Tuesday, 21 August 2007

A Nation of Wicked "Islamophobes"

Britons are more suspicious of Muslims than Americans and other Europeans, according to a poll for the Financial Times.

Only 59 per cent of Britons thought it possible to be both a Muslim and a citizen of their country, a smaller proportion than in France, Germany, Spain, Italy or the US - the other countries polled by Harris Interactive.

Put me down in the 41%.

Actually, on a literal reading of the question I should be in the 59%. Because it is possible for a Muslim to be a British citizen - there are, sadly, a few million of them holding British citizenship at the moment. It's just not possible for a Muslim to be truly loyal to Britain.
British citizens were also the most likely to predict a "major terrorist attack" in their country in the next 12 months; consider Muslims "a threat to national security", and believe Muslims had too much political power in their country.

However, on more personal measures of integration - having Muslim friends and accepting the marriage of their child to a Muslim - Britons showed more enthusiasm than some other countries.

The findings suggest that terrorist plots against the UK, including the London bombings of July 7 2005, have hardened British attitudes towards Muslims. Osama Saeed of the Muslim Association of Britain blamed the findings on what he called "a vicious campaign" by the press against the Muslim community.

Hmm, yes Osama. And it quite clearly has nothing to do with the fact that Muslim terrorists murdered over fifty people in 2005, and that they have attempted to repeat this feat on a number of occasions since. After all, it is the height of Islamophobic bigotry to suggest that negative public perceptions of Islam could arise from the behaviour of Muslims.

Rather astonishingly, the FT asserts that:

France emerged as the country most at ease with its Muslim population. The French were most likely to say they had Muslim friends, to accept if their child wanted to marry a Muslim, and to say Muslims in their country had received unjustified criticism and prejudice.

Patrick Weil, political scientist at the University of Paris 1 Sorbonne, said: "In France we are very good at cultural integration. We are very bad in fighting discrimination, especially in high-level jobs. In the UK it is the opposite."

Exactly. And I'm sure we can all think of a few examples of Muslims integrating really well into French society.
Is Weil deluded, or is he just an unconscionable liar, I wonder? And, is the French nation as a whole suffering from a rather serious case of Stockholm syndrome?

Postscript: The FT clearly believes that it is a sign of irrational prejudice to feel that Muslims wield an excessive amount of political power in one's country. However, I would draw their attention, and that of anyone minded to agree with them, to this story, from the Daily Mail:
The BBC has dropped plans to show a fictional terror attack in an episode of Casualty to avoid offending Muslims.

The first show of the hospital drama's new series was to have featured a storyline about an explosion caused by Islamic extremists.

Now the bomb will be set off by animal rights campaigners instead.
Oddly enough, al-Beeb did not feel a similar need to avoid causing offence last November, when another of its programmes depicted Christian terrorists (because there are so very many of those about, aren't there?) murdering Muslims. Why is it that the Muslim minority must never be offended, but the Christian majority can be attacked with impunity, unless because Muslims do wield a hugely disproportionate degree of power in this country?

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