Published on June 28th, 2013 |
by Taimour Fazlani
Image © 2008 Nigel Cox
The Plight of An Architect
Recently during my reading I came across selective pieces of information from various sources and platforms that have consequently inspired this post. Nevertheless I should mention that this is a post that I have had the desire to undertake for quite some time.
What is present within this post are three building blocks that have the primary aim of dissecting and deconstructing contemporary misconceptions about Muslims in Britain. While in most instances the distortions created about the Muslim population (whether practicing or not) within the UK tend to be further intensified by the right-wing media narrative (your Daily Star & the Sun) and by politicians as a form of scapegoating for their policy failures. It is nonetheless a misrepresentation of Muslims that has had a firm grounding for many years previous to the relatively recent emergence of Islamophobia. One example of this being the clash of civilization theory created by Samuel P. Huntington in the early 90’s.
The first building block that is presented to the reader is factual data that examines the notion that Muslim people are either unwilling/unable to integrate into greater society. This notion has been reinforced over and over by depicting a marginal minority within the Muslim population and their misplaced beliefs.
A study conducted by the University of Essex with the complimentary data taken from an opinion poll by Gallup in 2009 states that ‘83% of Muslims are proud to be a British citizen, compared to 79% of the general public’ (Moosavi, 2013). Comparatively the Gallup poll found that more Muslims then non-Muslims would prefer to live in a mixed neighborhood’. 67 percent for Muslims respondents compared to 58 percent for non-Muslims to be more precise. (Mahamdaille, H. (2011) ‘Defending Multiculturalism’).
Furthermore another counterargument found in another research found those black and Asian families willing to move to a white neighborhood decide not to do so only due to fear of racism. What is evident here is that long periods of miscommunication between different sections of the community have lead to solid distortions between groups.
The second building block on offer within this narrative on the contemporary misconception of Muslims within Britain is a momentary history lesson on the Muslim working class and their history.
One consequence or a by-product for the use of a better word of the developed and maintained efforts to separate Muslims from greater society as ‘aliens’ with their ‘own’ culture and norms has been the sustained effort to create a cultural distance.
One strategic way this has been done is to undermine and at times displace the efforts of the Muslims working class in Britain working class history. This distance, if it were to be scrutinised would only lead to working class people realising that Muslims have given a great deal on their behalf to the working class people’s solidarity.
For instance, it was the combined efforts of the Indian Workers Association (originally formed in 1937) that consisted of Muslims, Indians, Sikhs and other minorities in an effort to bolster the workers rights within the UK. This consequently meant that factory owners had no other choice then to provide the workers their universal rights as employees. If it were not for the activist work of such Muslims in city’s such as Birmingham to Coventry, universal workers rights would not be where they are today in the UK.
This I feel also counteracts a cheap tactic recently by EDL has been to enforce a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy within the Asian community.
The third and final building block on offer to the reader in an attempt to deconstruct the demonization of Muslims within Britain is by analysing the fundamental argument that Muslims youth tend to be more attracted to ‘extremism’ in comparison to other sections of the population.
There is no factual based research that supports this argument. Furthermore as has been stated previously by community activist and social commentators, it can be strongly argued that it is the culmination of being underprivileged socially, political and economically that breeds a environment where the youth of any background can be misdirected into violent acts. All that is required for such a scenario to occur is the misrepresentation of any religion or certain depictions from any religious book and used in an isolated context.
What I have offered above are only brief points in a vast argument, which primarily dealt with the current demonization of Muslims within Britain on a micro-level. There are many other facets that require challenging and coverage. One that comes to mind instantly is the created myth that Muslims are the most hostile group to the LBGT community, I’d recommend anyone to cover that point, as it is needed!. So it is here that I hope that you the reader were able to take something constructive from this post, and that I was able to challenge the readers mind!
Please note that all blog posts do not represent the views of Catch21 but only of the individual writers. We also aim to be factually accurate and balanced across all content taken as a whole.