Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Muslims in Britain are the most patriotic in Europe"

This lunch time I sneaked off to Bow Idea Store in Roman Road for a quiet read and decent cup of coffee. While reading the Christmas New Statesman I came across an interesting article which I can’t find an exact link but their political editor Mehdi also refers to it here (and the Times also confirms its source).

A survey has found that “An average 78 per cent of UK Muslims identified themselves as British, compared with 49 per cent of Muslims who consider themselves French and just 23 per cent who feel German”.

The article credits the Anglo-Saxon sense of “fair play” and that Muslims in the UK appreciate the role of British institutions such as the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. The article also rightly pointed out that things for British Muslims are “not perfect”.

But I am enormously encouraged by such reports which coincides strongly with my own experiences of British Muslims.

This earlier report here found that British Muslims are far more British than average! “Perhaps the survey's most surprising finding was that more than three-quarters of British Muslims (77 per cent) said they identified "very strongly" with the UK, compared to just half (50 per cent) of the general public”.

Picture is of solicitor and Newham Labour Party member Tareq Chowdbury (third right) at his British Citizenship ceremony in July this year.


John Going Gently said...

tee hee
only posted as we have the same name!!!

John Gray said...

Hi John

What about our long lost cousin across the pond?


Steve said...

Good post, mate! We need to get it across that its only a tiny minority who can never be real Muslims who are dragging down public perception of those that practise that faith.

Anonymous said...

Good post - we should be very grateful to the Muslims in Britain for being so considerate.

Rita Chadha said...

I thought if you're agreeable that it would be sharing this discussion further afield than our facebook friends.
We were having a discussion on facebook, where you asked me if I agreed with the premise of 'integration'

Not really. I believe that the premise is well intentioned but flawed, it arose out of an enquiry initially into 7/7 not anything else. The issue of integration presuposes
1. A definition of a shared ideology, reliant on a single definition of community which as Putnam has alredy made clear no longer exists
2. Fails to accomodate the class based and socio economic model of disadvantage, which is why so many people have uncritically accepted at face value the single equality act (the big plus for Labour is that the emphasis on 'poverty' which fair due is one of the few good features
3. Presumes that conflict is based on racial politics which is based on a crude understanding of racial difference
4. Fails to acknowledge the legacy of positive interaction between communties.
In short 'integration' in the way described and managed by central goverment is a backward step....

John Gray said...

Hi Steve and anon
Thank you for your contributions.

Hi Rita
Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond but I have been away for the last few days. Concerns about “Integration” has actually been around for much longer than 7/7. My late Grandmother (nain) was beaten at school for speaking her first language (welsh) and had a noose put around her neck tied to a log and be made to drag the log behind her all day. She also had to wear a placard which said “I spoke welsh”. This punishment was actually melted out by welsh teachers and approved of by her own community who wanted to integrate with the English. This was after 700 years of “occupation”. I have also read accounts of the very strict East End Jewish schools in the 1930’s run by the Jewish community who banned the use of Yiddish for similar reasons.

You are right about the importance of class and poverty but I don’t think integration depends on a single definition of community? I think the white community needs to integrate as well as everyone else. Integration does not mean you should give up your culture, language or religion either? I don’t think that the government or society itself has really thought things through on integration but I think on balance things are better than they have been. Still loads to do mind.