Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has said that it is “lazy and wrong” to suggest that the Paris attacks have nothing to do with Islam. Javid, who is himself of Muslim heritage, also said that the Muslim community has a “special burden” to tackle extremism within its community.
Speaking on Radio 5 Live during Pienaar’s Politics, Mr Javid said: “There is no getting away from the fact that the people carrying out these acts – what we have seen just horrifically this week in Paris, what has happened in London and Madrid – these people call themselves Muslims.
“The lazy answer would be to say that this has got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Muslims and that should be the end of that. That would be lazy and wrong. You can’t get away from the fact that these people are using Islam, taking a peaceful religion and using it as a tool to carry out their activities.”
He has also told Sky’s Murnaghan program: “He told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: “All communities can do more to try and help and deal with terrorists, try and help track them down, but I think it is absolutely fair to say that there is a special burden on Muslim communities, because whether we like it or not, these terrorists call themselves Muslims.
“It is no good for people to say they are not Muslims, that is what they call themselves. They do try to take what is a great peaceful religion and warp it for their own means.”
Mr Javid, who has been tipped by some as the possible next leader of the Conservative Party, was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, and later moved with his family to Bristol. His father is a bus driver of Pakistani heritage. His wife Laura is a practicing Christian; in 2012 Javid told the Evening Standard “She goes to church more often than I go to mosque.”
During the last election, during a hustings located within a church, in answer to a question on personal faith Mr Javid replied “My own family’s heritage is Muslim. Myself and my four brothers were brought up to believe in God, but I do not practise any religion.
“My wife is a practising Christian and the only religion practised in my house is Christianity. I think we should recognise that Christianity is the religion of our country.”
And in May 2014 he told the Telegraph “there is no place for Sharia law in British law.”