Muslims are not to blame for isolated lockdowns - we all are, stresses caller

1 August 2020, 14:22 | Updated: 1 August 2020, 14:27

By Seán Hickey

This caller told people to put themselves in the shoes of Muslims who are agitated by having to postpone Eid celebrations in locked down areas.

Maajid Nawaz was explaining the heated atmosphere around Eid celebrations this year, as isolated lockdowns in some parts of the North of England have seen some majority Muslim areas forced to curb Eid celebrations.

Johnny phoned in from Enfield to attack the ignorance of people undermining the news. "I think it's laughable that they can turn this into a race issue," Johnny said.

He argued that "everyone at some point has broken the lockdown rules," and to place the blame on BAME groups is ridiculous. He nailed down the point by revealing that he'd been in a pub that wasn't abiding by social distancing rules and nobody in the pub batted an eyelid.

"People have to look in the mirror," the caller said and pleaded with people to stop blaming ethnic minorities for local lockdowns. He also argued that "Boris Johnson should have done more," to address the magnitude of the decision reintroduce lockdown as Eid celebrations loomed.

Maajid commended the argument of Johnny, stating that he explained "rationally, with a humane concern for Muslim and minority communities, rather than just say it's racism."

This caller argued that we shouldn't be blaming isolated groups of people for local lockdowns
This caller argued that we shouldn't be blaming isolated groups of people for local lockdowns. Picture: PA

Johnny went further to put himself in the shoes of British Muslims: "How would you feel if they turned around to you next week and said 'your Christmas is cancelled,'" he asked listeners.

Maajid added to the argument: "The blame of the communities that are trying to keep the country going during lockdown, really frustrates me."

The caller added that the rhetoric isn't new, pointing out that scenes in Liverpool city centre when they won the Premier League went relatively unpunished, yet when there was a street party in Brixton a few weeks later "the police were kicking off and throwing tear gas around."

"It's how the media perceive it, it's a joke," the caller said.

Maajid acknowledged that "certain communities are affected more than others and that causes resentment," but was hopeful that Johnny's view would help diffuse tensions.

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