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The Talibanisation of British Childhood by Hardline Parents

ICC Note

In this article Yasmin Alibhai-brown, a Muslim journalist, describes the growing influence of radical Islam in UK . She rightly points out that UK politicians have failed to deal with this problem. Saudi Arabia is spending millions of dollars in spreading Wahhabi Islam in UK and throughout the world. Wahhabis call for violence against Christians, Jews and others.

By Yasmin Alibhai-brown

08/05/2010 UK (Mail Online)-Last November, on the steps of Tate Britain , I witnessed a scene that troubles me still.

A furious Asian father was shaking his young son and tearing up the picture his child had drawn.

The boy kicked and cried. Recognising my face from TV appearances I had made as a commentator on current affairs, the father came across to say ‘hello’.

So I asked him what his child had done that had made him so angry. He explained that according to his Islamic mentors, drawing pictures of people was forbidden.

I was flabbergasted. After all, this was in the middle of Britain ‘s multi-cultural capital – a modern metropolis, not some dusty backstreet in Kabul .

What harm can there be in a picture?

So I asked the man if he owned a camera. ‘Yes,’ he replied. ‘And a video camera.’

So why, I asked, was it acceptable for him to take pictures, but not for his child to draw a stick figure?

‘The madrasa teacher told me children are not allowed to,’ he said, referring to the places of religious instruction for Muslim children, which are the equivalent of Sunday schools for Christians.

‘I am not an educated man, so I must listen to them.’

You might think this encounter was a case of an ill-educated parent misinterpreting the teachings of his elders.

Alas, in the past year I have come to realise his attitude towards his child is far from unique.

Such fundamentalist beliefs about parenthood are not uncommon. In private, teachers, lecturers, community, youth and social workers have told me many more such stories of the suppression of simple childhood pleasures in the name of Islam.

An investigation by the BBC revealed one London school where more than 20 Muslim pupils had been removed from music lessons because their parents felt such teaching to be anti-Islamic.

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In my role as chair of the British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD), which campaigns against fanaticism, many inner-city teachers have told me they feel paralysed by extreme demands.

Brainwashed Muslim parents ask school librarians not to lend their children storybooks. (Jacqueline Wilson, the former Children’s Laureate, is targeted for ‘leading children astray’ with her stories that deal with contemporary social issues, such as single motherhood.)

Some Muslim children have been kept away from school visits to temples, churches and art galleries.

Teddy bears and pets are also branded un-Islamic.

How about the daughter of a relative of mine, who was having a birthday-party and invited all the girls in her class.

The Muslim pupils organised a boycott because she had invited ‘unbelievers’.

For many of us Muslims, this creeping Talibanisation of childhood is unendurable.

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Make no mistake, Taliban devotees are in our schools, playgrounds, homes, mosques, political parties, public service, private firms and universities.

And if we are to have any hope of combating them, we need to stop this attitude of appeasement and understand why so many Muslims are attracted to the most punishing forms of belief, suppressing women and children.

Eye-watering amounts of Saudi money goes into promoting Wahhabism.

They fund mosques, religious-schools, imams, conferences and trips to Saudi Arabia .

They are our wealthy allies and so are never questioned or stopped.

Free-thinking Muslims have lacked courage to oppose what is going on, while politicians do nothing for cynical reasons – best, they think, not to antagonise possible voters.

Meanwhile, the liberal position is to let people be and do what they wish within the law. Liberals tolerate the intolerable because they don’t have to live with the consequences. Yet the problem is in part caused by liberal values.

Appalled by our excessively consumerist and permissive societies (as are many non- Muslims), Muslim families are trying to find ways to protect their children.

Samad Hussein, who runs a corner shop near my home, speaks for many when he says: ‘When I first came to England , it was a nice country – polite, respectful.

‘People knew good behaviour. My older children had English friends, no problem.

‘Now these girls, nearly naked in the roads, drinking and swearing, sex everywhere. I can’t let my young daughters be like that.

‘So I send them to Muslim schools. I don’t want to, but it is bad out there.’

The Wahhabi crusaders step in, exploit these fears and promise salvation.

They are as canny and persuasive as other cult leaders, and use modern technology to get to young people.

If this was happening in any other nation, we would be condemning it loudly.

Yet here, curtailed and deficient education endured by many Muslim children is seen as a religious entitlement, which, if opposed, apparently confirms Islamophobia.

Tolerant Muslims who fear and loathe the propagators of Bin Laden’s Islam can see where this will lead.

Why are we fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and indulging Taliban values here?

Even if it offends liberal principles, the powerful must find a way of stopping Islamicists from promulgating their distorted creed.

If they don’t, the future is bleak for Muslims and the country. Many of us British Muslims care deeply about both.

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