An important and timely study published by the Policy Exchange think tank yesterday finds that young British Muslims are much more likely to be drawn to radical Islam than their parents. Thirty-seven per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds would prefer to live under Sharia law than the laws of this country. These findings may not come as a surprise: many will remember an NOP poll last August which reported that 45 per cent of British Muslims believed that 9/11 was an American-Israeli conspiracy. But it’s important continually to draw attention to the disease of Islamic extremism in Britain in order to motivate a Government, long on rhetoric, to take decisive action.
For what it’s worth, the authors, Munira Mirza, Abi Senthilkumaran and Zein Ja’far, are, well, not quite white supremacists. They indicate, rather, a growing number of British Asians, such as myself, who are critical of multiculturalism, the race relations industry and the peculiar culture of celebrating diversity.
Not much new here, but it must be said, it’s good that it’s being said by an Asian, and, well, gotta get it in before the vicodin kicks in.
First, it must ensure that taxpayers money is not being spent in ways that promote difference. This means looking at the provision of translation and interpretation services, as well as looking at the way money is being spent in schools, libraries, hospitals and social services, and the provision of English language teaching.
Second, the rhetoric of politicians and opinion-formers must move away from focusing on our differences. The current problem arises from a real threat presented by extremists within the Islamic community. The message to these extremists and those who are in a position to influence their thinking must be a clear one, yes, of inclusion but inclusion only on Britain’s terms. When politicians talk of celebrating differences that message becomes confused. This does not mean we should be searching for things we have in common: Islamic extremists and the great majority of Britons share very little in terms of values.
Instead, politicians and opinion-formers need to assert loudly and clearly the call for integration and that means celebrate diversity, by all means, but only in the home.
…And in the supermarket.
In our intoxicated infatuation with differences, we can easily overlook similarities. Yes, all of us have families and love our children. But sometimes the similarities can surprise us. A friend of mine, a dour Yorkshireman who’d make Geoffrey Boycott look wet, reflected that he had more in common with Shilpa Shetty than with Jade Goody. And why not?