GUEST POST: Muslim Immigration

Events since 911, and more recently the Brexit decision, and now the Chilcott report, have prompted me to think more deeply about an issue that has become of concern in many parts of the world—Muslim immigration.

There are obviously many reasons why people voted for Britain to either stay with or leave the EU. Personally I would have voted to leave, because I’m a proud citizen of what I think is one of the best little countries in the world to live in. I love this place. It’s got its faults. It’s got some big issues it ought to deal with & people don’t always find it easy to listen to each other talk honestly about them. But I’m a New Zealander. I’m proud to be. And, accepting that its current society & culture (whatever that is) have been predominantly forged by two major flows of immigrants—the first from Polynesia, and the second from Britain and other English-speaking countries, I kinda like it the way it is.

In Britain, people who expressed concern about Muslim immigration seemed to just be racists, judging by how mainstream & social media dealt with their views. I bet, seeing many people were making their obvious dislike, even hatred, of anyone with a different skin colour, foreign accent, or way of dressing or living, well-known. Politicians capitalised on it. As some do.

In my opinion, it is too simplistic to just dismiss British people’s concerns about Muslim immigration as ‘racist’. Muslims, truly believe that the Angel Gabriel spoke to Muhammad over a number of years and gave him ongoing instructions, from Allah, about pretty well everything, including the moral superiority of their religion over all others, including Christianity and Judasim, which are to be tolerated where Muslims become dominant so long as they accept domination and do not cause trouble for those Muslims who want to live according to Sharia Law.

Sectarianism is rife within Islam (the main divide of Sunni and Shia is 80 to 20% respectively) and has seen them kill each other in large numbers over the centuries. Yes, Christians did that too. They were even doing it in Northern Ireland until relatively recently, and there have of late been one or two nasty incidents of the same thing, showing that it hasn’t gone away. As is often the case, it’s difficult to separate the religion aspect from the political. Catholics have been Irish, Protestants have been British. What they are both now remains to be seen.

But Christianity has undergone The Reformation, and educational reform which has included scientific and social awareness, as well as the growth of secular law around matters such as Human Rights. ‘Christendom’ on the whole has become more tolerant and true to the behaviours exhibited by Jesus Christ, and more secular. In some Muslim countries there is no tolerance for gays, ‘loose women’, atheists, agnostics, other sects of Islam, other religions. A few deranged or Muslim extremists have been abusing and even killing people because of who they are, what they believe, or for saying what they don’t believe.

Personally, I suspect few non-Muslim people who describe Islam as a peaceful religion have actually read the Quran, or any of the Hadith, or Figh (Islamic jurisprudence), or the various versions of Sharia Law, all of which to some degree or other determine what Muslims believe. The extremists are reading the same book as peaceful Muslims. The supposed ‘perfect book’ is repetitively turgid, filled with endless praises of the wonderfulness of Allah, and its verses can be interpreted differently to mean whatever is preached by those who use it to support their particular view of how the world should be run and what other people should believe.

The world is full of peaceful Muslims. I know that. They may have all, or some may have not, read the whole Quran. Certainly many extremists, including children, have been required to learn it by rote. And this book—or if they can’t read or are uneducated, their religious scholar or leader—in some cases seem to tell them that killing infidels & apostates (anybody who doesn’t accept their interpretation of the Quran) is not only right, it is meritorious, and that committing suicide to kill as many apostates & infidels as possible in the cause of spreading the faith of Allah the Merciful, the Beneficent, is especially praiseworthy and guarantees an immediate place in Paradise.

Peaceful Muslims are peaceful because they are peaceful people, not because the Quran is peaceful. But when non-Muslims attack or threaten or kill thousands of Muslims as “collateral damage”, the extremists’ cause is magnified. Anger, and Islam, in this case are a terrible thing. Muslims see themselves everywhere as the worldwide Ummah. They are not just individual groups of believers spread out through a number of separate nations. So when their countries, or their Ummah, are attacked, some are driven by rage, revenge, mental health problems, or it seems by just not fitting in well in their adopted society and being criticised or picked on, to kill the infidels wherever they are.

There’s no getting away from it. It’s been happening all over the world. And it seems that the larger the community of Muslims, the more likely it is to happen. It’s often not parents who carry out these random assassinations of innocent people. It’s their children. Those who are now being exposed to extremist ideas all over the telly & the internet. I’ve found myself thinking when I or my loved ones have gone into an enclosed shopping mall what an ideal target this would be for some religious fanatic, and how that would affect everybody.

That’s my take on this issue anyway, and my concern, and I think the concern of many in Britain & Europe and Africa, and Asia, and other parts of the world. I wondered if anyone else had any thoughts they wanted to share.