January 04, 2007

Islamism in Al Guardian ... again

Al Groan has once again opening it's pages as the Islamist house magazine. But this time they made a little mistake, instead of simply trying to old 'anti-americanimperialist line the writer decided to praise the, rather repressive, family values of Islamist culture as a cure all for the ills that currently affect the UK. However even Al Guardian is not quite ready for that as there is still just about enough of the left left that is liberal to produce a firestorm in the comments. If the editors idea was to get lots of page views then they will have certainly succeeded.

I'm just going to fisk a few points, the comments to the article are extensive and cover everything, just the biggest bits like this:
an assumption that integration is a one-way street. However, there are many things that the rest of the country could learn from Muslims
Yes there are, and yes integration isn't a one-way street. But that means there are things that Muslims can learn from us as well and since most Muslims will be from families that moved here within the last 50 years because they thought Britain was better than where ever they had been living there is probably more they can learn from the natives than the natives from the Muslims.

Hence the calls, growing ever louder, for Muslims to integrate: no more forced marriages; no more honour killings; accept the rule of law.
And this is a bad thing? Are we really supposed to accept rape, murder, and people that think themselves above the law?

It is easy to dismiss Muslim parents as old-fashioned and traditional
Well honour killings and forced marriages are be a bit more medieval than simply traditional, but yes that is a common view. And one that Sarfraz Manzoor goes on to agree with.

but when the rest of the country is busy wondering how to respond to a culture of rampant disrespect, it is worth considering whether they could learn from Muslim values.
So what are these values that we can learn from? If they are worth it then the mongrel culture of Britain is likely to gobble them up like a nice hot curry.

Muslim parents also tend to be less interested in child-centred parenting and more into parent-centred parenting. For example, when I was growing up there was no possibility of answering back to my parents, and this was accompanied by an all-pervasive fear of letting them down. This was a model of parenting that put great faith in deference and, while at the time it felt regressive, it was also what kept my generation in check.

My father often used the threat of "what might the community say?" as a weapon to control my rebellious teenage desires. I resented the power that this community had over me, but it is only now that I can appreciate its value.
I've never read anything like that in the Guardian before, it would be far more at home in the Daily Mail. A homily to the values of the 1950's a repressive culture of fear where men where men and 'fallen' women where sent off to die on the table of a backstreet abortionist to save the scorn of the neighbourhood scold. Well that was the native 1950's culture. Islamist culture doesn't bother with the expense of the abortionist.

Many members of my parents' generation may have been uneducated, employed in manual labour and unable even to speak English, but they raised their children to value values. They instilled in them a strong moral code, in which children's greatest fear was of bringing shame on their family.
Actually the children's greatest fear might have been should they have brought shame on them to have been murdered in front of their family.

Their children learned that responsibility to their parents does not end at the age of 18. That is why so many British Muslims live in extended families today; why my brother lives next door to my mother so that his children can see their grandmother every day; and why our mother does not feel abandoned and useless in her old age. If the greatest weakness of the Muslim community has been its insularity, then that has also been the source of its greatest strengths.
OK this kind of community cohesion may well be a good thing. It might even be worth the cost required to attain it. But it is hardly a uniquely Muslim part of culture. It also holds with the Chinese, Indian, Jewish and many other groups. Or maybe even the native culture from before the 1950's when the Welfare State really began to have an impact in replacing these old social support networks with ones provided by the State. All of these other options do considerably better than both Muslims and the 'white' communities by just about every measure such, for example, employment. Wouldn't they then offer a better model to learn from?

Whether the danger is religious extremism, drugs or crime, those involved are largely third-generation Muslims who are so integrated into white society that they are emulating its worst characteristics.
Religious extremism a characteristic of white society? The society of ever falling church attendances and rampant materialism? Earth to Manzoor, come in Manzoor. We seem to have lost you there.

So Sarfraz Manzoor thinks that the stronger social networks in Muslim culture (and Hindu, and Chinese, and the indigenous culture of before the Welfare State. All of which he doesn't mention) is a good thing, this may be true. He says we should learn from immigrants, and again probably we should (especially the Chinese and Hindus communities that produce many more successful individuals than the white community, which in turn produces more successful individuals than the Muslim one. Another little thing he does not mention). But to imply as he does that forced marriages, honour killings, and rejection of the rule of law are just little things that shouldn't be worried about in order to get at the cultural riches of Islam is not a trade I am willing to make. Especially when all of these cultural riches are not unique to Islam and can be had in other cultures, including the one that existed indigenously before the Welfare State, without having to accept the unacceptable.


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