A leading expert on Islam has discovered that Muslim clerics in Oldham have given platforms to Taliban politicians and Kashmiri guerrillas. Speaking on Premier Christian Radio, Anthony McRoy, a lecturer in Islamic studies, said that the media depiction of events in Oldham as 'race riots' was too simplistic. In fact the riots were instigated by Muslim youths who attacked the person and premises of whites, Carribeans and Hindus. In one case, the West Indian Centre in Oldham was fire-bombed by Muslims. Local Imans had recently brought in representatives of the Taliban regime of Afghanistan and Kashmiri Guerrillas to speak in mosques in the town. This would only encourage the criminal element of Muslim youth.
Asked by John Pantry, the presenter on Premier, to comment on the media perception that the British National Party had incited the riots, Mr McRoy said that this was not the impression he had gained after speaking to a wide range of people in Oldham. The BNP had no presence in the town before trouble began to brew two years ago. They had not incited but had certainly exploited the events and were now the only people to offer any kind of response - a form of segregation which Mr McRoy did not support - to what had become an intractable situation. Again pressed by Mr Pantry to support the idea that with mutual respect, different cultures could co-exist, Mr McRoy declined, saying that in his opinion, the level of respect from the Muslims for cultures different from their own was very limited.