14 April 2016

Trevor Phillips’s flawed poll will do nothing to help integration

.... Is integration a one-way process? No, integration is a two-way process where there are cross-influences from both cultures and compromises from all sides to integrate the minority culture into the majority culture. If communities maintain their identities and live peacefully alongside each other by accommodating each others’ viewpoints surely that’s integration? Moreover, perhaps addressing issues affecting integration like education and job discrimination and socio-economic deprivation is what needs to be done.

I could go on but I won’t because there is much a bigger point that is being overlooked. Why was there a need for the poll in the first place?

This is the question that sincerely needs to be asked. Why are Muslims repeatedly being questioned about their thoughts and religious beliefs? And this is where as a British Muslim I worry we are sleepwalking towards assimilation which is one-directional and relies on minority communities giving up on their beliefs and cultures in order to be accepted. In this case to fit in with so-called “British Values.”

Perhaps if Philips had asked what ideas, concerns and expectations Muslims have (ie what Muslims “really” think) instead of telling us what we should think, then that may have been the start of a constructive dialogue to promote integration. [5Pillars] Read more