Why pick on Muslims?

The wearing of the veil (seen, in the face of the facts, as involuntary) becomes an emblem of a deeply-laid plan of Islamic subversion. All arranged marriages are seen as forced marriages and therefore repressive. The ultimate aim of the well-known Muslim intellectual, Tariq Ramadan, is deemed to be to turn France into an Islamic state. The periodic riots in the Paris banlieues are seen as signs of Islamic revolt rather than social protest.

Mr Roy rejects all of these contentions and, along the way, has some fun at the expense of those who have created an Islamic exception. Why attack only Islam as discriminatory? Should we not stigmatise the Catholic Church for not allowing women to be priests? Why not ask Jews to give up the notion of the “chosen people”? More seriously, he suggests it might be honest, though hardly honourable, to admit that Islam is singled out because it is the religion of immigrants and because it is associated, in entirely negative ways, with the Middle East.

In truth, conservative Muslims view sex and family in essentially the same way as conservative Christians and Jews. Mr Roy argues that in all cases the state’s attitude should be the same—to distinguish between moral values and legal norms. Those who regard abortion or gay sex as a crime are not required to renounce their views, only to respect the law (and not, for example, assault gays or set fire to abortion clinics). You can believe what you want provided you obey the rules of the game.

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6 Responses to “Why pick on Muslims?”


  1. 1 jonolan August 22, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Why pick on muslims?

    1) Any muslim might be a jihadist and want to kill you and your whole family. Islam has no hierarchy and a fatwah can be called by any islamic scholar. This puts fear into the picture.

    2) Westerners are taught that islam is a repressive religion that violates basic human rights. nations living under Sharia – as interpreted by arch-conservative islamic scholars – is very repressive and brutal.

    3) Muslims have a very poor track record of integrating with their host nations’ societies. This always brings their loyalties into questions.

  2. 2 thabet August 22, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    Ah, I see the sort of bigots Roy identifies makes his case for him.

    1. No any Muslim might not be a “jihadist”. There a variety of factors on why a Muslim might become a “jihadist” — these same factors would make a white European on the “underclass” a jihadist if he had an “ummah” calling him. Islam as a relationship between man and God does not have an *intermediary*, but has, indeed, developed *heirarchies*. No serious Muslim scholar has issued a fatwa asking Muslims “to kill you and your family”.

    2. Westerners are not taught that “Islam is a repressive religion”. You sound like an al-Qaeda propogandist. There are about two nations that can be said to “live under Sharia” (most include sharia as one of the sources of law), and one of those has non-sharia codes for a lot of business/commercial law.

    3. Does this include American Muslims? How do you explain the marginalisation of black peoples in Europe, many of whom are not Muslim?

  3. 3 jonolan August 23, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t consider myself a bigot. I have a great respect for Islam; of all the Abrahamite sects, Islam is the one I prefer – though I follow none of them. I presented the mindset of the average ‘Westerner”.

    If you’re an American you have to wonder about the motivations of any “Arab” – quoted because the Arabic tribes are only a fraction of the muslim population – you encounter. America is engaged in a war with “something” and the middeleast seems to be one of the battlegrounds. Add the fact that non-hierarchal sects have a tendency towards extremism and you have the recipe for fear based reactionary thinking.

    Trust me westerners – especially Americans – are taught that Islam is a repressive religion and we hear about the supposed evils of Shariah on a regular basis.

    Before I could comment on the first part of point #3 I’d need your definition of an American muslim; we have multiple “types”. As for the marginalisation of black people in Europe, I blame it on racial bigotry compounded by hold-over attitudes from the days of colonialism. It’s still not as pernicious as some of the stuff still occuring in the US though.

    I suppose you’d have prefered the answer – “because they’re different and we’re all evil bigots”? Sorry, the answer is more complex than that.

  4. 4 thabet August 23, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Sorry — my fault for not reading your comments properly. Fair points.

  5. 5 jonolan August 23, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Absolutely no problem! You asked a simple question that sadly has a VERY complex set of answers / opinions / excuses. But then “why” is always the hardest question to answer.

  6. 6 Mantra August 23, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    “You can believe what you want provided you obey the rules of the game.”

    But how do you expect the rules to last if people don’t believe in them?


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