Today’s papers report a farcical proposal by Gerard Batten, the UKIP MEP for London, that all Muslims in Britain should sign a code of conduct committing to oppose extremism and violence. Doing so would be as unfair as insisting that all UKIPers should sign a document promising not to call women sluts or blame gay rights for bad weather.
The best response to this kind of absurdity is to show it up for what it is. Syed Kamall, leader of the Conservative group in the European Parliament and one of Batten’s fellow London MEPs, has decided humour is the most effective form of reply.
Here is the text of a letter Syed delivered to Batten today:
I read with interest your intervention on the subject of Islam, seeking written pledges from Muslims that they will not commit acts of violence or indulge in terrorist rhetoric.
Do you have a form I can sign already? I am anxious to assure you that I have no intention of mounting any attacks on unsuspecting infidels, nor of attempting to radicalise you or anyone else.
If the forms aren’t ready yet, perhaps you would take this note as my guarantee? My wife and family would be most reassured to know you will allow me to stay in Britain, especially since I was born here.
Please feel free to drop into my office to discuss this over a cup of tea. I promise you will be entirely safe.
Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament”