Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Harder lines in Londonistan

Written by Khaled Ahmed | Posted: July 19, 2014 12:28 am

Multicultural United Kingdom is having problems with its expatriate Muslim community. Since a large plurality them are expat Pakistanis, one can talk about why the UK is hurting today in light of what Pakistan has already suffered under the Taliban onslaught. Former UK Education Secretary Michael Gove announced last month that the government would “require all 20,000 primary and secondary schools to promote British values”. This led a culturally relativist New Statesman to ask on June 10: “British values, what are they?”

The issue cropped up after “a watershed series of inspectorate reports into 21 Birmingham secular schools, uncovered a limited, Islam-based ideology; rigged staff appointments; inappropriate use of school funds; and a culture of fear and intimidation.” What appeared in the local press cautiously referred to Muslim communities simply taking over secular, government-funded schools and unleashing a madrasa-like regime in them, as any long-suffering liberal-moderate Pakistani would understand it back in Pakistan.

According to The New York Times of June 20, a typical Muslim-dominated school in Birmingham, “Park View, where 98 per cent of students are from a Muslim background, has won special dispensation to hold Islamic assemblies instead. The school allows for lunchtime prayer and shortens the school day during Ramadan. Head scarves are an optional part of the school uniform; but at least four in five wear them. On Fridays, loudspeakers broadcast the fall to prayer which is led by a student.”

Then an op-ed column in New Statesman frankly admitted that the Brits had forgotten their own values after they accepted a plurality of value systems in the UK, proudly nesting “a vibrant variety of cultural, religious and ideological communities”. What was not asked was: if the Brits have forgotten their own values simply to allow others of different values to live among them, had these “others” also agreed to “forget” theirs? Muslims are caught up in sharia law in the 21st century. They can accept British law only in violation of sharia.

The problem is that “values” are not sharia, the code of Islamic punishments that extends to, and questions, the host state’s penal code. If a British Muslim converts, he is to be killed as an apostate under sharia, but Britain will not allow such a punishment. Hindus in the UK can integrate much better because they don’t have a sharia. If a Muslim girl marries a non-Muslim, her father is under obligation to punish her as an apostate.

Studies show Muslims “integrating” in the UK less well than other expats. One has to point out that they integrated well in the past. (My relatives in the UK, for instance, used to be pleasantly anglicised in the 1960s when they visited in Lahore; they look very un-British in their Arab-looking dress today and don’t even integrate in Pakistan.) What is the UK doing to my Paki relatives? Pakistan had nothing like Hizbut Tahrir and al-Muhajirun till the two extremist organisations were “sent” here from London, or Londonistan, as the French dub it.

I personally prefer British philosopher Thomas Hobbes to continued…

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