed out in 1991 that "some of [the immigrant communities] insist on sticking to their own culture, like the Muslims in Bradford and so forth, and they are extremely dangerous."
Whilst the introduction of creationism into British schools concerns Dawkins, it is the strain of fascist ideology in modern Islam which motivated the suicide bombings of July 7th 2005, and thereby poses the greatest threat to our liberal society. With some justification, Tebbit now feels that his warnings have been vindicated:
"I do think had my comments been acted on those attacks would have been less likely."
"I've been opposing the concept of a multicultural society for 10 years or more and that's because a multicultural society is an impossibility.
"A society is defined by its culture. It is not defined by its race, it is not a matter of skin colour or ethnicity, it is a matter of culture.
"If you have two cultures in one society then you have two societies. If you have two societies in the same place then you are going to have problems, like the kind we saw on July 7, sooner or later."
Dawkins and Tebbit united then, in their attitude to Islam and multiculturalism? It is interesting how external and internal threats are capable of making very strange bed-fellows...