A number of interesting things have happened recently:
- The Law Society has provided legal guidance to ensure that Muslims in Britain can have their wills judged according to Sharia.
- BBC Newsnight hosted an in-studio row between three Muslims over whether one Muslim should be allowed to say or do anything that is deemed religiously insensitive by any other Muslim. Majority opinion seemed to be ‘no’.
- Then there has been huge excitement that, after decades during which tens of thousands of girls in Britain were genitally mutilated, charges have for the first time been brought against some suspected perpetrators of this horrific crime.
Just in case anyone is lost in all this – this is Britain in 2014.
So what do these things have in common? Quite a number of things, but the most interesting is a thought spurred by the last.
I have been slightly involved in the female genital mutilation [FGM] debate over the years. And I have always noticed that whatever their sex, religious affiliation or skin colour, public opponents of FGM have without exception all been subjected to accusations of racism, ‘Islamophobia’ and more. Lately a high profile campaign against FGM has been waged in the press, spearheaded by the London Evening Standard and others. Boris Johnson has also spoken out. They and many others will be rightly congratulating themselves for their role in putting pressure on the authorities to finally charge anyone with this crime.
But take a step back for a moment. FGM is about the mutilation, with knives, of young girls’ genitals. Does opposing anything ever come any easier than that? I very much doubt it.
Now take these other issues – the encroachment of Sharia law into our legal system, the right to express dissenting, even ‘blasphemous’, opinions within a religious minority in Britain in 2014. These also present a societal challenge. But there can be little doubt that they are less striking. The FGM debate has been going on for how long – 15 or 20 years – without any prosecution. Think how much longer we will have to wait before anything meaningful is done to prevent the other advances of these Islamic revanchists.
The multicultural, mass-immigration movement professes to believe that you can import millions of people into a country without any problems. What challenges do arise can be dealt with and absorbed over time, they claim. So it is worth reminding ourselves that after decades of this experiment we have just got to the point where some people might go to trial for the ritual mutilation of young girls’ genitals.
Not a success story, when taken in the round, is it?