Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Ian Birrell: We have nothing to fear from our Muslim citizens

This man is a fool. What I don't yet know is whether he is a fool because he genuinely believes what he writes,or because he underestimates his readers by thinking that we will be so stupid as to believe him. Muslims are not Roman Catholics but without the left feet.  Neither are they hard working and ethical Jews. From the London Evening Standard on the day information from the 2011 census revealed that the white English are now a minority in London and Muslims, 1 million of whom live in London, are now 4.8% of the population as a whole.

New census figures showing an increase in the UK’s Muslim population are no excuse for scaremongering. Shortly after the end of his first term in office, Liberal leader William Gladstone penned a pamphlet against Catholicism. Denying it was even a spiritual faith, he argued that British followers could not be loyal to the Crown and the Pope and said they sought to undermine traditional British values . . .

Today Gladstone’s diatribe seems absurd. One of his most recent successors attended mass while in Downing Street, and the monarch can marry now into the faith. Each wave of mass immigration provokes the same old fears before newcomers are subsumed into evolving nations.

Now it is the turn of Muslims. Debate over their place in modern Britain has been thrown into sharp relief this week with the release of the latest tranche of data from last year’s census. . . The previous census in 2001 asked about faith for the first time and revealed Islam as Britain’s second-biggest religion, with 1.6 million adherents. Since then, 13 of the 20 fastest-growing boroughs are those with high concentrations of Muslim residents, led by Tower Hamlets and Newham in east London. The 2011 census estimates that there are now 2.7 million British Muslims, with nearly 40 per cent of them — a million — living in London.

 It is not just the hate spewed out by far-Right groups, who shifted from battling black immigrants to crusading against Muslims. Across society, bile against Muslims is the acceptable bigotry —Baroness Warsi, the Tory minister, was right to round on its dinner-party respectability last year.

A little-noticed section of the Leveson report said Muslims were targets of systematic press hostility. The judge had good cause for concern: even journalist Polly Toynbee, the high priestess of progressive politics, has admitted to taking pride in Islamophobia.

Polls have found nearly half of Britons think there are too many Muslims in Britain and more than half believe they “create problems”. Needless to say, such negative attitudes are not found against other religions.

These are brilliantly taken apart in The Myth of the Muslim Tide, a new book by Canadian journalist Doug Saunders. To take just one surprising finding, the number of jihadist terrorist incidents in Europe in the eight years after 9/11 represented less than one per cent of terrorist incidents on the Continent.

But now old myths are turbocharged by the internet and social media. Just look at the 13.6 million hits of an infamous video on YouTube called “Muslim demographics”. The statistics showing a supposed Islamic takeover of Europe are false but are ceaselessly recycled — the seven-minute video was even played at a Vatican synod.

The consequence of this is men being abused, women having their hijabs ripped off and mosques being vandalised. One Muslim woman told the BBC last week how she changed her name by deed poll to improve her chance of getting a job, yet still saw attitudes alter at interviews.

Gladstone, a devout Christian, was no liberal when it came to Muslims either. He once called the Koran an “accursed book” and, holding it up in Parliament, declared there would never be peace in the world so long as it existed. The sooner he is proved wrong on this count too, the better for us all.

Read the comments.  

Posted on 12/11/2012 11:12 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
11 Dec 2012
Send an emailRebecca Bynum

Wow - the comments are impressive. I've been noticing that whenever an article like this appears in the US, the tide has been gradually shifting toward the kind of vehement disagreement seen here. People are getting tired of being lectured by sanctimonius pissants like this.

11 Dec 2012
Send an emailMary Jackson

What I don't yet know is whether he is a fool because he genuinely believes what he writes,or because he underestimates his readers by thinking that we will be so stupid as to believe him.

Of the two, the first is more dangerous. Ignorance is dangerous because we need to know our enemy.

Ludicrous as his position seems, it's very common among those who know nothing of Islam. It's true that at one time Catholics, having allegiance to a foreign power, might have been a political threat. But the big difference is that for Jesus religion and politics were separate, whereas Mohammed's kingdom was, and is, very much of this world.

Regarding the comments, even the heavily censored Comment Is "Free" site at the Guardian attracts some pretty perceptive comments on matters Islamic. Elites are fools. People are not.

11 Dec 2012
Seneca III

Well, Mr. Birrell, you may well feel we have nothing to fear from our muslim 'citizens but I do wonder if it has occurred to you that when the tide changes, as it is doing, and begins to race in the opposite direction, would it not be wise of you and your ilk to give serious consideration to what you and yours may rightly come to fear from us?

Just asking, Ian, out of nothing more than a morbid fascination with the rhythms of history so please don't let these musings disturb your sleep.

11 Dec 2012
Christina McIntosh

 I read the comments.  Very interesting.

The one Mohammedan spin-doctor got slapped down in very short order.

Pretty well everyone else appears to have been doing their homework.

That's the thing that people like Ian Birrell just do. not. get.

That a/ lots and lots and lots of ordinary people have visited or worked in Muslim countries and have used their commonsense and b/ many have had bruising experiences of Muslims in daily life, within the UK and c/ many of those people - and even many who have not travelled to Muslim lands or suffered persistent Muslim violence/ aggression / whining/ fraud up close and personal on British soil, have still done their homework, after events like the bombing of the buses and the subway, and have put 2 and 2 together.

That a lot of  perfectly ordinary people have read the Quran - and any number of other Islamic texts, most of which are conveniently available online - translated by Muslims - , together with a bit of old-fashioned history - and have noticed the congruity between those texts, that history, and stuff that is happening today in places like the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, or in Pakistan, or Egypt, or southern Thailand, and they have reached the exact same conclusion that Gladstone did.  (I wonder whether Mr Birrell has ever heard of what the Turkish Muslims did to the Bulgarian Christians, or read the magnificent - and scorching - pamphlet that Gladstone wrote about that?)

And I wonder whether Mr Birrell has ever sampled the endless rantings of bog-standard Mohammedan clerics, wild-eyed, hysterical with hate, from points all over the Islamic world, that can be viewed by any curious Infidel oin 1001 clips proudly put up on youtube by Muslims themselves; or in convenient and accurate translation at sites like MEMRI?  Heard one, heard 'em all...and it's vitriolic hate spewed out toward Infidels (especially toward da JOooz) from start to finish.  And I wonder whether Mr Birrell knows just how many infidels have - with mounting horror - quietly eavesdropped at any number of Islamic online forums such as 'ask the imam'. and 'Islamic Q and A'..dorothy dix such sites are NOT.

12 Dec 2012
Augustus Carp Esq.

Off topic but topical with respect to the recent killing of a linesman in a Dutch amateur match by two Moroccan immigrant players.

There's some common factor to all these names but I just can't quite put my finger on it.

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