…. After the programme aired I was called “an apologist for extremists” – which I found hugely amusing. I don’t think I talked about extremism at all. I was criticised for even agreeing to participate. But I had felt being a part of the conversation was more productive than ignoring it altogether. Let the liberal Muslim voice be heard (for a change).
Despite all the negative output and divisiveness it stirred up, despite all the critique and quarrelling, despite all the Twitter trolling, the Facebook abusing, the pointing and laughing (occupational hazard), I stand by my very first contribution on the documentary: “It’s a privilege that we get to live in a country, the UK, which lets us practise our belief. And I firmly take this as a privilege. Muslim people, we can go to the mosque, we can pray, we can dress the way we want to … we’ve got halal food pretty much everywhere. What a time to be alive!”
I made my points. Antisemitism is wrong. Homophobia is wrong. Misogyny is wrong. Surely in 2016 people can just take that as given? British Muslims are good people, so don’t buy into the scaremongering. Britain is better than that. [995 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 347 votes] Part 94 in the Guardian’s “Islam is so amazing” series
I really don’t get it. Why is this religion held up on a pedestal so much? What is so great about it?
[2ND 327] “How can it be possible that the views of 1,000 odd people can prove something about an entire community?”
That’s the whole concept of doing surveys and polls. They don’t claim to be foolproof, but they do generally give a broad-strokes indication of something that would otherwise be impossible to quantify.
As you say, you’re on the liberal end of the scale – so why get so defensive when someone talks about the less-liberal end of the scale? Why does that not merit discussion?
[3RD 302] Personally I believe the polls were properly conducted and accurate. They were defended pretty convincingly in this letter to the paper:
All facts are friendly. A poll, properly carried out, cannot be “phobic” or “scaremongering”. It is simply a snapshot of the reality. Yes, the results might be worrying and these results were, although they were not surprising IMO. Are you suggesting the results should have been concealed because they were disturbing? Or that these questions should never have been posed in the first place?
We’re being “othered”.
No, some British Muslims are “othering” themselves by choosing not to integrate as previous waves of migrants have done. It’s great that you do not do this and that you are not antisemitic or misogynist. Unfortunately – as the polls have shown – many of your co-religionists are. There is no point in blaming Channel 4 for reporting what is there. [Guardian Cif] Read more