Muslim religious sectarianism is destroying the myth of a British community
When is racism not racism? When it’s “religious sectarianism”. The Times says Britain’s Muslim “community” is not all that united. Not that people who share a common spirituality or colour hold community meetings. The world ‘community’ is patrionising, individual-denying and horribly misused. If you’re in a community you get to have a community spokesman (often the kind of utter berk who likes control and power) with whom the majority can meet to sort out your issues. It saves time and the effort of seeing people as contradictory and complex selves.
An investigation by The Times has found a sharp but largely hidden rise in sectarian tensions between the minority Shia community and the dominant Sunni groups, driven by the long, bitter war in Syria. Ill-feeling is being stoked by vitriolic preachers on both sides of the divide — including some who lecture at British universities — and incidents such as assaults, attacks on buildings and intimidation online.
You see. Berks.
Sayed Ammar Nakshwani, one of the world’s leading Shia clerics, revealed that he recently left Britain for the United States after enduring years of intimidation from hardline Sunnis who allegedly threatened his life, followed his parents and vandalised his car.
Sheikh Ahmed Haneef, a Shia imam in London, called for 24-hour police protection for Shia mosques and said that community leaders needed to step up security to guard against the threat of “blowback” from Islamic State sympathisers carrying out terrorist attacks.
Qari Muhammad Asim, a leading Sunni voice and imam at the Makkah mosque in Leeds, is quoted:
“Our faith doesn’t condone takfir [excommunication] of another. It is against Prophetic tradition and if we follow the same path as the Middle East, where sectarianism has fuelled conflict, we are in trouble.”
Mr Haneef, of the Islamic Centre of England, a Shia mosque in north London, makes a sound point:
“The venomous preaching combined with the jihadists coming back into the country and looking to carry out opportunist attacks — that puts us in a very dangerous situation. We’re a soft target for opportunist terrorism. We have been ramping up security but I don’t think it’s enough — we should have round-the-clock police protection. The community needs to be more aware of the threat. We need to be more like the Jewish community, who are extremely sensitive to the security issues.”
We’d argue that people need to think more for themselves.