‘Muslims don’t want Shari’ah’!

According to a ‘survey’ by the hitherto unknown Centre for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), two-thirds of Muslims do not want Shari’ah laws introduced in the UK on civil matters such as marriage. Well at least that’s the ‘estimate’!

This report has been picked up by the usual suspects in the media, Daily Express and the Spectator. Reading the ‘article’, rather than the ‘report’ on this survey - the ‘report’ will be published next year by Irfan al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz - I was shocked to see the attacks on Dr Rowan Williams and the Lord Chief Justice.

The opening gambit is, “Don’t believe the Lord Chief Justice any more than the Archbishop of Canterbury”, and “Who is Rowan Williams? His comments were unimportant; he is not a political leader like Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.”

In this ‘survey’ we are told, “Soon after Archbishop Williams gaffe the Centre for Islamic Pluralism conducted a field survey of attitudes towards sharia in the main Muslim communities in Britain.”

Since we have to wait a whole year before they publish this ‘report’. I do hope that they mention which independent company carried out the work for them. Not to mention the methodology applied, and that they pubslish the findings in a glossy report! Afterall, it is earth-shattering news that ‘65%’ of Muslims don’t wish to have the Islamic Marriage rites recognised by English law.

It seems CIP is a lot more ominous (or should that have been odious) than just a ‘centre for pluralism’, I took a tour of their website and it seems that they were founded in 2004 in Washington and their mission statement reads ‘CIP is a think tank that challenges the dominance of American Muslim life by militant Islamist groups.’ One of their projects is ‘WahhabiWatch’ - forerunner to the Quilliam Foundation it seems.

Stephen Schwartz, is apparently a self-declared neocon who strongly supported the invasion of Iraq. There is also questionable links to Islamophobes like Pipes and others. Whilst Irfan al-Alawi is of the “Tablighi are not moderate Muslims, they are a separatist movement,” and “Qaradawi has been banned from the US since 1999…why should the British government allow him to come here?” school of thought.

Both Scwartz and al-Alawi have extreme antipathy towards anything that is not of the Hisham Kabbani ilk of Sufism, yes the very same Hisham Kabbani of the Sufi Muslim Council. When I say extreme I truly mean it - Schwartz harbours the belief that Hamza Yusuf Hanson is a 'secret jihadist'!

Alawi and Schwartz also state, “We visited Birmingham, Manchester, Bolton, Bradford, Sheffield and Leicester, in addition to ongoing and extensive investigations in London’s East End.”
‘Ongoing and Extensive’ - ‘East London’

Surely someone in the East end must know one person that they have interviewed, please do share with us! Hmm, Centre for Islamic Pluralism, more like ‘Rand Muslim’!

This was originally written for the IFE Blogsite.
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Comments

IftikharA said…
Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.

The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. 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 teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.

Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Iftikhar Ahmad
www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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