Friday, January 13, 2006

Home Grown Islamic Extremism in the West

Recent opinions Polls in Britain have found that 60% percent of Muslims want Shariah Law. 40% support al-Qaeda and 27% approve of the attacks on the Twin Towers. This is a shocking statistic. And Kevin Myers is quiet right to say that In Ireland the question do we want to take in 100,000 Muslims 27% of whom may support the twin Towers Attacks or 100,000 Poles.

On the other hand look at India a country that had a bitter split between Muslims and Hindus in the 40s. Yet this country has a Muslim head of state, a Sikh head of government and a Christian leader of the largest party. Muslims and Non-Muslims work to together on economic issues perfectly without any friction. For most people religion probably is less of an issue in choosing persons representatives then in America

In Lebanon the Cedar revolution has removed Syrian influence from the country. It was a populist uprising. Lebanese Muslims did not side with the Muslim Syria they sided with their fellow Lebanese. It didn’t matter that they were Christians they were simply fellow countrymen and women.

In Iraq while Islamic extremism is quiet high much of the war isn’t fought on religions grounds but is comparable to the early 20th century Irish “get the Brits out and we will be better off” ideal. What ever American right wingers like to think Anti-Americanism in the Muslim world isn’t always based on Islam it is often based simply on a desire for independence. But I digress.

Even in Afghanistan the home of Al-Qaeda “Eighty-one percent of Afghans said they think that al-Qaeda is having a negative influence in the world”. Compare that to Britain. So why does Britain seem to have such a higher proportion per Muslim head of radical Muslims then the Muslim world.

The normal argument lefties like to throw out is that it is our fault for not integrating them into our society. Yet there is no Muslim party in the British parliament. Muslims live in tight-nit community Yet how come if 60% of Muslims support Shariah Law how come there isn’t a Shariah Law party in the Parliament they are not voting for there political beliefs. This shows to me even if this 60% are been pushed out of society they are not trying to integrate with the society either. While the Muslims that do participate in society do so like any other British person would like the Birmingham Labour MP Khalid Mahmood. Nor is it a case of social deprivation. There are many people poor of all races yet they don’t all rise up in rebellion. One of the 7/7 bombers in London was a teacher another was a son of a chip shop owner. They were not economical badly off.

The PIRA received most of their financial support from Irish-Americans. Irish-Americans still clung to the physical force tradition of Ireland at a time when the rest of Ireland had moved on. Many Irish-Americans still think of Ireland as listening to Danny Boy and riding around on donkeys when really the Irish are listening to 50-cent and riding around in BMWs. To many Irish Americans supporting the PIRA was sort of a way of being true to Ireland.

So why do we have Muslims in Britain wanting Shariah law and supporting Al-Qaeda and Muslims in the Islamic world increasingly wanting rid of Shariah and anti Al-Qaeda? I really don’t know why. Is it similar to the Irish-Americans? Is Islamic extremism in western countries not so much about jihad against Islam’s enemies but merely a yearning for identity? And if this is so how can we prevent another 7/7 attack in Britain or Ireland.?

1 comment:

Kevin Breathnach said...

Interesting question, good post. I'll start by throwing out the fairly obvious - and perhaps simplified - answer that those who have lived under Sharia law, namely the people of Afghanistan, understand what it is like. Second or third generation Muslims in Britain experience, or witness, a lifestyle which they might perceive as overly liberal and morally bankrupt. As such, they favour Sharia and perhaps hold a romanticised, but ultimately unreal, image of it in their heads.

I think the comparison you draw between Irish-Americans and Second or Third generation Muslims in Britain is interesting, well-thought of and perhap researching further into.

Good piece.