Pakies vs Porkies

Lord William Garrith once said, we must learn to recognize and infact celebrates differences. The day we are all the same, we will all be dead. I wish that the British establishment should have the same feelings and thoughts for those who are different from them. British education system is the main culprit who does not recognize diversity and choice and believes in integration.

David Blunkett made a provocative calls for Muslim Imams to learn English. His comments seem to be a post –” September 11 form of Paki-bashing. It will help combat the “clash of cultures” suffered by young British Muslims. The religious, social, emotional and spiritual language of Muslims is Arabic/Urdu and not English that has limited vocalbury. English poetry does not have the same rhythm as Arabic/Urdu poetry. Last year he provoked anger when he called for Muslim parents to speak English at home to prevent “schizophrenia” between the generations. A fifth of the US population does not speak English at home. The price of ignoring children’s bilingualism is educational failure and social exclusion. New research shows that bilingual children do better in schools than monolingual. Muslims should look for arranged marriages inside the UK. Muslim should adopt British norms of acceptability; that means dating, early sex out side marriage, alcoholism and drug addiction. This is an infringement of human rights. People have the right to make their own choice. The shared values of Islam and the west are far stronger than their differences. Islam is founded on values that resonate with the values of most people in the world concerned with social justice.

Now European languages are being introduced at Primary schools as an experiment in 19 LEAs where Muslim pupils are in majority. It is an extra burden on Muslim children. Primary schools with native children should be used for the teaching of European languages for experimental purposes. The world today is so multi-ethnic and so multilingual that it would be a shame if Britain gets trapped in monolingualism.

Islamophobia has been part of western culture since the Crusades, with Saddam and Osama only the latest in a long line of Arab bogymen. For centuries the Arab has played the role of villains, the barbarian lurking at the gates of civilisation. Muslims are citizens of the tiny global village having mastery in English as an economic language, Arabic as a religious and Urdu as social and emotional language for the Muslims of the Sub-continent. The people of Wales has the right to send their children to state funded schools with Welsh as the medium of instruction, similarly Muslim parents has the right to send their children to state funded Muslim schools with English as a medium of instruction. Muslim schools foster confidence and self respect, not hatred and intolerance. The argument against Muslim schools is based on ethnic stereotypes and ignorance. The conflicts of Northern Ireland have more to do with power and economic relations than faith schooling. Mr. David Blunkett should concentrate on solving the problems faced by the Muslim community rather than pressurising and intimidating them to become Porkies.