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Is Islamophobia now socially acceptable?

09:28 UK time, Thursday, 20 January 2011

Prejudice against Muslims has "passed the dinner-table test" and become socially acceptable in the UK, a senior Conservative is to say. Do you agree?
Baroness Warsi, co-chairman of the Tory Party in a speech due later today at Leicester University will accuse the media of superficial discussion of Islam and warn against dividing Muslims into moderates and extremists.

She is also due to say terror offences committed by a small number of Muslims should not be used to condemn all who follow Islam and urge Muslim communities to be clearer about their rejection of those who resort to violent acts.

Does dividing Muslims into moderates and extremists fuel misunderstanding? Has religious bigotry become socially acceptable? Is the coalition right to intervene in the debate on issues of faith?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

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Comments

Page 1 of 14

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Until the hard-liners are dealt with more effectively, and by that I mean actually carrying out deportation orders rather than going through endless, costly appeals, this will only increase.

    Also, we should adopt the French ruling and ban the full veil in public.

  • Comment number 4.

    Judging by the number of email "jokes" I receive with a strong anti-muslim content, mostly from retired, middle-class Daily Mail readers, I would say Baroness Warsi is right.

  • Comment number 5.

    I can imagine the comments that are going to polarise the contributors here on HYS.

    On a personal level I have no issue with Islam, in the same way I have no issue with other religions or people's colour or creed. I occasionally take exception to an individual, but that would be because of their attitude or things they say. I don't see that as discrimination, although it may be that I lack the compassion to accept that others may have a different moral compass from mine.

    I look forward to the vitriol that is going to drip from this debate.

  • Comment number 6.

    Not here it isn't!

    But whilst not tarring ALL Muslims with the same brush it is clear that SOME individuals who claim to follow that faith neither show the same respect to those of other or no faith nor to the community in which they have chosen to live.

    I would be more impressed if such a statement were being made by a non-Muslim. Coming from a politically-active individual who says she is Muslim, it comes over as mere whining.

  • Comment number 7.

    Don't think the lady knows what she is talking about. Who does she think talks about muslims at the dinner table, more likely to be sport. But she is a politicians and that would explain a lot.

  • Comment number 8.

    The problem with Islam in this country is one of culture NOT of religion or of race.

    Until Muslims start to look and behave like western British people and accept that they must adapt to and adopt the British culture, there will always be a problem accepting them into our society.

    As for extremists - did the PIRA bombings in the country turn everyone into an extreme anti Irish feeling amongst we Brits? It did spark a number of Irish jokes (of which the Irish were best at delivering) but there was no overall anti Irish feeling in this country.

    Like it or not, there is an anti Muslim feeling in this country and it is up to the Muslims to change this attitude by themselves changing their attitudes and culture. Do not expect the indigenous British to change.

  • Comment number 9.

    In much of the Islamic world, westernism is a phobia & millions upon millions are taught that western society is vile & abhorant & evil.

    With this in mind, is it no wonder there is a counter/opposite stance from western societys.

    Its all very well liberalists & a minority of muslims talking up how nice & peaceful Islam is, but the fact remains is that extremists etc take their learning from parts of Islamic scriptures indoctrination etc which TEACH HATRED of others and even their destruction.

  • Comment number 10.

    What is 'Islamophobia' and if it is an irrational suspicion and dislike of Islam then will you be simultaneously asking your Muslim contributors about Anyonethatisntamuslim-ophobia, which is apparently very widespread and acceptable. It has gone beyond the dinner table test and is being preached in the street all over Britain.

    When you seek to distance yourself and put yourself on a higher level than others while voicing your wish to 'take over' and 'punish the non-believer' as many Muslims do then you should expect some hostility in return. You reap as you sow.

    So why are you asking one question and not the other? Because from where I am standing I do not have an issue with Islam but it sure seems to have an issue with me to the extent that according to one leading Islamic scholar I am one place above a pig in the league table of the unclean.

  • Comment number 11.

    Religion simply doesn't matter any more. This is a secular society, it's about time everyone accepted that. Christian, Muslim, or followers of The Great God Wa-Hump, it's irrelevant. There are just people who love to hate, and it's *those* people we need to be watchful of - no matter what colour, prejudice or paranoid superstition.

  • Comment number 12.

    It should come as no surprise to Barones Warsi that Muslims in the UK and around the world are subject to ridicule. Look at the map of the world Baroness, and you will see mayhem and murder in many Moslem countries. Pakistan - Iraq - Afghanistan - Somalia - Darfur - and just recently in Tunisia - and Egypt. Moslems slaughtering and attacking fellow Moslems on a massive scale.

    This "terrorism" does not end at the borders of these countries it pervades other non moslem countries who have a large moslem community i.e. the UK. Until Moslems fully integrate into the society they live in (if thats possible), this riducule and fear of moslems will continue.

  • Comment number 13.

    I understand that Baroness Warsi has not yet spoken. All we have is the BBC's summary of what she will probably say. So let's wait for the Baroness to speak before we form an opinion.

  • Comment number 14.

    How many white middle aged English men are suicide bombers ?
    Theres a reason for Islamaphobia


  • Comment number 15.

    I find Warsi’s opinion astounding, “Islamaphobia” (fear of Islam) is the desired consequence of Islamic Terrorists (people that seek to coerce using terror.
    “Islamaphobia” is as much a Muslim problem as those that she is accusing of being bigots.
    It is incredibly easy to find groups supporting the introduction of Sharia Law into the UK (a country with politic and law based on Christian values).
    It’s incredibly difficult to find any groups that publicly condemn ALL militant acts made in the name of Islam.
    I personally have tried to understand more about Islam, and personally I have found very little but aggression and intolerants towards to all other faiths

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Anti Christian, anti Jewish and anti Hindu sentiment has been the norm in many Islamic countries for years. Why will this never be discussed by the BBC/politicians?

    I am still waiting for the voice of moderate Islam....

  • Comment number 18.

    In the UK it is the incomers who are secular and racist. We should stop multilingual interpretations and force incomers to at least make an effort to integrate by at least speaking english. Some people have been here for 30 yrs and still can't speak or understand a word of it.

  • Comment number 19.

    Islamophobia comes about because of the way in which a small minority of Muslims behave in our country which is simply unacceptable. In the case of extreme terrorism the perpetrators seem to excuse themselves on the basis of Jihad which is nothing short of treachery and in most Muslim countries it would carry the death penalty. When I worked in Bradford in the 60's the first generation of immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh were model citizens who wore western dress and were made welcome by the local inhabitants with a bit of name calling - more in jest than in insult. Radicalisation has brought about a HUGE change in behaviour and attitudes which cannot be ignored or excused.

  • Comment number 20.

  • Comment number 21.

    What this lady really means it that Muslims should be untouchable and beyond questioning, don't believe the way she is trying to dress the issue. She fails to mention that the only time she has ever been physically attacked for her views was actually by other Muslims.

    It about time, just once, that a Muslim politician admitted that Muslims in the West have it alot better than non-Muslims in Muslim countries. Why does this point NEVER get raised?

    When 1000's of Muslims are slaugtered every year by their fellow Muslims across Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Afganistan etc isn't about time she focused on those issues rather then some 'passing commments'!!

  • Comment number 22.

    I am certainly not an Islamophobe. I have worked for the Hajj and have probably done more for Islam than the average Muslim.

    Yet this latest outrage is, for me, beyond the pale.

    Baroness Warsi's complaints conveniently ignore the endemic anti-Christian prejudice of ALL Muslims! We are even expected to accept the insults to our Queen by one of her Imams!.......... Then there is the not-so-small issue of Pakistani persecution of religious minorities ...... which we witness in EVERY Islamic country.....

    She needs to get their house in order before attacking us!

  • Comment number 23.

    It does seem to have become acceptable to slag off any religious group. If you watch the comedy panel shows Christians get it in the neck far more frequently than Muslims without it raising a murmur.

  • Comment number 24.

    "Is Islamophobia now socially acceptable?"

    Not in my house, it aint!

    Prejudice of any sort is the fastest way to get yourself shown the door, as far as I am concerned.

    And ignorance is no excuse. If you are the type of person that cannot see the difference between an individual and a race or religious group, then your stupidity condemns you as unfit for the 21st century.

    BNP - dont bother knocking at my door.

  • Comment number 25.

    Unfortunately its only Muslims that come to this country and try to change it to suit their needs/lifestyle.

    I have worked with many religions and no problems whatsoever but strict Muslims have to have hours off work al the time to pray and employers cant do anything about it! I'm sorry we are not a Muslim coutnry. You want to pray do it in your own time not mine.

    I also want to add that the creation of super mosques all over my once beautiful country does enrage me yes. I'm no reacist but this is not a muslim country. I cant go to Iran and build a church! Things like above is what is pushing people to hate Msulims so much. Near me i have a mosque that can hold 10000, but thats not good enough so they are building more in the space of 5 miles.

    Simple, come to England, integrate to English ways, keep your religion and beliefs to yourself and at home and all would be great. Everyone has a choice but not when rubbed in peoples faces.

  • Comment number 26.

    WHY if some one is disliked by anyone else it is a phobia as in islamaphobia or homophobia being just 2 examples people cannot and will not made to like anyone with laws. I honestly believe that the vast majority of people tolerant everyone those that are outwardly racist should be dealt with by the courts

  • Comment number 27.

    I think it has become common and acceptable to be islamaphobic rightly or wrongly, society knocks the religion and those who practise it because it seems that we have to walk on egg shells whenever we talk about it or criticise it. People want to be able to criticise or judge anything, will it be phobic soon to say anything bad against the Vatican because they may or may not have tried to cover up child molesting preists?

  • Comment number 28.

    Is Islamophobia now socially acceptable?

    Prejudice is a two-way street. I would suggest that Christianophobia is far more stronger among followers of the Muslim faith.

  • Comment number 29.

    Muslims seem to go out of their way to declasre their status.

    Black beards, burkas, prayer breaks and so on set them apart and are an "in your face" challenge.

    Christians, Jews (other than Orthodox), and other groups are generally indistinguishable from other ethnic and religious groups by dress and actitivity.

    In short, Muslims can never integrate and will always be seen as outsiders.

  • Comment number 30.

    Islamaphobia, hmmm, you mean is it fair or genuine for rational people to be affraid of people that believe in invisible sky people and that by killing themselves and others they will get a reward in some mythical afterlife.. sounds perfectly rational to me. ( but that is a small minority).

    Being perfectly honest i would also assert that it is fair for that to be reclassified as religiousophobia the fear of any nutter that believes in invisible sky people.

  • Comment number 31.

    Whenever there is an atrocity commited by a muslim extremist, there is a sense of waiting, hoping even, for the muslim community to show outrage, to loudly and firmly denounce this inhuman act.

    What we actually get is muted and lacking passion. Saying something like "The Koran does not teach this behaviour" is very far short of instead saying "I am horrified by what has happened and utterly condemn it and will instantly report anything I see or hear about acts of this nature to the police!"

    From the reactions of Muslims who are interviewed in the wake of one of these attacks, it is very easy to form the impression that while they would not personally do something like this, nevertheless, in their own minds they do not feel the sense of horror, betrayal and outrage felt by non-muslims. It begs the question; Does this person perhaps support the intent or motive of the bomber, even if they would not themselves do this thing?

    I would like to believe that we are all 'as one' in this country in sharing a total commitment to freedom and a deep loathing of those who use violence against innocent civilians. We need to hear that loud and clear from the muslims so that we can feel a sense of solidarity with them and, side by side, face this threat to our society.

  • Comment number 32.

    Islamophobia is as usual mistranslated as meaning "hatred of Islam". It really means "fear of Islam". (Go to the bottom of the class all those half educated politically correct who got it wrong).
    Yes I do fear Islam and with good reason. The Koran states that unless I convert to islam I should be treated as a second class citizen and that if I do convert to Islam and subsequently my beliefs change that I will be killed.
    I do not hate Islam I just wish to see the religion reformed so as to exclude these postures of prejudice.
    But being a white Christian son of the Enlightenment there is not much hope that my views will be considered worthy of publication.
    Oh to be in England now that censorship reigns supreme.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ 10. At 10:00am on 20 Jan 2011, PFC_Kent.

    Very well put.

  • Comment number 34.

    Here we go again, a muslim politician complaining about how non muslims view them. Maybe if they treated this country, it's people, it's communities and culture with respect then they too would be shown equal respect.
    No rational person can hold any respect for a culture that murders people over a cartoon or imprisons a woman for calling a teddy bear mohamed.

  • Comment number 35.

    Is Islamophobia now socially acceptable?

    Subject to limits shouldn't it have always been?

    Think about centuries of long accepted jokes about the Irish, Welsh, English, Jewish, Scottish and other nationalities all taken in good part.

    Why should others be any different or intolerant of our ethnic ways?

  • Comment number 36.

    I may live on a council estate in what i would describe as a poor area, Yet even i know that people should not
    be discriminated against just because of their religious beliefs. Many of the local shops are owned by what
    the British Media call "Foreigners". But to me these are locals earning a living. I have always taught my
    children that tolerance of racial or political views is to be embraced. Variety is indeed the spice of life.
    I don't accept the comments that the Baroness will make. I did not blame the whole of Ireland when the IRA
    bombed Manchester City centre. Therefore why would i blame all followers of Islam for the acts of extremists.

  • Comment number 37.

    Im not suprised, I dont happen to believe that all muslims are terrorists, but what I do know is the mulsims that live in this country have no desire to fit in with th british way of life. they seem to want to live in there own ghettos tsking over whole council estates. If they were to mix more then people would be able to make there own judgements,and is Brits a friendly bunch, we dont actually want to hate anyone. I was standing at a bus stop recently and a lady in a burka was there with her quite obvious newborn baby. Now Im a sucker for a baby and just love to have a look and coo, this lady pulled her baby away from me like I had some horrible white persons disease. It was really upsetting I was just trying to be nice. On the other hand my local store is owned by a muslim and he intergrates with his customers and he is liked in my area. It doesnt matter what religion / colour you may be its nice to nice.

  • Comment number 38.

    All Muslims are viewed with suspicion becuase of the apparent hear no evil, speak no evil see no evil attitudes in their communities. They shout anti British retoric from the rooftops but are strangly silent when it comes to extremism within there own community. Lets hear them speak out against the extremists and help fight the people who want to live in this country but want to harm the very people who accepted them with open arms. Fact: a majority of Muslims are not terrorists but a majority of terrorists are Muslim.

  • Comment number 39.

    The problem with Islam in this country is one of culture NOT of religion or of race.
    This is just a another Tory playing the race card.The problem is we do not get Hindu,s,Rastafarians.Jews getting on buses or tube trains and blowing us up.
    In the end we did not ask these people to come and live here and tell us our way of life was wrong and if they feel uncomfortable about our western life style they do not have to stay.
    Baroness Warsi,needs reminding she would not be able to express her views in many Muslim states but would be walking down the street 5 paces behind her male family members with a veil over her face.

  • Comment number 40.

    google video "Islam - what the west needs to know"

    made by ex-muslims and scholars

    fascinating

  • Comment number 41.

    In Britain we are rightly proud of being a melting pot where people of many races and creeds have settled and integrated into our society. The important word is Integrated. It is now generally perceived in the country that we have British of Afro-Caribbean origin, British of Indian origin, British of almost any country you can name origin, and Pakistanis who were born in Britain. Where you get second and third generation immigrants who still talk of "going home" for a holiday, where people who have lived here for 20 years still have no command of English due to having interacted only within their own communities, integration has not happened. The sad case a few years ago of Saj Mahmood, a British-born cricketer of Pakistani descent, picked to play for England in a test match against Pakistan, being vilified as a "traitor to his country" by other mostly British-born supporters of Pakistan, is just one example. If they refuse to integrate with us, how can many Britons (of whatever racial origin themselves)accept them in friendship?

  • Comment number 42.

    The Baroness Wasi is not a good representation of Muslims. She is always so wingey and indignant about every subject she discusses. She, more than anyone is in an enviable position to be able to try to offer solutions to this ongoing misunderstanding about muslims in the UK. But all she does is moan and bleat on about how hard it is. Why doesn't she come up with some ideas to make things better. What we need is young modern muslim (like the lovely girl who was on The Apprentice) to stand up and sort it out. But so long as some muslims continue to dress in mediaeval garb and not blend in with their adoptive country then they will always stand out as different, and even in our modern society, anyone who stands out will get attention either good or bad.

  • Comment number 43.

    prejudice in the tory party is commonplace as it is,there first musilim/women, does not have to go to liecster were there is one of the biggest immigrant communities in england to give them her pearls of wisdom, it's a political stunt,what with the dispicable cuts causing thatchrite misery to the disabled and the unemployed they are hoping to divert the media eye, that said, the way the beeb have been supporting
    "dave" it will be a done deal at broadcasting house. maybe the baroness could do some research into tory attitudes to the poor in this country, in between slurps of there cappuciano's they might vomit a few pearls of wisdom on the subject,although i cannot see her wanting to make such a
    song and dance about those opinions,can you?????

  • Comment number 44.

    8. At 10:00am on 20 Jan 2011, swerdna wrote:
    Until Muslims start to look and behave like western British people and accept that they must adapt to and adopt the British culture, there will always be a problem accepting them into our society.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I doubt there will be enough Burberry baseball caps and bling to go around, but at least it will be a boost for the economy.

  • Comment number 45.

    Baroness Warsi is entitled to express her opinion, in complete safety and freedom. Wonder how anyone complaining of Christianophobia or Anti-Semitism would be treated if they started trumpeting their views in Saudi, or Iran?

  • Comment number 46.

    There is no Chinese phobia, India phobia or Polish phobia. There is Islamaphobia, and for a reason. There are far more negative Islamic steretypes, like high unemployment, crime and fraud levels and, of course, the terror threat. I personally feel MI5 inflate the terror threat to justify our oil wars but Muslims here as an immigrant group are seriously under-performing. the Indians and Chinese are doing very well, as are the Poles and some African immigrant groups. We, the taxpayers, are fed up of it.

  • Comment number 47.

    Baroness Warsi, is just about to give the BNP their biggest boost in years,yet another Tory so far removed from reality.

  • Comment number 48.

    Most Muslims in the UK are immigrants I guess.Isn't it their duty to integrate into the majority ?? I lived in quite a few Muslim dominated countries and its my responsibility to integrate into their society not the other way round...Too much is made out of the Muslims in the UK who form their own groups and then complain of being left out...I've visited the UK on numerous occasions and this is my view after seeing it first hand

  • Comment number 49.

    She needs to get their house in order before attacking us!

  • Comment number 50.

    Wasn't Wasrsi the same woman who was pelted with eggs from the same muslim community that she talking about ??? Shouldn't that be her cue as to how intolerant the muslims hv become in the UK ?? Yet she chooses to tarnish the majority of the people in UK who don't hv to put up with such stuff...

  • Comment number 51.

    Islamophobia is not socially acceptable and should never be. Tarring all Muslims with the same brush due to the actions of an ignorant minority, even a sizeable minority, is still unacceptable. Using 9/11 and the 7/7 attacks as an excuse for Islamophobia is wrong. To add to the discussion, it appears, worryingly, that anti-semitism is equally on the rise in Britain and in Europe. That is equally unacceptable. This sort of anti-semitism is perpetrated not only by your typical white skinhead yob but also by a number of Muslims.

  • Comment number 52.

    Sadly, I have become aware that the tide has turned quite significantly with regards to how Muslims are treating other people in the U.K. This week I was shocked to hear of a friend that I had worked with in the past, now saying that she believes music is the work of the devil, and that she does not listen to music anymore. In the past I have known lots of Muslims who really enjoy listening to music! I have also noticed more zealous young men with long beards looking at me and treating me as if I was nothing but dirt.

    I am a white female, and have always treated other people, whatever their background, with respect, that is part of the reason why I love living in London. I have also noticed some young Muslim women have become quite aggressive too. An Asian friend of mine told me recently that his Pakistani friends had said they hate this country and hate the people. I could not believe it. He defended the country by saying, this country had given him a home, an education, and said that he was very grateful to the people of this country.

    An Asian shop owner said to me a while ago, "We need to work together, Asians have separted themselves from the community, and this does not work". That gives me hope, because at the moment the future for all of us is looking bleak, if we don't rectify this situation.

  • Comment number 53.

    No, because it's not islamophobia, it's dislike as opposed to fear of islam.

    But really - in Pakistan, minority sect mosques get bombed, and you can be executed for blasphemy. In Europe, we have had honour killings, killings of politicians, riots, and terrorism BY muslims, directed at each other or the rest of us.

    Yet the likes of Warsi know they are not at risk, and actually benefit from a tolerance which her culture does not afford others either here or in muslim countries.

    Warsi shows the problem with multiculturalism. Our society has been very tolerant towards minorities, yet people like her still complain.

    She should complain about the fact you can get locked up in Dubai for 'illicit' sex. She should complain about the fact that burning a koran is regarded by some as being more intolerant than mass murder and terrorsim.

  • Comment number 54.

    The British people have good reason to dislike muslims and be racist against Pakistanis.

    I could list the reasons but this post in all likelihood would be moderated out needless to say special treatment by the media is one of the reasons.

    Baroness Warsi instead of telling the British people what they should think (like the last government) should seek to change the non-integrationist stance of the Pakistani / muslim community.

    This problem will not be solved until muslims stop seeing themselves as a special case, demanding special treatment and being politically militant.

  • Comment number 55.

    Baroness Warsi should look up the definition of "phobia". I believe it means an irrational fear. I would suggest that the fear of Muslims and the growing influence of Islam in the UK are entirely rational. The blunt truth is that over the past sixty years this country has accepted peoples of many faiths; it is only muslims that feel the need to murder their fellow citizens to resolve perceived grivences. Baroness Warsi should reflect long and hard on what might be the route cause of "islamaphobia". I would contend it is the aggressive and anti liberal beliefs and actions of many muslims.

  • Comment number 56.

    10. At 10:00am on 20 Jan 2011, PFC_Kent wrote:
    according to one leading Islamic scholar I am one place above a pig in the league table of the unclean.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I do wish you'd stop trotting that line out. Pigs are not actually dirty animals by the way, so I wouldn't necessarily take umbrage at this scholar's remarks, although it does seem unfair that he's singled you out.

  • Comment number 57.

    Religion is institutionalised bigotry. Eye for an eye.

    atheism is the only true path.... :-)

    Perhaps if Muslims didn't get so angry, people might perceive them as slightly more rational. The whole "comply or die" attitude or koranists is an afront to free thinking and makes them look oppressive, brainwashed, cultist and fundamentally demonic.

  • Comment number 58.

    "14. At 10:02am on 20 Jan 2011, Governmentdept4propergander wrote:
    How many white middle aged English men are suicide bombers ?
    Theres a reason for Islamaphobia"

    How many white middle aged English men, compared with others, lock themselves in houses and shoot at police and passers-by though? How many get drunk, drive, and kill people? There's a reason for white middle aged phobia, and it isn't only some of the daft postings on here.

  • Comment number 59.

    Islamophobia is not acceptable in my circle of friends and acquaintances, so I mostly see it online where people can can safely hide behind pseudonyms.

  • Comment number 60.

    Muslims must accept that for the vast majority of British people the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and the religion of Islam hold nothing sacred.

    Being a Muslim or a Christian is a lifestyle choice. That deserves no more respect than someone who is an atheist. Some would argue that the atheist deserves more respect as he makes a rational decision without any promise of eternal life.

    A lot of religious bigotry comes from people of faith - Muslim taxi drivers refusing to carry a blind person with a guide dog, Christian b&b owners refusing double beds to unmarried couples etc.

    A recent poll conducted by the BBC showed a significant proportion of UK Muslims have support for the extremists. That is where the coalition debate should be and addressing the failure of Muslims to integrate like Hindus and Sikhs have - given the millions spent by successive governments on funding Muslim organisations.

  • Comment number 61.

    This HYS rather proves that she's right... if you replaced 'Muslim' with 'Jew' some would be direct quotes from Mein Kamf. The fact that someone equates 'Englishman, Irishman & a Scotsman' joke with some of the emails that have gone straight into my spam bin says it all.

    Its funny how 4 Muslims blowing themselves up on a tube train makes it OK to class all muslims as terrorists, but the same is not applied to whites even though we've had MORE white extremists (Brick lane bomber most notably) convicted of terrorism in the UK.

  • Comment number 62.

    34. At 10:11am on 20 Jan 2011, Chris wrote:
    "No rational person can hold any respect for a culture that murders people over a cartoon or imprisons a woman for calling a teddy bear mohamed."

    I totally agree with this comment. How can Muslims be taken seriously when they behave like this ?

  • Comment number 63.

    Governmentdept4propergander wrote:

    How many white middle aged English men are suicide bombers ?
    Theres a reason for Islamaphobia

    ###########

    Yes, and the reason is Stupidity.

    The IRA killed nearly 2000 people, but I don't hear talk of "Irish-phobia"

    Lets face it, your true opinion is in your first sentence with the word "white"

  • Comment number 64.

    "Those who commit criminal acts of terrorism in our country need to be dealt with not just by the full force of the law,"
    "They also should face social rejection and alienation across society and their acts must not be used as an opportunity to tar all Muslims."

    This is the same law that didn’t extradite an Iraqi UK, residing, repeat offender of car thefts and driving without a licence or insurance for murdering a young girl by the means of a cowardly hit and run. But don’t be alarmed at least he will see his kids grow up while continually repeat offending, unlike the father of the hit and run victim...

  • Comment number 65.

    I have lived and worked with Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and generally like most of them, I have always got on well with Muslims.

    However, if you look at the world today much of the trouble is based around certain cultures with Muslims trying to take over countries, governments etc by means which, rightly, we find vile and offensive.

    Is there anything more horrible than a suicide bomber, in parts of the world these people have statues made of them and are practically worshiped, these places have a very poor culture and it is tied into their religion.

    Much of the trouble is based in the cultures of Pakistan and now Somalia and Yemen where intolerance is often taught and Afghanistan where the strict Wahhabi sect of the Muslim relegion was exported by the Saudis.

    I like most people here, I guess, will be very pro peace loving Muslims and completely anti the other sort.

  • Comment number 66.

    The Mafia, Triads, Labour or Conservative all benefit from a perceived devil whom they can use for control, to offer protection, to extract taxes, and to satisfy the zealots. Muslims are our societies manufactured devil and yet history shows that for every 1 christian killed by a muslim there are 1000 muslims killed by christians.

    Just count the number of our dead caused by the christian invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • Comment number 67.

    Tory minister in rare attack of good sense !

    Yes, Baroness Warsi speaks the truth.

    Our right wing press are to blame, continually stirring up hatred.

  • Comment number 68.

    32. At 10:10am on 20 Jan 2011, stephencameron37 wrote:
    "Islamophobia is as usual mistranslated as meaning "hatred of Islam". It really means "fear of Islam". (Go to the bottom of the class all those half educated politically correct who got it wrong)."
    --------------------------------------------------
    Actually, phobia means 'illogical or irrational fear'. Therefore, Islamophobia means 'Irrational fear of Islam'. Still, you almost got it right, so you are not quite at the bottom of the class yourself.

  • Comment number 69.

    One point I think it's worth making is that of birth rates. This info was from 2008, so may be a little out of date, but still...

    The birth rate for indigenous, non-muslim people in the UK stands at around 1.5 children. No civilisation with a birth rate lower than 1.55 has ever recovered. The overall birth rate for the UK stands at around 1.9 children. This means that non-indigenous and muslim families are producing at a much greater rate than the former, to give this average.

    Now, many of the non-indigens are econmic migrants and will return, with their families, to their home country. This means that the percentage of muslims in this country is slowly increasing. Simply to stimulate the debate, I wonder when they will cease to be an ethnic minority and will become the majority religion and population in the UK?

  • Comment number 70.

    32. At 10:10am on 20 Jan 2011, stephencameron37 wrote:
    " The Koran states that unless I convert to islam I should be treated as a second class citizen and that if I do convert to Islam and subsequently my beliefs change that I will be killed."

    So what? The bible states that gays, witches and those who wear poly cotton should be stoned to death. There are some fairly nasty Papal bulls against Protestant englishmen still technically valid too. The question is do most people follow 1, 2 or 3,000 year old documents literally? I've got a malaysian friend keeps a load of beer in his fridge because he believes that 'as Islam is a religion of hospitality he's obliged to provide any comfort I'd like'... 99% of muslims have the same attitude.

  • Comment number 71.

    Why do we always hear of this term "British Muslims" ?? Do they always want to be distinguished like this ?? I do not hear of British Christians or British Hindus or British Jews ??? This should be yr cue...Wake up Brits..The Majority rule not the other way round...

  • Comment number 72.

    UKStinks wrote:

    I also want to add that the creation of super mosques all over my once beautiful country does enrage me yes.

    ####

    Why does the creation of a beautiful building enrage you?

    I very much doubt it is the building of mosques that is spoiling your "once beautiful country" - I think it is the black clouds of intollerance that are doing that.

  • Comment number 73.

    For Baroness Warsi to complain about "bigotry" against Muslims and Islam exemplifies a high level of hypocrisy on her part.

    A dictionary definition of "Bigotry" is:

    "Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own".

    These very same characteristics are intrinsic elements of the ideology of Islam. The texts and tenets of Islam are replete with exhortations to show no toleranced whatsoever to any non-compliance with "Islamic norms".

    In the event of any conflict betweeen "Islamic norms" and other "norms" or between national laws and Sharia, the demands of the Muslim "community" and their "community leaders" are always that Islamic norms must always prevail.

    As a politician, Baroness Warsi will undoubtedly subscribe to the position that her views and opinions are subject to scrutiny and debate. In which case, one can only hope that this will extend to her espousal of Islam and its texts and tenets?

    As many will say, "Bring it on".

    The texts and tenets of Islam (i.e Qur'an, Sunnah and Hadiths) and the assertion that the lifestyle of the Islamic Prophet is that of the "Perfect Man" merit the highest levels of critical scrutiny, analysis and debate.

  • Comment number 74.

    As a born and bred Christian ( although not practicing ) I think it is disgusting how the media and others blame Muslims for just about everything that is wrong with the world. Yes there are some Muslim terrorists but if we were to blame all for the actions of a few the following would also be true:-

    All Catholics are terrorists because of the IRA
    All Amu Shinrikyo are terrorists because of the gas attack on Tokyo subway
    All Protestant are terrorist for the actions carried out by the Ulster Unionists
    All jews are terrorists because of the stern gang
    All jews are terrorists because of Irgun bombing of King David Hotel
    All hindus are terrorists because of Abhinav Bharat bombings
    All Buhdists are terrorists because of Soka gakkai

    I think that most religions have had extremist idiots perform terrorist acts in the name of their religion. Maybe we should ban all religion

  • Comment number 75.

    Does dividing Muslims into moderates and extremists fuel misunderstanding?

    Does Baroness Warsi suggest we tar them all with the same extremist brush then?

    Has religious bigotry become socially acceptable?

    I think this is an insult to the British people, whom I believe to be, generally, one of the most accommodating, welcoming and accepting people on the planet. I think we learned this partly due to the influx of Indian, Pakistani and West Indies immigrants into the country during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, when, eventually, we began to learn that bigotry is wrong and not acceptable. I accept there are still racist bigots within our society, but you can never remove them 100%. But I think in general the British people no longer see it acceptable to be racist or bigoted.

    What I think we do struggle with in regard to Islam, is the perceived lack of action from within the Muslim community to root out extremism, and the lack of objection, and sometimes even the defence of, extremist actions from within the Muslim community.

    We see mass protest and death threats to cartoonists and authors who dare to poke fun at or question their religion, whilst at the same time there is not the same volume or vociferous protest against extremism, or even just defamation of western values, from Muslims, which we are informed by the ‘moderates’ is not acting within the spirit of the Koran.

    We see 50,000 Muslims take to the streets in Pakistan in support and announcing a murderer as hero. Yet in their religion murder is just as sinful as any other surely?

    Basically, I don’t think British people see bigotry as acceptable to anybody, I just think they feel Muslims are not helping themselves as much as they should.

    This is perpetuated by a perceived lack of effort of Muslims within this country making an effort to fit in. That is not an expectation to change their religion or beliefs and begin adopting all of our social activities (alcohol is obviously one such thing that is met with very different attitudes), just a yearning to see Muslims make an effort to try and be British.

    We see cricket matches where there are 100’s of 2nd and 3rd generation Pakistanis in this country supporting Pakistan against England. But they were born and raised here, I see them as English, but they separate themselves and see themselves as Pakistanis. That shows an unwillingness to be a part of us, a part of our society.

  • Comment number 76.

    The people of this country have been let down by our governments.
    We can all see a problem with immigrants but Muslims have stood out with the few Fanatics.
    They defy our decency and in the true Brit fashion we will spit on anyone who slaps us around the face.
    Our governments may be spineless but our people aren't.
    I would blame the silent Muslims for this for they didn't speak out loud enough to condem the fanatics and they don't appear to stand on our side even though they enjoy the benifits of our society.
    They have themselves to blame for any Islamaphobia because they don't speak loud enough against the vermin in their society.
    They make it very hard for a Brit to distinguish who's who in our Muslim community.
    That said, i know alot of Muslims who want to be British and do like have a drink with us but like gays in the old days they are too scared to come out.
    I think alot of people don't realise this and stereotype all muslims.

  • Comment number 77.

    2. At 09:56am on 20 Jan 2011, unsureaboutanything wrote:
    It`s the media who are Islamophobic:They never report about all the Hindus,Sikhs and Jews who want to blow us all up.And as for the government with its repeated state of alert scares-Baroness Warsi should be running the country.

    ===============================================

    Such is the reality of religion. In UK/West, we have nice new testaments etc which have watered down the original hatred of other religions & non believers.

    Each religion aspires to totalitarian world domination.

    If you or I were to teach/indoctrinate the same vileness that is written in religious scriptures/teachings, we would be labeled as Nazis or something similar, yet religions can continue to teach such because it's scripture teachings are PROTECTED.

    Even today, education in UK is not much different to that which educated the Hitler Youth.
    So many UK young children are indoctrinated with biased and attrocious sectarian beliefs, NOW, thanks to Tony Blairs education policys, 30%+ of ALL UK taxpayer funded schools are religious schools.

    Even Cameron (our great leader, LOL) & Micheal Gove (our unbiased, LOL, Education Minister)believe in a mystical super powerful planet forming superbeing who created the world and all upon it in just a few days and who has a punishment zone filled with fire to punish non-believers & naughty people for an eternity of agonising and tortuous pain.

    From what I can see, from what I personally KNOW and experience, Jack Straws recent comments, which have been taken out of context, to AFFORD BIASED ATTACK, is the REALITY & TRUTH & Baroness Warsi & others do whatever to ATTACK & UNDERMINE & even HIDE the TRUTH.

    1. ASK WHY are there so FEW inter racial marriages between white/Asian muslims.

    2. WHY do some muslims go out & MURDER their daughters/cousins if they have a relationship with a white or non muslim person.

    3. ASK muslim women who have ESCAPED the clutches of some attrocious and VIOLENT & SEXIST muslim men.

    4. WHY do so many muslims find it acceptable to stone women to death for reasons which are biasedly accepted because men have stated them.

    5.Much is said about China & human rights, but if you take Islamic countrys as a whole, they are FACTUALLY FAR FAR WORSE than China.

    6. China does NOT indoctrinate in ANY of its education, to kill/destroy anyone/everyone who does not convert to their beliefs, Islam FACTUALLY DOES.

    In my opinion, and MILLIONS of UK and western citizens, bias against Islam and its followers is WHOLELY JUSTIFIED as Islam FACTUALLY as stated withing scriptures which are the BASIS for Islamic learning/indoctrination itself seeks and TEACHES to DESTROY US and anyone who is not willing to convert to their beliefs.

  • Comment number 78.

    Let me see - - - - I'm a white 30 year old male, wife & kids etc etc, no religious views however I would say i was tolerant of other cultures/religions. Now lets say I move to Saudi Arabia; would I be able to continue living my life as I am now (along with my athiest views), my wife able to wear what she wanted and to have the same freedoms as me etc. I THINK NOT! Muslims need to temper their views of other cultures, and maybe just maybe take their own religious teachings with a pinch of salt! Refering to non-believers as infidels then expecting them to not be apprehensive or suspicious of you isn't going to work.

  • Comment number 79.

    In recent years events have proved there is a significant minority of muslim extremists who would do us harm to further their beliefs. What is really shocking,these people have received considerable support from the muslim community and explains why we in the west should be always on our guard.

  • Comment number 80.

    "Is Islamophobia now socially acceptable?"
    What a question! I have no issue with religion. Or with the followers of religion.
    But I do with people who use doctrines to exploit others to such an extent they are fueled with hatred based purely on a point of view.
    Everyone should be treated the same. Simple. The law of this land should apply regardless of who you are. Unfortunately to refer to someone's religion is apparently more upsetting (let's attach an 'ism') than to a crowd shouting about killing soldiers (or burning poppies).

  • Comment number 81.

    ...and just who is this Warsi woman ?? has she won any elections to represent anyone group of people ?? Why do you'll give her such importance ??? Only in England...

  • Comment number 82.

    This happens to all sections of society: criminals, the homeless, Christians (see any chance on any HYS where atheists can take a pot shot at them), bankers, jobless, Americans, Scots, English, Welsh, Irish, French, Germans in particular all come in for a hard time depending upon at whose table you happen to be seated.

    Most people do recognise that most Muslims get on with life and fit in as well as they can, and contribute a great deal to society. Islamapobia is not aimed at them, and I think it is doubtful that those at whom it is aimed could strictly be said to be practising Muslims.

    A little more criticism of some of the Muslim clerics whom the western world find rather offensive by the Muslim community wouldn't go amiss, and might make them a few more friends. The rest of us don't understand why they pussyfoot around this issue, unless they secretly support those clerics, of course - I don't believe they do, but it leaves others wondering.



  • Comment number 83.

    I do worry about this government. Are they now going to be on a witch hunt to find hidden anti-Muslim racists in all of us? Should they not be concentrating on checking immigration, so that hate-filled people are not infiltrating this country and radicalising young British Muslims? Should they not be saying to the Muslim community that _they_ need to integrate better into British society - the effort has to come from both sides, and at the moment it seems that, yet again, we are being told that is non-Muslims who need to be more tolerant. Where is the balance?

  • Comment number 84.

    Ms Warsi is right. The UK is more anti-islam than it was and it is considered acceptable to be so. Where I would come apart from her however is in her perceptions that this is in some way surprising or substantially media driven, for the media are reacting to what they see and feel in the country. Whilst there are extremists, whilst there are apparently volumes of people who want to behave here as if this is an islamist country, until we have an immigration policy and practice that the majority in the UK consider acceptable, until it is the case that muslims who come to the UK want to adopt a British lifestyle rather than change Britain to suit theirs, this will be the case. I suspect Ms Warsi's interventions will have the opposite effect to that she'd want.

  • Comment number 85.

    Is Islamophobia now socially acceptable? Going by the defensive response from most on this subject I would say yes. Most comments are justifying their racism, using big words like integration! Since I was at school in the 70's it has been the norm that Asians are fodder for hatred, long before suicide bombers! There is a culture of acceptable racism, and it makes me sick. Maybe Muslims are reacting to decades of abuse, ever thought of that you ignoramuses.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    It's a religion just like the ones from Communism to Catholicism. It should be treated as such - mocked, derided and questioned as to why anyone should bend the knee to the misogynistic rantings of old men. Anyone preaching and teaching from books of myths and other forms of fantasy literature that are hundreds of years old is to be pitied rather than reviled.

    Haven't we just celebrated a book that was written in the 17th century to reinforce the political standing of the monarchy at the time? That tells you all you need to understand of any religion. They are the tools of the political elite.

  • Comment number 88.

    Muslims demand tolerance and respect for their right to be intolerant and disrespectful. I think not.

    Like all religions, Islam is divisive - yes it creates a sense of community and brotherhood in its followers, but it does so by demonising outsiders, and they shouldn't complain when this is met by a certain amount of resentment.

    The agenda in this country shouldn't be about adapting our ways to suit any religious group. It should be about standing up to them, re-educating them into the modern world, a world of pluralism and tolerance, where we may joke about eachother without fear.

    Eventually we'll get to rationalism and non-theism but first things first.

  • Comment number 89.

    13. At 10:02am on 20 Jan 2011, angryauntie wrote:

    I understand that Baroness Warsi has not yet spoken. All we have is the BBC's summary of what she will probably say. So let's wait for the Baroness to speak before we form an opinion.
    ++++++++++++++
    Recommended!!

    Key word - "probably"

  • Comment number 90.

    #1 Mr Wonderfulreality - 100% Consider running for office if US citizen, or get a job in MI5 or the likes..............

    I've always been against all forms of religous teachings specifically at schools simply because of each own historical slant of how its seen through a particular doctrine! All the more so when general tax payers £'s are used. Keep this in the churches, mosques, synagouge's or whatever and use private finances only!

    Secondly, I like to think I have a gut feel on certain things and I had one when standing waiting for my food carry-out. The TV was on and it was reporting a horrific act in another part of the world, it involved indigenous innocent victims including domestic service personell! I looked at all the staff in the carry-out and every one had their eyes glued to the TV, at that point I truly wished I could read minds, as there was something in the facial expressions that seemed to tell me something!

    I had an uncle who served in Aden, and I always recall a statement of his, but I fear Mr Moderator would not allow it to be printed!



  • Comment number 91.

    To hate anybody for their race and religion is wholly unaccepatable but to be critical of the RELIGION ITSELF is accepatable. If some holy man from a holy book commits crimes against humanity this must be highlighted and criticized. To do otherwise is moral cowardice.
    The Prophet Moses after a battle ordered the male prisoners to be killed and the female prisones to be raped. This is stated in the Old Testament.
    The Prophet Mohammed ordered 2,000 Jewish prisoners to be beheaded at a place called Khaybar after a battle. This was done in one day. This atrocity and others were ordered by the Prophet Mohammed as stated in the Qu'ran and Hadith.

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    Prejudice is no more acceptable than blowing up buses, flying planes into buildings, treating women like second class citizens and insisting everyone adopts Islam.

    However, it is hardly surprising and it is difficult to criticise such prejudice whilst these things are going on, especially as the Muslim community seems to take such little action to root out the extremists in the UK or tackle the problem abroad.

    I suspect Bin Laden could be tracked down within days if the Muslim community were to take a hard line against Al Qaeda.

  • Comment number 94.

    I would not like to have dinner with a Muslim fanatic as much as I would not like to sit next to a fanatic Christian at dinner.

    Am I an Islamophobic now??

  • Comment number 95.

    50. At 10:18am on 20 Jan 2011, Luketerr wrote:
    Wasn't Wasrsi the same woman who was pelted with eggs from the same muslim community that she talking about ??? Shouldn't that be her cue as to how intolerant the muslims hv become in the UK ?? Yet she chooses to tarnish the majority of the people in UK who don't hv to put up with such stuff...

    ----------------------------------------------

    Prescot was pelted by an egg, by a white British person does this mean how intolerant the British have, maybe they have and you just don't understand it

  • Comment number 96.

    8. At 10:00am on 20 Jan 2011, swerdna wrote:
    "Until Muslims start to look and behave like western British people and accept that they must adapt to and adopt the British culture, there will always be a problem accepting them into our society."

    You make a very valid point - the burkha and niqab do make Muslim women stand out and can be alienating and at odds with our culture and way of life, but then again, Jews look and behave like western British people, black people look and behave like western British people, homosexuals look and behave like western British people, etc and they still find themselves at the receiving end of prejudice.

  • Comment number 97.

    I note - Baroness Warsi stood for Parliament in her home town of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

    She lost to Labour's Shahid Malik, but was given a peerage to enable her to enter the shadow cabinet.

    So much for democracy....

  • Comment number 98.

    The various HYS posters that are mistakenly conflating "Islamophobia" with the usual denigration of "racism" need to remember the following:

    There is no "race" called either "Islam" or "Muslim", so the denigration of anyone that criticises any aspect of Islam as "racist" simply has no justification or traction whatsoever.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am still waiting on Warsi saying something about the recent "grooming" scandal. As for Islamophobia, I think any rational person is afraid of a religion that thinks non partcipants should be eliminated. Guess that makes me intolerant.

  • Comment number 100.

    I was going to make the same point as #10, so I just thought I'd reitterate it for those reading further down the posts.

 

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