With friends like these . . .

David Edgar in The Guardian:

Amispixie128_2 Martin Amis’s elegant prose shouldn’t blind us to his seeming obsession with the Muslim birth rate as a “gangplank to theocracy” (“Has feminism cost us Europe?” he asked in an Independent interview). David Goodhart, editor of left-leaning Prospect magazine (who describes the 60s as “the decade that sharply eroded authority and constraint”), argued in his pamphlet Progressive Nationalism for a two-tier welfare system, the teaching of imperial history in schools, the creation of a migration and integration ministry, the raising of citizenship test hurdles, the reassertion of the monarchy and the army as nationally binding institutions, the banning of certain forms of dress from public buildings and the reintroduction of conscription. That several of these proposals are now government policy is an indication of how Gordon Brown’s golden thread of British liberties has thickened into what looks more like a whip.

Most importantly, the culture of betrayal has blinded contemporary defectors to the significant achievements of the alliance between British Muslims and the left. Along with Phillips, Cohen and the New Statesman’s Martin Bright, Anthony is preoccupied with the Muslim Council of Britain and its spokesman Inayat Bunglawala, quoting his remark that the campaign against Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses brought Muslims together and “helped develop a British Muslim identity”. In fact, Bunglawala’s attitude to Rushdie goes to the heart of whether the progressive-Muslim alliance is a genuine conversation or the contemporary equivalent to the Nazi-Soviet pact.

More here.