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Home > Culture and Society

Young Muslims: Oppressed and Lovin' It!

4 February 2007

It’s easy to feel the world is against you. In fact, sometimes it seems to be the only logical explanation for events. You know the sort of thing: those days when your partner chucks you in favour of someone better, then, as you trudge tearfully home, you tread in dogshit, and when you get back to your house in the depths of rejection-and-dogshit despair, you discover your phone’s been cut off.

However, the world isn’t really against you. It just looks that way. And when people exaggerate their own plight it becomes deeply wearing. However, these home truths seem wasted on certain sections of the Muslim population.

As the police and media descended on Birmingham this week after an alleged plot to kidnap a Muslim soldier, the void created by a lack of details about the actual plot was quickly filled by reactions from ‘the Muslim community’. Understandably, concerns were raised about whether innocent people had been arrested - hardly surprising given the authorities’ track record. However, one man said that many young Muslims regarded the raids - along with the war in Iraq - as a ‘war’ against Muslims.

Groan. There’s a lot of grief being inflicted on Muslims around the world but sorry, Muslims in the UK really aren’t justified in claiming there’s a war being waged against them, even in the metaphorical sense. Arresting terrorists and suspected terrorists isn’t a war against Muslims. The terrorist threat is real, although the way the government has exaggerated it for its own clueless ends is fairly vile.

Nor is the war in Iraq a war on Muslims as such. It’s a bloodbath, it’s morally reprehensible, and it’s disgusting how little regard for the people of Iraq America and its allies have ultimately shown, but the most likely reason for going to war is that at the time a war in Iraq appeared to have a lot going for it: a chance to topple a dictator who’d become a pest, a chance to install a pro-American state in the heart of the Middle East, and a chance to grab lots of oil - while lining a lot of pockets in the process. But that’s not the same as a war against Muslims.

But to return to the UK - there’s no ‘war’ against Muslims. Believing there is makes you no better than sixth-form lefties who believe all businesses are inherently evil, or people who dismiss politicians as ‘all the same’ or ‘all a bunch of crooks’, thus contemptuously ignoring those politicians who genuinely do want to make a difference.

Believing there’s a war against Islam is all a rather self- serving view for a certain type of person. Some people actually like to think they’re being oppressed. (As opposed to *actually* being oppressed, which they tend not to like at all.) The idea that the world is against you is also quite exciting - it makes you part of some exciting battle between good and evil, and not just some teenage twat hanging around the Bullring.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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