Politics / Ryan Gray

In Answer to Your Question (Diversity in Parliament)

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In response to the blog about Diversity in Parliament we got the following question: ‘How will England deal with the rise in militant Islam and the election of Sharia law candidates to its parliament?’ Because the answer to this goes into some detail, we thought it worthy of its own blog post.

‘How will England deal with the rise in militant Islam and the election of Sharia law candidates to its parliament?’

Firstly, there are no high profile muslims in Britain other than Anjem Choudary that advocates Sharia law being brought into law in Britain. Anjem Choudary also does not seek to be elected into westiminister so the election of sharia law candidates to parliament at this current time is not plausible.

This is because despite mainstream papers in the UK increasingly mentioning the “rise of militant Islam” the reality is actually vastly different. The far-right argument held that Muslims do not see themselves as British and are not compatible with British life is incorrect, along with the claims that Islam will ‘over-run’ the United Kingdom and that all Muslims all Sharia law.

To name a few of the many British Muslims that speak out against Choudary, Dr Waqar Azmi OBE of the British Muslim Forum said that “Islam4UK and its leader Anjem Choudary do not represent or speak for Islam or British Muslims but are a “platform” for the extremist movement al-Muhajiroun. There is no room for such kind of people or their organisations in our community or the peaceful religion of Islam.” While Salma Yaqoob, the leader of Respect Party in Britain , said of Choudary: “He is a bigot whose goal in life is to provoke division.

Following on from this, despite accusations Muslims are not patriotic, British Muslims do infact often express of belonging to society. A survey of the attitudes of British Muslims found 83% of Muslims are proud to be a British citizen, compared to 79% of the general public. The same survey also showed that 77% of Muslims ‘strongly identify’ with Britain while only 50% of the wider population do.

Lastly, the claim ” All Muslims want Sharia law and will over-run” is not true. There are 2.87 million Muslims in Britain, of which Choudary has received no support from the mainstream Muslim community. This number also is insignificant compared to the number of Christians in the United Kingdom (72% of the population) and even smaller compared to the entire population of country which according to the 2011 census is 63million.

So to answer your question how will England deal with the rise of militant Islam. I have to disagree with your asseration that there is a problem to be dealt with in the first place.

Ryan Gray

Photo source: PA

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