Sunday, 17 April 2016

UK: So what do muslims really think?

After the much anticipated, and confidently predicted backlash to Trevor Philips' TV documentary on the state of muslim integration into British society, it's been back to business as usual.

The die-hard liberals have screeched about his racist poll, while the more open-minded among them, although slowly waking to the awful truth, still seek rational and politically acceptable options for dealing with, or at least explaining, the dire situation in which we find ourselves.

Muslim lobby groups have wheeled out their islamophobic band wagon, if indeed it was ever put away. But this time they do have a point, because it is undeniable that there was much wrong with the ICM poll.

The ability of statistics to mislead is well known, though it's not the skewed results that I protest, but the notion that an entire section of humanity can be described by the answers of a small portion of their number, to an even smaller set of questions.

The truth is that many muslims do adjust and adapt to Western society, just as, even in islamic states, many do not adhere to islam's exhortations to murder Christians and Jews. For example, in the Middle East today, the overwhelming majority of soldiers fighting against IS are themselves Muslim. We can easily point to the disenfranchisement and exodus of Christianity in the region as a contributory factor, but the fact remains.

Clearly, the conclusion that most of British society, both muslim and non-muslim, had already made, needed some measure of 'scientific' legitimacy to be aired on mainstream TV, but just what another bunch of "Do you support the imposition of Sharia in the UK?" type of questions was supposed to show, is still a mystery.

Complicity with terrorist ideology is fairly consistent globally, even if some countries are more committed than others, there is a relatively large proportion of the world's population gravitating towards violence, and it is getting larger.

So, a questionnaire which simply acknowledges and localizes that reality, without also attempting to link these global attitudes with their global causes, might do more harm than good, in the way that a person hearing a warning alarm might be concerned that they are being burgled, only to be reassured by the observation "Don't worry, it's only the fire alarm" and then to settle back to whatever they had been previously doing.

We have become accustomed to the notion that recognizing the symptom was the first stage in finding a cure, but recent experiences are less comforting and we should be very wary of complacently expecting our increasingly incompetent governments to do what is right and proper and to protect us from even the most imminent danger.

However well-intentioned or intelligent we believe ourselves to be, we cannot hope to find the right answer if we do not first ask the correct question.

If Channel 4 and Mr. Philips decide to follow up on this latest exercise, perhaps they will embark on a more relevant examination and provide us with answers that most people do not already know.

Let us hope they'll call the next episode:-

What does Islam really instruct?