Yup, it looks more and more like Lemmingland
Published in: Melanie's blog
The government has responded like a scalded cat to the suggestion made by Paul Goodman on Conservative Home, discussed in my earlier post here, that it intends to recognise polygamous sharia marriages. A statement by the Department for Communities and Local Government says:
The Department for Communities and Local Government responds to incorrect claims about a leaked discussion document, submitted to the Integration and Tolerance Working Group, that the Government is considering legalising multiple marriages. A spokesperson for the Department said: ‘This claim is simply untrue. Polygamy is illegal in Britain and will remain so.’
But as Goodman says in his updated post, the Department is denying a claim he never made. He referred to a proposal to ‘recognise polygamous sharia marriages’. That’s different from legalising them.
And as I said in my earlier post, the wording is ambiguous. It could mean either that bigamous or polygamous marriages would henceforth be registered with the civil authorities; or that Muslim religious marriages must conform to English law -- in which case polygamous marriages would be outlawed.
Since the Department has not responded to Goodman’s post by stating that the latter is its intention, it would appear that the former must be the case. And that would mean official endorsement under the law of the land of a practice which is utterly inimical to the laws and customs of Britain and the west. Indeed, it would mean official endorsement of a practice which the Department says will remain illegal. Which is presumably why it reacted like a scalded cat.
And now Goodman has excavated another nugget from the same government discussion paper which may cause yet more eyebrows to be raised. Apparently, it proposes establishing a working group on anti-Muslim hatred. It says:
‘We are particularly concerned about the rise in Anti-Muslim discrimination and hatred. In response, we are working on establishing a Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred to be made up of senior civil servants, academics and organisations from the British Muslim community. This Working Group will report directly to Ministers.’
The group will "review growing trends in anti-Muslim hatred", "work with key partners", "seek advice and make recommendations on the best way to engage the muslim community including around local and international events that impact on that community" - as well as "make recommendations to Government" more broadly.
"Creating the conditions for integration", a draft Government strategy paper on integration, says that "prejudice against Muslims is of particular concern as, unlike other forms of prejudice, it may be starting to form part of a public rhetoric". This phrasing echoes some of the concerns aired by Sayeeda Warsi in her controversial speech earlier this year. The paper also expresses "concern" about anti-semitism.
Goodman welcomes this proposal – but I find it very alarming indeed. The attempt to equate anti-Jewish hatred with anti-Muslim hatred is invidious and a key element of Islamist discourse. The equation is not only false but dangerous. Anti-Jewish hatred is wholly irrational. Jews pose no threat to Britain and cause it no problem whatsoever. But British Jews are now being subjected to record levels of hatred and attack arising from a genuine prejudice.
Muslims by and large are not being attacked to anything like this degree – given the relative size of both communities. Indeed, considering the level of threat and hostility to Britain from within the Muslim community, the relative absence of attacks on Muslims is remarkable and heartily to be commended.
Of course there are some such unprovoked attacks on Muslims arising from genuine prejudice, all of which are to be deplored. And Muslims should be protected from them. But it is British Jews whose schools are now behind razor wire and whose every community function has to be guarded – principally against attack by Islamic extremists. It is simply untrue that true prejudice against Muslims has become respectable, dinner-party discourse; but true prejudice against Jews has.
And the overwhelming majority of the ill-feeling that has arisen against Muslims is due to the behaviour of too many in that community: the fact that their spokesmen repeatedly refuse to take communal responsibility for the terrorism committed in the name of Islam, blaming British society instead, and continue to make mind-bending threats which effectively boil down to saying ‘If you say Islam is anything other than a religion of peace I’ll kill you’. Will any of that be acknowledged by this proposed working party? Will it conclude that the Muslim community needs to put its own house in order before wrapping itself in the mantle of victim? Somehow I don’t think so. This is a working party to validate 'Islamophobia'. And 'Islamophobia' is a specious designation invented to shut down debate.
For as we all know, Muslim community leaders state repeatedly that terms such as ‘Islamic extremism’ or ‘Islamic terrorism’ constitute ‘Islamophobic’ hate speech which should be banned. The real purpose of equating anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim hatred is to silence all references to anything to do with Islam posing any threat to Britain or the west. And it is precisely that demand which this proposed working group will be producing.
The more that is revealed about this leaked document, the more worried we should be becoming.