It’s the age old story, or rather the story of the age when someone who writes a book giving their impressions of somewhere ends up embroiled in a ‘race hate’ campaign for describing a part of Leicester…
Celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright has caused outrage after claiming that visiting a Muslim area of Leicester was ‘the most frightening experience of her life’.
Writing in her new book, Clarissa’s England, she said visiting the city — which has a large Asian population — made her feel like a ‘pariah and an outcast in the middle of my own country.’
And when questioned on her description by a local newspaper, she fumed: ‘I’m surprised any of the people who might object could read what I wrote as it is written in English.’
But the overweight chef adds that there’s an ‘upside’ to everything — and is at least thankful for the large number of Asian restaurants in the city.
Her description of the town has caused outrage.
She wrote: ‘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.
‘None of the men would talk to me when I tried to find out where I was and how to get out of there because I was an English female and they don’t talk to females they don’t know, while if the women could speak English they weren’t about to show it by having a word with me.
Having been lost in strange towns I sort of understand her feelings, though being lost in a strange town in England and being unable to be understood or simply ignored must have been quite the experience. Of course if this happens you aren’t allowed to write about it in your book without facing the usual cries of ‘racism’ and bigotry, despite accurately (probably) describing what happened.
Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, and a city imam, said: ‘How can she judge an entire community on her one-off rare time of getting lost in Leicester?
I suspect that question needs to be aimed at your own community Mr. Mogra, why were the ones she ran across so bloody ignorant? Could it be that they thought their religion gave them the right to ignore a woman? Or simply that they were pig ignorant?
‘When she says that she was in the ‘centre of a city in the centre of her own country, I take objection. This is also my country and this is also my city.
‘I would like to call on Leicester people to be even more welcoming and hospitable than we’ve been so far.’
From the impression she got that doesn’t strike me as being too hard to do, simply replying to a request for aid would be a good start.
Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: ‘That is the sort of thing that makes me very angry — when someone breezes in from outside and paints a picture of Leicester that does not have any foundation in reality.
So she’s lying? Somehow I think not, though a quick check of Mayor Soulsby’s credentials tells you a lot about him, mostly that he was the Labour MP for the area, the same Labour who allowed mass uncontrolled immigration and created the ghetto’s Ms. Dickson Wright found and described quite accurately.
I’m tired of whenever anyone criticise a minority group they get tarred with the racism brush, particularly when no racism is implied and it’s entirely in the mind of those who see it everywhere anyway.
Perhaps the political classes and community leaders in Leicester need to have a real good look at what they’ve created in their city.
Or would it be racist to suggest such a thing?