We need tolerance, not racist rhetoric

Sir, Jim Fletcher's letter, printed in the advertiser of July 30, is as unhelpful as it is bigoted.

He accuses those who 'thought up this ridiculous word [Islamaphobia] in the first place' of racism (and later claims that he is not a racist, or a member of the BNP: 'Nothing could be further from the truth'). Though what exactly conflating Islam with the 'cowardly Islamic London bombers' could otherwise be called I do not know.

Though I believe Mr Fletcher's claim not to be a member of the BNP, he indulges in all of their rhetoric, as he tells us that he is part of the 'silent majority' and accuses those who disagree with him of 'Britophobia'.

The ever despicable Marlene Guest recalls the charming story of a 'young child who was petrified and had to be dragged screaming onto a bus where two burka-clad women had front seats'.

Ms Guest, it appears, has not outgrown this childish fear and prejudice. Rotherham has the potential to be a wonderful, vibrant, welcoming town, but letters, and beliefs, such as these do nothing but harm.

Mr Fletcher, at the end of his letter, claims that he believes 'in a fully integrated society', an entirely worthy belief, and speaks of 'all things decent which have been fought for over the centuries in Britain'.

I absolutely agree with him, though I believe that these 'things decent' are virtues such as tolerance, consideration, sympathy and freedom. All of which Mr Fletcher appears yet to discover.

Andrew Griffin

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