The air of liberal desperation over Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain is reminiscent of the fuss when a fan was spotted in a hijab at the Bradford City v Aston Villa league cup semi final in 2013. The normally composed journalist Jim White declared that this sight was the 'key to the future of the game'.
As with that case, and the better known international furore over Malala Yousafzai, Nadiya Hussain's spell is cast solely by the hijab, and liberal dreams of a progressive, integrated Islam. Without it, she serves no purpose in terms of political utility. If she took it off, for liberal elites the effect would be the same as the clock striking midnight in the story of Cinderella. Can anyone imagine Angelina Jolie visiting Malala if she started wearing jeans and a baseball cap whilst chasing boys in Birmingham?
A more inclusive Britain? Only providing Nadiya Hussain remains in her designated role can liberal Britons keep convincing themselves that everything is going to be alright. That you can have more and more religious sections of our cities, and at the same time have a high degree of personal freedom, social cohesion and integration. The desperation with which some launch themselves at Bradford fan Amina Qureshi, Malala Yousafzai and now Nadiya Hussain are signs of weakness, not strength, of hope over experience. It is not Britain that liberal elites are trying to convince - it is themselves.