Veteran dawn scribe,Irfan Husain has this insightful piece about IQ2,an outfit that promotes "Islam as a religion of peace".However,in a NY Univ debate,some unpleasant truths emerged.
....implication of these statistics: 7pc of Muslims are not peaceful. And 7pc of 1.5 billion comes to 105 million violent Muslims out there. For me, that’s 105 million too many.
The great debate over Islam By Irfan Husain http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/daw ... -islam-300
....In Holland, Austria, Germany and Belgium, radical rightwing parties have climbed on the Islamophobic bandwagon, and have increased their votes in recent elections. Britain, while it remains a bastion of liberalism and tolerance, is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the crime and violence rampant in its Muslim communities. Although around 2.8 per cent of Britain’s population is Muslim, currently 12pc of the jail population profess Islam as their faith. And of course, Muslims are increasing at a far faster rate than any other group. According to an article by Richard Kerbaj in the Sunday Times last year, the number of Muslims in the UK rose by 500,000 between 2004 and 2008.Understandably, such statistics cause disquiet among the majority who fear they are being swamped by foreigners who largely refuse to accept the culture and the values of the host country. Even liberal Brits are beginning to question an immigration policy that has produced the tensions that are now surfacing.
Above all, the perception that somehow, Islam sanctions and promotes acts of violence is creating a backlash in the West. The truth is that in the 21st century, there are very few sacred cows left in the West. When the Pope visited Britain recently, he was attacked mercilessly in the media. The Queen is often lampooned. Steve Bell, the irreverent Guardian cartoonist, regularly portrays the Prime Minister as a condom. Nobody is spared, and nobody is off-limits.
Against this backdrop, Westerners just cannot understand why Muslims should expect special treatment for them and their faith. The point many commentators make is that if they have decided to move to the West of their own free will, Muslims should get used to the unfettered right to comment and criticise that is taken for granted here. Thus, if some nutty preacher in Florida decides to burn the Muslim Holy Book, or some obscure Danish newspaper runs cartoons of the Holy Prophet [PBUH], Muslims should ignore such provocations.
Rather than blend into the mainstream, many Muslims in the West have chosen to make a defiant statement about their identity. More and more young women are wearing the headscarf or the burqa when their mothers never did. Similarly, young men sport ragged beards and high shalwars to announce their faith. This, of course, is their choice. But it does set them apart, and signals that they have nothing in common with their Western hosts.
This deliberate distancing from the West, while living within its boundaries, gives rise to an understandable degree of hostility. Many Islamic websites and imams advise Muslims not to have anything to do with non-Muslims. Often, this results in misunderstandings when some Muslims refuse to even extend the common courtesy of saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
In the IQ2 debate, Zeba Khan cited a Gallop poll that showed that some 93pc of all Muslims were peaceful and against acts of violence. What her opponents did not immediately pounce on was the logical implication of these statistics: 7pc of Muslims are not peaceful. And 7pc of 1.5 billion comes to 105 million violent Muslims out there. For me, that’s 105 million too many.