Posted by: secretperson | November 29, 2007

Islam in Britain

Now I am an atheist and have always been cynical about religion and especially extremist religion. I have been worried particularly about the place of Islam in Britain (one day I hope to worry about it in England!). With a growing Muslim population and seemingly growing extremism within it, I saw a bleak future of division and civil unrest.

The situation is not helped by the government. Instead of treating Muslims as individuals or even as constituents to an MP, they dealt with them as a block, represented by unelected ‘community spokesmen’ or groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). This approach naturally encourages seperatism, especially as the MCB have a very conservative interpretation of Islam. I have no idea whether or not this is representative.

Articles like this, an interview with the MCB’s leader Dr Abdul Bari, do neither the MCB nor Muslims any favours. In it Dr Bari says

Is stoning ever justified? “It depends what sort of stoning and what circumstances,” he replies. “When our prophet talked about stoning for adultery he said there should be four [witnesses] – in realistic terms that’s impossible. It’s a metaphor for disapproval.”

without mentioning that these four witnesses must be male, or that these are the same four male witnesses a woman requires to accuse someone of rape, or face being considered the guilty party.

There has been a tendency to lay all the blame for poor Muslim non-Muslim relations at the feet of non-Muslims. People are told not to criticise for fear of stoking Islamophobia. There was an ‘Islam is Peace’ campaign, aimed not at those who would kill in the name of Islam, but at the rest of us, to persuade us they are peaceful afterall.

However there have been reports this week that give me hope for a better future. Although the MCB’s Inayat Bunglawala seemed more concerned about Sudan’s international reputation in this piece than the woman in question, the MCB have come out condemning her arrest. This is the English teacher working in the Sudan, who is facing court for calling a class teddy bear Mohammed, following a vote by the children. Apparently this counts as making an image of the prophet, which is forbidden. Although this is bad for a woman who has gone over there to help people, and the British government must do everything to ensure their citizen’s safety, I think it pales in comparison compared to the genocide in Darfur. The important point for this article is that the MCB have come out and condemned it unequivocally.

The other good news is the establishment of a body to regulate mosques. This is a collaboration of a number of Muslim organisations, including the MCB, and aims to stop extremists hijacking mosques and abusing their position to radicalise youth. This is exactly the step Islam in Britain needs to be taking, the best way to tackle Islamophobia is not to criticise the supposed Islamophobes but to tackle the root causes. Denying the existence of extremism is not the answer.

When I as a football fan, for example, am searched by police on entering a ground I don’t blame the police, I blame those who would cause violence inside. I am angry at racists, such as the BNP for giving nationalism a bad name. There seems to be a recognition that Muslims are doing the same and looking inwards to those who give them a bad name. I may be unfair, and it has in fact only just hit the media, but the perception is important and I hope this is the first step to more convivial relations in Britain. I commend the government and the MCB on a good move.

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Responses

  1. I’m afraid that my outlook regarding islam in England, and in all western liberal countries, is pretty bleak. Our ideals and theirs will never be compatible, and, as they put religion above law, I can’t see anything improving. I think we should live in seperate countries, and we should get out of theirs, but how to unravel this mess, especially with the middle-class liberals here seemingly hell-bent on supporting islam to the detriment of our society, I have no idea. We have to keep fighting for free speech, and challenging cries of ‘racism’ when there is no racism there. Look at what is happening to Bardot in France -charged with racism for being concerned about islamic practices and speaking out. Most of the people I know are very concerned about islam, but I wouldn’t describe any of us as racist. The fact that we can’t freely address our concerns, or speak out, is causing much festering and frustration. I don’t want to have to join the far right – its not for me, but so far they are the only people who are speaking about muslims and the problems they are causing here, which will only get worse.

  2. Brigitte Bardot? I blogged about her only yesterday!

    I think many people have concerns about Islam, and the support given to extremists by the likes of Ken Livingstone is disgraceful. But I don’t think we can throw them all out!

    Ethnically mixed communities invariably have tensions, and the rapid pace of immigration doesn’t allow for the natural coming together that occurs when people living in the same space realise that gives them common interests.

    But let us not think that the far-right are the answer, let us be the answer. The BNP’s racial hang-ups wouldn’t allow them to deal with the real cultural issues. There are a few things we could do:

    1. Make it clear that the law is paramount, and all are equal under the law – no persecution of or pussy footing around “minority groups”. When we speak out against, say, forced marriage, we are speaking out for young girls as victims, not against other cultures.

    2. Don’t allow ourselves to be shouted down with cries of “racism”. We are getting to a stage where most people see through this, we must be strong in our opinions and have confidence.

    3. Be proud of our culture and history. How are new comers to feel part of this country, when even people here don’t seem too. And I don’t mean Britishness tests, Statements of Values and Oaths of Allegiance. Just normal human pride in your home without fear of accusation. If we are out having fun on St George’s day, people of all backgrounds will join in and learn there is much to be proud of in England.

    Just a few ideas, the future need not be bleak! Whatever happens I will stay and fight to make England better.

  3. the islam trick to avoid democratic laws is the same the germans do when they try to avoid racism or the americans do when they want to start a war. there is always an acting party, in our cases, the terrorist, the racist or the warmachine and on the other side is the neglecting party, the one always closing their eyes not seeing any backwardness, racism or war. but one thing both parties have in common, they support their agenda! islam, fascism or whatever military industrial.
    unless we define the evil we can´t fight it!

    by the way! americans dragged many asses out of shit;)

  4. If people would more talk about what is right and wrong, which law is current in that or this country. that freedom of speech etc. has to stay before freedom of religion because of this and that argument and things like this, and if the muslim people would be spefically tought about the origins of their religion, the government would arrange to built up places where people of persecution especially religious one could find shelter things could get better.
    but i know that there is a huge violence in the muslim community against such acts or people who think different, therefore the society must harden their laws. i do not think to cut off limbs like in saudi arabia, but if the society acts more against intolerance, and other small offence, there is a chance that people like them do not find a safe haven.

    i know that many of the 9/11 were high educated students, most of them never in any conflict, that these middle class people might be dangerous, but please keep in mind, that many even if not acting support the agenda! therefore there must be some sort of special treatment, the country is in war!

    orwell 84 is reality! thanks to terrorism, freedom has been lost with almost noone fighting for its preservation! to me this is fact, that islam and democracy oppose each other!

  5. So the Irish are not terrorists they are fighting for their liberty? The massacre of British soldiers by Moshe Dyan & other Jews was not terrorism they too were fighting for their freedom? The Lavon affair, the torpedoing of the USS Liberty the Kind David massacres by Mossad were simply acts of ‘self-preservation’? Our soldiers are in Afghanistan & Iraq for what reason? Where are the WMDs? As claimed by the Americans and for which reason our boys die each day? We, as did the French (and still do), spent decades in Muslim countries where we did not just rape, loot and pillage but left an indelible imprint of our culture on not just their social structure, but even replaced their minarets and mosques (which we bombed), with our grand old English buildings. As nice as they look over there, did not the Muslims resent the destruction of their culture and way of life and even their buildings? And the idiot Mandy McCartin opining here claims to concur with the aging 60’s porn star, Barodt? Whose only claim to fame is for spreading her legs wide through which an entire generation has passed – repeatedly? And now that this old hag & tart is falling apart, she has nothing better to do but leap on the Muslim-hate-and-bashing bandwagon? The average Muslim child fares far better in school than our children do. Is it because they are cheating on a grand scale? Muslims in the UK, as elsewhere, are more entrepreneurial & resourceful than we shall ever be, create jobs, and contribute much more to state coffers than we do. May be they have an ‘evil’ money making secret linked to the devil? Let’s ask the Americans and their fuckingly grotesque Evangelists – they would know. Let’s face it. We can choose to be utter fucking idiots like the Americans or be more pragmatic and move with times. England will never be pure white. Throw out the browns and you shall see us unemployed whites queuing outside unemployment offices and our lazy louts farting all day at pubs. The day we become humble, accept the mistakes made by our various mad forays in Muslim lands accept our blatant dripping hypocrisy and the fact that we are almost all inherently racists and need to change that, we seriously can’t expect God to be smiling on us can we? Leave Muslims in their countries to do as they will. Respect those who are here and give them credit for what they have achieved and contributed. Piss on Americans for keeping us blind and stupid. Shun everything American starting with the bloody ‘American Football’. What have the Americans to show for their diplomacy in Muslim countries? Nothing more than a history of utter lies, brutal torture, murder, slaughter and rape of children, women and even men which they still continue to carry on with impunity, knowing full well, as do the Israeli thugs that no one dare oppose them or call them out. Muslims state that they say they are here because we were there – so bloody true. Admit it and live with it in peace. There are idiots and morons in every ethnic group and religion. There are no murderers, thieves, crooks and thugs amongst us white Christians and Jews? When governments engineer settlement dynamics of immigrants, concentrating them in slums, denying them jobs and opportunities and the police look aside when the locals bash and brutalise them, the next generation are certain to look at their parents with resentment for not fighting back. This is the case in the slums of Bradford as elsewhere, where the gangs are 2nd and 3rd generation kids, very angry for all that their immigrant parents endured. To claim that Muslims are the cause for all our misery is just incredibly bloody stupid and exposes one’s utter shameful ignorance. We smash their stores. Bash & stab their kids and women – because they can’t fight back. Curse them on sight. Spit at them. Laugh when our kids urinate and defecate on their door steps, and yet ‘we’ are the civilised ones and they ought to go back? I hope our lasses all marry Muslims lads. At least they will be far happier than with our lazy, useless, racist, drunken, dumb-as-shit white yobs.

  6. Abigail – that is quite a rant, and mostly complete nonsense. Yes there exist non-Islamic terrorists. I will still criticise the Islamic ones and the others.

    I don’t think our imperial presence many years ago excuses Muslims of responsibility for their current actions. They are not idiots who must mindlessly react to provocation, give them some credit!

    Bardot isn’t bashing Muslims she is supporting animal rights. She doesn’t feel their is a cultural cop-out on her beliefs. Criticism of some Islamic practices cannot be off the table just because they feel under threat.

    Are you just ranting in general about Americans and Israelis. Yes war in Iraq was wrong, but I don’t believe there are non-stop rapes etc.

    No-one is calling for an all White Britain. “we are almost all inherently racists” – your slating of White people reveals some pretty bad (self-hating?) racism. The government doesn’t deny immigrants jobs, there are plenty of anti-racist laws in place.

    Muslims don’t out perform “our children” in school, you just made that up. Nor are they more enterprising. If you’d said Hindus you might have a point, as Indians outperform Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants. You are clearly making up rubbish to support your pro-Muslim anti-White stance.

    “lazy, useless, racist, drunken, dumb-as-shit white yobs.”

    Well I think with that sort of dumb-as-shit and racist comment we can all see where you are coming from. Idiot.


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