1) I think the actual report is more interesting than the silly headline statements because there is a lot of interesting discussion and polling inside it. It is worth reading without the results of the poll.
2) I fundamentally disagree with their conclusions and solutions. As I said in my CIF article, their central thesis is the Melanie Phillips argument: Islamism is a result of western cultural and moral malaise. I call it the MP argument since that is essentially what all her arguments boils down to. Policy Exchange are simply regurgitating it.
And I’m not convinced Mirza herself believes in this entirely since she is a hardcore Libertarian who should abhor state intervention to promote cultural conservativism or ‘Judeo-Christian values’ as Melanie Phillips would love to. So the solutions are rather muddled; they are only united in their tirade against multi-culturalism.
3) I’m not the biggest fan of multi-culturalism when the government funds interpretation or translation services that let people carry on claiming benefit without learning English, but this argument by the Conservatives is a straw-man. They haven’t actually stated what policies will be changed if they get rid of it as a government policy. I might write an article about this later, but essentially the Tories are beating an abstract term with a stick. It’s funny to watch as they haven’t actually explained what this means in practice. I suspect as yet they don’t know.
4) This obsession with Shariah law (with Muslims and non-Muslims) is possibly the biggest straw-man debate ever and it is really annoying. ‘Chavlims’ and Hizbis are obsessed as if it’s the new Communism without really understanding its context, while everyone is obsessed as if it’s around the corner and they’re gonna be stoned to death next year. Get a grip people!
5) The Blink website has done the crappiest hatchet job in the world. (1) here are the questions & methodology, took me 2 mins to find; (2) almost every media outlet mentioned it was a right-wing thinktank and PE clearly state they have Tory connections; (3) Blink have no right to judge who is or isn’t a Muslim, nor is Mirza claiming to be the voice of British Muslims (even the MCB can’t claim that!); (4) Most policy documents by think-tanks have an agenda and if you want to counter it you have to deconstruct and destroy their arguments not make bad attempts at slinging mud. Sheesh.
6) The interview (below) on Sky is notable by the interviewer’s complete misunderstanding of what he’s discussing (Mirza has to clarify the results twice) and the need to over-sensationalise everything. For instance, the question about the hijab is about giving women the right to choose, not saying they should be forced to wear it.
Given most people get their news and information from the TV I’m not surprised people are so clueless and scared about these issues. G-d help us.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Media