A few days ago, Gordon Brown appointed the comparatively sensible Muslim Shahid Malik as the UK's first Muslim government minister. Now David Cameron has gone one better (or, more accurately, one worse) and appointed Sayeeda Warsi as the shadow communities secretary. Warsi was defeated by Shahid Malik in the contest for Dewsbury at the last general election, and so she will enter the House of Lords in order to fulfill her role.
What does this mean? Well, it means that we have one extra Muslim in our parliament, and it means that the shadow cabinet now has a Muslim serving in it. Should the Tories win the next general election, it is likely that Warsi would become the first ever Muslim cabinet minister - a quite horrific thought, and another reason not to vote for them.
However, aside from Warsi's own status as a Muslim, she is a quite undesirable person to be appointed to senior office. In April, for example, I reported on her joint-authorship of a report for the left-wing Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, in which she proposed that illegal immigrants should be granted the right to work, pending deportation. So the Tories, the party of Enoch Powell, now have on their front-bench a woman who believes that illegal immigrants (criminals) have too few rights.
In addition, Warsi has received the backing of some unsavoury characters in the past. In 2005, one of the supporters of her campaign to become MP for Dewsbury was Lord Ahmed, a man who was quoted in the Telegraph describing the 9/11 terrorists as "martyrs". Although the accuracy of this translation may be disputed, Ahmed has in many other ways shown his extremist sympathies (such as, for example, his decision to host, at the House of Lords, the launch of a book written by the rabid anti-Semite "Israel Shamir"). Warsi welcomed his support.
Essentially, if Sayeeda Warsi was a Christian she would be unfit to serve in the shadow cabinet. The fact that she is a Muslim is itself enough to render her unfit for such a position. Taking her various deficiencies collectively, this appointment is one of the most ridiculous that even David Cameron has yet made.