Saturday, October 30, 2010

Faster, faster England .... for your last rites, do you want a priest or an imam? .... Part Twenty Two

1) Quote from Ibn Warraq A democracy cannot survive long without freedom of expression, the freedom to argue, to dissent, even to insult and offend. It is a freedom sorely lacking in the Islamic world, and without it Islam will remain unassailed in its dogmatic, fanatical, medieval fortress; ossified, totalitarian and intolerant. Without this fundamental freedom, Islam will continue to stifle thought, human rights, individuality; originality and truth.

Episode 1: 5/6

2) Taliban says their main funding come from British muslims. “We are not like a government, we depend on individuals,” a Taliban commander told Sky News. “We get donations from our Muslim brothers in Britain for jihad and they help us. It is the duty of all Muslims to pay towards fighting a jihad. And this is how we get our money and buy our weapons and carry on fighting.”

3) Far from ending, her ordeal intensified. The troubled teenager was taken to her grandmother's house in the Middle East where, as she recalls with a chilling lack of emotion, her parents tried persuading her to take her own life.

Episode 1: 6/6

4) From an interview with Ibn Warraq: I was a teacher in London for five years in the '70s when multiculturalism was the rage, and I was very much for it because being from a minority culture, I realised the importance of looking at non-Western cultures in a positive way. But I now realise that we have gone too far, in that we have emphasised the differences which has been disastrous for the community. Not only have we emphasised the differences, we have accepted totally false representations of what the West is. Every ill in the world, including the Third World of course, has been attributed to the wicked West, and there's been incredible nonsense written about colonialism and racism and so on, as though only the West was guilty of this. Of course slavery and the Muslims were deeply implicated in the slave trade, Islam was an Imperialist religion which destroyed Christianity in the Near East, yet nobody mentions those facts.

Anyway, coming back to multiculturalism, we cannot hope to have a civic society if we do not value the same things, if we do not pursue the same goals, and we cannot do this if we keep emphasising the differences. We must have a shared core of values, and it seems essential that we get beyond this divisive multiculturalism, which essentially means Western bashing, bashing the West, we will not get anywhere until we emphasise the things that we value, like separation of church and state, liberalism, democracy, the value of rationality, discussing our problems and so on. And yet our leaders have been incredibly remiss. They pour even more money into keeping people apart. It seems insane to me. Instead of teaching the new arrivals and new immigrants the language of the host community, mostly English in Britain of course, and in America and Australia, they're spending thousands of dollars and pounds on encouraging language teaching in Punjabi, in Urdu, in Hindi, it seems completely daft; how on earth can these people integrate and become a part of the community if they do not speak the language of that community?

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