23 March 2009

Jihad Chic in London

An Afghan reporter from Newsweek highlights some troubling extremist trends in the international community. However, it's not from Peshawar, Tehran, or Medina, but...London?!? From Newsweek:

In fact, during my three-month stay in England I met a surprising number of Muslims who shared Jan's fascination with the Taliban. The older generation, urbane and relatively well educated, had little love for the extremists. But among some younger men, frustrated and marginalized in British society, I discovered a fury that was depressingly familiar. I met many immigrants who were blatant, vocal and unquestioning in their support for what they imagined to be "jihad." Few seemed troubled by the brutality that characterized Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar's reign, or by his banning of music or girls' education. Indeed, many looked back on Omar's rule as a kind of Islamic utopia, and they eagerly snapped up the Islamist leaflets handed out after Friday prayers at various mosques around town.
This comes on the heels of an incident in early March where members of the fundamentalist Islamic community were seen protesting (Westboro Baptist Church-style) a military parade honoring some fallen British soldiers in Iraq. These clowns have vowed to continue their disgraceful demagoguery.

The Newsweek report from our allies in England is indeed disturbing, and you have to ask why the Muslim community in the U.S. is so much different than in Europe. Is it because they are less affluent and less educated across the pond? Does America's melting pot and "love it or leave it" mentality do a better job of assimilation? Following 9/11, I was at UCLA which has a large Arabic/Persian student body, and the sentiment seemed to be why we weren't immediately bombing those "Taliban pieces of shit" into the stone age on 9/12. This one liquor store I used to buy booze at in the Valley (owned by an Arabic gentleman) had American flags and patriotic stickers that would rival a Toby Keith concert. It was practically comical like the Simpsons episode where Apu pretends he's not an immigrant. While this is all observational evidence on my own part, it has been proven with extensive polling that the broad majority of American Muslims do not hold these bullshit extremist views. Why are things so different in Europe?

Any insight from a European on this issue would be much appreciated.


Joe said...

I was out at Western a few weekends ago to drink some beers with some cadets I used to be in ROTC with who are commissioning and moving on in April. We went to a presentation by a former Taliban fighter who has been in Afghanistan since the 80s, first with the Mujahadeen against the Russians and then with the Taliban against NATO forces. He threw in his hat and moved here and his presentation was about how Shira law is spreading across Europe, specifically in Britain and western Europe and how in the Netherlands I think it was, the government says that if the majority of the people want Shira law, they will step down. Pretty radical shit. I say fuck that noise but I'm a little jaded. Also, Britain can't pull out of Iraq. We enjoyed seeing their huge MRAP-like behemoths pull up and watch their chicks get out with their skin tight combat shirts on too much.

Bag Blog said...

Maybe our "melting pot" view is more tolerant. Maybe lessons from WWII and how we treated Japanese and German Americans is still a bit raw.

Were you old enough in 01 to buy liquor?

olgreydog7 said...

It's just their version of urban hipsters.

dutchmarbel said...

how in the Netherlands I think it was, the government says that if the majority of the people want Shira law

A minister remarked that a consequence of being a democracy is that if you have a moslim party that is in favour of Sharia they can introduce it if they have the majority of votes. Of course within the limits set by our constitution.

Since we currently have >5% muslims and most religions moslims vote for the Christian Democrats (who have moslim representatives in our House, not of whom wants to introduce Sharia law) they have less change than the SGP, an orthodox Protestant party, but the remark has been repeatedly quoted out of context by right-wingers to create some more FUD about foreigners.

dutchmarbel said...

that should be *none* of whom.

LT: I think the comment about difference in background/education level is true. It is also true that many Turkish and Maroccan immigrants came to the country as *guestlabourers* in the seventies and eighties. Everybody (incl. them) assumed that they'd work here for a number of years and then move back home. As unskilled labour the immigrants had a low socio-economic status and since their stay was seen as temporary a lot of them never integrated well. Those original, first generation immigrants, usually don't have a problem, but their kids do.

Anonymous said...

People in Britian would be more likely to hold up signs like that in than people in the US regardless of religion.

The fact that anti-Americanism is more prominent in Europe than America even if you forget about the muslim population is probably part of the reason why radicalism is so easily baited there.


Nixon said...

Well is this protest pictured above about Anti-Americanism? I thought it was about anti-british military, but maybe you know something I don't.