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Pat on the money yet again…
As is David Wood
It is sadly amusing the way that our latte sipping friends want to insist that there is nothing in Islamic culture that encourages immigrant Muslim men to “groom ” or rape the young women of the countries that have welcomed them. Of course such problems are not evident in every individual who prays in the direction of Mecca but when you have a respected member of the community in the UK admitting that it is a problem.
Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer, said he was talking about Asian men in general and warned they can target young Asian girls as well as white girls.
He said: “They are forced into marriages and they are not happy.
“They are married to girls from overseas who they don’t have anything in common with, and they have children and a family.
“But they are looking for fun in their sexual activities and seek out vulnerable girls.
“I get a lot of criticism from Asian people who ask, ‘How can you say this about Asian men?’ But they must wake up and realise there is a problem.”
He added: “While I respect individual choice, I think the community needs to look at marriages in the UK rather than cousin marriages or economic marriages from abroad.
Religions that deny that we are creatures of flesh and blood and privilege arranged marriages of an individual’s right to choose their life partner are bound to cause more problems than they solve for humanity especially when they so easily maintain a double standard of socially acceptable behaviour within their community.
Leon’s excellent piece about the Latte Sipper’s™ favourite son put me in the right mood to consider the sins committed in the name of Islam and then I read the latest piece from Janet Albrechtsen which makes the point that “moderate” Islam is only moderate by comparison to its own extremes. By our standards of moderation it does not really deserve the epithet at all.
Moderate Islam is not so moderate if you are a Christian either. In August, 300 hardline Islamic protesters confronted Christians worshipping in an open field owned by the Christians. The Christians want to build a church. A leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front told reporters that the culture of the people will not allow a church. Earlier this year, thousands of Muslim extremists set fire to a Christian community centre in West Java when they suspected the local Christians planned to build a small chapel. According to the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, there have been more than 28 attacks on churches since January, a substantial increase since last year.
And how is moderate Islam doing when it comes to freedom of speech? While President Yudhoyono boasts about his country’s “increasingly incisive” free press, one the markers of moderate Islam’s commitment to democracy, it’s too bad if you’re the editor of Playboy Indonesia, a magazine consciously remodelled for the local market with no nudity. After being tried and acquitted for public indecency in 2007, Erwin Arnada was found guilty of public indecency last month by a new Supreme Court ruling. Arnada was arrested last week and has commenced a two-year prison sentence. The Indonesian constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press, is no match for hardline Islamic groups baying for Arnada’s blood. Is that moderation?
Move to New York and the fraught debate over the proposed Ground Zero mosque. Muslims demand the mosque be built. And their left-liberal supporters decry opponents of the mosque as bigots. They demonise and scold mainstream Americans who think otherwise. Even New Yorkers believe Muslims should show some sensitivity to the atrocities committed in the name of Islam on 9/11. A poll in The New York Times found that while 67 per cent agree the right to freedom of religion allows the building of the mosque, they believe the developers should find a different site. An editorial by the moralising New York Times would have none of that. Building the mosque would be “a gesture to Muslim-Americans”, it lectured. What about a gesture from moderate Muslims?
In recent years the West has fallen over itself to accommodate Muslim sensitivities. In Britain, the BBC boss says Islam should be treated differently from other religions. American publishers pull books that might offend Muslim sensibilities. Television stations censor images of Mohammed. Why does the accommodation always run one way?
Moderate Muslims would surely understand tolerance is a two-way street. They might agree the building of a mosque at Ground Zero is a political, rather than a religious, point. Instead, there is just silence. Always silence.
Janet is correct here and as tolerant as I am to be about any belief in the the supernatural, about any religious practice is there really any obligation to tolerate the the intolerant? Because if we concede the point when someone wants to insist that their belief system should be unquestioned then we are giving up a most important part of our secular democracy, the right to speak freely and to call a spade a spade.