Friday, July 15, 2005

Brit Muslim Talks

The Guardian has this piece written by what appears to be one of its interns.


First the inevitable comparisons. Falluja as a stand-in for 9/11. Of course the fact that in Falluja the US fought against terrorists who kill mainly their own countrymen - fellow Muslims has no validity.


Shocked would be to suggest we didn't appreciate that when Falluja was flattened, the people under it were dead but not forgotten - long after we had moved on to reading more interesting headlines about the Olympics. It is not the done thing to make such comparisons, but Muslims on the street do. Some 2,749 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. To discover the cost of "liberating" Iraqis you need to multiply that figure by eight, and still you will fall short of the estimated minimum of 22,787 civilian Iraqi casualties to date. But it's not cool to say this, now that London's skyline has also has plumed grey.

Shocked would also be to suggest that the bombings happened through no responsibility of our own. OK, the streets of London were filled with anti-war marchers, so why punish the average Londoner? But the argument that this was an essentially US-led war does not pass muster. In the Muslim world, the pond that divides Britain and America is a shallow one. And the same cry - why punish us? - is often heard from Iraqi mothers as the "collateral damage" increases daily.


In Latin America that attitude is called "Tercermundismo", its having an inferiority complex towards the first world, and adopting a blame the US/Modern World for all your ills.

If this guy is for real (which he is), is he really saying that his way of thinking is the rule more than the exception??



The Muslim community is no monolithic whole. Yet there are some common features. Second- and third-generation Muslims are without the don't-rock-the-boat attitude that restricted our forefathers. We're much sassier with our opinions, not caring if the boat rocks or not.


So there is a heavy undercurrent of rage towards the U.S. and Britain, for its wars among the Muslim population of the U.K.



Perhaps now is the time to be honest with each other and to stop labelling the enemy with simplistic terms such as "young", "underprivileged", "undereducated" and perhaps even "fringe". The don't-rock-the-boat attitude of elders doesn't mean the agitation wanes; it means it builds till it can be contained no more.



So does he mean that the rage and hatred that leads to the events like the bombing, is widespread among his, purportedly more educated peer group???


Either he is being excagerated on purpose, or he is on to something real and scary.

Turns out the guy can actually be objective and self-critical in other areas, his criticisms of the 'backward traditions' that are perpetuated by certain Islamic leaders and institutions in England would be seen as 'modern'. They also do reveal some truly disturbing facts about what goes inside some Mosques in particular, as his other article shows. .

‘Beats’ at the Mosque

A common reality that many face whilst growing up is going to the ‘Madrassah’ routinely every day for two hours in the evening. Often instead of being a productive two hours where minds are filled with clear understanding and powerful culture of Islam, for many it is something that they dread – two hours of memorization and being beaten for a variety of reasons, ranging from making a mistake to talking to friends.

In later years friends often even laugh about their painful days at the ‘Madrassah’ and compare the various methods of punishment the ‘Maulana’ would inflict, the most famous being the ‘Murgee’ or ‘chicken’ position.

It’s common practice for the people who teach children in the Madrassah’s not to be acquainted with the reality of children growing up in the West and the issues they face and not to be fluent in the English language. Many are employed merely as a convenience rather than due to their ability to build Islamic personalities.


The Guardian elsewhere has this article, by David Goodhart that cites a survey of Muslim attitudes:



According to an ICM poll in the Guardian last year, 13% of British Muslims thought the 9/11 attacks were justified, and according to other polls as many as 25% do not identify with Britain in any way.



This is despite advances made by British Muslims in recent years:

Under Labour the first Muslims were elected to the House of Commons and appointed to the Lords. Muslim organisations lobbied for and won state funds for Muslim schools, a question in the census on religious faith, and criminalisation of religious hate crimes. The huge rise in public spending and focus on improving delivery in the poorest areas will have particularly benefited Muslims alongside other disadvantaged groups. And since 9/11 the government has sought out bright young Muslims for senior civil-service jobs and introduced innovations such as the hajj information unit for those making the pilgrimage to Mecca.


But despite these advances, according to Goodhart, even moderate Muslim organizations in Britain, continue to repeat the 'crude "war against Islam" rhetoric, that does little to moderate any extremist impulses within the community, and create genuine dialogue.
.
An undifferentiated rhetoric of grievance contributes to alienation, lack of integration and even indirectly to extremism. If you are constantly being told by even moderate Muslim leaders that Britain is a cesspit of Islamophobia and is running a colonial anti-Muslim foreign policy, you might well conclude, like one young Muslim quoted after the bombs: "I would like to give blood but they probably won't want mine."


So combine this with the victimization worldview of Mr.'Sassy', as cited above. Reality is often not recognized:

How often do Muslim leaders point out that Tony Blair favoured ground-troop intervention on behalf of European Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo? And as the Muslim peer Kishwer Falkner points out: "When Muslims are pressed to say what should have been done with a Taliban-run, al-Qaida-embracing Afghanistan, one is met with silence." Finally, how often is it pointed out that many of Britain's Shia Muslims welcomed the overthrow of Saddam, which has replaced secular dictatorship with Islamic democracy.

They say the Spanish Punto De Honor - that mythic code among Spaniards and (Latin Americans) to punish any offense to an individuals honor - has its origins from the Islamic occupiers of Spain. If victimization produces a sense of aggrievement, and if a part of that honor code impulse survives in current Islam - as it undoubtedly does in Latin America - then we can truly see why things have happened. What we need to do, in the U.K. and everywhere else, is to create conditions that favor internal dialogue and deflate potential hot spots.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well boli-whatever, that is an interesting article, I guess it caught your eye because it was short and you figured, your brain can only accept tiny bits at the time so maybe this one will be easy to absorve. The irony is that some of the ignorant rants you spread are dealt with nicely by what this guy is saying. You spread your ignorance and now you post an article that may have a slight chance to crack your own solid brain open. (That's why it is SCARY to you sports boy)--and that's funny.
But I ahve to be realistic, your limitations are just staggering. No reason will ever reach your obtuse mind, after all, you are just a simple ignorant sports fan who uses a PC to spread missconceptions and cover your deep inferiority complex.

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