In Part One of this article I described a serious threat to our British society by Islamists that is generally either unknown or ignored. In many walks of life, people are afraid to speak out, whether to avoid being labelled racists or islamophobes or to prevent an Islamic backlash. I singled out three areas that illustrate how Islamists, having already successfully segregated Muslim communities from the rest of society, are now trying to Islamise the rest of Britain.
Luckily for Islam, present circumstances favour its spread and dominance. It is happily filling the spiritual void left by the weakening of Christianity, the loss of British identity, and the spread of militant atheism, materialism and hedonism. As we sleepwalk into a gradually Islamised Britain, what can be done to prevent the situation from worsening further?
Obviously we must not advocate violence or any far-right solutions such as repatriation, immigration controls based on race or religion, or keeping out legitimate seekers for asylum. Such measures are both morally wrong and contrary to Britain’s commitment to human rights. British citizens who are Muslims have full rights just like everyone else.
I shall therefore suggest four steps that, if taken by all concerned, may go a long way towards preventing further Islamisation:
I—Demand Integration, Not Segregation:
Of all religious communities, Muslims find it hardest to integrate into British society because they perceive its values (both secular and Christian) to be opposed to theirs. Additionally, when pressurised by the Islamists among them to conform to Sharia laws, most Muslims find it easier to stay secluded in their own environment. Such enclaves, especially if mired by poverty, unemployment, sentiments of hatred and the spread of drugs and gangs, will be ideal breeding grounds for future terrorists, with the young being easily exploited by radicals and militants.
Manzoor Moghal, chairman of the Leicester-based Muslim Forum, has called this insular mindset “a cultural and social apartheid” and has blamed imams in mosques for encouraging Muslims to reject Western values. By rejecting integration and eying the larger community as the “enemy”, Muslims will not only live parallel lives but also create their own separate institutions and end up forming a state within a state.
Successive governments have clearly failed to help Muslims integrate. In fact they have inadvertently done just the opposite by creating a political form of multiculturalism that glorifies differences and allows minority groups to idealise their own values at the expense of the life and values of the majority. The disastrous consequences climaxed in the 7/7 atrocities committed by home- grown terrorists.
II—Abandon State Multiculturalism
The concept of state multiculturalism has been vigorously advocated by governments and other institutions since the 1980s and has only been questioned in recent years. The idea is that all minority groups are encouraged to develop and maintain their own cultural and religious identities while also expected to interact with one another and tolerate differences. They are not, however, united by any larger culture, and this the problem with this model.
In spite of efforts by politicians and others, multiculturalism has actually become an obstacle to integration, particularly in the case of the Muslim community. Many Muslims identify themselves with the Islamic umma
(community) rather than the British nation. What has also not helped is the participation of British governments in recent conflicts in the Middle East, which is interpreted by many as anti-Islamic.
British governments have in the last few years been using the concept of “community cohesion” and promoting language proficiency and the teaching of “citizenship” in schools in order to encourage more integration. But it may be too late now, for the promulgation of multi-culturalism has taken a strong hold on Muslims in particular. Even though some have successfully integrated, the wider Muslim community is still the most segregated in the country.
III—Stop Political Correctness and Appeasement to Muslims:
Political correctness and appeasement to Muslims have both gone too far. Furthermore, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006 and the Equality Act of 2010 haven been threatening the rights and freedom of speech of the Christian majority in particular. The case of British Airlines employee Nadia Eweida, who was banned from wearing a visible cross at work, is but one of many examples we could cite. Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights campaign group Liberty, said in 2010 that the law is “bending backwards for Muslims and Sikhs while Christians are being persecuted with impunity”.
If law is to be applied fairly, there must be a stop to special treatment for Muslims, whether by government, councils, the BBC or any other agencies. It’s the minority that should adapt to the majority and not the other way round. Let’s hope that public displays of Christian symbols will no longer be banned and that putting on nativity plays by schools will always take place at Christmas time.
In April 2010, the chairman of the Muslim Education Centre in Oxford wrote an article in the Daily Mail entitled “What has Britain come to when it takes a Muslim like me to defend Christianity?” Among other things he said: “Too often the PC Brigade support overt demonstrations of faith by minority religions while coming down hard on quiet religious gestures by Christians.”
IV: We Should All Share Common Values Under the Same Law:
The concerns about creeping Sharia laws around Britain were echoed in June 2010 by the human rights campaign group One Law For All when they published their report “Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Human Rights”. The report stated: “While there is an obvious difference between stoning a woman to death and denying her the right to divorce and child custody, the fundamentals of misogyny behind Sharia’s civil and penal codes are the same—it’s just a matter of degree.”
While all citizens in Britain enjoy the rights and freedoms of democracy, the Christian minorities in Islamic countries do not possess them, simply because they are not Muslims. But even though derived from the Judeo-
Christian roots of Western civilisation, values such as freedom of conscience, respect for an individual’s dignity, acceptance of minority groups, and the rights to change one’s faith and criticise the beliefs of others, are all universal human rights.
In order for Muslims to integrate successfully into society, it is necessary that they share the common values that everyone else shares. Otherwise why would one want to be part of this culture? There are also specifically British values that can be cherished, such as our parliament, the legal system, the monarchy, the Union Jack, national treasures such as Shakespeare and the Beatles, and sporting achievements.
Although our society is secular, it is probably the best context for religions and cultures to co-exist and thrive. A “positive” form of secular culture would show respect for all groups while avoiding two extremes. One is the militant atheism of Richard Dawkins, which hates all religions, and the other is tolerating them while not acknowledging the central role that Christianity has played in shaping this country.
According to this model, because our country is based on Judeo-Christian traditions, it will extend great warmth, respect and hospitality to all other religious and ethnic minorities. But their own values should also be made consistent with the dominant values of British society and in harmony with the one law of the land. Hence, with the help of government, churches and other agencies, the challenge for Islamic groups is to promote forms of Islam that are compatible with British and Western values. Only thus can extremism be kept at bay and we can all live together in peace and harmony in this beautiful land of ours.