Trevor Phillips’ latest attack on Muslims who have not embraced liberal values is not the first and probably will not be the last. His latest intervention in The Sunday Times, which will also be part of Channel 4’s current affairs documentary on the 13th April 2016 – ‘What British Muslims Really Think,’ is yet another ‘muscular liberal’ attempt to fuel hatred and suspicion because Muslims will not lie down and believe what they are told by the dominant liberal elite.
He said that for a long time, he thought Europe’s Muslims would abandon ‘their ancestral ways’ and assimilate – and then went on to selectively use data from a poll of just 1000 Muslims in the UK to show Muslims have beliefs and values that don’t agree with liberal dogma, which for Phillips was a bad thing. He then stretched his argument beyond credibility to link these views to the usual accusations made against Islam and Muslims saying ‘hundreds of young people are being seduced to join Islamist fanatics abroad, thousands of young girls are shipped off to have their genitals mutilated, and many more are pressured into marriages they do not want.’
Trevor Phillips and his ilk should have realised by now that they do not undermine Islam and Muslims every time they attack Islam, rather they, once again, expose the weakness in liberalism by highlighting it cannot tolerate different views and needs to impose a muscular approach in every facet of the Muslim’s life.
Negative stereotypes are repeated every time a politician or commentator wants to push their agenda to bully Muslims; to promote ‘liberal Muslims’ (who Phillips is concerned may become extinct) and a religious ‘reformation’ to distort Islam and make it conform to their worldview; and justify ‘counter-extremism’ and forced assimilation policies. Harking back to the medieval church, we have seen forced conversion to a narrowly defined set of views –in the modern world, that is called fascism.
Britain has a long-standing record of bullying minorities into submission, Asians, Blacks, (as Trevor Philips well knows) and now Muslims. The bitter pill for liberals to swallow is that Britain doesn’t know how to integrate Muslims. Such a failure does not lie at the doorstep of the Muslim community; rather the finger should be pointed at the secular creed that is inherently divisive.
Yes, adultery and homosexuality are prohibited in Islam. Liberals can beat the Muslim community with these accusations, but should remember that these are core beliefs Muslims are convinced of and hold dearly. These core values have been in the Muslim community since the first set of Muslims arrived in the UK and will continue to be so as long as Muslims reside here. The Islamic creed, and culture is not like the secular creed and culture, where values evolve and change as time progresses, with no benchmark of what is good or bad. It was not that long ago that Phillips staunchly backed multi-culturalism – an idea he now attacks.
Phillips highlights the fact Muslims have not been intellectually convinced of the correctness of liberal values, yet, he does not reflect on this failure. People look at the Panama Papers revelations and see the economic injustice that sets the few above everyone else. They see that the fruits of a ‘free society’ include a hyper-sexualised society and family breakdown. They look at the spiritual vacuum at the heart of society and realise (with some pity) why people have to worship at the altar of deceased celebrities in order to get some temporary spiritual fulfilment – and that no one actually seems any happier.
Are liberals prepared to debate and attempt to convince the Muslim community of the superiority of their values, or is it convenient to hide behind sensational headlines and alarmist interpretations of polls?
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain is ready to debate with anyone regarding the correctness of the Islamic belief and values over the decadent liberal ones. If liberals truly believe in their values, are they prepared for a rational and open debate and to outline why Muslims should consider liberal values?
Muslims should realise that these attacks will continue so long as the west continues its rhetoric of radicalisation and terrorism. In such times we draw upon the Quran which narrates several stories where believers were being ridiculed and oppressed for being steadfast on the Deen. We too should be steadfast and that shows the best way to live with dignity as a human being, not merely as a consumer; in families and communities, not as atomised lonely individuals; as slaves of Allah, not as slaves of their desires; as part of an Ummah, yet good to their neighbours; to speak good words or be silent, not to be free to insult. If we rely on Allah, He (swt) fulfils His light to be a shining example to others who live in Trevor Phillips’ liberal darkness.
They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it. It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it. [TMQ As-Saff 61: 8-9]