The Blog

Cameron's Speech Feeds Anti-Muslim Prejudice

Cameron blames the Islamic value system for extremism in the world today - I find such a statement totally ignorant and unenlightened.

Cameron blames the Islamic value system for extremism in the world today - I find such a statement totally ignorant and unenlightened.

In a speech at a security conference in the Slovakian capital Bratislava today, David Cameron blames Muslim families and Islamic values for silently condoning Islamic State's ideology.

The Prime Minister is saying: "The cause is ideological. It is an Islamist extremist ideology that says the West is bad, democracy is wrong, and that women are inferior and homosexuality is evil."

"It says religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and Caliphate trumps nation state and it justifies violence in asserting itself and achieving its aims. The question is: how do people arrive at this worldview?"

The Prime Minister made a similar remark at a security conference last year in Munich and was challenged and condemned. It appears that he loves to talk at the Muslim community from other countries, in such security conferences where no Muslim would have the chance to challenge his conclusions. My question for Mr Cameron is: "why do you need to talk at the British Muslim community through other people in other far away countries when you could speak to us directly here in the UK?"

I have not heard of a meeting with the Muslim community where Mr Cameron expressed these sentiments. This Prime Minister has never invited any of my friends or me to an honest conversation and exploration of the root cause and triggers of extremism, and how to solve this problem. Yet he is preaching to us from his security conference pulpit. Very convenient!

It is bizarre that our Prime Minister would make such remarks without really thinking about the consequences of his statement. I do not know who is advising him, but my trusted sources say that he has no real Muslim advisors, being surrounded by close neo-conservative extremist allies, such a Michael Gove and his friendly think tanks.

How can the Prime Minister come to such an unenlightened conclusions? Muslim families are not silently endorsing the violent ideology of ISIS. In fact, they have been asking the most important question, which the Prime Minister and his friends have failed to answer - who is really responsible for the mess in the Middle East? Surely Muslim families are not!

Muslims support Islam, which espouses dignity, honour, freedom, justice and fairness for all people. It opposes double standards, dictatorship and despotism. Islam has a strong sense of religious and social values. It makes me wonder if the Prime Minister actually has a problem with Islam?

Even the Prime Minister's previous statements are no different to the Muslim critique of the West. Britain and the West have been suffering from "the broken society" syndrome. I remember this phrase very well. It was David Cameron who said it first. The West in general, and our country in particular, is suffering from a social and moral malaise, and a widespread attitude problem. In the words of the Prime minister: "irresponsibility, selfishness, behaving as if your choices have no consequences, children without fathers, schools without discipline, reward without effort, crime without punishment, rights without responsibilities".

Islam would go one step further and suggest that the problem with the West is it has lost its moral compass and has become steeped in extreme materialism and atheism. The Prime Minister described the symptoms, while Islam outlines the root causes and a holistic solution.

He called for our country to be fixed. If the West were so perfect why would he want to fix it? And when the Muslim community calls for the same thing he is accusing them of harbouring the extremist's ideology! Either Mr Cameron is not communicating clearly or he is following double standards. I would like to ask the Prime Minister, "Why do you have such an allergic reaction to Islam addressing the same problems and suggesting solutions?"

Mr Cameron went on to say: "I am clear that one of the reasons is that there are people who hold some of these views who don't go as far as advocating violence, but do buy into some of these prejudices giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims 'you are part of this'."

Mr Cameron talked about prejudices that give weight to the extremists but he has done the same thing. His own words about Islam and the Muslims would be seen as Gospel truth by racists, fascists and Islamophobes. This would give weight to their bigotry. He has confused Islam and the bad behaviour of some Muslims in one single statement. Muslims do not remain silent when the government turns a blind eye to the plights of the Rohingya people; Muslims do not turn the other cheek when the West colludes with dictators and despots in further subjugating Muslim masses in the Middle East and North Africa. Mr Cameron, this is not Muslim prejudice, this is a natural reaction to your rotten foreign policies and the failure of the international communities to resolve these conflicts.

Islam is a universal religion and finds home in every society in every part of the world. There is no clash between being a good Muslim and being a good citizen of the UK or of the West. Criticising the social and moral problems in our society is not a sign of extremism. Challenging foreign policies is not signs of disloyalty. These are traits of good citizens who are conscientious. Why should Muslims sign up to the social and moral bankruptcy of the West and its unethical foreign policies?

Mr Cameron makes his biggest fallacious conclusion when he goes on to say: "This paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent. To go from listening to firebrand preachers online to boarding a plane to Istanbul and travelling onward to join the jihadis."

Mr Cameron could not have made a more naïve statement than this. How is the desire to fix our country's social ills or rid the world of inequality and injustice synonymous with murderous intent? Those who have gone to join extremist groups have made their reasons clear. They are sick and tired of world leaders failing to solve the long-standing unresolved problems of the world, including Palestinian/Israeli conflict that has been festering for 65 years, 300,000 people murdered by the Syrian regime, illegal invasion and subsequent instabilities in Iraq, long occupation of Kashmir, genocide of Burmese Muslims and other troubles around the world. They are saying: "if the world doesn't fix these problems, we will."

The emergence of ISIS and the establishment of Islamic State is the manifestation of years of unethical foreign policies pursued by the West. The only way we are going to end the evil of extremism and terrorism is if we end all manifestation of injustices around the world. Mr Cameron and his friends would not support this, as it would mean their self-interest would be shattered. Their wealthy backers would no longer get away with the economic exploitation and political hegemony - the currency of capitalism. I want to see an end of terrorism, but I also want to see an end of inhuman capitalism.