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There is an urgent need for preparations to contain any outbreak as soon as possible a lesson which should have been learned

Posted on 07 September 2010

There is an urgent need for preparations to contain any outbreak as soon as possible, a lesson which should have been learned from the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001. With regard to the particular risk from captive/feral wildfowl I believe there are a number of measures which should be taken to improve the management of such populations. These include regular veterinary checks for disease, improved hygiene, discouraging the feeding of wildfowl through publicity, contingency plans for closing public access to wildfowl collections and culling any infected populations.VAUGHAN GRANTHAMCARDIFF Sir: As someone from a Muslim background, I find the Muslim Council of Britain’s defence of its right to promote its illiberal views by reference to freedom of speech somewhat disingenuous. Not very long ago many of its members openly supported the murder of Salman Rushdie because he had criticised Islam. The vast majority of Muslims who are moderate now need to move beyond the MCB, which is bringing Islam into disrepute and exacerbating the negative stereotypes that Muslims have to endure.RAZA GRIFFITHSSTROOD, KENTSir: It is Muslims like Faisal Bodi (Opinion, 23 August) who are driving a wedge between themselves and mainstream British society.Mr Bodi claims other religions all see themselves as superior.

As a Jew I see Judaism as different, not better, and I celebrate that difference and respect other religions. I welcome the existence of a Muslim-Jewish Forum in my area and see it as a plank for understanding, not demonising each other. What I cannot accept is the Islamic belief that all other religions are inferior, and the declared endgame which appears to be for Islam to be in control of the world.Nor do I like being called a pig, an ape or a dog by extremists in the name of Islam.JOY WOLFECHEADLE, CHESHIRESir: I applaud The Independent for printing Faisal Bodi’s article “Panorama was a hatchet job on Muslims” (23 August), which I believe captures vividly the real feeling of frustration among Muslims. I agree wholeheartedly that there has been an effort “to keep Muslims and their faith in the blame frame, and our politicians out” by many sectors of the media following the atrocities in London.

Panorama attempted to present anyone with political views as extremist.I have felt dismayed by the isolation of Muslims in recent times. When the first Muslim state schools emerged, the debate about whether faith schools should even exist suddenly arose, despite the operation of other faith schools for decades. When Muslims pushed for religious discrimination laws to protect them, just as Jews and Sikhs have been under race discrimination laws, their efforts were opposed by secularists and comedians. Whenever a Palestinian undertakes a suicide bombing, Muslim representatives are expected to come out in vociferous condemnation. Yet no Jewish leader is held to account for acts of Israeli state terror.Now, as fragile and divided a community as we are, we are beginning to establish a political platform to help represent our rights and interests. Instead of supporting this pro-active step toward integration and development, particularly by the Muslim Council of Britain, Muslims have once again been demonised.

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