The Observer view on the radicalisation of young British Muslims

How do we combat the radicalisation of young Muslims? This debate is a political minefield, but, like it or not, it is one that ministers have to wade into: 800 Britons have gone to Syria to fight or support Isis since 2012 – and that is probably a conservative estimate; a further 600 have been caught trying to enter.

The prime minister attracted much criticism last week for his announcement that Muslim women must learn English or face deportation as part of measures to combat radicalisation. Some of the criticism was fair, but too much has been unnecessarily kneejerk.

The debate risks being party politicised: those who see it as an opportunity to undermine support for an ethnically diverse Britain; others who see it as an opportunity to lambast what they see as an illiberal government unfairly targeting groups of citizens. [681 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 132 votes] The issues go back a long way. In the early 90s you could see posters for the Young Muslims in Bradford calling for a Muslim Britain. Mention it here, and you get moderated. In the same city, I knew of 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants who spoke no English. Again, when I have mentioned it on CiF, my comments have been deleted.

If there is a wish to counter radicalism, it has to face the facts that multi-culturalism has helped to create a parallel society which interacts in the public sphere (they go to the same shops, work alongside people, etc), but not in the private (little or no intermarriage, or any social interaction). One thing I learned in Bradford was that Ray Honeyford had been trying to push Muslim girls to improve their education, to aim for a career rather just marriage. He was hated for this, and when he (stupidly) published in the Salisbury Review, it was the slip that the community leaders were waiting for.

An honest approach will look at how and why parallel societies, following their own laws and customs, have been allowed to settle, develop and grow in the UK for the last 30 or 40 years. It should look at how official blind eyes have been turned to possible offences in the name of ‘cultural sensitivity’. It should look perhaps at how people growing up in such an environment could not be radicalized.

[2ND 105] Why do we have segregated schooling? It seems to me that this notion that children should be hived off into schools designated appropriate according to faith is just a divisive construct. We need all British children to be mixing freely and playing together with their parents interacting with each other. That would be a start.

…. Where are the media debates about this with ordinary British people from varied backgrounds and faiths who can participate in discussions about this? We never hear from the alienated and the angry. If we don’t open up the forum for debate and see the representation of all those who need to talk then we are only going to ignore this problem until one day it may become insurmountable.

…. It’s time for the rule of law; the outreach programmes; the schools to become the juridical and social embodiment of one for all and all for one. It is a mammoth task and something some of us on the Left have been pointing out for years while others looked at us askance and accused us of everything from paranoia to low grade racism. Sadly, the truth is out, and we must work together to establish a coherent response to a now rather entrenched and knotty problem.

…. Things are really roiling, and it’s not a surprise that considerable numbers of people are seriously worried about this. There is a palpable sense of fear in people I talk to about this.

[3RD 93] There is no debate. Embrace civilisation or die ignorant. I for one will not respect any religious group that does not accept women and gays as equals.

End of discussion.

[4TH 92] This article reeks of Guardian whataboutery and offers no solution. In fact everything mentioned here has been discussed to death and the only thing the Guardian can propose is that the government needs to ‘do more’ and treat ‘at risk’ muslims with the softest gloves ever.

“How do we combat the radicalisation of young Muslims? This debate is a political minefield.”

This debate is a ‘political minefield’ only to left-wing-loonies, the rest of us are very clear about what this issue is. Most of the readers of this CIF are responsible and open-minded people who have had enough of pussyfooting around this issue by the Guardian.

The simple and brutal truth is that Islam as manifested by a fair few of it’s adherents can never co-exists in an enlightened European nation like ours – no matter how much we say otherwise. The sooner we all lay this to bare and move forward the better.

“The debate risks being party politicised: those who see it as an opportunity to undermine support for an ethnically diverse Britain; others who see it as an opportunity to lambast what they see as an illiberal government unfairly targeting groups of citizens.”

Do we now Guardian?

“But he was wrong to frame English lessons for Muslim women as an anti-radicalisation measure linked to punitive deportation. This is particularly true given the government’s poor overall record on integration.”

How much does this affect people who are not muslim, that would an interesting statistic to see. All non-muslim immigrant communities do fairly well as far as integration is concerned. So successive governments don’t have a ‘poor overall record’.

“But much of the critique of the government has been misleading and incendiary, attempting to impose a black-and-white filter on a world that exists in shades of grey.”

Nope, there is nothing misleading. There is only one thing that needs clarity (none of this black-and-white filter nonsense) and it’s that radicalisations only happens in Muslims who have a perceived victimhood complex and something urgently has to be done about it.

Can at least the Observer editorial offer a bit more clarity please and avoid of phrases such as ‘nuanced and responsible approach’. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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