The Times this morning A commentary on three UK mothers who vae gone to ISIS with their kids:
Why the anger?
When will you face the facts and get round to fixing them?
The problem is about the support for this behaviour.This support is many layered:-
The basic point is that for every one that goes there are many more that would if they could. For every one of those there are many more who would actively help a potential leader. There are even more who identify with or agree with what these women did. There is an even larger number that cannot condone them leaving. Finally, there are many more that while condoning find explanatory contributory factors.
The community attitude is not a black or white. It is the equivalent of 50 shades of gray.
I listened to the community spokesmen. They all have one thing in common; they are finding ‘reasons why’ and not giving ‘ways how.’ And this is perfectly understandable. If they do not act as spokesmen, they will lose their authenticity. Listen carefully to what they are saying. They are saying: ‘we do not have to change; you do.’
They are both right and wrong. They are right that you have to change. The time has come to realise that delegating community responsibility and encouraging separate but equal development has failed. In many respects, it was a PC apartheid. You accepted them into the UK. You must make them a total part of the UK. In other words, you make them fulfill laws and mores. Speak the language, go to the same schools, do not wear the dress that identifies you as being a sect in the UK. If you deviate, you are treated as a UK deviant not as a Muslim one. And the responsibility for cleaning up this mess is not Pakistani; it is UK. You cannot have separatism and be apart without discrimination, xenophobia and lack of identity.
They are wrong; they do have to change. They have to accept; either here or there. You are British or Pakistani. You cannot be neither both nor a bit. When I grew up, there were no people defining themselves as UK Christians or Jews. Why UK Muslims? I was taught to respect the country that gave my family refuge. To never forget that it was ‘theirs’. I had to become one of them and practice my religion quietly, without changing the Britishness of the UK. The Britishness that gave us sanctuary, hope and belonging. We were defined as being British- not first and foremost British but only British.
When I decided, I wished to identify myself as’Jewish’ I went to the place where I could do so: Israel. This change must be undergone in the so-called Pakistani or Muslim communities. You decide not if your are first and foremost UK but only UK members. If your religion prevents this, then do the honorable thing. Go where you can.
You cannot be a UK Muslim. You can be a UK citizen practicing the Muslim religion. You have no community rights or responsibilities. You will stand and fall as a UK citizen and nothing else.
In many respects, these Ladies did a strange. They did the wrong thing for the right reasons. It is commendable that they left. It is deplorable where they went, but that was their choice.
There is no place for the middle ground. Either you are UK citizens or not.
The so-called communities cannot clean up the mess. The very act of expecting them to is the means of perpetuating the crisis.