Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And a London ghetto too

One argument levied against people like me is that you can't generalize about Muslims in Europe because they come from different countries and traditions. But I think you can indeed generalize, and here's an example. My last entry was about Denmark, and this one is about the United Kingdom, but the similarities are striking.

The London borough of Tower Hamlets has been dubbed 'an Islamist republic', complete with its links to an Islamist organization, the Islamic Forum of Europe. As UK journalist Andrew Gilligan concludes:

"Some of my commenters are fond of saying that the borough is an example of 'Third World' politics in the UK. There are indeed similarities – but actually the claim is an insult to the Third World. Bangladesh has got to grips with Islamism; the IFE’s Bangladeshi parent, Jamaat-e-Islami, gets about two per cent of the vote in elections there. No Islamist sympathiser in Bangladesh has unfettered control over a £1 billion budget. Bangladesh, in short, has less of a problem with Islamic radicals than Tower Hamlets."

Muslims may come from many different cultures and traditions, but Islamism is a common trend that jumps over these differences - indeed, jumps over the Shia-Sunni divide. And Europeans have landed in this mess because they have failed to pay attention to its growth and significance. Tower Hamlets, as Gilligan points out, is actually majority non-Muslim, but very few of those voters bothered to cast a ballot in the recent election.

Let's see what happens today with the Oklahoma referendum on banning sharia law. Its sponsors have been condemned for fear-mongering, but I think they're being prudent. (Thanks to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report.)

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