Integration of Muslims ‘must go both ways’
Indeed, Dr Bari, but so can the Christian ones. The problem for Dr Bari is that the ‘Muslim principles’ for social cohesion also include oppression. While Muslim women purport to view the hijab as liberating, it is alien to the West; while Europe has abandoned capital punishment, Islam views it as an imperative – hanging, beheading, or limb amputation. His response to the question ‘Is stoning ever justified?’ is ‘It depends what sort of stoning and what circumstances.’
Did you read that? It depends ‘what sort of stoning’! What’s that about? The size of the stones? Pebbles only permitted at some stonings? No women allowed? No children? From the leader of an organisation representing 500 other Muslim groups, the response is alarming.
And yet Dr Bari insists that it is the British Government that is ‘stoking the tension’, and demonising Muslims in the same way as Hitler did of the Jews. That is the precise parallel he draws. He ought to visit a few Muslim countries – Iran springs to mind – and he might just gain a better understanding of Nazi parallels. In his view, the suspicion of Islam and Muslims is not justified: “There is a disproportionate amount of discussion surrounding us,” he says. “The air is thick with suspicion and unease. It is not good for the Muslim community, it is not good for society."
So when the head of MI5 claims that there are 2000 people involved in terrorist activity and children as young as 15 were being ‘groomed’ to be suicide bombers, this should not arouse our suspicion. And neither should it be talked about, for it is not good for the Muslim community. And further: “Sir Salman Rushdie should never have been knighted,” he says. “He caused a huge amount of distress and discordance with his book, it should have been pulped." And yet he is of the view that mosques can go on selling extremist literature because they are 'separate businesses' from the mosques themselves. Any potential 'distress' or 'discordance' here is distinctly secondary to the principles of the free market.
In Dr Bari's view, ‘suicide bombers are victims as well as aggressors’. He says: “I deal with emotionally damaged children. Children come to hate when they don't get enough care and love. They are probably bullied, it makes a young person angry and vulnerable. The extreme case could be suicide bombers, it is all they have … The people who become suicide bombers are really vulnerable." His solution is simply to hug a Muslim hoodie.
And the reason they are vulnerable is because ‘British foreign policy has driven Muslims into the arms of the extremists… Iraq has been a disaster, the country has been destroyed for no reason, that had an impact on the Muslim psyche.’
His passion is to integrate Muslim and British cultures, and he insists that the integration ‘must go both ways’. But Cranmer would like to go further, and ask Dr Bari what Islam can learn from Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist cultures. If integration is two-way, please tell us what the Muslim community must learn from these religious communities, for they are all now part of what it is to be British. And while we're at it, perhaps he could expound what he thinks Muslims are learning from Judaism and Christianity, for there is nothing in his view of society that is not already given guidance in the Bible.
Dr Bari is himself an immigrant, and Cranmer is aghast at the arrogance and presumption of the man. The problem is not emotionally damaged children, but politically indoctrinated adults who are brainwashed into believing that their religion is the be all and end all of political objectives. If the UK is to be governed henceforth by the sensitivities of the ‘Muslim psyche’, the last 300 years of the development of democracy and liberty will have been in vain.
Cranmer has no objections whatsoever to Muslims or people of any religion or race coming to the UK, but it is their duty to adapt, syncretise, and integrate. If you do not like the UK, Dr Bari, please return to your rice and jute farm in Bangladesh.