THE BLOG

Mr Cameron, Meet Mrs Khan...

19/01/2016 12:06 GMT | Updated 19/01/2017 10:12 GMT

Mr Cameron, I'd like you to meet Mrs Khan......

I'd like to introduce you to Mrs Khan. She is a 35-year-old Muslim lady who wears a headscarf. She has four children under the age of nine. Her husband, Mr Khan, is at work most of the day. Mrs Khan gets the children ready, does the school run, the shopping, cooking , cleaning, laundry, picks up the kids, helps with homework, gets them to the mosque, picks them up from the mosque and gets them to bed before her husband gets home from work. When her husband gets home from work she has the dinner ready on the table for him. She chooses to do this and not because she is submissive.

And she has done all this without speaking a word of English.

Mrs Khan hasn't had time to get to her local English class with her two-year-old in tow. She also doesn't have a job. This isn't because her husband won't let her but because she chooses not to.

The reason is because she is busy trying to create a home for her family where her children can feel nurtured and loved and an environment where they can talk about issues when the community outside is hostile towards them for being Muslim. Mrs Khan doesn't need to learn how to speak English to be able to moderate her children, because she knows the language she uses to discipline her kids isn't going to be the reason they will listen to her. Teaching her children about true Islam is what will stop her children becoming radicalised, will teach them to respect her and how to integrate into British society.

Mrs Khan's bilingual children will love their mums broken English she learns from them as they grow older. They have seen the sacrifices their mum made to ensure they had a better future than she did because Mrs Khans aspirations for her children are no different to those Mrs Smith has for her children. In fact the irony is Mrs Khan's dreams are for her children to pursue one of the typical Asian careers and become a successful doctor, lawyer, engineer, or accountant, professionals contributing to society. She would never want her child to become a 'radical extremist'. After all she came to England to create a better future for her children.

Mr Cameron if you want to make Mrs Khan feel integrated into the community please continue to reduce Anti-muslim hatred so she feels safe walking her kids to school with her headscarf on. Don't pledge to help her learn English but then cut funds for ESOL programs in a few years or threaten future Mrs Khans with a two and a half year deadline. Don't label her children as radicalists because she cannot speak English, or her as a mother of a future terrorist. Ensure Mrs Khans children are able to learn about their faith in Madrassahs without inappropriate government interference, to go to universities where they are able to express themselves and have any 'ideologies' challenged in a healthy way and tackle the multifarious factors that account for high Muslim unemployment including discrimination in the workplace towards her children and her should she choose to work. Stop newspapers printing headlines that fuel the 'us and them 'narrative making her children feel like they don't belong. Once this happens it will empower her children grow to be active and engaged British citizens and contribute to a society which treats them fairly.

As for reducing radicalisation.. I suggest you speak to the fluent English speaking mothers who took their children to Syria..... maybe even the 'fluent' English speaking mothers whose children join the EDL or Pediga and stop trying to socially engineer Mrs Khans family.