A celebrity cook has upset the local burghers of Leicester, and had them reaching for the smelling salts, by recounting her impressions, and poor treatment by, Muslims in the city.
Clarissa Dickson-Wright, of Two Fat Ladies fame, and her promotion of English rare breed pork, and wild rabbit, is not known for her shy, retiring attitude. Rather, she is a down-to-earth countrywoman and calls a spade a spade. It seems that she made a visit to Leicester to gather material for her new book, "Clarissa's England: A Gamely Gallop Through the English Counties" [ paperback; £7.99 Amazon] After getting lost on the ring-road, she found herself in a very unexpected place:
"I found myself in an area where all the men were wearing Islamic clothing and all the women were wearing burkas and walking slightly behind them." She went on to say that the men wouldn't talk to her "because I was an English female and they don't talk to females they don't know"
Clarissa says she felt like a complete outcast and pariah in the middle of her own country and describes it as one of the most frightening experiences of her life. And I don't expect she is an easily frightened woman.
Ibrahim Mogra, a city imam and assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain felt very hurt by her comments and bragged that there are 2,000,000 muslims in Britain "who are doing our bit for the country". I hope that doesn't include those blowing up buses and trains, disregarding our animal slaughter laws, training in terrorism, and standing idly by while a horde of Muslim males groom and rape our children, Ibrahim? Still, perhaps he means the employment opportunities offered in sorting out the mayhem some of his persuasion have caused.
Sir Peter Soulsby predictably had an attack of the vapours; he was very angry that "someone who breezes in from outside and paints a picture of Leicester that does not have any foundation in reality", Really? Is Leicester a closed town where outsiders are not supposed to come through the gates? They say the onlooker sees most of the game and I fear Sir Peter is too close to the action and cannot recognise home-truths.
(In passing, Sir Peter, are you going to buy that scout hut for your Muslim friends? Will you be lashing out with your own money if you do, or Leicester taxpayers'? And are you considering doing the same for the people who actually live in Thurnby Lodge?)
Cllr. Manjula Sood didn't believe that "one meeting in the street should mean you can label a whole city".Well, no Mr. Sood, she wasn't; she was labelling that particular area as frightening. One meeting with a Muslim in Leicester wouldn't have that effect, but it seems she met many. And so have I, and sadly, of all the minorities in Leicester, they are the only ones that were rude, surly or downright upsetting. Hindus and Sikhs are usually very pleasant; you can talk and laugh with them and there is mutual respect. Would that Muslims would catch on to treating women in the same way.
I expect Clarissa will be dragged back to Leicester to be photographed hob-nobbing with the local Islamists. Otherwise, she will be threatened with banishment from our TV screens. Pronounced as another kind of pariah. That would be a pity, she is a brave lady to say her piece, and damn the consequences.
You can read the whole story Here at the Leicester Mercury