A dangerous topic?
Now how about this for a tricky subject, a taboo area most liberal people do not wish to enter.... Being a bit of a fool, I’m going to have a go....
We liberals, the “open minded”, pride ourselves in seeing all humans as equal, whatever their sex, colour or culture. Accepting, no, delighting in others, we adore the multi-cultural mix of modern Britain. Are we fools? Are we blind? Are we akin to Chamberlain wanting to befriend the Nazi? Are we so Politically Correct that we fail to see what is happening in our midst? Are we turning from a silent force which will one day challenge our views.
Having been brought up in Kenya, upon arriving in England I relished working in an inner-city renowned for its high immigrant population. It stimulated me to be mixing and mingling with people from around the world who had completely different takes on life to mine. Being an immigrant myself, I identified more with them than the whites with whom I shared my workspace.
And so listening to the morning radio this week, I was hooked by a lively intelligent and inspiring Muslim politician who said it is accepted in polite circles to make anti-Islamic statements. But I’d heard other things over the radio waves. Last week another British Muslim stated that most liberal Muslims want to be judged under Sharia Law, not British Law. Some months before that it had been admitted by Muslims attending mosques across Britain and Europe that imams are encouraging their congregations to have more children and hence increase their percentage of the population. Once again this year, Mohamed was the most registered boy’s name in Britain, does this mean more Muslim children were born compared to those of all other religions put together?
Apply simple maths to this and it’s possible that not far into the future Hindus, atheists, Christians, humanists, Buddhists and all could be asking to be judged under British, not Sharia Law. That women would have lost their hard gained right to be equal to men? That articles such as this will bring down a fatwa? The problem is complex. Many little things add up to give ordinary people the impression that those who believe in Islam seek to influence the culture and country they have recently move to.
There is a sense of militancy in many young Muslim which worries. A friend accidentally bumped into a woman wearing a headscarf and apologised, she was astound the woman shouted, “Watch it! Soon this will be our land!” You think that by openly debating this, I’m being racist? Well, a Muslim friend told his imam he wished to become a Buddhist. The imam instantly said a fatwa would be placed on his head. When my friend said he wasn’t afraid of death, the imam reminded him fatwas applied to his family too, which made my friend say he was obviously blinded to assume any other faith than Islam was acceptable. The Imam blessed him.
The politician said articles such as this are racists. Yet if you look through my blog history you’ll see I write critically about many subjects, so why is Islam an exception? Yes, there are racists out there, however, this is a topic which needs to be discussed openly so we can reach towards a harmonious future and throwing colour and culture up as smoke screens obscures such a process. This debate is about one group who have recently arrived wanting to impose values from the lands they have left on those who welcomed them.
Afro-Caribbean’s, Hindus, other groups from abroad, do not aim to create a Britain and Europe with values identical to those they left behind. They mix and mingle, creating the rainbow culture we Brits adore. OK, it’s not that simple, but then nothing ever was; ISIS and it’s supporters across Europe have a point - The West has exploited Middle Eastern countries, but those countries exploit their own populations far worse. Why are Muslim refugees from troubled countries not welcomed in so many Muslim countries? Why are we criticised for expecting those we welcome to fit in with our values?
It is not unreasonable to expect them to fit in with our ways, we do this in their lands, indeed we have to. My wife and I met whilst doing charity work in a Muslim country and in genuine respect, without thought, we bent over backwards to suit their traditions in every sense. But wishing to be married, we had to either convert to Islam or be married abroad. There was no compromise. We didn’t expect it, we flew back to Britain and returned to the country after our honeymoon.
Across the world, ten thousand people have been born in the last hour. For twenty five years, the world has been over crowded and now we are at capacity. The overspill affects Europe, attracting people from overcrowded lands where dictatorial rule and even wars rage and people from such troubled places now live amongst us. We bend over backwards to help them integrate. There’s nothing wrong with Islam, with Muslims living amongst us, together we can find a way. We simply hope they respect us, listen to our concerns and drop this wish to increase their population so that one day they will be able to change our societies and recreate Europe to be like the lands they chose to leave.
Taking up this debate, gaining an unbiased awareness of these real problems, is not racism. It is simply seeking common ground and respect. We need to, to protect women’s rights, freedom to think freely, the right to live as we want, we need to. This is democracy. This is sanity.