Shazia Hobbs is the author of the novel ‘The Gori’s Daughter’ and is a writer I admire because she has her own take on things. If you didn’t see the author’s name at the top of the piece that she’s written, you’d know instantly that it was a piece by Ms Hobbs because she has her own voice and style that jumps out at you. Ms Hobbs was brought up in a world that straddled the constrictions of Islam and the freedom of British mainstream society and this has to my mind informed her writing style in a very positive way. Ms Hobbs produces pieces that even if you don’t agree with them 100% or you find her conclusions challenging always produces stuff that is well worth reading.
Islam and the white man – by Shazia Hobbs
When I was growing up we had a map of the world on the wall right at the front door. As a child I remember looking at and the green flags that showed where in the world Muslims lived. My father like many others dreamt of the world being green. There was no talk of war and destruction to achieve this dream though as my father was not an Islamist. He was an immigrant from Pakistan at a time when Saudi Islam was not buying the west.
When I was growing up there were dreams of the Ummah – a united Muslim community. Where have those dreams gone? Today the four schools of Islam are all fighting and killing each other over who the true Muslim is. Islamists don’t even try to hide their true intentions of turning the world green and imprisoning and killing those who dare to stop them. Muslims and non-Muslims are taken prisoner or killed by these Islamists, in Muslim majority countries. Their interpretation of Islam is the true Islam and their version allows for killing non-believers, raping women, stoning, lashing and hanging from cranes. Under Sharia everyone suffers except those making up the rules, the Sheikhs and Mullahs, the self-appointed community leaders.
Some white people are terrified of Islam and some white people believe Islam to be the religion of peace. Many will argue that both are right and many will smear and call names to shut down any sensible discussion. It is almost impossible to have a grown up talk about Islam.
How did the UK become a place where to criticise Islam is to be accused of Islamophobia?
The white man is the reason why; the white man who looked the other way for fear of offending his new brown friends. I grew up in a political home, Labour party, and many local councillors and police sergeants visited our home. They visited to talk politics with my father and eat the homemade curries and other desi foods prepared by the women. There were many other men like my father, inviting the white influential men into their homes and feeding them well. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach after all and the white man was easily won over.
White men were so busy eating they did not notice that the Pakistani community was not as good as integrating than say the Sikh or Hindu communities. If anything was said then the community leaders would shout ‘it’s our culture’ and the white man would back off.
Since my father arrived as an immigrant, the UK has changed beyond recognition. There are now areas in the UK that are mostly green flag areas which is not necessarily a bad thing yet when those areas refuse to integrate, women are denied an education and married young, white people are viewed suspiciously, the west is hated, you know that the Islamists are working hard and without fear to turn the west into the east.
The white man has never jailed his brown friends for the crimes of forced marriage or FGM even though both are criminal offences. Scared of upsetting the communities by jailing parents for the tradition and culture of forced marriages, mutilating vaginas, allowing grooming gangs to operate.
To admit that there is a problem with Islam, here in the UK, does not mean that all Muslims are guilty. Muslims, like other people of religion, come in all varieties. Some Muslims are extreme and believe the words of people like Zakir Naik and Anjem Choudary without stopping to think for themselves. Naik has been banned from entering the UK and Choudary is in jail for preaching hate so there is some hope. Others live a life similar to the British people because they too are British and living a life under Sharia terrifies them just as much as it terrifies the white person.
Muslims who talk about the need to reform Islam, talk about how to tackle extremism in our communities and prove that Islam maybe can be a religion of peace are attacked by other Muslims, they are called names, death threats are issued all in the hope of silencing them. The white man attacks them too, the white man with his limited knowledge on Islam, happy to stand on the side of the Islamists.
Sharia courts are a problem in the UK so much so that just recently it was debated in Parliament. Some believe only Muslim women can talk about the problems of Sharia courts and others rightly believe that all women can discuss as it ultimately affects all women. This is the UK if you want Sharia got to countries where Sharia operates. It really should be as simple as that, there should be no parallel laws in the UK, especially when they treat women as appalling as they do. Unfortunately many Sharia courts are operating, the exact numbers unknown, and this is another area where name-calling occurs more than any actual sensible solutions to closing them down. Muslim men and Muslim women all fighting each other while claiming Islam is peaceful.
Until the Muslim communities in the UK and around the world learn to make peace with one another then Islam can never truly be called the religion of peace.