The fringe anti-Muslim group Britain First is enjoying a burst of publicity after Donald Trump retweeted three of its propaganda videos. This has had the rare effect of uniting almost the entire British establishment in horror.
A firm slapdown from the office of the prime minster followed condemnation by Jeremy Corbyn. The archbishop of Canterbury joined in. Even Melanie Phillips, author of a book called Londonistan, which laments the transformation of the urban landscape by headscarves and niqabs, told BBC radio that she was “absolutely appalled”.
Earlier in the same programme, the author Ann Coulter had defended Trump. She argued it didn’t matter if the videos were inaccurately labelled, and that “the native countries are blowing up at the just constant importation of people who do not share our western values – that’s the point at issue”. [751 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 456 votes] “many Britons already fear and misunderstand Muslims”
Well most muslims want to get on with their lives like the rest of us but please tell me why most Britons should not be concerned about the small minority of terrorists amongst them and the much larger minority who express views in polls which are hostile to liberal, enlightenment values on such subjects as the equality of women, punishments for homosexuals, apostates, atheists and cartoonists.
[2ND 369] Islam is against atheists (among others). So it seems perfectly legitimate that atheists are against Islam (and afraid of).
[3RD 340] As a gay man who deeply appreciates the advantages of living in Western Europe I do ‘fear’ Islam and what feels like its inexorable spread across the planet.
Are you *really* suggesting that I’m wrong to do so? Please, tell me why.
[4TH 331] We can talk about how Islam per se, divorced of its adherents, is no more or less violent than the scriptures of other religions. We can also talk about how the vast majority of adherents are just normal human beings more interested in a cup of tea than fighting over interpretations of a 1,500 year old book. And the Guardian does both of these things.
But we also can’t ignore the ugly fact that the terrorist groups staging regular attacks across Europe are doing so in the name of Islam, and recruiting from the Muslim population of Europe – mostly second- or third-generation migrants who are far removed enough to idealise the backward way of life that their parents or grandparents came here to escape.
And we also can’t ignore that most majority-Muslim countries still cling to many values that we in the West (whether Christian or atheist) have moved on from. For example, as shown in this map from Wikipedia, it is largely only the Muslim world where homosexuality is illegal, and in many of these countries it carries the death sentence.
Is it really unreasonable to suggest that people arriving from these countries are likely to be much more homophobic than your average Briton? And there are many other issues too – for example I believe yesterday there was a Guardian editorial on child marriage, which once again is mainly a problem in the Muslim world and people with that cultural background. FGM, honour killings… I could go on.
This is not to homogenise or demonise Muslims in any way – but to warn that the massive demographic shifts caused by immigration from faraway countries could have dangerous consequences, and at present many (especially on the left) are actively engaged in brushing all possible negatives under the carpet, for fear that uttering any criticism makes them a racist. One is reminded of Orwell’s comment that they are “like children playing with fire who do not know that fire is hot.” [Guardian Cif] Read more