I only make this observation because in the weeks since Israel launched its campaign to destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Muslim "spokespeople" in Britain have once again made it perfectly clear to the UK government that if their opinions on foreign policy are not listened to, they can't promise the community won't make them heard in a rather more explosive way. And the government is listening.
In 2005, the Muslim Council of Britain performed this trick. This year it has been played by the Quilliam Foundation, a new government-funded Muslim organisation which has already received £800,000 from the Home and Foreign Offices claims to be moderate but turns out to have the same old attitudes vis-à-vis our foreign policy as the last set of self-appointed Muslim leaders.
The Quilliam Foundation - and other Muslim groups - demanded to meet the Foreign Secretary. So, naturally, on 12 January David Milliband met them. A few days earlier, QF's directors along with a number of other Muslim "spokespeople" wrote to the prime minister, threatening that unless Britain changed its foreign policy, distanced itself from the US and changed its relationship with Israel, then they couldn't promise that young Muslims experiencing a "loss of faith in the political process" might not simply detonate out of exasperation.