Britain’s Islamic Republic
The program goes through one moderate Muslim establishment after another, discrediting everything positive they have done by suggesting that increased involvement in society and community are part of the omnipresent Muslim plan to bring Sharia Law to Britain.
The program sets the scene with the token ethnic music we are accustomed to hearing in most programs about Muslims. By rifling through a few materials that were handed out at some event, and getting photogenic people to twist them to create a conspiracy theory, the presenter Andrew Gilligan tries to have us believe that British Muslims are mobilizing to impose Sharia Law. Apart from the fact that most British Muslims do not want Sharia in the UK, there is another reason that Gilligan clearly has not researched the topic properly. Had he ever attended a Muslim event in Britian, he would know that British Muslims are far, far too disorganized to even coordinate one prayer time or even agree on what day Eid al-Fitr falls. A harsh generalization? Yes, but true nevertheless.
The program also targets the fickleness of Muslim voters and campaigners. During the height of the Iraq War, many Muslims turned towards the Respect Party when casting their votes but later on many joined the Labor Party. Rather than putting this down to the anger that British Muslims felt towards the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, the change in the Muslim electoral position was put down to organized mobilization.
For the last ten years, the media has been complaining that moderate Muslims do not make enough of an effort to include themselves in politics and wider community activities. Now that we do, certain members of society feel threatened by it. It makes the jobs of people like Andrew Gilligan much easier, though. We get it, Islamophobia sells.
Nobody denies that there are Muslim crackpots, many of whom are extremely vocal. But (and I am beginning to tire of repeating this) there are also crackpots in churches, synagogues and, I daresay, mayors offices around Britain and the world. It may sound patronizing, but what many Britons haven’t realized yet is that you can prove anything by quoting someone. Is George Bush a messiah just because he said he is?
It is not unusual for people who join political parties to hope to change them for the better and there probably are some Muslims who do this too. Is there anything wrong with the desire to improve things? What has been wrongly represented is the idea that there is a movement of Muslims who go around joining every political party to try and convert the world to Sharia Law. Maybe now is the time to announce our real aim? Yes. We are slowly creeping through positions of power, infiltrating political parties, unions, Parent-Teacher Associations and McDonalds so that I, Ruqaya Izzidien can become Supreme Leader of the Universe. That’s the plan. Now you know.
The lack of foundation to Gilligan’s theories is the reason that I find myself, strangely, paraphrasing Prince Charles. You can judge Islam and Muslims by the bandwagons of wackos who are too busy preaching to actually practice – those responsible for the murder of innocents- but that is as reasonable as judging life in Britain by the presence of murderers, thieves and rapists.
So I am truly sorry, Andrew Gilligan, your story is back-pattingly inventive and thrilling, but it is based on a few stupid macho-lines made by barely-pubescent boys trying to impress your undercover detectives. You might want to copyright the story though, or Dan Brown will have his mitts on it before you can say poppycock.