Ms Warsi should be demanding British Muslims embrace our ways
“What a nerve this unelected women has. She seeks to lecture us, when the religion she represents is often inhuman and incompatible with British values”
So Conservative Party Chairman “Baroness” Warsi thinks the middle classes are routinely prejudiced against Muslims. No explanation from her as to what she might mean. She uses the word “prejudiced” like the routine insult “racist”, without attempting to define it. Perhaps I can remind the unelected Ms Warsi of a few reasons that reasonable Britons might be a bit wary of Muslims, and suggest some ideas that she might like to share with her co-religionists in the interest of harmony and improving relations.
What other religion threatens us in the way Islam does? Every time we take a plane somewhere we are reminded that it is not Jews or Hindus or Sikhs or Christians that might be smuggling bombs on board. Every time we get on a tube train in London, there is the suspicion that anyone a bit Middle-Eastern looking might be a deranged Muslim suicide bomber. It is amazing and impressive to me that Americans and Britons have reacted in such an understated and civilized way to the outrages of 9-11 and 7-7.
Ms Warsi makes no call for British Muslims to seek to assimilate into our society and dump their medieval ways and languages. There is no admission that the Koran contains hefty chunks of a culture that is alien to ours in many ways, and that often rejects British belief in an open society. No word on hallal killing, an inhumane method of treating animals that Britons find deeply offensive. No mention of so-called “honour” killing, a concept incomprehensible to Britons.
What a nerve this unelected women has, to seek to lecture us, when the religion she represents is often inhuman and incompatible with British values.
But the Tory party as a whole is craven in its attitude to Islam. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions yesterday, summed up this contemptible attitude. Pickles said, quoting lefty columnist Polly Toynbee saying she was proud to be Islamophobic, that if you substituted “Jew” for “Muslim” how unacceptably prejudiced this would seem. But Mr Pickles, how many Jews are lining up to be suicide bombers, not caring what innocents they slay, in the name of a religion that apparently rewards such behavior with eternal residence in heaven being serviced by 72 virgins, or is it eating white raisins?
Instead of lecturing us in this impertinent way, if Warsi was a proper Conservative she should admit that much of what Muslims subscribe to in the Koran is incompatible with British culture. Much of what Islam wants directly confronts treasured and hard won rights that our fathers shed blood for over the centuries. They are simply not up for grabs or negotiation of any kind. It is not the British that are prejudiced, it is that many leaders of Muslim communities need to remind themselves of where they are, and urge their constituents to change their ways and embrace British values.
State trumps religion
This means among other things freedom of speech, assembly and movement, separation of church and state, secret ballots, the right to be educated to the limit of your potential – male or female, the right to choose your marriage partner, the equal value of a child, male or female, the right to dress as you wish. Any religion that seeks to operate in Briton must accept these bedrock features, starting by accepting that the state trumps religion.
Muslims must acknowledge that there are large tracts of the Koran that are incompatible with British ways. Muslim leaders should create a document like the New Testament, with a modernized set of tenets which every Mosque in the land should accept. This would include a pledge that Sharia law will never be sought in Britain. Any Mosque wishing to operate in Britain must certify that it will only push this modernised creed. Mosques which refuse to cooperate will be closed.
This problem will only get worse until our politicians can summon up the courage to do something. The first requirement is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Currently, our leaders seem to be like rabbits in the headlights when confronted with militant Islam. Prime Minister David Cameron needs to act – banning the nut jobs at Hizb ut-Tahrir would be a good start, which he promised to do before the election.
Sensible not prejudiced
British suspicion of Muslims is sensible and certainly not prejudiced as Warsi claims. But there’s no reason why long-term relations with British Muslims can’t be warm and friendly, but first we need movement from them. And here’s some personal advice for Ms Warsi. Maybe get yourself elected before you decide to start lecturing us again?