The Telegraph reports on increasing Islamist tendencies among the younger generation of Muslims in Britain.
It’s not pretty.
Forty per cent of Muslims between the ages of 16 and 24 said they would prefer to live under sharia law in Britain, a legal system based on the teachings of the Koran. The figure among over-55s, in contrast, was only 17 per cent.
In some countries, people found guilty under sharia law face penalties such as beheading, stoning, the severing of a hand or being lashed.
My friend Michael van den Galien observes:
It has to be noted that the organization which conducted this study is a right-wing think-tank called Policy Exchange. For those who have a hard time believing this high percentage and / or who automatically want to dismiss everything published by a ‘right-wing think-tank’ there is this: months ago I reported for what was then my blog, Liberty and Justice, that the Dutch secret service conducted a similar study. The result? 40% of Moroccon-Dutch youth believes that democracy is incompatible with Islam.
Europe has bent over backwards to be accomodating, but at some point lines must be drawn. Is there no responsibility for assimilation among those who immigrate? If you don’t want to be British, why the hell do you move to Britain?
How to fight this (development)? For one thing ‘we’ in Europe (it’s not ‘just’ a British problem, it is a European problem) have to keep up the debate about the way Muslim immigrants and their children integrate and participate in our societies. We cannot allow the debate to be silenced by the political correct crowd. They have made themselves, regarding immigration and integration at least, irrelevant. They’ve had their way for decades, and today we can witness the disastrous results of those ways.
He has some good ideas – including some things that from a civil liberties standpoint would make Americans cringe, but the situation in Europe is, by some measures, dire. I can appreciate their situation if not always the methodology.
The Spanish defeated Islam in their country by forcibly evicting the Moriscos, creating the Inquisition to locate conversos who feigned the abandonment of their previous loyalties and maintaining a strong barrier against Muslim entry. They did not invade the Iraq or Morocco and attempt to turn the culture into a neo-Spanish one. The historical strategy worked and kept Islam in check for centuries. The democratization strategy already shows signs of massive failure after less than four years.
His call to end overt displays of other cultures goes too far, in my opinion, but otherwise he hits the mark with his essay.
This idea of holding onto one’s roots and values is obviously not unique to Muslims, many third/fourth generation immigrants go through similar experiences. With all eyes on you, its hard to fade into the background, go unnoticed – you’re different and you know it, so why not embrace the only thing you really identify with?
The main issue taken up by a lot of papers was the clear difference between opinions of the older and younger generations. Anyone who knows must realise that the effort put into ‘fitting in’ and ‘not making a fuss’ was astonishing amongst the first generation of Muslims in this country. As times have changed, so have attitudes. Perhaps the new generation have taken a certain British attitude and taken a stand for what they believe in and are willing to shout it off rooftops.
My reaction to this data, in addition to still greater alarm than is my wont, is to wonder what these youth have in mind? There’s no way they’ll be happy in a Sharia state, and if they want to try one out, they can always move to Saudi Arabia or maybe parts of Sudan or Nigeria to get a sense of it. But I strongly suspect they don’t want that. For them Sharia is women wearing veils (74% of the youth want that), women not marrying non-Muslims (56%), and being able to threaten dissidents (37% agree that apostates from Islam deserve death). For them, I suspect, the appeal is the nihilism of destroying a society that makes them (as individuals and as a group) feel inferior, the instinct for destruction that fills with hope the breast of he who has been denied honor.