The Telegraph’s Dan Hodges, sometimes notionally on the left, sometimes drastically on the left, has today used his newspaper column to call for a public inquiry into why Muslims in Britain are failing to integrate – but the fault is apparently yours. And your family’s. And everyone else except Britain’s ghettoised Muslim communities themselves.
Hodges – who recently admitted to still accepting money from pro-immigration group Migration Matters, and who used to represent the anti-UKIP, hard-Left ‘Hope Not Hate’ organisation – seemingly took to talking sense on the problems Britain faces, before slamming hard-line critics as “racists” and “Islamophobes” – and effectively creating a firewall between Britain’s Muslim community and the “relatively small number” of people responsible for some of the most recent atrocities reported in the news: the Trojan Horse plot, the murder of Lee Rigby, electoral corruption, the Rotherham rape gangs, and support for ISIS.
“Something is broken. Terribly broken. We are now being confronted on a monthly basis with fresh evidence of our failure – and it is a collective failure – to successfully integrate the British Muslim community within British society.
“Terrorism. Rape. School segregation. Political corruption. These are the products of that failure that we have been presented with since June alone.
“Then two armies will mobilise. The ranks of one of those armies will be filled primarily with hardcore racists and professional Islamophobes. Their bile will spew forth, overtly and subliminally, as they summon up images of Britain’s green and pleasant land being turned into the West’s first Islamic caliphate.
“They will quickly be met in battle by representatives of the Muslim community, Muslim commentators and some of their colleagues in the liberal commentariat. They will point to their opponents, conjure their own apocalyptic images of a white, anti-Muslim backlash, and push the original abuses to the side.”
The problem here is that he doesn’t say it is a failure to integrate, he says “a collective failure – to successfully integrate [them]” which implies that for whatever reason it is incumbent on you and I to go out of our way to accommodate people who choose to move to Britain. It doesn’t make sense.
Why should I (and I say this as the son of Muslim immigrants) be lumbered with the responsibility of people who thought, “Oh, Britain looks nice, I’ll go there”. That wasn’t my choice. No one helped to integrate my parents, nor did they force me to adopt British values. I just did it – and against the odds I might add, when a lot of my community were encouraging segregation and “sticking to your own”.
Hodges suggests that “we need a proper, comprehensive, formal examination of our failure to effectively integrate the British Muslim community” – effectively laying the blame at the feet of ordinary Britons and British civil society, rather than at the feet of those who refuse to integrate themselves. He says:
“Britain is home to dozens of different races. Each has their own unique culture. Many have their own religions. All have experienced prejudice, stigmatisation and discrimination. Yet none have had the same issues in integrating with their host society as Britain’s Muslims.
“Some people will argue that such a process would actually make social cohesion harder to obtain by formally stigmatising Muslims. But the stigmatisation is already happening on a daily basis. Isil. Trojan Horse schools. Sex gangs. Tower Hamlets. Precisely how much more stigmatisation is required before we choose to actually do something?”
Should we stigmatise most British Muslims for the work of people they don’t know, who just happen to be Muslims too? No. But should we hold the perpetrators feet to the fire in the hope that other British Muslims will see why their leading representatives and spokespeople are hardly examples to be followed? So they can finally act upon it, and start to weed out the nasties from within their midst? Yes. Absolutely.
Because David Cameron, or Dan Hodges, or Owen Jones can’t march into mosques and start lecturing people on integration and the importance of British values. But ordinary Muslims can.
So before we start apologising for, and making excuses on behalf of ISIS supporters, the Trojan Horse perps, the Rotherham rapists, and Lutfur Rahman, just remember there is only one community who can put a stop to the proliferation of their vocal entryists: British Muslims.
P.S. For the avoidance of doubt (before Mr Hodges calls me an Islamophobe) I would issue the same call to predominantly white communities, black communities, Sikh, Jewish, Polish, French, Chinese… you get it… communities. Because it makes sense.