Is Multiculturalism failing in Britain?
First of all, I would like to clarify that I am not anti Islamic. I have as many Muslims friends as friends of other faiths and religions. I came to UK around 3 years ago. What I like most about UK and specially London was its cosmopolitan culture. I could see people of all religion living in harmony and I found Britishers to be very sensitive towards feelings of people with other faiths. In some cases, they were too much over the board to be politically correct. While people from other faiths were never shy of showing the signs of their religions, British Christians, specially white were too shy to wear christian cross over their shirts which I found quite amusing.
- All muslims are not terrorists but all terrorists are muslims. What do you think?
I know its bit sensitive issues. However I was thinking why most of the terrorists in the world are Muslims? Is it something to do with their faith which is rigid and do not change with time.
Although I found most religion getting more tolerant, Islam on the other hand is getting more radical day by day. I had never seen citizens of any country crying to burn their war heroes to be burn in hell until I came to UK. It was quite shocking for me to see radical Islamic group 'Muslims against Crusades' burning poppies and shouting 'British soldiers die in hell'. I was Royal Albert Hall and I could see tears rolling down the cheeks of friends and relative who came there to remember their heroes who laid their lives serving the country.
While I was seeing this, I asked one of the many people burning poppies and shouting, 'why are you doing this? Are you not British?' That guy in thick beards looked at me in anger and said, 'No, we are Muslims. They have killed thousands of our brother in Iraq and Afghanistan and we will not allow anyone to honor them'. I could not again stop myself from asking, 'which brothers, Taliban?' And came the answer-'Yes'. And before I could ask anything else, his anger intensified in his eyes, and I thought its better not to disturb him anymore.
Muslims against Crusades burning Poppies on Remembrance day
Some days later, I was in a fish and chips shop run by a British Pakistani. I started talking to him in Urdu. Our discussion drifted towards, US -Iran tension. The moment this topic started, this guy became exited and he was not pleased with me favoring US and NATO in fight against terrorism. However I asked him why he is disturbed as he is a Britisher now and even if his roots are in Pakistan, he should be least bothered about Iran or Palestinians. I was again shocked when he said that he is not British, he is only a Muslims. In my last three years, I have met more than 100 Muslims and I had never heard any of them considering themselves Britishers first and Muslim later. And some them were not against Taliban or any other Islamic terrorism. Those who were opposing them were not as strong with their words as I was expecting. For example, they were like 'yeah, those are bad people but then again they were made by American and western forces to fight Russia.'.
It is not only Muslims..
Last year, I went to Southall with few of my friends. I was told that its a mini sub continent and indeed it was like a mini India or Pakistan. Although I found a sense of togetherness between Hindu and Muslims there which is rare to find in subcontinent, I could still see them to be more aligned to subcontinent than to Britain. This was in terms of liking, or which is better place to live or to questions like where they will like to die. For most of these question, their fingers pointed back to sub continent. However honestly I found these feelings less in younger people who looked more British to me.
Next month, I went to see a match between Indian and England and I found the same sentiments. England were clearly outnumbered by people cheering for India. And the same happened when Pakistan toured England. I could see few comments in BBC pointing the same phenomenon.
Other countries are not lagging behind..
Since I like to talk a lot with strangers, I have chatted with people from every nationalities like Ghana, Nigerian, Iraqis, Iranis, middle east and people from eastern Europeans. Almost in 80% of the cases, I found their sentiments similar. However, most of them never want to go back to their countries. Some of them want to go back only after saving lots of money. Some of them want their children to settle here and want themselves to go back when they retires.
So is it just the prospect of getting a good job and earning good money which brings them here. I dont know..
So, although UK, specially area like London, Manchester and southern England are mostly a cosmopolitan place with people from all nationalities living together, it seems there is still a big cultural divide. This divide need to be filled up as soon as possible if UK wants it multiculturalism to flourish and help in national growth. And if this divide is not filled up then, its going to cost a lot much;hints of which we are already seeing now.