The Guardian view on Muslims in the west: marginalised by mistrust

David Cameron has talked about ditching “the passive tolerance of recent years”, and moving towards a “much more active, muscular liberalism”, which makes for good headlines, but could also trigger the systematic suspicion that’s so unhelpful.

The mooted definition of extremism is opposition to “fundamental British values”, which only patriotically fundamentalist historians would pretend this country has always measured up to. “Mutual respect and tolerance”, for example, is listed as one such value, and reactionary attitudes towards homosexuality are increasingly held to be a warning sign in schools.

…. The need is for a different language that talks to diverse society – a language that can condemn the vicious nihilism of Isis without lapsing into the sort of nationalism that could sound like chauvinism in disaffected Muslim communities; a language that allows the state to balance the objective of a happily integrated society with its duty to defend itself. That language exists: it is the language of international human rights. It is high time the government began speaking it, instead of seeking to undermine it. [770 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 355 votes] So nationalism is bad, but Muslims all showing pride and togetherness in their religious grouping is fine and dandy?

[2ND 350] I wonder how this mistrust came about?

[3RD 309] And gangs of men in Oxford, Bradford and other UK cities setting up sex rings for the purpose of abusing young, white girls only we’re not supposed to notice their race or religion.

[4TH 299] Simplistic analysis that completely fails to concede how fundamentally many Muslim communities have sought to distance themselves from British values. I’m talking about tolerance of other faiths, female equality, homophobia etc things I hold sacred as secular lines in the sand in a free liberal democracy.

The guardian has fallen into the same lame liberal narrative that frees Muslims of any responsibility for their own position in society. The police are blamed by the families of silly little teenage Isis bride wannabes for failing to stop them. Schools are blamed for being too intrusive or too unobservant. It’s time to stop blaming anybody else but……

[5TH 290] So how does the language of International Human Rights relate to Islam, somehow you forgot to explain.

Jihadi threat has been around for 1500 years so hardly reasonable to expect it to suddenly go away.

Multicultural society and Islam is a very odd concept, care to mention just one Muslim country that practices it? Just one.

[6TH 286] “That language exists: it is the language of international human rights.”

Human rights? Oh bloody nora. Only in Islam, in the Koran and the hadith, do you see detailed, written rules cementing women’s position of inferiority. Acts of misogynistic violence are codified and ritualized by these texts; from the number of wives a man may have (four), to the number of male witnesses required for a woman to bear witness against a man (four), to the specification of the exact number of public lashes to be given to a prostitute (100), to the punishment for adultery (death), to the explicit permission given to men for domestic violence. Honour killings, for instance, are simply a vigilante expression of violence that would, in an orthodox Islamic context, be carried out by legitimized state and social means.

Islam is the prescription for the complete ordering of civil society according to the social mores of an ancient desert culture, but presented as the eternal and unchanging Word of God. So do tell us, because we’re all very interested, precisely what it is about Islam that merits such special protection by The Guardian?

[7TH 275] It really is simple. Apply the law equally to all.

That means no cruelty during animal slaughter; no special courts; no special rights to have one’s face concealed in airports, banks etc.

Everyone equal under one set of laws. Surely even the Guardian has enough principles left to agree with that?

[8TH 266] Lets not pretend that the failure of certain communities to integrate with the wider society is anything to do with government anti terrorism laws . The failure of some communities to integrate predates all this by decades.

[9TH 261] Sorry, I don’t trust them. Show me one place in the world they make good neighbours. No? Thought not.

[10TH 245] Muslims do not wish for a multicultural society and they don’t believe in many values that the Western cultures take as fundamental (sorry about the pun).

That statement may or may not be true: but it is widely believed.

More articles about Muslim lives and attitudes would be more welcome than endless opinion pieces with lots of advice and very little data. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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