Today’s Channel 4/ICM survey, which set out to find the attitudes of Muslims in Britain today, has provided some unfortunate results for those who still believe that multiculturalism is desirable for our country. I’ve opposed the very concept for as long as I can remember because I believe it is another term for separation, a vehicle for societal division and an encouragement to some to live their lives by a separate set of laws to the rest of us. The term, like the interpretations people make of their own religions, can mean all things to all men and women. Yes, people can live their lives how they like, but within the laws and customs of the land.
The very term multicultural different things to different people. To some, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is part of their culture, to others, chopping off the hands of suspected burglars is part of theirs. Some religions slaughter animals in the most inhumane ways imaginable. Some cultures support forced marriages and slavery, too. In the name of the theory of multiculturalism, do we accept these things too? All of which leads me to the results of this new poll.
How about these examples, for starters:
52% of Muslims believe homosexuality should be illegal.
47% said it was unacceptable for a gay or lesbian person to teach in school.
23% said they would support there being areas of Britain in which Sharia law was introduced instead of British law.
39% said ‘wives should always obey their husbands’.
Only 34% – one third – of British Muslims would tell the police if they thought someone they knew was getting involved with supporters of terrorism in Syria.
These statistics are truly scary for we are talking about huge numbers of people, here. Many millions believe in these backward and medieval ideas, being taught in schools all over the country. Separate islamic schools, where faith is taught as fact. Here, the dangers of ‘faith’ schools – any ‘faith’ schools – are exposed. There is no such thing as a Muslim child, a Sikh child or a Roman Catholic child; they will all be children of Muslims, Sikhs and Roman Catholics (other, many other, religions are available). I am 100% opposed to all ‘faith’ schools because they encourage division and separation. They involve the proselytisation of children at an early age; to catch ’em young when they don’t know any different.
In our country, homosexuality is not illegal and so there is no need to thrown gay people off tall buildings, as ISIS do in Syria. We have one set of laws in the land and they are drawn up in a parliament of elected people (although there are some unelected God-botherers in the House of Lords who have been known to influence things). Us men do not normally instruct our wives to obey us and most of us find it abhorrent that so many people, again many millions, would not inform the police if they knew that someone was getting involved with the type of people who massacred the Bataclan in Paris and Brussels Airport.
As ever, I argue for a wholly secular country, where people are free to practice their own faith, should they wish, but they should accrue no privileges for so doing. Those privileges include separation in schooling and the treatment of women and gays. Everyone is treated the same.
We welcome a multiethnic society and a multiracial society, but under the same laws. That’s not difficult, is it?
No one’s mosques or temples or churches should be under threat, because that’s not what this is about. But it’s saying that we are an open, inclusive society but we are not a separated, so called multicultural society. Everyone equal under the same law, respecting differences but only when those differences are within the law of the land, no favours nor privilege.