From the BBC
What do British Muslims really think? It's a question that news organisations have repeatedly tried to answer since the terror attacks of 9/11 and 7/7, and one that suggests that maybe the person asking isn't a British Muslim.
Some Muslims have expressed their weariness at these regular enquiries about their opinions, which they believe may be motivated by a desire to demonise them in the eyes of the non-Muslim population or to portray Muslims as a community with a single homogeneous opinion. But others believe these surveys are an important way of raising difficult and important questions about divides within society.
This whole debate has been re-opened by a new poll, but this time some Muslims have chosen to use humour to respond to findings which they feel are not representative of their attitudes.
This is nothing less than apologia by the BBC. A poll has been conducted by Channel 4, generally a fair-minded, generally liberal-minded broadcaster which said that 52% of Muslims would like homosexuality to be illegal. Now, if a Muslim said that say, they get demonised as suicide bombers, they'd have a point. You can even say "we aren't all like that". But you can't say that Muslims are demonised as against homosexual rights when most of them are.
Commenting on the results, Trevor Philips, former head of the Equality & Human Rights Commission, told the newspaper: "I thought Europe's Muslims would gradually blend into Britain's diverse landscape. I should have known better."
But in an apparent attempt to prove him and the poll findings wrong, some British Muslims are taking to Twitter to highlight what they have in common with their countrymen - a sense of the ridiculous, and an appreciation of the banal aspects of everyday life. A Conservative politician, Baroness Warsi, the former Minister of State for Faith and Communities, kicked it off.
What the fuck? Sorry, but a few tweets from a few of the more liberal minded people doesn't prove him wrong. A few tweets aren't data compared to 1081 adults who represent a broad cross-section of the population. It's like me tweeting my republican opinion as though that represents what the county thinks of the Queen.
Lord Phillips, who will present the documentary on Wednesday, wrote in the Sunday Times that the poll illustrated truths that some would find uncomfortable. "Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else... we now know that just isn't how it is," he wrote. His comments were seized on by, among others, the disgraced former leader of the far-right English Defence League.
Sorry, but disgraced, how? Other than imprisonment for mortgage fraud, how is he disgraced in this context? If anything, he's become a better citizen, moving more towards democratic change. Or does the BBC mean "disgraced" as in "someone we don't like"?
And what he actually did was write Lord Phillips's word, like what, that means, precisely what exactly? That Lord Phillips and him are buddies? So, finally, you're saying that Tommy Robinson isn't a racist, but just concerned with Islam, like he's been saying for years while being smeared as a racist?
This was the response from the Chair of the Muslim Women's Network UK.
"I wish people would stop promoting the 'us and them' narrative that only promotes hatred & creates divisions"
Right, and what percentage of Jews, Christians, Sikhs and Hindus would like homosexuality to be illegal? Or looking at the survey, how many of those people would tell the police if someone they knew joined a foreign, terrorist army? More, or less than 34%?
You can't go objecting to people having an "us and them" narrative when a reasonable size percentage of your group have a bunch of views about some pretty basic stuff that fall outside of what everyone else thinks.
This isn't the first time a survey about British Muslim's opinions has stirred up controversy on social media. In December 2015 the Sun newspaper published the headline "1 in 5 Brit Muslims' sympathy for jihadis", triggering a huge backlash on Twitter. Its reporting of the results was later deemed "significantly misleading" by the Independent Press Standards Organisation following a slew of complaints.
As opposed to this poll, which found that 23% of Muslims would like areas of the country under Sharia Law instead of British Law? Or how about the Telegraph one a few years ago that said that 40% of Mulims wanting Sharia law in some parts of the country. Sorry, but you can keep suggesting that people saying this are knuckle dragging racists, but after a couple of polls, it's starting to look like you're in the wrong.
A different survey commissioned by the BBC in February 2015 found that 93% of Muslims living in Britain believed they should follow British laws. In the same survey, 27% said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Full results of the poll can be downloaded here.
Nice try, but wanting a different system of law isn't the same thing as accepting the system you live under. We're all OK with 7% of people feeling they don't have to follow the law? And hey, it's only a quarter of Muslims who have some sympathy for people who murder people over free speech. No biggie.
And I'd just like to add: I know some Muslims and I've worked with some good guys who were Muslims. I don't have a blanket view of Muslims. But to pretend that there isn't a problem with at least some sections of Muslims when you've got these sorts of percentages is just the worst sort of politically correct denialism.
Monday, 11 April 2016
From the BBC
My latest blogpost: Some days, I really do despise the BBCTweet this! Posted by The Stigler at 21:38