YP Letters: How Muslims can help boost integration

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill, Harrogate.

Community integration is in the spotlight following the Casey report.
Community integration is in the spotlight following the Casey report.

THE joint column by Toby Howarth, the Bishop of Bradford, and Leeds imam Qari Asim raises the problem of integration that has beset Bradford and many other cities in the UK for many years (The Yorkshire Post, December 8).

Religion appears to be one of the problems which prevent inter-community integration and problems between Sunni and Shi’ite communities in Muslim countries and clearly demonstrates how complicated the task of integration really is.

Inter-community integration could be helped by Muslim parents allowing their children the opportunity to experience social life outside the community. It could also be helped by Muslim parents allowing their sons and daughters the right to choose to marry a partner of their choice – regardless of religion.

It would appear that in countries where religion becomes an essential part of national identity, integration is threatened. I have met many people but cannot remember asking any one what their religious faith was.

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

BORIS Johnson has spoken about the “Proxy War” taking place in the Middle East; Sunni Saudi Arabia against Shia Iran. How sad that he is being, and will be, criticised for telling the world the truth of what goes on between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Diplomacy is important, of course; what a shame that morals and ethics have to give in to inter-Muslim rivalry. The sooner the Middle East runs out of oil, the better. Foreign secretaries will then be able to speak truth openly.

From: Robert Dring, Keal Cotes, Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

GP Taylor supports the promotion of “British values” (e.g. tolerance) in our schools yet advocates “the closing of all faith-based schools” and asserts that, “in secondary schools God should be left at the door” (The Yorkshire Post, December 7). This doesn’t sound very tolerant!

“British values” seems a rather smug, secular, nationalistic and self-congratulatory phrase which deliberately avoids reference to the Man from Galilee whose teachings have inspired so much that is good in our heritage, including the very foundation of our national education system.

We’re waiting to see you, PM

From: Stewart Arnold, Leader, Yorkshire Party, Station Street, Meltham, Holmfirth.

THERE has been much discussion on social media as to whether the expensive leather trousers Theresa May is wearing in a recent photo opportunity are appropriate. That’s for others to decide.

What we at the Yorkshire Party were most interested in was Mrs May’s comment in the accompanying article where she said: “I believe it is important for politicians to get out and about and that’s what I continue to do.”

Well, Prime Minister, we in Yorkshire are still waiting for a visit. It is now 150 days since you assumed office and you have not once set foot in God’s Own County. We have a lot to tell you, whether it’s about fracking, HS2, flood defences, education, Brexit, to name but a few topics. You are still welcome any time, but your continued absence is starting to look like a lack of respect.

Economy has eyes on future

From: Richard Tice, Co-chairman, Leave Means Leave, Tufton Street, London.

I WAS thrilled to learn that the University of Huddersfield is set to establish a £30m manufacturing research centre, one of six new hubs which will put the UK at the forefront of high-tech innovation in the global economy.

A similar centre in Sheffield is already world-class, achieving major technological breakthroughs working with major global companies, and Huddersfield’s commitment to pushing the pace of innovation just goes to show that while politicians might be preoccupied with the imagined problems of Brexit, the real economy is keeping its eyes on future opportunities.

Those opportunities already look abundant, with Britain’s digital strength putting us right in the top five of the Indigo Index, measuring the potential of 152 countries in the future economy. The Osborne Treasury’s predictions of an “immediate and profound shock” as a result of the Brexit vote have begun to look very premature indeed.

Leeds Council needs a shake-up

From: Dr Michael Lowry, Leeds.

LEEDS City Council, according to Coun Judith Blake, needs to save £75.3m by 2018 – and slash up to 800 jobs – owing to a combination of reduced Government funding and pressures on services. How about including incompetence in there somewhere?

The fact that the council allows building on known flood sites such as Soggy Bottom in Cookridge, and then at the same time looks to spend more of flood defences, underpins the dreadfully wasteful and incompetent mismanagement of the affairs of citizens of Leeds – who now face a significant rise 
in their rates.

Time for the installation of some intelligent officers for a change.