Thursday, August 10, 2006

Guardian Columnist blames UK society for radial Muslims.

UK: Timothy Garton Ash is ready to be ruled over by sharia law based on watching a documentary on Channel 4.

".....Another possible reason is that Britain now has one of the most libertine societies in Europe. Particularly among younger Brits in urban areas, which is where most British Muslims live, we drink more alcohol faster, sleep around more, live less in long-lasting, two-parent families, and worship less, than almost anyone in the world. It's clear from what young British Muslims themselves say that part of their reaction is against this kind of secular, hedonistic, anomic lifestyle. If women are reduced to sex-objects, young Muslim women say, I would rather cover up. Theirs is almost a kind of conservative feminism. Certainly, it's a socially conservative critique of some aspects of British society, particularly visible in their generation, in the urban neighbourhoods where they live. And the critique is nuanced. Half those asked for the Channel 4 programme thought Muslim girls should make up their own minds whether to wear the hijab to school. Nearly a third of female respondents felt there was some truth in the idea that Islam treats women as second-class citizens. (The men just couldn't see it. Now I wonder why ... ) And a majority said that British society treats women with respect. Whatever the mix of causes for this alienation, we need to escape from seeing British Muslims only through the prism of two currently prevailing paradigms: the terrorism paradigm and the backwardness paradigm. The former starts from the question: how can we prevent our Muslims becoming terrorists? A reasonable enough question, but if this becomes the predominant way of looking at British Muslims (Muslim = potential terrorist), it risks contributing to the very effect it aims to avoid. The latter asks: how can we help these people to integrate better into our modern, progressive, liberal, secular society? Its implicit equation is: hijab = backwardness. The idea that these young British Muslims might actually be putting their fingers on some things that are wrong with our modern, progressive, liberal, secular society; the idea that rational persons might freely choose to live in a different, outwardly more restricted way; these hardly feature in everyday progressive discourse. But they should. Articulate British Muslims, as encountered on Jon Snow's Channel 4 documentary and in magazines such as Q-News and Emel, are not merely telling us non-Muslim Brits a lot about themselves. They are also telling us something about ourselves."
As always with liberals, the fault lies with you, not someone else, you are the bad guy and you should change to be nice.

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