May 08, 2009

Muslims: beyond the caricature

A survey about the attitudes of Muslims in the West reveals a loyal community, keen on integration – far from the usual stereotypes, and specifically in Britain. You don't believe me? Fine, but it's not me who said so, but somebody else with impeccable credentials, namely Shelina Zahra Janmohamed (picture left). Shelina Zahra Janmohamed's credentials, mind you, are not just appearing on her head, but on a regular basis in the Al Guardian as well, among them gems of journalist excellence like Let Muslim women speak ("Every man that is held up as an example has a woman by his side ... who is exemplary in her own right: Adam with Eve, Rachael with Moses, Mohamed with his wife Khadijah [and several others, among them a child]") or Beyond the bounds of religion ("Muslims should see Gaza not as a tragedy for the Islamic world, but for all human beings"). Her interpretation of a recent Gallup poll is equally up to any journalistic quality standard:
According to a Gallup poll released yesterday, only half of the UK population identifies itself as very strongly British. And in Germany only 32% of the general public feels that way about being German. Who then identifies most strongly with their nation, reaching a whopping 77% in the UK? Muslims.
Given the country Britain has become, this doesn't appear entirely improbable. For example with a Justice Secretary (Jack Straw) who had called for a redefinition of Englishness and hinted that the "global baggage of empire" was linked to soccer violence by "racist and xenophobic white males" and that the English "propensity for violence" was used to subject Ireland, Scotland and Wales by that "potentially very aggressive" English race.

Picture: Getty Images
Traces of the strong identification of Muslims with Britain in London 2005.

Or with a government that is pressing ahead legislation aimed at criminalising non-PC jokes, with a maximum punishment of up to seven years' prison, with a 10-year-old child having been arrested and brought before a judge for having called an 11-year-old "Paki" and "Bin Laden" in a playground tiff at a primary school already. The other boy had called him a skunk and a Teletubby, but that was alright. With a Navy, that has installed a satanist chapel in a warship to accommodate a satanist crew member. Satanist paraphernalia is also supplied to prison inmates, and talking about prisons, those have been quite a while ago already equipped with new toilets so Muslim inmates don’t have to use them while facing Mecca. And, not to forget, with a member of the upper house who gets his voice heard:
When I found out that Geert Wilders was planning to come to Britain and that Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson wanted to show his film, I wrote to the Home Office, the leader of the House of Lords and Black Rod to say that his presence would lead to the incitement of religious and racial hatred, which constitutes a public order offence.
Yes, taking all that into consideration, it is really not all that amazing that "a whopping 77% [of Muslims] in the UK" identify with this -- with their -- nation.

Proud Brits in full fly: Lord Ahmed demonstrating his strong identification with Britain.

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