The Evening Standard
2 Derry Street
While we appreciate Brian Sewell's call on the West to 'understand the history, culture and values of Islam', he seems to exclude himself from this noble aim.
He refers to there being '50 million militant Muslims in the north of Nigeria'. Would he be happy if Britain was described as a nation containing 60 million racists? No - then why does he consider ridiculous generalisations about Muslims to be acceptable?
Sewell rightly recognises that the world needs urgently to address the gross injustices in Palestine and avoid a war against Iraq. We must surely refrain from actions that will build more barriers between us and the Islamic world. That also includes refraining from misrepresention of entire peoples and their faith.
Mr Sewell believes that 'Islam has always been militant' and concludes with a graphic picture of Muslim spectators at a hanging gawping as men and women 'choke slowly in the noose' . It is precisely to respond to these misrepresentations and caricatures that the Muslim Council of Britain has recently published 'The Quest for Sanity - Reflections on September 11 and the Aftermath' - it bears a message of hope rather than despair.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala
The Muslim Council of Britain