11 March 2016

I’m proud to be young, British and Muslim. Why should I change my name?

Every day there are attacks on Islam, prejudice against Muslims and Islamophobic assaults. Stop demonising us and embrace us as part of Britain.

.... Every day, as I walk to work past newsstands, it seems there’s another front-page splash demonising some aspect of Islam. Online, the comment threads below any article on Muslims are full of vitriolic messages.

Someone once said to me: “If I believed what they said about Muslims, I would have to hate my own mother, my family and everything about myself.” Not surprisingly, there are weekly reports of Islamophobic attacks; and vicious Islamophobic rants have been filmed on public transport.

The relentless assaults from popular broadsheets and tabloids are echoed by political leaders too. David Cameron’s language around refugees – “swarms”, “bunch of migrants” – contributes to the idea that they are a homogenous, threatening group. In January, he said that the “traditional submissiveness of Muslim women” was leaving young men vulnerable to radicalisation – reinforcing the stereotypes that Muslim women have to deal with daily.

Cameron upset not only the mothers, but also their children – people of my generation, who have come through the British education system, and have navigated the path of being young, British and Muslim. [1522 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1075 votes] Islam better get used to critcism if it insists on continuing to be homophobic, misogynist, sexist,and supporting such practises as honour killings and fgm, quite apart from the minority who stir up violence and hand out death threats to people who want to leave this 'religion' . No one intelligent is going to tolerate the intolerable.

[2ND 793] "Every day, as I walk to work past newsstands, there’s another front-page splash demonising some aspect of Islam."

How dare someone criticise religion.

[3RD 666] You're being far too generous here. Being of Pakistani origin and having lived in Bradford for 4 years i'm well qualified to say that many asian communities (especially in West Yorks) not only make no concerted effort to integrate, but they do not want any dilution (marriage, culture/work) with the indigenous population.

Religion is more important than: your country, your family (see honour killings) and your neighbour.

[4TH 648] I grew up in West Yorkshire and worked in Dewsbury for 7 years, I have to say that a large part of the Muslim community there, were the only group from the many different backgrounds/ethnicities who seemingly made little or no effort to mix or integrate.

[5TH 599] No one asked you to change your name... another Guardian article where someone expresses indignation about a non existent argument

If anything, the reverse is true in this country. For evidence, ask anyone how they feel when they call an overseas call centre and are spoken to by someone who claims they are called Alice or David etc when its patently untrue.

Stop looking for rubbish to moan about.

[6TH 598] Religion should not be beyond criticism.

[7TH 546] "They drink alcohol, live with their partners before marriage, and don’t fast for Ramadan."

Those are unambiguously un-Islamic. Very often, moderate or liberal Muslims aren't actually Muslims at all, but secular. If 'Muslims' are drinking alcohol, not observing Ramadan, among other things, it means that they have renounced those key elements of the religion. What might be preventing them from just renouncing the faith completely, I wonder? Is there a penalty for that? [The Guardian] Read more