Migrant versus the West

Racial prejudice against Muslims is giving way to a different kind of intolerance as the crisis of capitalism spawns populism.

Written by Khaled Ahmed | Published:May 20, 2017 12:12 am
muslims, muslim discrimination, muslim intolerance, jews, jews in europe, europe jews, vritish racism, frexit, muslim migrants, muslim hatred, indian express news, india news, world news, indian express opinion Globalisation has squeezed the welfare-oriented economies and capitalism’s success, through inequality, is being finally questioned, without any alternative system being mooted. (Representational image)

It is often said that what happened to the Jews in Europe in the past is now happening to the Muslims. Britain has opted for Brexit because it resents immigrants and “different-looking” Muslims who have always attracted British racism. France threatens “Frexit” because it despises its ghettoised Muslims. There are other complaints too, mixed up with Muslim-related resentment. Globalisation has squeezed the welfare-oriented economies and capitalism’s success, through inequality, is being finally questioned, without any alternative system being mooted.

The Jews were in Europe long before the Muslims arrived; they were there even before the Christian era, under the Roman Empire. The bloodshed began after Christianity conquered Europe and began the Crusades in the East, with the killing of local Jews. Then, of course, Hitler happened.

But one shouldn’t forget the Eastern Orthodox hatred of the Jews much earlier: The Russian word “pogrom” for collective murder came from eastern Europe. Anyone who looks different and is unable to integrate will attract an almost animal-like prejudice.

The West received immigrants because its economies needed labour for jobs that the locals wouldn’t do without raising costs. America was the model. Its rise and dominance disarmed Europe; then, the “colonials” arrived to do menial jobs. America was happy with a constant stream of refugees from the dysfunctional states of South America. Britain got its South Asians and France got its Muslims from the African coast. Post-colonial conflicts in the liberated, but dysfunctional, new states caused many from the Third World to seek livelihoods in the West. What was earlier racial prejudice controlled by law is today transformed by another crisis — a crisis of capitalism trapped by a populism, which shows up as “direct democracy”, speaking through referendums.

Today, populism in the West is attacking Muslims, not other nationalities like Hindus from India, who actually outnumber the Pakistanis and Arabs in the UK. Muslims are in the spotlight because of the transformation of the Muslim man globally into the primal homo-Islamicus, who has the world-changing sharia on his mind, especially after the Islamic world let go of education as an Enlightenment phenomenon, and nurtured the madrasa instead. The stage of “looking different” is past. The stage of jihad or rejecting the non-Muslim laws of the host state attracts the Muslim mind and makes him reject integration.

Britain, which didn’t mind non-integration, favoured multiculturalism; France, favouring integration, objected to Britain letting its Muslims fly off the handle. There was the Finsbury mosque cell of the al-Qaeda run by Abu Hamza Al-Masri, an Egyptian who had lost an arm and an eye fighting in Afghanistan. Al Masri published Usrat al-Ansar, the weekly version of the murderous GIA in Algeria, and got his son to abduct British tourists in Yemen for the sake of jihad. Al Masri has been expatriated to the US to stand trial because the British were still tolerant of Muslim extremism.

Another Egyptian, Yasser al-Sirri, headed the London-based Islamic Media Observatory, the news agency that provided letters of accreditation to the fake journalists who killed Ahmad Shah Massoud in the north of Afghanistan, three days before 9/11. The Pakistani expat in the UK changed himself into a bearded cleric, his women trailing behind him in burqa. Exhorters like Anjem Choudary, now in jail, openly challenge British democracy from the vantage point of the sharia, which enjoins jihad. UK Indians might start doing so too, given the way the BJP is pushing India into aggressive Hindutva.

Till 1989, the Algerian Muslim community in France was not identified with Islam. In Algeria, the left-wing secular party FLN had wrested the country from France in 1954 by appealing to Islam and invoking Arabic as the national language. FLN tried to block the Islamisation of Algeria, started in 1931 by Sheikh bin Badis. It used Arabic as a nexus with the rest of the Arab world and later, as a means of connecting with Egypt’s left-wing Nasserite nationalism.

Like what happened in Turkey later, secular FLN’s incompetence and corruption had the effect of changing the policy of Arabisation into Islamisation, based on an intense hatred of France. An Islamic backlash, in the shape of FIS, was created in 1989 with extreme positions under foreign salafi and Pakistani (Tablighi Jamaat) influences, allowing the party to evolve a considered position against democracy. The founding of FIS coincided with the Islamic “scarf” affair in France. In 1991, FIS swept local elections, forcing the ruling FLN to scrap national elections and ban the FIS. This unleashed an ugly civil war in Algeria, in which radical “Afghan” FIS offshoots killed Muslims under the doctrine of “jahiliyya” (darkness), as conceived by Pakistan’s Maulana Abul Ala Maududi and elaborated by Egypt’s Sayyid Qutb.

While populism in the West is clearly suicidal, the transformation of the identity of the migrant can’t be separated from the factors that form the Western mind today.

The writer is consulting editor, ‘Newsweek Pakistan’

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  1. p
    p.s.swami
    May 21, 2017 at 12:36 am
    Khaled, please get your colored blinkes off! They are a problem in any society, once they reach a critical mass. If they integrate with local laws without invoking Sharia, there wil be no problem - don't question the countries that you are naming - name and shame the mullahs in their midst! The question that Muslims should ask themselves - do they want Allah's Islam or Mullah's Islam? You start by reflecting on that and loudly answering that. Please don;t try and persist with the fai strategy of "Islamaphobia".
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    1. B
      Baldev Singh Sidhu from Germany
      May 20, 2017 at 11:31 pm
      A good relgion but based on tradtional system-society is not acomodating itself To the new era of development . They still want to pratice the out dated And obsolate ideas in the present schintific peried of development.Very very simply they failed to be ed in the GLOBALISATION as other religions races societies and comunities has become the part of globalisation.
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      1. M
        Murthy
        May 20, 2017 at 10:28 pm
        Khaled Ahmad is mostly level-headed and objective, but now and then he suc bs to the Indian journalists' fau pax of drawing parallels with Hindus, whenever they are discussing some extremism in Muslims. He is into a wild jump when he says, "UK Indians might start doing so too, given the way the BJP is pushing India into aggressive Hindutva." He is suggesting that Hindus may go the way of radical Muslims in the U.K. Come on Khaled Bhai, you are making a rope out of thin air.
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        1. P
          pankaj
          May 20, 2017 at 10:19 pm
          Jews didn't create problems for anyone and do not have history of Jewish invasions in all countries to create Jeweish caliphate. Nor do they have 56 Jewish nations like 56 islamic nations. Nor do they have everywhere Jewish people who start fighting for political rights, for separation from their host countries and for creating tiny Jewish nation everywhere. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The problems with islam are much bigger and the prejudice is not prejudice, at overall level of muslim community that is correct perception, even when it may be wrong for individual muslims. -------------------------Till muslims have courage to reform islam, they will hurt others and themeselves....
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          1. H
            Harry
            May 20, 2017 at 9:46 pm
            The problems is Muslims want to enjoy higher living standards and freedom that non-Muslim countries offer, but they also insist on keeping their separate ways for example keeping hijab, Niqab & beards. Other groups in west either try to integrate or imilate . So host society is put between rock and hard place to chose: to lose it’s culture or it’s freedom. Muslims themselves, when in majority, force minorities to convert to Islam. In Iran once they carry out coup using a convert Mongol Prince named Azan Khan , they forced all Mongols to convert to Islam. Buddhist and Shamanist Mongols were kicked out. In Neighboring Pokistan 30 percent of non- Muslims were reduced to less than 1 percent. . Unless Muslims are paid in their own coin they will not change and modernize their thinking.
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            1. H
              Harry
              May 20, 2017 at 9:26 pm
              The problems is Muslims want to enjoy higher living standards and freedom that non-Muslim countries offer, but they insist on keeping hijab, Niqab & beards. while other groups either try to integrate or imilate. So host society is put between rock and hard place to chose: to lose it’s culture or it’s freedom. While Muslims, when in majority, force minorities to convert to Islam. In Iran once Muslims carry out coup using a convert Mongol Prince, they forced all Mongols to convert to Islam and Buddhist and Shamanist Mongols were kicked out. In Neighboring stan 30 non-Muslims were reduced to less than 1 . Unless Muslims are paid in their own coin they will not change.
              Reply
              1. K
                Kg
                May 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm
                ?
                Reply
                1. E
                  Employ Ment
                  May 20, 2017 at 8:09 pm
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                  1. P
                    Pork Kabab
                    May 20, 2017 at 7:50 pm
                    This is nor racial intolerance. Muslims are good but Islam is a dangerous religion.
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                    1. U
                      uma
                      May 20, 2017 at 7:42 pm
                      A Cancer cell / tumour can grow within a healthy organ / body. But can a healthy cell grow within a cancer tumour / organ ? NO Muslims engage in bravado that they are the fastest growing religion in the world ! But this growth is actually pathological ! Muslim(including intellectuals, apologists etc) readers must understand that the world has finally understood this point. It is only a matter of time (only few years) before the Chemo-therapy begins ! It will be extraordinarily violent , we know that & we are preparing ourselves for that.
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                      1. M
                        Murthy
                        May 20, 2017 at 10:33 pm
                        In French and British papers some bloggers and even, occasionally, some columnists do predict some sort of 'civil unrest' or may be 'war' - their word not mine. As you say, there is considerable foreboding throughout Europe, in particular. But the leftie / libtards are still "the Establishment" there. They admit to their own apprehensions only in private, it
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                      2. L
                        LS
                        May 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm
                        So author says that Violent islam should continue in all countries and if the countries tired of violent islam are reacting and rejecting islam (since their state won't) it is bad? Most of the riots in India are started by muslims, Godhara, Muzaffarpur, Maldah and even the older ones like Moplah and West Bengal {Direct Action Day) riots on Jinnah's call.. All started by muslims and they cried intolerance and atrocity on muslims when ever they were beaten back... Heights of duplicity... Lastly Muslims are NOT a race. Why does IE give space to such authors who do not know what words to use in what context?
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                        1. A
                          Aum shanti
                          May 20, 2017 at 6:06 pm
                          No matter what writer trys Islam is religion of terrorist criminals and barbarians Quran is manual of terrorism and criminality and crualty muslims are burden on planet earth
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                          1. A
                            Avinash
                            May 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm
                            This rehash of the 'events' within the Muslims is irrelevant unless you U point out with blistering vilification of the way Islamists are shoving their version of crude exceptionalism on non -Muslims. In india for example, Hinduism has welcomed all sorts of religious beliefs even of those who p ered it shamelessly. It is not BJP exploiting Hindutva, a term that the Supreme Court determined to reflect 'way of life in india.' Hindus r fed up with being 'bumped' by every aira ghera nathu khera. Even your writings fail to p the smell test of objectivity, Sri Khalid Sahib. Religion for Hindus is personal. It is not to be exhibited in public. That is the reason Hindus don't proselytize as opposed to Islam and Christianity.
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                            1. M
                              Murthy
                              May 20, 2017 at 10:35 pm
                              Good comment...
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                            2. S
                              Santanu Roy
                              May 20, 2017 at 5:56 pm
                              I have a very authentic english translation of Koran with me and I must admit I have not been able to master it in spite of repeated attempts for it is not possible for anyone to master Koran without help of some expert.We live and die in religion and I am not against political action inspired by religion.But when small school children can be butchered,schools burned,innocent civilians massacared,women stoned in the name of "jihad" that religion is in dire need of enlightened interpreters.I have seen some of these interpreters in different newspaper columns but I can't understand why these primitive and tribal interpretations appeal to a large section of muslim youth.who are creating havoc in the name of jihad in different parts of the world,which is the root cause of isla bia.I won't go so far as to cal Koran satanic verses but considering the havoc it has created it is in dire need of enlightened interpreters acceptable to the adherents of Islamic faith
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                              1. K
                                Kg
                                May 20, 2017 at 5:31 pm
                                It is the irony of this century that Muslims pronounce exclusivity of their God and prophet, negate existence of any other, create binaries of Muslim and Kaafir, darul e Islam and Daru e harab, claim superiority of their socio cultural practices and INTOLERANCE to any other AND then demand INCLUSIVENESS AND TOLERANCE FOR THEMSELVES from others.Do they even realize that proclamation of Islam sounds OFFENSIVE to others, it is a challenge to others, it is a claim of exclusivity of Islam. While it is ok for them to believe it in their personal domain, but when, they say it in front of others, it is an offensive, confrontational challenge.Muslims themselves need to look into themselves before demanding anything from others.
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                                1. K
                                  Kg
                                  May 20, 2017 at 4:22 pm
                                  If you are still not clear, here is another example.Recently,there was a controversy about loudspeakers on mosques.People argued that it is wrong to disturb those who do not want to be disturbed, either by a mosque's loudspeakers, a temple's chants or a church's bells, and most would agree that is a right view.However almost everyone missed a fine point,where in lies the difference between a mosque's azan and a temple's chants.The azan is a proclamation of exclusivity of Islamic God, while a temple chant is a prayer to a Hindu God.While for a Muslim woken up by temple's chant is a loud sound irritation,to a Hindu woken up by an azan is not just a loud sound but is also a challenge to his believes.There lies the difference between spirituality and politics of religion and the world is fee and reacting to the politics of Islam.
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                                  1. V
                                    Vasudevan Venugopal
                                    May 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm
                                    Muslims are not a race.
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                                    1. V
                                      Vasudevan Venugopal
                                      May 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm
                                      Mr. Khaled Ahmed, Generally you are unbiased. However, in this article you are biased. I think Islam is thicker than water, nay, blood, because there has been so much shedding of blood of billions of innocents by Islam throughout the world since 622 CE and still counting.
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                                      1. K
                                        Kg
                                        May 20, 2017 at 4:05 pm
                                        The world is moving to a global mutually respecting society and racism based on skin color or facial features is seen as an abhorrent practice, especially in west.True that some people are racist there also, but aversion of general population to Muslims is not based on skin color or features.Even in India, the conflict between Muslims and Hindus is not racial, they are of the same race.The aversion is NOT AGAINST MUSLIMS AS PERSON, I can tell you that.For most people, they are human beings just like themselves.The aversion is NOT EVEN TO ISLAM ( Islam as a religion, as a personal connection of a person to his/her God or as his/her personal belief) BUT AVERSION IS TO THE POLITICAL ISLAM (a tool to rule).When Muslims asert (to others) ISLAM BEING THE BEST AND ONLY CORRECT WAY OF LIFE, and boast it will "RULE THE WORLD",when Muslims gather at public places to offer prayers (like university students recently in the UK),they are making a political statement, and world is replying to that.
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                                        1. K
                                          Kg
                                          May 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm
                                          As long as Muslims will continue to live in denial, they won't help themselves.They have to accept that their (In fact SAUDI Arabia's Camel Herder's ertion) that their Social, religious, cultural way of life is the best and only correct way of life IS NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ANY ONE ELSE in the world.While world will not object that they continue to believe so in their own countries, but when they come out to live in their countries, they have to stop EVEN SAYING THAT because IT IS SEEN AS AN INSULT AND AGGRESSION by others.Even your "proclamation of faith" is seen as an offensive statement to others, so, while you may say it inside your house or believe it yourself, but saying it to any other person is OFFENSIVE.You have to learn to live in a global mutually respecting world.Sooner Muslims realize that, they will have better prospect;
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                                          1. K
                                            Kg
                                            May 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm
                                            Further elaborating on the previous post, I can tell you most the of the British or Europeans (especially Europeans) people aversion to non white people is NOT BASED ON SKIN COLOR. Their aversion is to Islam's threat and ideology and for them It is impossible to differentiate any non European so they consider all non Europeans as Muslims and are becoming averse to them.I being a Hindu can tel you,THEIR AT UDE, SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE AND BEHAVIOR CHANGES TOWARDS ME AS SOON AS THEY REALIZE I M NOT A MUSLIM,while my skin color and nationality remains the same.To give you an example of their at ude towards Islam's threat, I remind you that when British Prime minister came to India recently, she by HER CHOICE, WORE A SARI AND WENT TO A HINDU TEMPLE, THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT TO DO SO.when German WENT TO SAUDI RECENTLY, SHE REFUSED TO COVER HER HEAD, even though it was expected.THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? OPEN YOUR EYES AND ACCEPT, no one like to be FORCED to ACCEPT YOUR IDEOLOGY of Islam.
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                                            1. V
                                              Vasudevan Venugopal
                                              May 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm
                                              @Kg: Well said.
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