Wednesday, 17 February 2010

A reply to an isolationist British Muslim

I received the following e-mail the other week:

Established 1981

London School of Islamics

An Educational Trust

63 Margery Park Road London E7 9LD

Email: info@londonschoolofislamic

Tel/Fax: 0208 555 2733 / 07817 112 667

Broken Britain

Britain has a broken society. This is a dark portrait but it is very true. Children are left to rot and they grew into animals. Binge drinking, drug addiction, a culture of disrespect and antisocial behavior, teenage pregnancies and abortions, knife and gun culture are part and parcel of every day life in all big city centers. The teenage pregnancies and the sheer madness of sex education teach nothing about morality. British society is suffering from unprecedented social decay and societal breakdown, according to the Children’s Society shocking evidence. Britain has more broken families than other countries. British children are rougher with each other, and live more riskily in terms of alcohol, drugs and teenage pregnancies. Britain 's rate of teenage pregnancy is the highest in Western Europe . According to official figures, nearly half of all babies are now born out of wedlock. They are more likely to suffer social, mental and emotional problems. Research has revealed that migrants in Britain are more likely to have children within marriage. The teaching of sex education could not curb teenage pregnancies. Infact, it has simply increased. This is a clear indication of broken society. It is an eye opening for the Muslim community who sends their children to state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers.

In broken Britain , the break downs of family are ripping apart communities. According to a report, Scottish schools like English schools have become home for rapes, gun and knife culture, drug dealing, gang culture and racism. It is a horrendous portrayal of the collapse of civilized life and of human despair. Carrying weapons is becoming the norms, violence is “routine” and families are terrorized by gangs. Every parent is worried about his child being indoctrinated into the idea that gay and sexual promiscuity is “normal” modes of behavior. Homosexuality was regarded as mental illness but now blue eyed western educated elites are its defenders and promoters. The spectre of hidden epidemic of sex crimes inside Britain ’s classrooms has emerged after Scotland Yard revealed there have been nearly 900 rapes or sex attacks in schools. The vast majority of victims were school children under the age of 16. As many as one in three were under 11. According to official figures, hundreds of children under the age of 12 were treated for addiction to drink and drugs.

Children are being taught that sexually transmitted diseases could be easily treated and there is no acknowledgement of the emotional harm of premature sexual activity. The truth is that more sex education and contraception are provided to children and teenagers, the more they fall pregnant. Studies have shown that access to contraception and sex education, sexual activity and conception and pregnancy rates go up. The sexual health of young Londoners is a “major public health issue” and still among the worst in the country, despite innovative projects and improvements in services.

The demand for Muslim schools comes from parents who want their children a
safe environment with an Islamic ethos. Parents see Muslim schools where children can develop their Islamic Identity where they won't feel stigmatised for being Muslims and they can feel confident about their faith. The significance and value of Muslim schools is that the Islamic religion imposed obligations of good citizenship, keeping the peace and paying taxes. While ambition of state school is to get children humping each other before they are out of primary school and giving them parenting classes when they are fourteen to help the girls cope with the babies they will have conceived at thirteen.

Iftikhar Ahmad

. * * * .

Dear Iftikhar,

The picture you paint of British schools has some truth but by no means complete. Most major cities have sink schools in which generations are wasted but to use these as representative of the entire state of Britain and our education system is selecting facts to suit your own agenda. To be frank, many of your statements are just gratuitous and insulting, as well as being wrong. In fact, in one sentence you manage to be both racist and homophobic. If there were awards for bigotry, that would be a contender.

I'm more worried though about your proposed solution. If a school has problems, surely the best way to progress is through gaining the support of the community of which the school is part. This is done through many paths: school governors, parents' councils, direct involvement in day-to-day school life. On top of this is local political supervision as well as governmental inspection. You propose a different route: segregation. You imagine islands of civilisation among jungles of savages.

I don't think you understand Britain. If faced with a problem, a local community does its best to face that problem together. There maybe alternative paths to a solution, but common ground is sought out and used as a basis for progress. So your answer, for Muslim families to flee to educational fortresses, of which you would doubtless be the gatekeeper, does disservice to them and to the greater community. Your letter is a crude attempt to scaremonger, to isolate and ultimately to control Muslim communities within Britain. You must know that the more communities isolate themselves, the less they will be understood and the more bigotry they will face. But I suspect that would suit you just fine.

Your e-mail saddens me. I hope, as a representative of an educational trust, you can broaden your viewpoint in future.


Martin Veart.


IftikharA said...

Thanks for your response.

All my articles are based on British news papers, DCSF and internet reports.
Leader of the Tory party used the term "Broken Britain".I did not add any
thing from myself.

London School of Islamics is an educational Trust. Its aim is to make
British public, institutions and media aware of the needs and demands of the
Muslim community in the field of education and possible solutions.

The demand for state funded Muslim schools is in accordance with the law of
the land. Muslim community is not asking for any favour. Muslim community
pays all sorts of taxes and is contributing for the economic, social and
spiritual prosperity of the British society.

Bilingual Muslim Children need state funded muslim schools with bilingual
Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is
no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. It is
better to put your children in a toilet instead of in a state school. At
least if you put them in a toilet you can wash them after. If you put your
children into state schools, you are sending them to be indoctrinated with
the common views and beliefs of a society.Children are young and
impressionable. There is a danger that liberal, feminist, radicalist and
homosexual and lesbian teachers are implanting their values into children.
It is a well known fact that children tend to listen to their teachers
before their parents. There are hundreds of state and church schools where
Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be
designated as Muslim Community schools.

A Muslim is a citizen of this timy global village. He/she does not want to
become notoriously monolingual Brit. A Muslim needs to learn and be well
versed in Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for
higher studies and research to serve humanity. At the same time, he/she
needs to learn and be well versed in Arabic, Urdu and other community
languages to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of
their literature and poetry.
Iftikhar Ahmad

Martin Veart said...

Dear Ahmed,

If I were to gather up negative press about, say, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and then depict my portrait as an accurate and faithful representation of Islamic culture, you would be correct to point out my error and misrepresentation. I am equally keen to point out your misrepresentation of British culture. But I feel that my attempts will fall upon deaf ears: "It is
better to put your children in a toilet instead of in a state school."

The logic of your position would also drive out non-Muslim children and teachers from schools that currently have a majority of Muslim pupils. How is this demand in accordance with the law of the land?

May I remind you that it is the values of the liberal society that allows you to aspire to such ends and actively campaign for it? I support your right to ask for this. It does not mean I support your aims however.

The linguistic and cultural demands of Muslim culture share much in common with those of any other immigrant group. I am not aware that others are campaigning to be totally isolated from the host culture. If their were such campaigns, I would not support them either.

You give no role of Muslim parents in your depiction of life in Britain. What about their activity in raising their own children? What about parents talking to and teaching in their native tongues? Parents have a vitally important role in passing on their own culture, language and values to their children. I am sure that like other immigrant cultures, many Muslim families already suppliment the state education with weekend classes, home teaching in languages, and the children visiting the ancestoral country.

Your aims would only give such children one vision, one choice: your own. On the grounds of protecting them from mono-lingualism, you would instead give them monoculturalism.

IftikharA said...


Muslim community is living in Britain and not in a Muslim country. It is our duty to see what is best for our children.

Education is the most effective means for tackling poverty,increasing wealth, promoting social mobility and equiping the country,s economy. Yet stil llast year, more than half the children leaving comprehensive failed to get the basic requirement of five decent GCSE passes. Every year almost a third of a million pupils are suspended from schools for bad behaviour. The consecutive Governments have continued to ignore true education in favour of examination results. You learn a load of crap. True educational system focuses on education, and each and every child,s ability and requirement rather than examination. Learning another language is good for development and it broadens the mind. English is the language of business world, a person will make a good impression if he can speak another language. There is a common perceptin in Europe and through out the world that the English are just too lazy to learn another language. Muslim children need to learn standard English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages but British schooling discourage them to even speak and learn any language except English in local accents.According to a research report, an "endemic culture of institutional racism is barring BME teachers from headship jobs. Britain is hurtling down the world league tables, even at a time when schools spending has doubled.

Westerners are afraid of Islam. That is the reason for debates on banning burkas all across Europe. That is the reason for debates on Mosqes, on minarets, on head scarves, halal slaughter, on segregated swimming and on Muslim schools. These debates are taking place in parliament and in the media. They fear Islam because they live in darkness and lead a life of stupidity. If they learn Islam, whey would understand that Islamliberates them and give their life a meaning. No Muslim in Europe is trying to impose Islam on non_muslims. All the Muslims in Europe to enjoy the fruits of democracy... while living their lives as Muslims.

The negative effects of Muslim migration or invasion are being talked more than the positive one.

Martin Veart said...

Dear Ahmed,

Peace be with you also.

There is much here to agree upon. Quality of education is vital. Successive governments have substituted targets instead of leadership, meaning that schools are forced into chasing exam results because these are the simplistic measures of success. And indeed we all wish to do the best for our children hence the need for parents to become extremely active in the education of their children. It would be a very good thing to see religious and cultural organisations having both a role in state schools to educate children, and to support parents who wish to do so independently.

Fear of Muslims in western society is manufactured owing to the current wars, which incidently occurred without the support of many in this country. The current situation reminds me of the 1970s, when Irish and Catholics were similarly demonised. My mother is bilingual but I am not because her second language is Gaelic. Muslims must have confidence in themselves despite the current pressures and yes, language teaching is part of this confidence.

In the meantime though, I would not adovacate isolation. That would just exacerbate the "otherness" of Muslims in this country. You wrote earlier of been part of a global village. The same can be said for all of us. The pressures that are faced by one are faced by all.

We are not going to agree upon everything Ahmed. I think knowledge of their own bodies and the pressures and drives that children experience as they turn towards being adults is a good thing. It is certainly not an advocation to them to "hump each other" before leaving primary school. As for views on homosexuality, the western-liberal take on this is to allow people to be who they really are. It is not to encourage hetrosexual people to practice homosexuality. For instance, in this country I have never had another man "hit" on me. Unlike several other places I have been in the world where the local religious teaching and the law expressly forbids it.

English, if properly taught, is far more than just a language of commerce. It has much poetry of its own and owing to its multi-lingual roots, a very rich and subtle vocabulary.

However, it is easier to focus on the differences and ignore those vast areas that all people have in common.

DeeDee Ramona said...

Iftikhar, you are proof positive that ethnicity and religion should not divide humanity - you are as obnoxious, bigotted and possessed of an entitlement complex as any Irish Catholic Bishop.

Firstly, the Economist is currently carrying an article with a comprehensive debunking of the Broken Britain idea, here:

So you can immediately shove that up your jacksie.

Secondly, IT IS NOT THE JOB OF THE TAXPAYER TO PAY FOR RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR YOUR KIDS. If you want to teach Islam, Catholicism or Buddhism to your child, go ahead. No problem. Just don't expect me to pay for it. (And don't even think of accusing me of religious intolerance. if you want religious intolerance, visit Belfast).

I am aware that there are, at present, state-funded religious schools in the UK and the sooner we remove their funding, the better.

Feel free to set up a completely private school for muslim students if so you wish. Peddle your intolerance, mysogyny, homophobia and narrow-minded politics as you see fit. Just don't expect me to pay for it. What makes you think you have the right to demand the public pay for what you want anyway? I want a home theatre with surround sound in my home, should I ask Gordon Brown for a grant and complain my human rights are violated if he says no?

It may pain you that the UK is a liberal, secular society that recognises the separation of church and state and accords equal rights to everyone, including gays, lesbians, women, and members of the Green party. I see that pisses you off. Tough luck.

I'm looking forward to visiting your child's new school, so I can individually school him or her in the ways of the homosexual liberal treehugging atheist lifestyle.

You'll know I've been to call when your child says, "Daddy, what's teabagging?".

ps don't come over to my blog to whine that you don't like me and am calling you names. I've got a lot of like-minded readers and they will have quite a bit of fun with you.

IftikharA said...

Western colonial powers made a mess in Africa, the sub-continent and in the Middle East couple decades ago. The least they can do is to accept people from the countries they have robbed and ruined. The western countries which colonised the world .Yes it is a duty to give them back some pieces of what they have stolen !

Most of Brits do not want immigration on this scale. That is shown by every poll. But at the same time they want someone to serve them in a bar and clean their hospitals and make cheap clothes. They want someone to drive them across town. Birth rate is declining and old population is on the rise. Migration is on the rise. Mass immigration has caused problems, but it is the fault of the politicians. In education, migrant communities should have their own state funded schools with their own teachers so that native teacherscould concentrate on their own children. It is never too late to set up schools for diffent communities. Muslim community suffer more than others in the field of education.

Fabio Capello, England Italian manager, needs only 100 English words to manage the English team effectively and could even earn more than £4 nillion for his work and paying a large amount of tax. Who says that he is not fully integrated. Similary, an immigrant with few English words could find a job in British economy and contribute for the betterment for the British society by paying all sorts of taxes. There is no need to be well versed in English. Without migrantion, British society and economy would have bled to death. Immigrants improved the inner cities of Britain. According to DC, mass immigration has led to "discomfort and disjointedness" in neighbourhoods because some immigrants have been unwilling to integrate or learn English. Migrants have created wealth and jobs because Brits rely on welfare system. According to a study, migrants contributed about £6 billion to British economy. That is equivalent to a 1.5% cut in basic rate of tax. Immigrants are twice as likely to start a buiness as native brits. More then one in three of the doctors gained their medical degree from abroad. Without them NHS would grind to halt. One in ten students in British universities come from non-EU and they pay much higher tution fees than native Brits. Without them British Universities would go bust. This means that there will be no end to immigration in the near future, because of the ageing population and low birth rates. Britain had " benefited immeasurably" from immigration.

We live in a shrunken world and millions of people are on the move; one of our biggest challenges is how we learn to live in proximity to difference – different skin colours, different beliefs and different way of life. According to a study by COMPAS, Muslims born and educated were given the impression of outsiders. The perception among Muslims is that they are unwelcome in Britain is undermining efforts to help them integrate into wider society. Most of them say that they have experienced race discrimination and religious prejudice. Muslims and Islam is promoted a fundamentalist and separatist by the western elite, which have negative impact on community and social cohesion. The number of racist incidents occurring in London Borough of Redbridge’s schools have reached their highest levels since record begin.

Your car is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers are Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant? Pull yourself together!