20 December 2018

It’s wrong to treat British Muslims as a racial group

.... Muslims themselves rejected the idea that they constitute anything like a single separate “race” in the way that, say, black Africans might. Second, Britain is home to a uniquely wide range of Muslim communities. They differ in origin, with sizeable contingents with roots in the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, central and southeastern Asia, and Europe. And third, the facts of race are not a matter of personal choice; we cannot simply declare ourselves to be white, black or Asian. On the other hand, most of those who follow Islam pride themselves on the fact that they have actively chosen to adhere to a centuries-old belief system.

.... There’s a final, important lesson to be learnt from the APPG’s report. It speaks of Muslims as if maltreatment by white Britons were their only defining experience. It thus misrepresents the attitudes of most non-Muslims and diminishes Muslim identity to that of the perpetual victim. Before the government or any institution adopts a definition that treats British Muslims in this way, much deeper thought is required. [The Times (£)] Read more