[Debate] British muslims - is there such a creature?
nada01 at claranet.co.uk
Mon Apr 2 14:35:23 BST 2012
Over generalised and essentialised argument, but if galloway did issue such
a leaflet he's an even bigger plonker than I originally thought he was.
British Muslims must step outside this anti-war comfort zone
British Muslims have too long defined politics by the Middle East. We have
an obligation to engage with the national debate
* <http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/mehdihasan> Description: Mehdi
* Mehdi Hasan <http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/mehdihasan>
* The Guardian <http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian> , Monday 2
It was the Muslims wot won it. To pretend otherwise is naive if not
disingenuous. George Galloway could not have triumphed
t-byelection?INTCMP=SRCH> in the Bradford West byelection, with the biggest
swing in modern British political history, had it not been for the loud,
passionate and overwhelming support of the constituency's big Muslim
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/islam?INTCMP=SRCH> population. "All praise
to Allah!" the new Respect party MP gratefully proclaimed, via loudspeaker,
to his supporters on Saturday.
The British Muslim community has had a tortured relationship with
politicians in recent years. That it has become a cliche to say that young
British Muslims are alienated, estranged and marginalised from the political
process doesn't make it any less true. Muslims are woefully
under-represented in public life: the number of Muslim MPs, for instance,
stands at eight out of 650.
Ironically, Labour's candidate in the Bradford West byelection, Imran
Hussain, was on the verge of becoming the ninth such MP. But Hussain seems
to have been out-Muslimed by the Catholic Galloway. "God KNOWS who is a
Muslim," said a leaflet sent out to voters. "And he KNOWS who is not.
Instinctively, so do you ... I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and
never have. Ask yourself if you believe the other candidate in this election
can say that truthfully."
The Respect party leader, Salma Yacoub, tells me this leaflet was a response
to a smear campaign by the local Labour party, allegedly telling Bradford's
Muslims not to vote for Galloway because he was a sharabi ("drunk").
But there is a much bigger question at stake here: why is it that most
British Muslims get so excited and aroused by foreign affairs, yet seem so
bored by and uninterested in domestic politics and the economy?
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