“‘It shows it is possible to be Muslim and a westerner. Western values are compatible with Islam.” So said Sadiq Khan after his victory as London mayor. Trevor Phillips, former chief of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, takes a much bleaker view of Islam’s place in western society.
Last month he presented a Channel 4 documentary – What British Muslims Really Think – based on an ICM poll of Muslim attitudes. The poll revealed a deep well of social conservatism.Just 18% of Muslims thought that homosexuality should be legal, four in 10 thought wives should always obey their husbands, almost 90% wanted to prohibit mockery of the prophet.
Phillips wrote of “a chasm opening between Muslims and non-Muslims” and “the unacknowledged creation of a nation within the nation, with its own geography, its own values and its own very separate future”. Last week, he developed his thesis in a pamphlet for the thinktank Civitas. In Race and Faith: The Deafening Silence, he argues that Britain’s “superdiversity” has combined with the authorities’ laissez-faire attitude to make integration much more difficult.
Muslims, in particular, are a problem, remaining at “a significant social distance” from wider society and “resistant to the traditional process of integration”. “Rome may not yet be in flames,” Phillips ominously suggests, alluding to Enoch Powell’s infamous “rivers of blood” speech, “but I think I can smell the smouldering while we hum to the music of liberal self-delusion”. [Kenan Malik, 330 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 122 votes] If all Muslims were as tolerant as Sadiq Kahn then Islam would not be causing so many problems around the world. Sadly Phillips documentary seems far nearer the reality concerning the attitudes of many Muslims. One can only hope that decent Muslims such as Kahn can lead the way in fostering a new kind of thinking and provide the many decent Muslims with the courage to stand up to their more extreme neighbours.
[2ND 102] An interesting and well argued essay. However the bottom line is that Mr Malik does in the end agree with Trevor Phillips that, for a combination of reasons, many Muslims have become more conservative and this makes for an increasing divide with the attitudes of the majority of the population.
I would add that Mr Malik assumes that non-Muslims should respect Muslim beliefs, even when they want to challenge them. Sorry, but there are many traditional Muslim beliefs that I cannot respect because they go against all our principles of equality, democracy and rationality.
[3RD 81] For me this was a superbly reasoned article, unlike 90% of the apologist articles published in the Guardian where it’s all the Wests fault and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Islam.
I would comment on this though:
“Partly they lie in the growing influence of Saudi Arabia on Islamic institutions in the west and its aggressive promotion of Wahhabism.”
To me the Partly should be replaced by “Almost entirely”. Wahhabism is a pure evil which is being allowed to poison English life. Saudi pays for mosques and preachers to introduce and maintain Islamofascism in this country.
[4TH 76 ] “Western values are compatible with Islam.” So said Sadiq Khan after his victory as London mayor.
How can Western democracy be compatible with Islam when Islam specifically states in its most holy texts that no man-made laws should be ever supreme over Sharia, the holy laws of Islam that is deemed by Islam to be given to Muhammad directly by Allah himself?
And of course Islam has in its creed that there should be no separation of religion and state as again all laws belong to Allah. That is the antithesis of being compatible to Western societies view of democracy and is a major part of the reason why democracy has always struggled to cement itself in Islamic countries. [Guardian Cif] Read more