The debate over group rights is contested, but what shouldn't be, is the fact that calling for instant and somewhat arbitrary retributive action against a single MP candidate, who has exercised a right afforded to everyone else, just isn't a convincing way to invite this debate into the public domain. Neither is it just or democratic.
Whilst Boris may have appeased some of the electorate by attacking members of the Muslim community, he's definitely lost me as a voter and possibly thousands of others. Social services have enough on their plate without making them work out which brown person is a religious Muslim parent and which is a radicalised Muslim parent.
We know that in our society there is huge cultural pressure on young people and in particular girls to be skinny, waif like and attain impossible barbie like body shapes. The gendered link between media pressure and eating disorders is inescapable. But frustratingly just as women from ethnic minorities are absent from everyday media appearances, the fact that they too are also subjected to the same cultural pressures and resultant illnesses, is also absent.
With storms like Typhoon Haiyan becoming a scarily more frequent occurrence, we need a truly global movement of people from all backgrounds and walks of life who are wide awake to the reality of climate change. Mosques in the UK and further afield in Europe are getting ready to Green Up! and do their bit to reduce their carbon footprints.
Given the opportunity to clearly condemn attacks against Muslims, she repeatedly refused to do so. Instead she generalised by saying she condemned all violence and hatred. She has moral authority like no other person in Burma. When she speaks, people listen. If she strongly condemned attacks on Muslims it would make a difference.
If the accusation is that the banning of the niqab goes against religious freedom, the foremost question must be whether the niqab itself has any kind of theological basis. Until now there has been no compelling evidence to suggest that it has, and this is what appears to have got lost in the debate.
I wondered how UK Christians might respond to Ramadan and Eid. Could British churches follow the lead of the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury in sending greetings to British Muslims? Apart from our most senior religious leaders, who have been trailblazers and pioneers of inter faith encounter, we have not seen such recognition of Muslim festivals. This is a new approach for a different era.
Real-life Muslims have considerable contradictions in practical, day-to-day life: we have a disproportionately high number of Muslims in the prison population that is worrisome; there is a visible, although tiny, number of violent extremists who have been putting Muslims in the docks through their mindless acts. The Ramadan message needs to reach all Muslims.