Following up on yesterday’s post about Luton and extremism, I thought I would link to a few articles giving personal views on the issue from people who live or grew up in the town.
The first is from BBC News communities reporter Niki Cardwell who asks “Is Luton a breeding ground for terrorists?“;
“I love Luton. There, I’ve said it and I’m not ashamed. I’m a Luton girl through and through…….The sad thing is that I don’t recognise the town that has once again hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.”
Second is writer and broadcaster Sarfraz Manzoor who focuses on what he sees as the problems faced by the town and as a result gives a somewhat negative view, “Luton has come to embody the failures of multiculturalism“;
“So what has gone wrong in my home town? There are no simple answers but I would cite three main factors: education, economics and representation.”
Finally, I am including the letter published in yesterday’s Guardian that was written in response to Sarfraz’s article by my colleague and leader of the Liberal Democrats on Luton Borough Council, David Franks, “Positive messages from Luton“;
“We have our fair share of extremists of all persuasions, and where I agree with Manzoor is in his final paragraph: “There is another side to Luton and after this week there has never been a more urgent time for its voice to be heard.”
He does not, however, explain why its voice is not being heard. It’s certainly not because the imams and other leading Muslims are not speaking out against the small numbers of religious extremists. They are doing so – but they are not heard outside Luton because their message does not fit the image of Luton many in the media want to portray.”
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.