Column: Day of reflection not punishment
Studying the Second World War in school, I was taught about the preceding years in chilling detail '“ people often describe that period as 1930s Germany. '¨This was a period when the state engineered a hate-filled narrative that aimed to isolate minorities, particularly Jewish people by eroding and stripping them of their civil and human rights and dehumanising them in the eyes of broader civil society. This resulted in the Holocaust and thankfully the European Convention on Human Rights.
Today, as a Muslim living in modern Britain and Europe, I sometimes feel I have been teleported back into that 1930s era, and subject to a range of dignity and civil liberty stripping penalties, for looking like a migrant, wearing the hijab or growing a beard, for not speaking English, allegedly oppressing and raping women, not dealing with terrorism, refusing to integrate, not stepping up and dealing with child sexual exploitation, misogyny etc, etc, etc... Not that these issues don’t exist, of course they do, but they exist in every community, of faith and none.
The fact is, you don’t need a hateful letter to help punish British Muslims through a national “Punish a Muslim Day, on April 3 – it’s being done in so many ways already.
In fact, the Muslim community are so privileged that we have our very own show, with fresh content at least three to four times a day – it’s that Bafta award winning series called the news.
Having read the “Punish a Muslim Day” letter, I have to say, I was quite disappointed with the content, it’s so unoriginal, and the maths is completely illogical – said the Muslim that invented algebra – oh the irony. So, I’m going to help the Islamophobes out there and share inner secrets that will really offend, here’s my seven-point plan/
1: Mention Tony Blair in saintly terms, the wonderful job he’s done in bringing peace and harmony to the middle-east and the liberation he’s brought to the world – this is on a par with putting bacon in a Muslim’s curry.
2: Tell a Muslim you’re going to change your name to Mohammed – just to check out what all the melodrama surrounding discrimination is all about. In other words, take away a Muslim’s right to pay higher car insurance premiums and holidaying at home by being unemployed.
3:Tell a Muslim that they need to expose the terrorists in their community – guilt trip them to apologise for someone else’s crime, it’s a sure winner.
4:Never, ever turn up on time at a Muslim doctor’s surgery. This will put an unnecessary strain on the NHS and guess who will have to take the blame – the Muslim doctor for looking like a migrant. It’s an absolute winner.
5:As a white person tell any Muslim how to improve their curry – this is sacrosanct. In fact, this doesn’t just apply to Muslims it applies to many minorities, it is a line that Michelin star chefs have dared to cross and that too on TV. This will kill Muslims and many minorities – it’s a double whammy.
6: Ask a Muslim if they know on which day they are going to celebrate Eid – they’ve been having the same argument for nearly 1,400 years and still not been able to agree. Throw in, Christmas is on the 25th of December every year – you’ve metaphorically killed them.
7: Ask a Muslim, this is a classic, ‘are you going to have an arranged marriage?’ as an ice-breaker – trust me, Muslims hate being asked this question.
Muslims on April 3 will be incredibly worried, they have already been subject to brutal murders, heinous crimes and their freedoms are being eroded like no other community today. In a report I jointly wrote for a community in Rotherham it was evidently clear that there are major trust issues between the state and ordinary Muslim citizens, including children, and they are being asked to carry the burden of state failings and criminality – that have been engineered to become an issue of race and to an extent the Muslim faith.
I hope we all use April 3 as a national day to reflect and take a temperature check to where we are as a civil society.