But conforming to the culture of "The Great Satan" can be difficult. Just as with the black community in the US, if a Muslim wants to integrate he may be criticized by his fellow Muslims as a traitor. Back in August, Sajid Mahmood, a 24-year-old fast bowler [cricket pitcher] born in the northern town of Bolton, produced the finest performance of his career to lead England to a vital victory against the touring Pakistani cricket team. For his troubles, Mahmood was heckled and labeled a traitor by a section of the crowd. Mahmood took the abuse--hurled by a group of vocal British Muslims--in stride, but the moment offered a snapshot of two possible futures for British Muslims: welcome integration into the mainstream or a retreat into isolation, bigotry, and violence.
The fundamental problem with Muslim integration is that fact that they don't consider themselves to be British. Eventhough a majority of immigrant Muslims in Britain sought and were granted asylum, reaping welfare and housing benefits, there doesn't seem to be much gratitude on the part of the Islamic community. How can someone expect an immigrant to assimilate when they consider themselves anything but British:
|A recent opinion survey of Muslims carried out by Channel 4 News concluded that just 44 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds feel Britain is their country, and 51 percent of them believe September 11 was the result of an American-Israeli conspiracy. Furthermore, 30 percent of British Muslims would like to live under sharia law, and 28 percent would like Great Britain to become an Islamic state. These findings, alas, cannot be considered the result of a rogue poll. A Pew Research Center survey this year found that 81 percent of British Muslims consider themselves Muslim first and British second. As Timothy Garton Ash noted in a prescient piece in Thursday's Guardian, "This is a higher proportion than in Jordan, Egypt or Turkey, and exceeded only by that in Pakistan (87%)." No wonder the Channel 4 pollsters concluded that nearly one in ten British Muslims "can be classified as 'Hardcore Islamists' who are unconcerned by trifles like freedom of speech."|
Blair is correct to point out that the burqa and hajib are divisive. The Liberal British intelligensia has been giving in to Muslim cultural "requirements" for the last 30 years so now Muslims simply expect to live and operate in British society under their own set of special laws.
When you account for less then 3% of a population, you really have no right to impose your limited set of beliefs on the majority population. But the opposite has been happening in Britain for a long time. From "Londonistan" by Melanie Phillips:
"Until forty years ago, British society had been relatively homogeneous. True, the nation had originally been forged from waves of invasion by Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Normans: but for around 1,000 years, its demographic profile remained remarkably stable. Such immigrations that occurred during that time, such as by the Irish, the Huguenots or the Jews from Eastern Europe, were on a very small scale. During that period, British national identity centered upon a set of traditions, laws and customs arising out of its Christian heritage. This strong majoritarian culture meant that minorities were expected to fit in."
She goes on to say that Multiculturalism has become the driving force in British life, ruthlessly enforcing a doctrine of state-financed army of local and national bureaucrats enforcing a doctrine of state-mandated virtue to promote racial, ethnic and cultural difference and stamp out majority values. British institutions have been brainwashed to believe that they themselves are intrinically racist and, therefore, "nonjudgmentalism" is the new law of the land.
And if the British want to look to their leaders for some support, don't cast your gaze upon the Prince of Wales for help. He has been very vocal about how much he loves the Islamic culture. Prior to the July London bombings, Prince Charles was quoted as saying, "I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational." In a major address on Islam on October 27, 1993, at the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford where he is a vice patron of the Centre for Islamic Studies, Charles declared:
“Our judgment of Islam has been grossly distorted by taking the extremes to the norm. . . . For example, people in this country frequently argue that the Sharia law of the Islamic world is cruel, barbaric and unjust. Our newspapers, above all, love to peddle those unthinking prejudices. The truth is, of course, different and always more complex. My own understanding is that extremes, like the cutting off of hands, are rarely practiced. The guiding principle and spirit of Islamic law, taken straight from the Qur'an, should be those of equity and compassion.” (Londonistan, pg 67)
Unbelievably he went on to suggest that the Islamic world had just as much respect for Women's rights, and maybe more, than they did in Europe.
No one wants to limit Muslims' free exercise of their religion and no one is calling for that. We simply want to live in a country where we ALL feel united in our national identity. If I went to Germany, I'd attempt to learn the language, wear lederhosen and drink lots of beer. That's because it is inherently a courteous act to conform to your host country's culture. It's disrespectful to act otherwise. And you can't entirely blame the Muslims for asking for the Sun, Moon and Stars when they enter a new country. Europe has given them everything and more than what they asked for, why not continue to demand? The chances are very good that the Liberals in those countries will give you exactly what you asked for.
So it comes down to this: Do our leaders have the courage to call these immigrant groups on their divisive behaviors. Apparently Tony Blair now does, since he's leaving office soon. What about Bush? Hardly. He's too busy pandering to the illegal immigrants and laying out pork like blubber on a Japanese whaling ship.
So while Bush probably received some very clear and courageous guidance from his talkradio friends, it appears that he doesn't have the courage to act on it.