This is what happens when an Afro-Arab Sudanese, aka yours truly, and a white English chick, aka my friend Claire, get together to talk about the recent BBC show that invited our lovely friend, Nick Griffin of the BNP, for a fun entertaining episode.
Yours truly pretty much bugged the shit out of busy Claire to write a quick guest post sharing her honest opinion on the matter after we discussed it.
Brits in the house (you know who you are), please drop your thoughts below after reading. Here it is. The blog post’s title is mine. The rest is hers.
So Drima and I got talking one day about “the rise of radical Islam” in my country, the UK. Prompted by Nick Griffin’s appearance on prime time television, this huge issue has been publicly ripped opened – at last. So now the conversation can really begin…
But you know what? It’s such a huge and complex conversation, I can’t even begin to do it justice.
The one thing I will say is one of the more significant points in our conversation.
Drima was railing about how British political correctness had gone crazy and why we let that happen.
We allow the East London Mosque and its bookshop to run freely despite knowing what it sells, whilst we send innocent people to court for wearing a Cross necklace at work?!
“Simple” I said. And I know the answer because I am white, British and middle class.
We let the PC go crazy because our ex-colonial past is not in the past.
We used to take over and destroy cultures, replacing them with our own. We now acknowledge that this is wrong. Very wrong. So today, if we tell someone of an ethnic minority, “you can’t do that”, for any reason, justified or not, the auto-response is “racist! You don’t understand or respect culture. White colonialist! Shame!”
And we do feel shame. And the next time we keep quiet.
What makes this more difficult? More often that not, this shouted response is not from the minority.
It is from our embarrassed white brother.
In recent years this attitude reached special highs and the average person got sick of it – which is probably why the BNP started doing so well.
Of course they went too far, but apparently, at least they were willing to “stand up and say no, enough is enough. This is our country too and we want Christmas! Change is coming.”
The BNP is an overreaction (thank you, BBC, for allowing Nick Griffin a public platform to hang himself and his “political party”) but now the shout of “too much PC” has at least been heard.
And perhaps more importantly there is the growing voice of the home-grown Islamist recanters, speaking out against violence and promoting “secular Islam.”
Could this be the shift we’ve been waiting for?
These two voices need to be heard and they need to work together to create an environment we all can live in together.
I’m hopeful. Because there is a middle ground filled with people just like me, who are neither fascists nor jihadists. Dare I say it, we’re the quiet majority?
We must be louder.
Islam will not leave our country but neither will it become an Islamic Republic – and the scared white folk and radical Islamists both need a re-education to understand that that is OK.
Welcome to 2010.
Special thanks to Drima for sending me this article, it reveals a lot of what needs revealing in a way I could never express.