I don't know if today's telegraph has quoted you correctly
"Fury over Blunkett's warning to Muslims
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
(Filed: 31/10/2003) "
Having lived in the BD7 area of Bradford for nearly 10 years I would suggest the following.
The majority of 1st generation (immigrant) Muslims, Hindu's and Sikh's are polite, helpful and in general just want to get on with their lives.
2nd generation have more of a problem. Hindu's & Sikhs seem to integrate better into the UK. Their faith and UK culture don't always agree, but by and large these people are polite, helpful and in general just want to get on with their lives.
In the above two cases there are a small minority who are racists, not just towards other colours but between religions and between different sections of their own faith.
To be fair there are a small minority of British Christians who are racists as well.
2nd Generation Muslims seem to have a HUGE problem. There is a three way split between faith & UK culture:-
1. Those that accept UK culture, rebel against their faith and face the wrath of their parents.
2. Those that refuse UK culture, immerse themselves within their faith, and decry UK culture
3. Those that fall between, have no idea what they want.
a) All three groups face poverty daily.
b) All three groups see wealth (look at the number of expensive cars on the streets of Bradford)
c) All three groups face a drugs and crime problem
Religion is NOT the only problem.
Group 1 can fall victim to drugs, but also make good businessmen, politicians and friends.
Group 2 I don't see this group, they ignore me, I ignore them (Nothing personal, some of these people may be extremists, some may be charitable saints who do good work within their community)
Group 3 This is the bad news one, they fall in either direction,
There is a SUBSTANTIAL minority (note I still use "minority") in group 3 that are completely unable to reconcile their faith with UK culture. This group feeds crime, racist attacks and more recently terrorism.
You are quoted in the Telegraph as saying -
i) "We are quite dismayed to see him, yet again, singling out the British Muslim community for denigration."
ii) "His remarks about Muslim youth, while they are sure to gain him plaudits amongst the far Right, are off the mark and show him to be poorly briefed."
iii) "In comparison with their parents' generation, Muslim youths today are far more confident in their identity and better integrated into our country's life."
iv) "They are also more willing to speak out against policies they disagree with. We should be encouraging them with strategies geared towards inclusiveness and not engaging in a crude post-September 11 version of 'Paki-bashing'."
I feel I have to respond to your points.
i) I do not believe he meant to denigrate the Muslim community in any way. Like all humans David Blunkett is afraid of what he does not know. He was happy not to know about the Muslim faith until a minority of Muslims decided to start a violent Jihad against anybody who didn't agree with THEIR interpretation of the Koran. He is voicing a genuine and factually based statement that there are Imans in the UK who are advocating the violent Jihad. At the moment there are no other global religions attempting the genocidal changes advocated by the violant Jihad, unfortunatly Hindu's in India are getting close and killing muslims. There are also large Christian groups in the USA that are using their lack of knowledge to advocate a war against the Muslim religion. Both were CAUSED by Imans preaching THEIR interpretation of the Koran, where the interpretation called for a violent Jihad.
ii) Groups 2 & 3 previously described are both potential victims, nobody is saying that everybody in those groups will accept a violent Jihad, but a small number will and do.
iii) Groups 1 & 2 previously described are more confident of their identity. I cannot say how well integrated those in Group 2 are.
iv) 'Paki Bashing'.. Hmm now there is a statement that gets attention. Implying racism. Racism is wrong, and it is something that I face daily from people I put in Group 3. It is something the violent Jihad seems to advocate whole heartedly. 'Paki Bashing' - Implying all Muslims come from Pakistan - WRONG! (sorry just plain wrong!) .
Rather than entering into the traditional British political "insult the opposition and anybody I disagree with", could you not use your influence more constructively. Advocate openness, encourage integration and above all when somebody points out a genuine problem hold up your hands accept the problem and try to resolve it.