Tory peer's book on British Muslims makes publishing history with serialisation on Twitter

A CONTROVERSIAL book about Britain's Muslim community, by the Yorkshire peer Sayeeda Warsi, will next week become the first publication to be serialised on Twitter.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi

Baroness Warsi will host a debate on what she calls “the enemy within” on the social media platform, with links to a website containing extracts from her 400-page volume.

She said she had chosen Twitter over a traditional newspaper serialisation “to engage a more diverse audience”.

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Her publisher said it was her own idea to go ahead, despite the threat from online trolls.

Baroness Warsi, who was Britain’s first minister for faith and the first Muslim to serve in the Cabinet, says in the book that being a British Muslim for the past decade has been “a brutal affair”.

The former Conservative Party chairman accuses governments of “alienating the very people they should be trying to get on side” in the way they have presented the image of Islamic terrorists.

But she also says Muslim communities have made mistakes.

The book’s publicity reads: “Britain has often found groups within its borders whom it does not trust, whom it feels have a belief, culture, practice or agenda which runs contrary to those of the majority.”

Baroness Warsi said: “Despite the kind offer of a newspaper serialization, I have chosen Twitter to introduce my story in my way, available to all, free of charge, anywhere in the world.

“I believe serializing in this way will engage a more diverse audience and promote an interactive debate online as well as constructive conversations offline.”

A spokesman for her publisher, Allen Lane, which will release the book on March 30, said: “Of course there is a risk associated with Twitter. But it was Sayeeda’s own idea to do this.

“Her argument in the book is that there are malicious people out there who are aggressive to Muslim communities, and one of the things she wants to do is reframe the whole argument so that there is more of an understanding of where the malice comes from.”

Baroness Warsi’s own career has been peppered with controversy.

Gay rights activists accused her in 2005 of publishing homophobic views in an election pamphlet. In 2012 she apologised for failing to declare rental income in the House of Lords’ register of interests. Two years later, she resigned from the government over its policy on the Gaza conflict.

Her first Twitter post will appear on Monday, at her feed, @sayeedawarsi.