Britain needs to have a serious conversation about its Muslim population

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UMP45
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#1
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#1
While it goes without saying that an absolute and overwhelming proportion of British Muslims go about their lives peacefully and would heartily condemn violence against innocents such as what we witnessed in Westminster, we must stop trying to be so politically correct and talk frankly about the divergence in attitudes and sentiments between very large elements of the Muslim community and the rest of British society. I know this previous statement to be true because I was brought up in a Muslim family myself.

Firstly, while most people would condemn attacks like the one in Westminster exclusive of other events, many British Muslims can’t help but refer to the deaths of Muslim civilians in Middle Eastern wars and indignantly claim that the news media is somehow downplaying those losses of human life by exaggerating the importance of the attack on home soil. “What about the Muslims in Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Syria etc?” they will say. This is despite the fact that those conflicts are frequently covered every other day. The purpose of news media is to report things of relevance to us, if the news media can’t provide constant coverage on a very rare attack in a non-commercial political location for at least 24 hours after it happens, why is it called news?

Some British Muslims will undoubtedly link the attack to Britain’s foreign policy. This may be a fair criticism as I myself have reservations about our interventionist stance abroad, however to have to bring it up immediately after the attack happens is crude and cheap to say the least. You can criticise both, but there’s a time and a place for each.

Other British Muslims furiously claim that every time a white man kills somebody he’s labelled mentally ill but if he’s brown-skinned its automatically terrorism. This ignores the fact that the British media hasn’t shied away from calling atrocities committed by whites with political motives as terrorist incidents. We didn’t call the IRA a bunch of mentally ill psychos and we labelled Jo Cox’s killer as a far-right terrorist.

All of these sentiments seem to stem from a delusion that non-Muslim Brits are inherently Islamaphobic animals out to get Muslims, despite the fact that Britain is one of the most tolerant places in Europe for Muslims to practice their faith (try and ask for time off to pray in a French school or workplace).

This delusion stems primarily from conservative preachers in sermons and Mosques, where Muslims congregate periodically to worship. During Friday Prayer, I have had first-hand experience in witnessing sermons that are highly politicised, usually to do with affairs in the Middle East (Syria’s a hot topic), put in a theological context. This mixing of contemporary politics and faith is the real cause of sympathy for extremist positions. Muslims in the UK are more likely to be apolitical than other demographics of the country.

The absence of mainstream politics creates the vacuum for a politicised interpretation of faith to take over. Various surveys on Muslim social attitudes versus the social attitudes of the rest of society show the gap, be it on views towards homosexuals or opinions on Jews. While exceptionally intelligent Muslims can articulately make a legitimate case against some of Israel’s actions, most ordinary Muslims I’ve come across hold conspiratorial and anti-Semitic views about Jews controlling central banks and governments and telling me to boycott Tesco because it apparently funds the occupation of the West Bank.

Muslims are also far more likely to be concentrated together as a group in one area, although this is to do more with ethnicity than anything else. However, the lack of exposure to other races and groups of people makes other ways of life seem alien and hinders integration.

The problem isn’t with Islam (Christianity and Judaism too have questionable literature in their scripture), it’s with Muslims who too often can’t make vociferous condemnations of terrorist atrocities without simultaneously linking it back to something happening in the Middle East. As a consequence, violent terrorism is seen as more acceptable by those who are radicalised. I don’t think Muslims should be forced to repeatedly condemn every single attack as if they’re responsible (which they are not) or hold massive demonstrations against them, but if they do then it should focus solely on the matter at hand. It’s also with Muslims who have an Orthodox interpretation of Islam with a political outlook on it.

Of course, this does not apply to every single Muslim in the UK individually, but sadly not enough people in the Muslim community or outside of the Muslim community are willing to challenge ignorance due to fear of being called an “Uncle Tom” or racist/xenophobic (if you’re a non-Muslim white). Defeating ISIS won’t end Islamic terrorism in the UK alone. Most major Islamist terror attacks in the UK since 7/7 have been perpetrated by homegrown radicals. It’s time for a serious national conversation about this.
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username1799249
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#2
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#2
Conversely...

While it goes without saying that an absolute and overwhelming proportion of white British people go about their lives peacefully and would heartily condemn violence against innocents such as Jo Cox MP, we must stop trying to be so politically correct and talk frankly about the divergence in attitudes and sentiments between very large elements of the white British community and the rest of British society. I know this previous statement to be true because I was brought up in a white British family myself.

This has nothing to do with Muslims or Muslim attitudes. It has everything to do with what we as British citizens hold up as our values. It matters not a jot whether you are white, yellow, brown or pink. If you attack British values of decency, democracy and the rule of law, you deserve everything you get. Statements like, "Having a frank conversation," and, "stop trying to be politically correct," just invite people to be forthright, inconsiderate, racist and generally rude to each other. British values teach us to respect each other. Some may say political correctness stops us having frank discussions. I say it allows us to speak openly whilst considering and respecting the views of others.
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h333
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#3
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As a Muslim I am sad when any attack happens.
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Ladbants
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#4
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lol like anyone's gonna read all that
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username2337813
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#5
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"Muslims are also far more likely to be concentrated together as a group in one area, although this is to do more with ethnicity than anything else. However, the lack of exposure to other races and groups of people makes other ways of life seem alien and hinders integration. "

Couldn't disagree more.
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HopeNotHate
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#6
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#6
So many inaccuracies in the op. You've stated that the incident yesterday was a very rare attack but then we also need a serious national conversation? The last thing we need now is a knee jerk reaction.
Also, I'm pretty sure that a lot was made of the mental state of Jo Cox's killer. But ultimately the act he committed was an act of terrorism.
You keep referring to how 'many' muslim's will think this or 'others' will say that, how many British muslims have you actually spoke to since yesterday's attack?
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anarchism101
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#7
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#7
(Original post by UMP45)
Muslims are also far more likely to be concentrated together as a group in one area, although this is to do more with ethnicity than anything else. However, the lack of exposure to other races and groups of people makes other ways of life seem alien and hinders integration.
This just isn't true. Ethnic minorities across the board are far less likely to live in ethnically homogenous areas than whites. In the 2011 census, of England's 326 districts, over 40 were 98% or more White. By contrast, there was one - Newham - where the combined non-white population (which, of course, is not at all a homogenous group) exceeded even 60%.

67% of British Muslims say they want to live in mixed areas. 58% of non-Muslims say the same.

As for the homegrown extremists, it's often striking how integrated they were. Take the London bombers. Excluding Germaine Linsday, who was a Jamaican convert, the bombers were all born and raised in Britain, speaking English as their native language, attending typical British schools. Shehzad Tanweer ran his dad's fish and chip shop. Hasib Hussain was said to be an enthusiastic football fan. Maajid Nawaz accurately described them as "northern-born lads with thick Yorkshire accents".
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