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If they hate us so much, why don’t they leave?

January 6, 2007
I found this in the Daily Mail.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/newscomment.html?in_article_id=399515&in_page_id=1787

I will make the following points because I don’t think Ghaffur’s views are totally accurate:
(1) Ghaffur has only recently “come out” on issues.
(2) When we talk about ‘anger and resentment’ among young British Muslims, what is forgotten is Islam. These people who are angered might be angered for a number of reasons, not least to do with their identity. This is a twofold problem. It concerns the interaction between Islam and the Host community. This is not a one horse race and this view by Islamists frustrates the majority I am sure.
(3) My identity is what I label myself as, as well as how I am labelled by society. The label is the “I” in me and the “I” is critical to understanding people. In other words, I as a police officer might ned to know or understand how politics and faith interfere with people’s perceptions of me.
(4) What Ghaffur fails to acknowledge is that Islam, in this country, and in the World must look inside. Ghaffur does not acknowledge that sectarianism will not work, that segregation does not work in the UK, but Muslim communities have tended to grow around poor areas, and around a central theme, i.e. a Mosque. Therefore what is absolutely critical here is identity.
(6) Whilst there is a danger in criminalising the community. This issue is not just about Islam as Ghaffur suggests. There can be innocent victims also. How can we tell the difference between a Muslim male and a Sikh male that does not wear a turban, or a Hindu male? So the issue is wider than Muslim youth. Terrorism is about a minoirty of Muslim youth; racism on the other hand is about Asian people also. Note that the Hindu community want to rid themselves of the tag, Asian.
(7) The fact is some of these young Muslim men have radical views of the West and it is their teachings that must take some blame also. So, if these people look like me, for example, then I must expect to be stopped. It is not ideal, but it is reality. Colour, dress, views and faith are still a differentiating factor in the war against terrorism.
(8) Until we deal with Islam, mark my words, this is now the third World War, the battle between Christianity and Islam, then we cannot deal with some of the issues Ghaffur talks about.
(9) On the flip side if we are taking out our anger at young Muslim men we need to be mindful that we are alienating them. It’s not just our anger, but if the Health service is doing the same, then these people will not meet us half way when we interact. Perceptions are important.

(10) Society must acknowledge that White racism against the Asian community is not a fallacy, but a reality. This does not mean that all White people are racist, but that power, and institutions may be linked to racism. In essence there is some truth in what the journalist says. There needs to be some serious dialogue between faiths and Islam must give. Islam must change. Ghaffur needs to be clear about this also. In the short term the truth also is that how we treat the Muslim community in their segregated areas must also change. (Hopefully readers will see from this entry that I am not anti Islamic, I am merely anti racist, there is a subtle difference. We are all entitled to follow our own beliefs, but not to the exclusion of others; that is where racism creeps in and that is exactly where we are losing this debate at the moment). And incidentally I don’t want to leave; this country is my home. I am proud to be British and Asian. I don’t have a dilemna; I can be both, British and Asian, and this is my choice, my faith does not suggest I have to be one or the other. It does say that I must treat other faiths with respect. Respect means acknowledging that other people have their beliefs too, and this means there is no one creator. The Islamic community in this country neeeds to get to grips with this concept fast before racism spreads and more innocent lives are taken. It has some serious thinking to do about whether it is possible to be both Islamic and British. Ghaffur, somewhere, does mention this.
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