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    Islamic Identitypolitik


    by SajiniW on 4th September, 2006 at 11:38 am    

    Much has been made of Islamic identity over the past few days, what with the culture-clash “kidnapping” of Misbah Rana (aka Molly Campbell) and the commentary from the outgoing Miss England, which accused the government of hostility against Islam.

    Feeling that “even the more moderate Muslims have been stereotyped negatively and feel they have to take actions to prove themselves”, Miss Kohestani (pictured above), went on to comment about the Prime Minister’s onus post-7/7 for the community to ’sort extremism out from within’.

    Whilst the perceived climate of hostility pervades, the search for clarification on what exactly consitutes a Muslim & whether it’s fair to define oneself by subscribing to a cultural ideology versus a religious one continues.

    Witness the latest ‘Muslim’ celebrity: former stripper Chico Slimani. Mixing Islam with showbiz is proving difficult for the former goatherd alongside flogging the proverbial dead horse. Read about his anguish here before heading over to the Independent to check out what Nadeem Butt, Humera Khan & friends have got to say on the matter.



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    33 Comments below   |  

    1. Jagdeep — on 4th September, 2006 at 12:21 pm  

      Nadeem Butt is over-reacting. He has every right to leave the country if he wants to, but he shouldnt claim that his path is the route for ‘liberal educated Asians’. As one of that species, I have not heard a single person I know even articulate that thought. He needs to take a valium and get his chin up.

    2. Kismet Hardy — on 4th September, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

      “He needs to take a valium and get his chin up.”

      Go into a monged bubble followed by prolonged stupor and still get your chin up?! Impressive

    3. Jagdeep — on 4th September, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

      Actually I know someone on anti depressants and he’s very robust and sharp.

    4. AsifB — on 4th September, 2006 at 1:03 pm  

      Celebrity endorsement is a bit of dead end for any faith. Its only inferiority complexes that set some Muslims off seeking famous converts about whom to boast.

      I agree with Jagdeep about Mr Butt. He does sound a bit ridiculous - as if there was no racism or concerns about terrorism before the London bombings.

      He reveals later in the article that he is off to Dubai - seduced by the same ‘no taxes, no democracy lots of sunshine and slave labour’ philosophy that attracts the likes of Jim Davidson to the emirates. Its quite pathetic.

    5. Jagdeep — on 4th September, 2006 at 1:21 pm  

      He’s going to Dubai? I didnt read that bit. I think him complaining about prejudice in the UK and then going to Dubai expecting an improvment could most politely be described as naive. I really wish people would leave everyone out of it when they write articles like that, trying to justify it as some kind of ‘trend amongst Asians’. No it bloody well isnt.

      Dubai - nice place to visit, been there myself on a stop-over to India, but notorious for racism and prejudice against Asians.

    6. SajiniW — on 4th September, 2006 at 1:28 pm  

      They’re quite rude to Pakistani’s in Dubai, aren’t they?

    7. Arif — on 4th September, 2006 at 3:28 pm  

      A friend of mine commented long ago that the way I talk, it sounded to him like Muslims in the UK are following one generation behind the Jewish experience. I assume this is a common observation.

      At the time it was more in discussion about how people are framing their identities as second-generation immigrants (he predicted that the third generation would be a lot more comfortable with their place in Britain), but maybe we are also following by having our religious identities politicised.

      In thirty years time, maybe we will be talking about British-Born Confused East Europeans, and a geostrategic incident or two will make us worry about the loyalty of Poles driven to defend Catholic brethren in Latin America suffering under US imperialism.

      By then, caliphatist cheerleaders will join zionists as part of the political background, probably making their unholy alliances and writing a lot to the newspapers - but otherwise old news. We’ll focus instead on celebs with roots in the New Europe trying to demystify their identities and still our fears.

    8. Sunny — on 4th September, 2006 at 4:44 pm  

      From that article linking to Humera Khan I found Trevor Phillips saying:

      Every other minority community in the UK could learn lessons from Muslims, he added, because of how it had managed to unite and develop a strong lobby in the MCB.

      Twat. That’s just what we need - the Hindu Forum and Sikh Federation becoming more prominent and drowning out any dissent. Great!

      I’m more with Tariq Ramadan on that.

    9. Jai — on 4th September, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

      Sorry for the slightly off-topic post, but someone just submitted the following on the Sepia Mutiny news tab. It’s an article from The Times discussing how (quote) “Far-right extremists have adopted the tactics of Islamic jihadists by posting videos on the internet in which they threaten to behead British Muslims. The films show balaclava-clad white British men brandishing guns, knives and clubs, calling on all Muslims to leave the United Kingdom or be killed. One appears to be a soldier who has served in the Gulf.”

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2340538,00.html

    10. David T — on 4th September, 2006 at 5:35 pm  

      And back to the topic … (sort of)….

      I’ve got a picture of “Chico” being genitally osculated in a club. Wanna see it?

    11. Chairwoman — on 4th September, 2006 at 5:52 pm  

      Noooooooo!!!!!!!

    12. Sunny — on 4th September, 2006 at 6:02 pm  

      Jai - yeah I saw that earlier. Now I’d like to see one of those idiots on BBC News explaining his ideology!

    13. Jai — on 4th September, 2006 at 7:12 pm  

      =>”Now I’d like to see one of those idiots on BBC News explaining his ideology!”

      The HuT/Anjem Choudhary types only got away with it because they allegedly have the backing of religion, or are at least representing themselves as members of a particular religious community. These matters are generally regarded as quite sensitive, as we all know. The same applies to the entire jihadi ethos, including OBL & Al-Qaeda.

      If these were proclaimed as avowedly man-made “movements” and ideologies like Nazism and Communism, they would be much more publicly demolished. Since they’re being conducted in the name of religion, which is used to give their ideas greater legitimacy and credibility, it’s a much more difficult matter and everyone tip-toes around it.

      The racists have no such religious backing for their actions and can therefore be more easily undermined. Even if they claimed (in some twisted way) to be acting in the name of Christianity, that still wouldn’t do them any favours (in fact they’d be ridiculed any further, given the current mainstream British attitude to the UK’s traditional religion).

    14. Jai — on 4th September, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

      =>”they’d be ridiculed any further”

      Apologies, typo: Should say “they’d be ridiculed EVEN furtther”.

    15. Vikrant a.k.a Amey — on 4th September, 2006 at 7:25 pm  

      10 hours of flying… and i’m back in Bombay my home for next year and a half. Free from parental control at last… I’d run away from from home just once when my mum remarried…. back in 1999.. i’d planned to go to a paternal aunt in Hendon. Reached as far as Charing Cross. Obviously as a 10yr old with strong citified East Midland accent… i didnt stand a chance…As or Molly Campbell, i think she went out of her own free will… heck even i’d choose life in a burkha in an Islamic republic with a loaded pop rather than a council estate.

    16. Katy Newton — on 4th September, 2006 at 7:32 pm  

      Oh Vikrant look at you being all grown up and away from the nest.

      *dabs tear from eye*

    17. Vikrant a.k.a Amey — on 4th September, 2006 at 7:38 pm  

      Oh Vikrant look at you being all grown up and away from the nest.
      haha Katy… you are sounding like my mum…. my mum’s moved to Virginia, my dad’s in Malaysia.. i’m in Bombay doing International Baccalureate…. Hooray….

    18. Vikrant a.k.a Amey — on 4th September, 2006 at 8:02 pm  

      ey up mi duck fellas…its past midnight now… school starts tommorrow… g’nite

    19. mirax — on 4th September, 2006 at 8:24 pm  

      G’luck, Vik with the move to Bombay. 1.5 years more to get a shot at those hindutva babes, hmmn?

    20. mirax — on 4th September, 2006 at 8:28 pm  

      Another beauty queen complaining about the obsessive focus on her religion:

      http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/australian-beauty-who-was-made-to-feel-a-little-less-aussie/2006/09/02/1156817145075.html

    21. Vikrant a.k.a Amey — on 4th September, 2006 at 8:42 pm  

      1.5 years more to get a shot at those hindutva babes, hmmn?

      Naah this time those South Bombay snobish chicks with their fake British accents have caught my facy… Vikrant’s on the hunt…

      Heck jetlagged… Passing time watching TV…

    22. Amir — on 4th September, 2006 at 11:22 pm  

      SajiniW,

      Is that, erm,… is that, erm,… is that a picture of you at the top of the screen?

      Coz, ya know, I think our children would look fabulous!

      Fancy some quality time with The Amir? [*licking his lips & toe nails*] 8)

    23. Sajn — on 4th September, 2006 at 11:37 pm  

      “Dubai - nice place to visit, been there myself on a stop-over to India, but notorious for racism and prejudice against Asians.”

      You mean against people from the Subcontinent I think as Dubai natives are also Asians.

    24. Jagdeep — on 5th September, 2006 at 12:16 am  

      That’s how the term Asian is used here, referring to people from South Asia.

    25. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 5th September, 2006 at 2:52 am  

      Jai,

      if they are threatening Muslims to be burnt alive than they should bring it on. Many people, Muslims included, dont know that Muslims who die by fire, die the death of a sahid.

      Suckas…

    26. David T — on 5th September, 2006 at 9:25 am  

      Re Miss Aussie World woman’s dad:

      “We don’t like to discuss our religion because it is private matter”

      Too fvcking right. People should get used to saying that a bit more.

    27. Vikrant a.k.a Amey — on 5th September, 2006 at 11:35 am  

      SajiniW,

      Is that, erm,… is that, erm,… is that a picture of you at the top of the screen?

      *sigh*

      The chick in pic is the outgoing Miss England. BTW Uncle Amir… while chasing Asian gals be *sure* to get her ethnicity right… Rakhee aint Punjabi… shes Gujju i fink… Nothing pisses of Asians more that a mistaken ethnicity….

    28. Sajn — on 8th September, 2006 at 12:20 am  

      “That’s how the term Asian is used here, referring to people from South Asia.”

      The term Asian is not ambiguous. It means someone who comes from the continent of Asia. If you mean South Asians then say South Asians.

    29. Nadeem — on 8th September, 2006 at 12:42 am  

      Hi chaps, I wrote the article in question, firstly I didn’t claim my views represent all Asians or Muslims in the UK, I said “I have come to the conclusion that for most liberally minded Brit Asians like myself, the answer is to get out.” This is my view and not necessarily shared by everyone and I’m well aware of it.

      Secondly I’ve not decided where I will relocate to, Dubai is an option mainly because a job role has been offered to me - not because I’m after a tax break. I have other options that I’m looking over.

    30. Sunny — on 8th September, 2006 at 1:00 am  

      Nadeem, if all the liberal Asians left, I’d be stuck with Anjem Choudhary and MCB types. Don’t do this to me!

    31. Jai — on 8th September, 2006 at 10:11 am  

      =>”If you mean South Asians then say South Asians.”

      The term South Asian is American in origin, because in the United States, “Asian” refers to people from the Far East.

      Pickled Politics is a British website. So are most (not all) of the commenters here. In the United Kingdom, the term Asian refers exclusively to people from the Indian subcontinent.

    32. Sid — on 8th September, 2006 at 11:55 am  

      Yes but the “Indian diaspora” is bigger than Britain and India combined, shirley. Which is why I think the term South Asian (or Southasian) is far more suitable.

    33. Sajn — on 9th September, 2006 at 12:29 pm  

      I don’t really care about what the Americans or British think about who is and isn’t “Asian”.

      The simple fact is that anyone who is a native of the continent of Asia is an Asian. If you wish to distinguish between those from different parts of Asia then it would be simpler to refer to them as being Indian/Pakistani/Bengali or as South Asians as this is a more specific region of Asia.

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