It goes without saying that I have been experiencing some manifestation of anti-Muslim hatred on a weekly basis for some years now. I often return it with a smile, or a peace sign, or, in the rare case where I am not in a particularly good mood, a retort like “how many GCSE’s did you pass again?” By the Grace of Allah, I have yet to experience a violent version of this simmering hatred.
Recently, witnessing comments made by two ladies against two women donned in niqabs brought to sharp attention the internationalisation of the alienation of Islam and Muslims. Seeing the veiled women who were tending to their little ones, the faces of two passing ladies crumpled into a frown and the skin colour took on a bruising red as they, clutching their prams, uttered the now ubiquitous slogan heard by Muslims of all stripes: “you do not belong in this country”, before scurrying off into a tram. They had German accents.
Crosspost: CJ Werleman
Those who naively and optimistically believe the “enlightened” West is incapable of repeating the genocidal horrors of the 20th century are those most susceptible to mankind’s destructive impulse.
In American society, there’s an unconscious faith in the nation state, technology, modernity and science that assures Americans that the horrors of a fascistic state could never happen here. But to believe this one must forget, as Karen Armstrong, a prodigious religious historian reminds us, that the most advanced educational institutions in the Western world were located directly next door to the gas chambers.
Notwithstanding the fact it was not that long ago hundreds of thousands Japanese American civilians were harassed, removed from their homes, and placed into military internment camps. Decades later those of Russian heritage were treated to similar discrimination.
Continuing the theme which sees a resurgence of organisations calling for “engagement” and which use and abuse particular scholars in an effort to try and create themselves some space in the already crowded but lucrative counter-extremism industry, is the youth-focussed organisation, British Muslim Youth (BMY).
The Not So Forgotten “forgotten voice”
BMY seems to have been a local organisation which dealt with the Rotherham child abuse scandal and subsequently rebranded and nationalised. Its “CEO”, Muhbeen Hussain comes from a family connected to local politics: his uncle is Mahroof Hussain, Labour councillor for Rotherham. He and his relative and BMY press officer, Vakas Hussain, are leading the charge to revive the “forgotten” voice of Muslim youth in the context of radicalisation.