In the last decade there seems to have been a competition in Britain among the pundits of the far right wing. The object of this competition to see who can come up with the most outrageous statements insulting the Muslim faith.
Among these people that have made a living pandering to the xenophobic segment of the British population few have done this as well as Melanie Phillips.
The extent of some of her statements to the press and in her writing has reached the ridiculous. If one were to listen to Melanie Phillips in a vacuum one many think that the United Kingdom has been overrun by brown immigrants from countries of the third world; their only intent the total destruction of the British way of life. If Melanie Phillips is telling the truth, the Muslims have infiltrated the major governments of the world. All the prime ministers and presidents in America and Western Europe are “secret Muslims” intent on carrying out a sinister plan. A sinister plan whose aim is to replace systematically the white British population with immigrants from the Middle East. If one were to take Melanie Phillips seriously, it would be increasingly clear that the Muslims despise everything British; that the trains will no longer run on time but will be replaced with camels, the fish and chips will be replaced by hummus, and all women will be locked up if they refuse to cover themselves from head to toe with a burka.
The fact is, the lies of Melanie Phillips and other right wing pundits like her have reached such an extreme of ridicule that it is now impossible to distinguish between parody and fact. This is actually a good thing for Muslims. Statements that at first carried with them a degree of journalistic authority have gradually been recognized by many for what they are, hysterical ranting designed to frighten the elderly and conservative. Ridiculous lies that are only meant for lining her pockets and taking advantage of the anti-Muslim sentiment that has been prevalent in the United Kingdom due to the terrorist attacks by an extremist few.
At this point, the damage to Islam's image has been done and will be quite difficult to reverse. However, it is in Muslim's best interest for raving lunatics like Melanie Phillips and her ilk to go ahead and continue with their xenophobic rantings. They have reached a point where it is increasingly clear to everyone that they cannot possibly mean what they say. We are rapidly approaching a point where the things they believe and the things that those that mock them say are becoming too similar to tell apart. As Muslims, let us learn to laugh at the silliness of her remarks. The best weapon in our fight is not violence, which will only stoke the fires of their hate, but ridicule.
-- Al Arabiya Digital