Examining the Muslim Manifesto
What is the burning issue in this general election campaign? Is it the deficit? Is it the NHS? Is it defence spending? All these matters are pressing, but our political parties have an unspoken agreement not to mention the elephant in the room: the character of our nation.
Specifically, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, along with other MPs, recently attended an event in Parliament to promote a Muslim Manifesto put together by the Institute for Muslim Community Development. This manifesto demands that the British government should act in accordance with the wishes of Muslims above all other considerations. Of course, if I offer you my own summary of this document, I shall be accused of misrepresentation and worse. So let me give you a few quotes. Let the Muslim Manifesto speak for itself. It says the government must…
…defend the right to a Muslim way of life, including halal meat; religious clothing; circumcision; and flexible working to accommodate Ramadan and festival observance.
That’s what it says. Now, may I at least be allowed to ask some questions? Does it mean that all arguments against the halal meat industry, the burka and the niqab should be banned? Does circumcision refer only to boys or does it include girls as well – in which case it is properly described as female genital mutilation? Again the Muslim Manifesto pledges to…
…support efforts to accurately remember Muslim and non-Muslim histories including oppressive and genocidal actions against Muslim peoples by British and European peoples.
This point blatantly expresses the victim narrative of the Islamists, which portrays Muslims as oppressed by the West. Am I allowed to notice at this juncture that, while we are all urged to join in vehement condemnation of the indigenous British and Europeans, no mention whatever is made of the wholesale terrorist atrocities being perpetrated by Muslims on four continents? Yes, yes, I know that not all Muslims support terrorism. Recent research showed that only 15 per cent of British Muslims are in favour of the barbaric Islamic State. There are two and a half million Muslims in Britain. What’s 15 per cent of 2,500,000? As the Americans say, Go figure.
… Commit to ethical British foreign policies that uphold the human rights of all peoples.
What are these ethical foreign policies? Unless these are clearly defined and explained, we might as well be talking about motherhood and apple pie. Does the demand extend, for instance, to preventing the deportation of known terrorists on the grounds that they have a right to a family life? I only ask because this has happened many times in the recent past. The Muslim Manifesto demands that we…
…affirm the importance of faith schools within the overall provision.
Well, faith schools are a fine thing. But are they to become training camps for radicalisation, as happened in the notorious Trojan horse episodes in Birmingham and other places? What safeguards are there to be to prevent this disgrace from happening again? I only ask. We need to be told. We are urged to…
…celebrate and support Muslim heritage and cultural institutions.
May we know whether these cultural institutions are to include sharia courts? The Muslim Manifesto says we must…
…provide assurance and evidence that foreign funding is not causing or promoting violent extremism in the UK.
What is this about foreign funding? Would I not rather be correct in thinking that it is religious fanaticism among some Muslims living in Britain that promotes violent extremism? Or if not, then how come more than 600 – at a conservative estimate – young Muslims have left this country to go and fight for Islamic State? Again, I only ask. The government should…
…introduce more robust legislation to curb media hate campaigns against Muslims.
Why is there no mention of hate campaigns mounted by Muslim extremists against non-Muslims? And is what is being demanded here legislation pertinent to Muslims alone? Why single out Muslims if there is a question of curbing freedom of speech? And what exactly is a media hate campaign? Is it hateful to print stories that are true, even if Muslims find these stories offensive? If a newspaper prints something that is not true, then those who are offended already have recourse to the usual procedures of the libel laws. Why should Muslims be singled out for preferential treatment? And then the government must…
…guarantee the Muslim community the opportunity to evolve independently of government social engineering programmes.
What does this mean – multiculturalism, separate development, apartheid, ghettos? We should be told precisely what independent evolution means here.
The very concept of a Muslim Manifesto is disturbing. The difference between a Muslim Manifesto and that of a political party, such as the Tories, Labour or UKIP, is that those parties claim to represent the interests of British people in general. By definition, the Muslim Manifesto is sectarian, divisive and thus it undermines social cohesion.
I wonder what the Muslim Manifesto means by government social engineering? Does this phrase refer to the government’s reasonable injunctions to the effect that everyone living in this country should speak English in public life and generally integrate into society? What’s wrong with that?
Let’s try a little thought experiment. Imagine for a moment the outrage if a group were to produce a Christian Manifesto. I don’t mean the sort of soft left, secularised, woolly worthlessness that our bishops distributed in their 52-page letter. I mean rather a Christian Manifesto that demanded that Christians be allowed to wear the emblems of their faith in public and that set out opposition to homosexual marriage based on the teachings of the Bible. If Muslims are to be permitted to wear the burka and the niqab, why are Christians prevented from wearing the cross in their workplace?
No doubt for raising these matters I shall be accused of Islamophobia – whatever meaning anyone can attach to that expression. I would just say this: over the next few weeks, the manifestos of all the political parties will be subjected to the most careful scrutiny and intense questioning; the authors of the Muslim Manifesto must expect to be asked questions along with everyone else.
‘The Muslim Manifesto must expect to be asked questions’