Wednesday, 8th October 2014

by Joshua Gaskell

On yesterday’s Today programme, in a piece about Rotherham, I hear reference to tensions between the ‘Muslim community and white population’. The attitude behind that phrasing is, in miniature, the same as that apparently taken by the police, which led to the cover-up in the first place. Whereas whites are a population – simply ‘the collective inhabitants of a country, town, or other area’ (OED) – Muslims are a community – ‘a group of people distinguished by shared circumstances of nationality, race, religion, sexuality, etc.; esp. such a group living within a larger society from which it is distinct’ (OED). This is killing with kindness: well-intentioned political correctness that actually serves further to exclude a group from the society whose norms are a guide to what is acceptable and what unacceptable.