…. I’m sick and tired of this relentless hostility towards Muslims; the negative headlines; the climate of fear and suspicion; the constant collective blaming. As one of only a handful of commentators who happen to be Muslim, I have spent the past decade appearing on TV and radio panels and phone-ins to try and challenge anti-Muslim bigotry on the one hand, and violent extremism on the other.
How emotionally exhausting, how dispiriting and demoralising it is to have to publicly affirm your “Britishness” and your “moderation” again and again.
…. The self-styled jihadists offer confused and angry young Britons a sense of identity and belonging. How do “we” – Britons, Muslims, officials, members of the public – offer something better? More inclusive?
In 2007 a fresh-faced MP spent two days at the home of a Muslim family in Birmingham and then wrote boldly of how it wasn’t possible to “bully people into feeling British: we have to inspire them”; “you can’t even start to talk about a truly integrated society while people are suffering racist … abuse … on a daily basis”.
He continued: “By using the word ‘Islamist’ to describe the threat, we actually help do the terrorist ideologues’ work for them.” If only the David Cameron of 2015 would heed the advice of the David Cameron of 2007. [Mehdi Hasan, 1382 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 291 votes] I am sorry Britain has not been “inspiring enough” for the author of this article to support it! But does he have no awareness whatsoever that the British people who have hosted him and millions of his co-religionists are sick of being physically threatened with death, abused, hated and taken for a general ride by him?
He blames the rest of us! But the sheer level of acceptance of violence against us hosts by his community is breathtaking! He does nothing whatsoever to address that here. There is little hope that a peaceful resolution to this massive problem of terrorist attacks on British soil can be found if an attitude of both victimhood and blame by him persist like this.
Just grow up and confront the violent message that is constantly preached up and down the country. And stop blaming “non-believers” (kafirs I think you call them), otherwise the future looks grim indeed, and terrorism will continue unabated against a Britain that this author seems to both blame and hate.
[2ND 258] Well if you think that’s bad try being an atheist or a Christian or an apostate in many Muslim countries.
The fact is that you have chosen to follow a belief system that manifests itself across much of the world through totalitarianism, persecution of minorities, violence against non-believers and suppression of free speech.
You can do all the radio interviews you like and write all the columns you can about how moderate most Muslims are, but you can’t change the fact that across huge swathes of the planet the most terrible evils are carried out in the name of the religion you follow. I do feel sorry for moderate Muslims having to confront this fact every day of their lives, but I suggest perhaps your anger is pointed in the wrong direction.
[3RD 226] “The London bombings, in fact, opened the floodgates to what has become a familiar litany of condemnation and demonisation: honour killings, sharia law, halal slaughter, FGM, gender segregation, the face veil, child sex grooming.”
Can you blame people for being concerned about this? Also ask yourself this question honestly – how many mosques throughout Europe and the ME have their congregations chanting “death to [insert whatever group]”? This I think is one of the root causes people view islam with such suspicion.
[4TH 222] Mehdi points out that Muslims are often suspected of being hostile to the British way of life.
Unfortunately survey after survey has shown that many British Muslims are indeed hostile. Surveys show that a significant minority support terrorism, believe apostates should be executed, want the introduction of full Sharia into Britain and so on.
That is where the problem lies
[5TH 218] The vast, vast majority of Muslims follow elements of the Koran that promote brotherhood and understanding. Islam is a part of their lives that is completely compatible to being a decent human being.
A significant minority though have developed a world view that is bigoted, racist, violent and medieval – this world view is taken from a literal reading of the same book. You cannot ignore the fact that Islamists are called islamists because the Koran is their guidebook to not only a private religious life, but how society should be run. This is a recipe for disaster as we have seen.
Also this passage here: “The London bombings, in fact, opened the floodgates to what has become a familiar litany of condemnation and demonisation … wherever you turn, it seems, those dastardly Muslims pose a threat to you, your families and your way of life.”
Sorry but why the snarky tone? I don’t think the things you mention pose a threat to me – but some DO pose a threat to poor kids growing up in families where a literal translation of the Koran is used to raise a family. What you describe is child abuse, and this is carried out under the guise of religion.
Now I’m sorry you feel picked on (you’re first thought on 7/7 was “We’re screwed? How compassionate) but Islam as an idea cannot be given a pass just because people like you try to tie religion to race (“perhaps second or third generation Muslim”? Don’t the kids get a choice? Ah yes, the price of apostasy is death).
Treating someone differently or objectifying someone because of the colour of their skin is racism. But face up to flaws of slavishly following a medieval book as a guide to living in the 21st century please
[6TH 215] Business as usual then Mehdi, Muslims must remain the victims at all times and jihad is nothing to do with Islam.
When are you going to wake up and smell the coffee?
[7TH 215] I don’t support the demonisation and persecution of Muslims in Britain. But I’d much rather be a Muslim in Britain than I would be a Christian in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt or really any Muslim country in the world. Strangely, Muslim governments don’t tend to be generous and sympathetic towards the rights of religious minorities in their own countries. [Guardian Cif] Read more