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Pakistani Muslims in UK

The situation of those Muslims in the west who cannot or do not want to integrate with the rest of the population is a problem that should not escape our attention. Though most of the immigrants from the Islamic countries, after arriving to the Western countries, learn new ways of life and become pillars of the community contributing to the society intellectually, economically and culturally, a number of them who want to maintain their religious identity become real problems.

The case of the Pakistani Muslims in UK, e.g. deserve our close attention. What is happening in England could happen in all those countries where the number of Muslim immigrants is on the rise.

A report published in Friday Times of Lahore shows: 

  • Thanks to the intolerant teachings of Quran, like calling the non-Muslims najis (impure) and inferior, the Muslims are less likely to integrate with the people of other religions and befriend them. 

  • Because of their namaz rituals they are less likely to find employment. The time they expend saying their prayers (5 times a day) is a loss to the employers.

  • Therefore the index of unemployment amongst the Muslims is higher and as the consequence they are poorer than the rest of population.

  • Generally speaking the majority of the educated Muslims are no more believers. Those who still believe are of lower education, which also translates in lower social status.

  • Because they are less educated they tend to procreate faster than the average population.

All that is contributing to the emergence of an alienated minority that is dispossessed, hungry and resentful. This minority is also motivated by a doctrine that not only condones but also encourages and glorifies violence as an act of devotion in the form of Jihad or holy war. This is in my opinion the recipe for disaster.

Islam is a religion that does not allow the integration of its members with others (Q.9:23). Letting Islam to grow unchecked and supporting its advancement by funds that should be allocated to promote multiculturalism and foster our national unity is a colossal and irreversible error that cannot be over-emphasized.

Canada is a Multicultural society that is proud of its mosaic. It respects people of all races, religions and cultures. It is precisely this variety that enriches our cultural heritage and makes Canada the best country in the world to live in. But we have to bear in mind that when we deal with Muslims we are not dealing with another ethnic group but with a group of people that knowingly or unknowingly subscribe to a doctrine that promotes disunity, hate and violence. The growth of Islam in any country is a threat to its peace and security. This could be India, Indonesia, Philippines or even UK, Canada and United States. 

Speaking against Islam and its inhumane teachings surely will excite the Muslims and make them hysterical. But this is something we have to face one day or another. It is better to talk about it now that Muslims are not so powerful in this country than later when they are a force that would easily silence us by terror. It is important that we start a national dialogue and question the compatibility of the teachings of Quran with Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. How is it possible for a Muslim to believe in the hate teachings of Islam and pay his unconditional allegiance to the Charter of Rights? Where Canadian Muslims are standing on this issue? 

Most of the Muslims have not read the Quran and have no idea of the amount of hate and violence that is preached in that book. If these people become familiar with the real content of Quran, after passing through the usual stage of denial, they will eventually leave Islam. But if we want to avoid social strives we have to start this debate soon and explore Islam now. Muslims are coming in big numbers and they are procreating faster than any other group. If we hide our heads under the sands, this problem is only going to aggravate. Soon the day will come when Muslims will be a great force, but it will be a force that will want to destroy our freedom and our national unity. We just cannot afford the luxury to sit back and let Islamic fundamentalism grow in our own backyard. Islam and Islamic fundamentalism are the same thing. Islam is a fundamentalist religion. Muhammad was a fundamentalist man. The bombings, assassinations, and terrorism are not the work of few extremist radical Muslims but they are what Islam teaches and preaches. 

How can we sit quiet and even support a doctrine that advocates so much hate and violence? What would we do with the skinheads and the neo-nazis? The difference of Muslims and the skinheads is in the fact that the majority of Muslims believe that Islam is a peaceful religion that helps them in their spiritual quest, while the neo-nazis are not under such delusions. Apart from that Islam and Nazism have a lot in common.  Nazism believes in racial supremacy, Islam in religious supremacy. Nazism believes in violence to promote its cause, Islam believes in Jihad. Nazism tends to achieve the unity of its followers by instigating the hatred of others. The teachings of Quran do teach the same. We are not going to sit quiet and let nazism ruin the minds of our kids, how can we fund the Islamists to promote their hate religion of hate?  

The fact that most of the Muslims are not aware of the brutal teachings of Islam and therefore live decently, hurting no one and being reliable citizens does not make Islam a tolerant doctrine or one to tolerate. We have to act responsibly today or tomorrow will be too late. 

The following is the uncut text of that report.   

Ali Sina

 May 2001

 

 

Subject: Not so good news about British Pakistanis by Khaled Ahmed of Friday Times, Lahore

Not so good news about British Pakistanis

Khaled Ahmed's 

A n a l y s i s

----------------------------------------------------------------------Expatriate Muslims integrate less well with host societies than other expatriate communities. This started happening towards the end of the 20th century as Muslims all over the world sought their identity increasingly in religion. As a result, communities that had lived in peace in diaspora started feeling ill at ease and often found themselves in conflict with the host societies. Most expatriate Muslims don't only feel alienated from the their new home, they also have reason to feel alienated from their old home. The problem of adaptation and acceptance abroad is compounded by an intense realization that back home too the ruling elites are either anti-Islamic or subservient to Western dominance. The preoccupation with politics back home prevents integration in the new home.

At the root of the problem is the Muslim idea of the state. What kind of a state does the homo islamicus want to live in? For the time being, the matter is unresolved. There is no doubt that the Islamic state has to be a utopia, but what kind of utopia is not clear. In most countries, Muslims are still agitating for the establishment of this perfect state. If Islamic theory of the state is coherent and consistent then wherever the Islamic states have come into existence they must be identical. But the examples of Pakistan, Sudan, Iran and Afghanistan are inconsistent and even conflicting. The Islamic state in Iran is gradually reforming itself away from its pristine early ideal. It is in conflict with the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and to some extent with the Islamic republic of Pakistan. Most Arab expatriates in the UK are alienated from the 'Islamic' states they have fled.

Negative indicators of integration:
Talking in Lahore on 2 April 2001 about the Pakistani expatriate community living in the United Kingdom, Professor Muhammad Anwar of the University of Warwick, revealed significant research findings. The Pakistanis living in the UK are 700,000, the third largest minority community. (There are a million Indians in the UK.) The majority of these British Pakistanis are Kashmiris, including those displaced by Mangla Dam in Azad Kashmir. They are concentrated in four regions: 30 percent in and around London, 22 percent (100,000) in Birmingham, 20 percent (65,000) in Bradford, 20,000 in Manchester and 15,000 in Glasgow. The figure of 700,000 has grown from 5000 in 1951. Today, because of high birth-rate, fully 47 percent of them are under the age of 16, as compared to 17 percent for whites. They have the highest unemployment rate, five times more than the British average; and crime rate is higher among them than in any other community. Fully 2 percent of the prisoners rotting in British jails are Pakistanis, the highest for any one community.

Unemployment is the cause of alienation and crime among them. Aggressive organizations like Hizb al-Tahrir and al-Muhajirun have come up by exploiting the unrest among the British Pakistani unemployed. There is discrimination in the UK against them and, as always, it is based on how 'different' the Pakistanis are from other citizens. The speaker gave no comparative figures but it was obvious that Muslims were less easily employed because of their namaz timings, fasting timings and conflicting Eid days, requiring the employers to make special arrangements. In the case of Muslim women, hijab came in the way of employment. After repeated experience, the employers simply refuse when they are faced by a Muslim or a Pakistani applicant without confirming whether he would insist on namaz exemptions or not. Pakistani Christians are however more readily accepted in the market. [This is also true of the private sector in Pakistan where Muslim employees usually lean on namaz for general absenteeism.]

No good future prospects:
Another figure which is comparable to Pakistan is the remarkable superiority of educational performance among girls. In the 5-plus category of grades, there were 41 percent girls compared to 21 percent boys. [In 1994, this figure was 22 percent girls and 20 percent boys, which means that the crisis of integration is of recent origin.] Girls didn't mind getting married to Pakistani boys in Britain but increasingly resisted being married off to boys in the family back in Pakistan. British Pakistani boys (5 percent) did not marry British whites to the same extent as the blacks, and girls (1.4 percent) hardly married whites, thus pointing to the limits of integration of the Pakistani community. Another factor standing in the way of integration is the community's involvement (around 75 percent) in Pakistan's politics back home. Since Pakistani politics has become more and more religious, it is difficult for a British Pakistani to try consciously to participate in Britain's secular politics. In terms of proportion, the community should have 8 members in the House of Commons instead of the one there now. Staying out of the competition for rights, the Pakistani community has also been hit hard by the death of Britain's textile industry. Fully 20 percent of the community had been involved in this sector.

Prof Muhammad Anwar predicted that in the next ten years the Pakistani
community in the UK will suffer further decline in integration and
prosperity. He said that the community's Islamic and Pakistani identity will become stronger, which clearly means that there would be less integration. This will lead to more discrimination against them by a society coming under the influence of what he called Islamophobia.

Negative role of Pakistani clergy:
Pakistan was host in March 2001 to two British Pakistanis from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council in the United Kingdom. They were accompanied by another British Pakistani who was secretary-general of The Muslim Council of Britain. They told Pakistani audiences about the performance of the Pakistani community in the British political system. Blackburn is near Manchester and has 25,000 inhabitants, a majority of them from Mirpur, Jhelum, Gujrat and Rawalpindi. The area had 27 mosques, each mosque manned by an imam and a khateeb, both sent from Pakistan. The majority of the mosques were in the control of the Deobandis, the school of thought now most involved in jehad in Afghanistan and Kashmir, arousing among some sections of Pakistan the 'fear of Talibanisation'. In the UK, there are 1500 mosques and one can assume that most of the clerics controlling them come from Muslim 'home' countries. The visiting British Pakistanis expressed dissatisfaction with the clerics sent from Pakistan and thought that imams and khateebs more suited to the British Pakistani social environment should be chosen.

The British parliament is going to consider a Terrorist Act bill which the government announced on 28 February 2001, containing a list 21 organization that the government wants banned on grounds of their terrorist activity. Needless to say, most of these organizations are Islamic. Out of them three belong to Pakistan: Harkatul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Tayba. In Pakistan these are all powerful Deobandi-Wahabi outfits carrying out Pakistan's jehad in Kashmir. The Muslim Council of Britain has already protested to the government about their inclusion in the list of terrorist organizations on the plea that they are a part of a liberation movement and could not be labelled terrorist. It is quite natural that the Pakistanis living in the UK are all agreed that they should not be banned. And their representatives, even if they disapprove of the activities of the three in the UK, have to go along with the community. What the list tends to demonstrate is the general British view of how integrated the Muslim community is. Needless to say, the two India-based organizations, Babbar Khalsa and International Sikh Federation, dubbed terrorist in the list, will not be defended by the one million British Indians. It indicates the higher level of integration achieved by the Indian community.

Negative Muslim view of Christianity:
In a recent book Islamic interpretations of Christianity (Edited by Lloyd Ridgeon, Curzon Press) the authors make a survey of what British Pakistani clerics think of Christianity. In a secular society like the UK it hardly matters what the expatriate community's religious opinion is, but it does matter if one considers the dynamic of adjustment and assimilation essential to the future prosperity of the Pakistani community. Prof Muhammad Anwar noted in Lahore that the Pakistani community was at the vanguard of the religious reaction to the two great events which had engaged the attention of the British nation: the Gulf War and the Salman Rushdie affair. The Pakistani community chose to clash with the political and cultural ethos of the UK by transplanting the religious politics of Pakistan to their host country. According to his research findings, 75 percent of the Pakistanis in the UK were fully engaged in politics 'back home'.

The Pakistani clergy in the UK has not been able to properly interpret the Quranic edicts about Christianity and were compelled to pronounce a hostile opinion when interviewed. In particular the late Medinan verses (9:29-35) asking the Prophet PBUH to attack the Christians and force them to pay jizia, are not reconciled with the earlier verses favourable to the Christian faith. Apart from one Muslim scholar, no effort has been made by Muslim clerics to study Christian theology and the scriptures which they are bound by their faith to denounce as forgeries. Much of Islamophobia in the UK has been aroused by the indecision in the Muslim mind about what kind of state he wants. British Muslim organizations, Hizb al-Tahrir and al-Muhajirun, who believe in caliphate and oppose democracy, opened their offices in Lahore in 2001. In its first gathering, al-Muhajirun called for the overthrow of the Musharraf government. In the UK these organizations are considered a bit extreme but find little support. Additionally, they cannot indulge in any activity against British law because enforcement of the law in the UK is efficient; but in Pakistan, which is 'soft' internally, the two organizations can become factors of destabilisation, giving rise to the accusation that the UK is exporting Islamic terrorism to the Islamic states.


 

 

 

 

 

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