In 2006 the gloves came off in the fight to define what it means to be British. Whereas the dominant response to the London bombings was confusion over how anyone raised in this country could commit such atrocities, the veil debate detonated by Jack Straw and the teaching assistant Aisha Azmi was notable for its muscularity. Sentiments that might once have been considered too insensitive were openly expressed. "The right to be in a multicultural society," argued the prime minister in a speech last month, "was always implicitly balanced by a duty to integrate, to be part of Britain." Behind these remarks was an assumption that integration is a one-way street. However, there are many things that the rest of the country could learn from Muslims.
In the present climate, integration is the only show in town and multiculturalism has joined political correctness as a favoured target of those who feel that their Britain is disappearing before their eyes. Hence the calls, growing ever louder, for Muslims to integrate: no more forced marriages; no more honour killings; accept the rule of law.
Think of the words "Muslim community" and what do you see? A succession of veiled women walking silently behind their husbands? Bearded men gesticulating outside mosques? But there is another version of the Muslim community.
It is easy to dismiss Muslim parents as old-fashioned and traditional, but when the rest of the country is busy wondering how to respond to a culture of rampant disrespect, it is worth considering whether they could learn from Muslim values. [Link]
DNSI direct link 0 comments Email post: