Friday, 12 August 2016

Critical thinking required

In view of my  recent comment about Mishal Husain being allocated the Today Programme’s entire ‘Muslim issue’ portfolio, I give you Douglas Murray on the Prevent strategy. Or, rather: Why the Prevent Strategy isn't the problem.
"This morning provided a good example.  The Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, is not what I would call a ‘progressive’ or even particularly a ‘moderate’ Muslim.  For instance, when Israel has had to protect itself from rocket fire from the Islamist group Hamas Ms Ali can be found foaming at rallies about the indiscriminate ‘slaughter’ of ‘Palestinians’, rather than targeted strikes against Hamas rocket-launch sites and arms dumps. 
In the wake of the news that one of the three Bethnal Green schoolgirls who went to join Isis last year has been killed by a Russian airstrike on Raqqa, Ms Ali was on the Today programme this morning.  And what did Ms Ali choose the opportunity to call for?  Why a ‘full review of Prevent’ of course.  ‘Many have concerns about how Prevent is being implemented,’ she said, ‘concerns about young Muslims being stigmatised.’ What she failed to mention is that the case of schoolgirls from her constituency heading to join Isis has next to nothing to do with the Prevent programme which has in any case received as much push-back from schools and universities than any other policy of recent governments, partly at the instigation of people like Ms Ali.


The government has issued some sort of ruling against inequality, because it seems Muslim women are under-employed.  They discussed this issue on the Today programme a day or so ago. Apparently employers are discriminating against Muslim women primarily because of cultural dress, so in order to combat anti-Muslim prejudice the government is urging employers to adopt a policy of name-blind job applications.

I remember when many professionals of my parents’ generation felt the need to anglicise their names to avoid being thought ‘too Jewish’. Or at all Jewish, for that matter. 
They did so with good grace, albeit sometimes tinged with regret. It was not an attempt to deceive, more an indication of a willingness to assimilate and to respect a country that was offering them the opportunity to prosper.  

The trouble is that Muslims seem to expect everything to be on their terms. Being unwilling to conform to the ‘cultural norms’ of one’s employer doesn’t bode well for a good future relationship. It’s as if a headscarf-wearing or fully veiled Muslim woman would soon be demanding that the employer adapts to all sorts of religious and cultural demands or practices, with threats of unfair dismissal or accusations of Islamophobia on the horizon. Who needs that?

The radicalisation issue is always discussed on ‘their terms’ as if we must all see everything through a prism of ‘normative’ Islam. As if normative Islam is some kind of British median. 

1 comment:

  1. Who the BBC selects to wheel out to 'discuss' what is now wearily predictable.

    One trick ponies does not come close.