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Sunday, 23 November 2008

Let's hear it for the heroes

The Sunday Times:

The Centre for Social Cohesion has produced a publication which details the cases of almost 30 Europeans born to Muslim parents who are risking their lives to speak out against aspects of their faith and culture. The most important rarely receive more than passing attention. But they deserve our focus. For the risks that they – and many other reformers – are taking will in the end be for us all.

But our government is far too keen to bend over backwards to appease those who whine and bleat, not realising that by so doing they’re inviting Islamisation of the UK to creep further and further into the host culture. Once it reaches a critical point, it will be too late, and gays and women can kiss goodbye to whatever freedoms they have.

We’ve seen how sharia courts are operating in Britain, with the government’s blessing. Some hope for justice for women there.

And, yes, it is time we gave credit to the brave ones who stand up as ex-Muslims or as those who speak out against aspects of their benighted “faith”.

The Sunday Times piece – written by Douglas Murray – is praising of those who stand up:

The individuals profiled range from cabinet ministers to journalists, writers, academics, artists and even pop singers. Most are in trouble for having criticised elements of what they see in Europe’s Muslim communities, particularly the treatment of women. Nyamko Sabuni, the Swedish minister for integration and gender equality, has been the subject of death threats since speaking out against female genital mutilation and proposing that all Swedish schools should have mandatory gynaecological examinations to discourage the practice.

In Denmark, Manu Sareen, a city councillor and social worker who helped victims of “honour violence”, was forced to give up his job after being approached on the way to his office by two men who told him that if he helped more of their women he would be killed.

Governments across Europe, including our own [UK], make regular pronouncements about helping moderate Muslim voices to emerge above the din of radicals and radical-affiliated groups who have such a knack of grabbing the headlines. But the truth is that many of the individuals detailed in Victims of Intimidation either never had, or took a long time to get, the support they deserved.

As an example of someone who wants to doff the shackles of a conservative (I would say Dark Ages) belief system, at least as far as women’s right to self-expression is concerned, Murray cites Deepika Thathhaal (or Deeyah), a Norwegian-born pop singer based in London, who was attacked on stage at a concert in Oslo and “has had her life repeatedly threatened. She has been criticised for her dress, dancing, music and her music video ‘What Will It Be?’ which highlights the victims of ‘honour killings’.”

As Deeyah has said herself: “What’s been a hard and sad thing for me to realise is how not one single person from the religious establishment within the community has shown any support.” Earlier this year she launched a project called Sisterhood to support female Muslim rappers and singers. Daud Abdullah, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (who both the government and the Conservative Party continue to deal with) responded to this modern woman’s right to self-expression by saying: “The moral framework of Islam has already been laid down and women should not push beyond its boundaries for the sake of commercial gain.”

Islam has a job recognising that women might wish to push beyond the boundaries for any gain, it seems, including basic equalities.

But when did Gordon Brown or any of his Cabinet stand up and unequivocally denounce this sort of attitude, and say they will not deal on a formal basis with an organisation that holds these views? If it were a nonreligious organisation it would be denounced by equalities ministers and PC do-gooding organisations throughout the country.

If it’s religious – and especially if it’s Islam – it must be tiptoed around on eggshells.

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