Delivered 27 November 2013. Posted 13 December 2013.
On Saturday 23 November 2013, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported an interview with the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield and Attorney General. When the story was reported on radio and television, the media gave enormous emphasis to a passing remark that Mr Grieve had made in response to a question from the interviewer about electoral corruption, which specifically mentioned members of the Pakistani community. This understandably led to many Britons of Pakistani origin expressing concern very publicly. They contended that Mr Grieve's remarks demonised the Pakistani community.
For example Sajjad Karim MEP gave forthright interview on TV:
The Daily Telegraph has also published a transcript of the questions and answers that contained the key remarks.
I have known Dominic Grieve for many years as a tireless campaigner for the greater integration and for the rights of all citizens. Accordingly I did not for one moment consider that his remarks were intended to cast aspersions on Britons of Pakistani origin. However interviews do go wrong occasionally and I do believe that the remarks could have been better expressed. Accordingly, when the Islam Channel asked me to appear on the programme "Analysis" to discuss the remarks, I readily assented.
The programme was aired on 27 November 2013 with the title "Analysis: Were Dominic Grieve's comments on the British Pakistani community xenophobic?" and was chaired by Jonathan Steele. The panel comprised:
"Analysis" normally has two parts, devoted to different stories. However on this occasion both parts were devoted to this story. Part One can be watched below, and Part Two will be added when the Islam Channel uploads it to YouTube.