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Muslim Extremism in the UK
January 17, 2007 9:00 AM   Subscribe

A television report tracks Muslim extremism in the United Kingdom. See also, part 2 and part 3. (YouTube) (via Digg)
posted by yevge (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently more complete 6-part version. (youtube)
posted by kickingtheground at 9:26 AM on January 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw part of this the other night on Channel 4.

Interesting conundrum... hard to decide if I'm more irritated by the small-minded, mal-informed & repellant views of the speakers in the film, or the small-minded, mal-informed & repellant comments from the users of YouTube.
posted by stumcg at 9:48 AM on January 17, 2007


Interesting conundrum... hard to decide if I'm more irritated by the small-minded, mal-informed & repellant views of the speakers in the film, or the small-minded, mal-informed & repellant comments from the users of YouTube.

The users of YouTube have no money, power or influence. The speakers in the film have a considerable amount. That's how I decide. And irritated isn't the word that I would chose.
posted by loquax at 9:56 AM on January 17, 2007


Focus shifts to Christianity in 3... 2...
posted by Krrrlson at 9:58 AM on January 17, 2007


That stuff is definitely going on; zealous hatred is nothing new. But here's the thing that worries me... these exposés tend to fuel non-muslims to feel justified in hating the "threat" of islam just as much as those people are hating the "threat" of infidels. Nobody watches the movie "Jesus Camp" and thinks that all church camps are like that... but non-muslims almost want to think that all muslims want to kill us. And they don't. Fundamentalism is the problem... I always repeat this, but fundamentalist islam is as representative of the average muslim as fundamentalist christianity is of me (ie, not at all). Watching the news, you'd never know that though.

Last time I called my friend in London to ask her how life was going, her response was "Oh Lynn, it's just all mosques here now. It's horrible." As someone who was recently traveling the middle east & has a lot of muslim friends, it really struck me as a sad response to the basic "How's life in London?" question on so many levels. I didn't even know what to say...
posted by miss lynnster at 10:06 AM on January 17, 2007


Oh snap Krrrlson, spot ON... Spot on. :D (not to say I don't agree with miss lynster, I do... but, do we not become a parody of ourselves or what?)
posted by symbioid at 10:21 AM on January 17, 2007


Well, I'm not focused on Christianity actually. I'm not much focused on any particular faith, as my point was that hatred & generalizations towards any religion is reprehensible to me. If there were a lot of fundamentalist Zoroastrians running around hating, I would've used them as an example too.

Can't we all just git aloooong? No? Oh, ok. Good to know.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:30 AM on January 17, 2007


is = are
posted by miss lynnster at 10:43 AM on January 17, 2007


That stuff is definitely going on; zealous hatred is nothing new. But here's the thing that worries me... these exposés tend to fuel non-muslims to feel justified in hating the "threat" of islam just as much as those people are hating the "threat" of infidels.

Ok....so what's the solution? You see that zealous hatred is being preached in mosques and you propose that it not be aired and discussed? That it be suppressed? It doesn't worry you? What? I understand your concerns about a backlash or whatever, but what about the people who are actually preaching the zealous hatred.
posted by loquax at 10:45 AM on January 17, 2007


How about a TV show (Thats how many people form all of their opinions anyway - a big part of the problem) that contrasted Muslim extremists with Christian extremists? And railed against religious extremism in all of its forms, and to the extent that it advocated anything, advocated enlightened secular governments, with personal spirtuality?

Not so good for driving enlistment figures and popular support for failed nationalist policies.

Signed,

A concerned US citizen against idiocy
posted by sfts2 at 11:14 AM on January 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I never said I had a solution. I said that it all worries me & makes me sad. This has been going on in humanity for centuries, I'm not ridiculous or arrogant enough to think that I actually have any answers. People will always hate if they want to. Humans suck that way.

I was also making the point that I wonder about videos on extremist muslims being viewed differently than those about extremists in other religions (see my reference to Jesus Camp). I wasn't saying that the shows shouldn't be made, quite the contrary. I was just thinking out loud about how they are received... and that it's a shame to know that many people definitely embrace whatever they see that validates their biggest fears & fuels their own xenophobic hatred. Many people probably don't stop to think that this film represents a dangerous minority & that most muslims in the world are not filled to the brim with such vitriolic hatred.

Here's where I'm coming from... all of these thoughts are relatively new to me since I only traveled to the middle east for the first time last year. Prior to that, due to my own ignorance I had a lot of the same prejudices regarding islam, I think. I never really noticed before because I didn't know any better... I just believed what I saw on tv. Now that I'm much better informed I've started really thinking about things on a different level & recognizing these unfortunate cultural conflicts a lot more is all.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:20 AM on January 17, 2007


How about a TV show ... that contrasted Muslim extremists with Christian extremists?

Yes!

We put them on an island to compete against each other in various physical and mental challenges.

Then we just leave them there.
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:33 AM on January 17, 2007


Yes, its extremely useful to compare Chrisitan & Muslim extremism! But there are two important points to remember:

1) Muslim extremism is Europe can directly be targeted by proactive government pollicies, like France's headscarf ban in schools, revoking all religious worker visas, halting new immigration & refugees from conservative countries, etc.

2) Chrisitian extremism is largely confined to the United States, where is can cause the most damage, and can only be targeted by independent forces.

Muslim extremism in the Muslim world is a seperate longer term problem, but the most effective long term solution is more agressive integration of the Muslim's living in Europe, i.e. France's headscarf ban, no more religious work worker visas, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:11 PM on January 17, 2007


Hah, no surprise the hardest core religious ideologue was an American
posted by delmoi at 12:21 PM on January 17, 2007


Muslim extremism is Europe can directly be targeted by proactive government pollicies, like France's headscarf ban in schools

Yes, because l'affair foulard really worked wonders for bringing Muslims on board with the French national project. Those weren't burning cars, they were campfires for the big unity jamboree they held in the banlieues.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:25 PM on January 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


1) Muslim extremism is Europe can directly be targeted by proactive government pollicies, like France's headscarf ban in schools, revoking all religious worker visas, halting new immigration & refugees from conservative countries, etc.

Oh, come on. Look at that guy in the first video, he's not complaining about government policies, he's preaching the 'uncleanness' of non-Muslims, and how they ought to work toward a Muslim state.

The Christian extremism in the United States is far more powerful then Muslims in the UK, I would imagine. But on the other hand, Christian fundamentalism is not a problem in the UK, thus the existence of movies like "Jesus Camp" in the US, where liberals fear evangelical power, and films like this in the UK, where people fear religious power.

There is a disconnect, I think, between people who carp on Christian extremists and preach tolerance toward even the most ideological Muslims in their own states. It has a lot to do with fear, I think. An American runs a risk of having Extremist Christian mores dictate their life choices (such as no living wills, no abortions, or stem cell research) while they run no risk of being oppressed by Muslims. On the other hand, someone in the UK might feel the other way.
posted by delmoi at 12:32 PM on January 17, 2007


The other day I was on a first date with a guy who actually said, "When I see a woman wearing a headscarf, it offends me to my core. This is my country and she shouldn't be doing that."

Yep... it was our last date too. (I mean, please. Some strange woman's scarf has nothing to DO with him, now does it? I can't see how it's his business. But that's me.)
posted by miss lynnster at 12:37 PM on January 17, 2007


miss l., the thing I find funny about that is that I'm old enough to remember when, here in the States, it was pretty routine to see women wearing headscarves, especially outdoors on days that weren't sunny and beautiful or when doing anything where they'd want to protect their perms. I mean, geeesh! Offended by a kerchief? Shrug!
posted by pax digita at 12:56 PM on January 17, 2007


Reactions: Imam Abu Usamah, Tony Blair. Torrent.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:05 PM on January 17, 2007


Muslim extremism is Europe can directly be targeted by proactive government pollicies, like France's headscarf ban in schools

Shit, headscarfs are the real problem? I expect to see police rounding up the nation's little old ladies forthwith.
posted by influx at 1:12 PM on January 17, 2007


What, that show was biased?
posted by IronWolve at 1:18 PM on January 17, 2007


The other day I was on a first date with a guy who actually said, "When I see a woman wearing a headscarf, it offends me to my core." [...] Some strange woman's scarf has nothing to DO with him, now does it?

Well, it does have *something* to do with him. The headscarf is a fig leaf, a ritual modesty that blankets her from his gaze, and him from her sex.

Tell believing men to restrain their eyes and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. And Allah is well aware of what you do. And tell the believing women to restrain their eyes and to guard their private parts and to display of their ornaments only those [which are worn on limbs] which are normally revealed and to draw their khumūr over their bosoms. They should not reveal their ornaments to anyone save their husbands or their fathers or their husbands’ fathers or their sons or their husbands’ sons or their brothers or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons or other women of acquaintance or their slaves or the subservient male servants who are not attracted to women or children who have no awareness of the hidden aspects of women.

It certainly voices a statement about sex, and I think it's perfectly valid to react to this statement. I'm not sure "offense to the core" is an appropriate or meaningful response, but speech has that power.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:36 PM on January 17, 2007


delmoi An American runs a risk of having Extremist Christian mores dictate their life choices (such as no living wills, no abortions, or stem cell research) while they run no risk of being oppressed by Muslims. On the other hand, someone in the UK might feel the other way.
Sounds about right to me.
posted by jouke at 2:06 PM on January 17, 2007


Interesting that I just heard our local Limbaugh playing excerpts from this program on AM talk radio here in the States. Most hilarious of all was the way he mentioned the anti-gay stance of these clerics as a way to highlight their attacks on diversity. What a hoot. Like he's a friend to gay people. Right.

goodnewsfortheinsane, that reaction from the Imam is priceless. I love the way the woman's monthly cycle makes her religiously deficient because she can't fast for as long as a man. What utter horseshit.

It couldn't be more clear that his brand of Islam is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. This is gonna be a real tough issue for Western countries over the next few decades.
posted by mediareport at 3:32 PM on January 17, 2007


I love the way the woman's monthly cycle makes her religiously deficient because she can't fast for as long as a man. What utter horseshit.
It couldn't be more clear that his brand of Islam is fundamentally incompatible with democracy.


Its true that this form of Islam is incompatible with a democratic, free society, but isn't also this statement:
Muslim extremism is Europe can directly be targeted by proactive government pollicies, like France's headscarf ban in schools.
?
I mean, couldn't it be said that the restriction of one's identity in the public sphere is also incompatible with a free democratic society? If we aren't allowed to bring all of ourselves into the public realm - be we women or muslims or whatever - then how is that different than any other kind of top-down, prescriptive society? The West has its own issues to work on - it shouldn't be thought of as the holder of the Final Answer for Everything that the world has been waiting for.
posted by Boydrop at 6:49 PM on January 17, 2007


I mean, couldn't it be said that the restriction of one's identity in the public sphere is also incompatible with a free democratic society?

Well, schools are different, since most democracies only recognize a subset of rights for students below the age of majority, but yes, sure. I think the headscarves thing was a mistake, not worthy of a free society. I also never said the West has the Final Answer for Everything. But you have to be a fool to not see the conflict between basic values of equality for all and most kinds of religious fundamentalism. And in this thread, that means Islamic fundamentalism. In the form seen in the linked documentary, it's a threat to democracy, no doubt about it.
posted by mediareport at 7:44 PM on January 17, 2007


You're right, I shouldn't have implied that you said that (actually, not sure if I even meant to imply that... perhaps I was arguing with myself... or maybe with the original headscarf commenter..).
posted by Boydrop at 9:25 PM on January 17, 2007


Just for the sake of accuracy France didn't specificaly ban headscarvess in schools, it banned students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols.

Due, in part, to its history France takes the seperation of church and state, and its status as a secular republic, very seriously.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 2:08 AM on January 18, 2007


Obviously that should have been 'specifically' and 'headscarves'. This is what comes of metafiltering at work.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 8:52 AM on January 18, 2007


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