Opinion: Was it right for Roger Scruton to be sacked?

Fiyaz-Anne Marie

Anne Marie, left, and Fiyaz Mughal share their thoughts

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Sir Roger Scruton has been sacked from his post as a government adviser after he faced backlash over "unacceptable" comments on the definition of Islamophobia.

The founder and director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, and leader of the For Britain Movement, Anne Marie Waters, debate whether it was right for him to lose his job.


Scruton's sacking is a step in the right direction

The founder and director of Faith Matters and the Tell Mama project, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, explains why he thinks Roger Scruton's dismissal as a government adviser is good news. These are his views and not talkRADIO's.

The dismissal of Roger Scruton for his comments on ‘the invasion of huge tribes of Muslims’ and his views on George Soros and Chinese people sends out a clear signal that public utterances of stereotypes will not be accepted by this government.

Scruton’s role was to advise ministers in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. As such, his role was to advise on housing and the public environment.

His utterances showed a lack of understanding around communities. Yet housing and place-shaping have at their heart an understanding of people and communities, which beckons the question as to how he was appointed to this position.

Surely someone would have known that he held such views?

The problem with the comments made by Scruton are that they mirror some of the far-right rhetoric that is circulated around George Soros and Muslims. That is not to say that Scruton is politically far-right in any shape or form, though he has regurgitated rhetoric that is very close to such stereotypical and polarising statements made by some associated with such groups.

There is one other matter that is extremely troubling.

The term ‘Islamophobia’ in the UK was coined and circulated by the Runnymede Trust’s report entitled ‘A Challenge for Us All’. This was produced in 1997, though the term had been bounded around before that.

For Scruton to suggest that the term ‘Islamophobia’ was created by the Muslim Brotherhood, in what can be extrapolated from his statement to be a desire to curtail discussion around Islam, is stretching the argument.

The fact is that anti-Muslim hatred is a more accurate term to monitor and measure this hatred and intolerance and to support the victims of it.

This whole debacle brings into question the issue of advisory positions and how people are appointed to them.

The end result has been that the government has been affected by charges of ‘harbouring Islamophobes’ – something that is unfair, but which sticks over time.

What we need are cool and calm heads when talking about communities. Scruton’s flippant comments to the New Statesman show just how much we need those level heads now, at a time when our country feels divided.


Scruton lost his job 'because of a lie'

Leader of the For Britain Movement, Anne Marie Waters, says it was the media that was in the wrong - not Scruton. These are her views and not talkRADIO's.

The democratic process involves two players - the candidate and the voter. 

It’s supposed to work like this: the candidate describes their policies and what they will do if the voter approves.  The voter listens to the candidates’ policies and decides where to place their vote.  That’s how it’s supposed to work, in reality, there is a filter between candidate and voter. 

That filter is the media, much of which goes out of its way to distort what the candidate is saying. 

They do so if they personally disagree with the candidate’s proposals.  They are therefore not journalists, but activists for the status quo.

People struggle to accept this, there’s an attitude among the public that the media couldn’t possibly get away with it, but Roger Scruton has now shown otherwise.  It’s the most significant exposé of media dishonesty since the last one. 

Roger Scruton has lost his job because of a lie. 

The New Statesman took his words completely out of context and told the public he had said something he hadn’t said. 

Luckily for Scruton, he was afforded a defence platform by the Spectator.  Some of us have no such defence.  He was able to tell how he had in fact criticized the communist regime of China, and not described Chinese people as robots.  They made him a ‘racist’ regardless.   

I’ve been there.

What I say is routinely distorted, and nobody in the mainstream media has offered me a right of reply.  I’ve been described as a “Nazi” and with no comeback. 

Roger Scruton is experiencing the new totalitarian Britain.  The response must be for greater free speech. 

It is finally hitting home – everyone is in the thought police’s jurisdiction, and until we stand up to them, that jurisdiction will grow and grow.  

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