Monday, 19 June 2017
The Elephant in the Room
Photo: By Bit Boy
It's getting to the point whereby I dread switching on the television or more likely changing the channel when I get up in the morning as there is seemingly one tragedy after another these days. The latest was an assault on a group of worshippers emerging from their prayers at the Finsbury Mosque by some lunatic in a van.
At the time of writing whether he acted alone or was part of some extreme right wing group is actually unknown. However what happened did seem to have a certain "inevitability" about it. Whilst much of what is described as "Islamphobia" is somewhat exaggerated there certainly is a growing resentment towards the Muslim community, particularly the obviously religious in the country.
And oddly unlike all the other atrocities that have taken place today there was little to no talk of it around me, except in whispers. Have people become accustomed to these kind of attacks or were some people hiding their true feelings about what I have seen on social media described as "karma"?
If so then there is reason for all of us to be worried. Islamic extremism is a very real and major threat. Of that there can be no denial. There is also increasing deference to "islam" across the cultural and political fields that disturbs our mostly secular way of life, but resorting to the violence is certainly not the answer or the way forward.
Whilst many have legitimate criticisms of the Islamic creed and it's intolerance I do not wish to live in a country where people cannot go about their business, including worship in fear of attack. This will only enhance the self-imposed isolation that the majority of the Muslim community already feel.
The key must be in integration whereby worshippers (of all religions) separate their godly fealties from the secular requirements that are a necessity in a modern and truly inclusive society. Believe in what you will but human rights and equal rights must take precedence over all and any religion or political creed.
The Muslim community must face up to the problems that have brought it into disrepute with other sections of society. I speak not just of the Jihadists, though they are the most pressing problem but when they complain, sometimes rightly of being treated as outsiders then their leaders must ask why has the rise of anti-Semitism gone hand in hand with the expansion of Islam within the UK. Further the Muslim community must re examine its attitudes to the Ahmadiyya Muslims who are persecuted by the mainstream for daring to differ.
There was a case where a man travelled hundreds of miles to kill one newsagent, a Ahmadiyya Muslim, who other Muslims don't see as Muslims at all. Just for wishing his customers Happy Christmas.
Then there is Rochdale. A rape and abuse tragedy that went on for years because the authorities were too afraid to confront the abusers in case the were called racists. Look at the victims, not the perpetrators when making such judgements.
The Muslim community has a right to exist and worship within the law of this land and be respected for doing so, but at the same time the sheer medievalism, cultural & political backwardness and refusal to integrate will hold them back.
There can be no compulsion in religion and that is the end of it. If someone criticizes your faith, just learn to live with it.
The future by necessity must be secular.