The Poll Dance of #WhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink

by Raf 

Muslims are isolating themselves in ‘Muslim Ghettos’ the way David Cameron’s Dad isolates his family’s wealth in a secretive tax haven. They are rabidly homophobic, Facebook friends with ISIS, and generally want to impose a tax on non-Muslims entering their Halal curry houses in Old Blighty.
Who has concluded this? Trevor Phillips – a BME Canary in the secretive Islamist coalface of Bradford and Birmingham – telling right wing columnists what they want to hear in a way he never could when he was in charge of the Equalities Commission.

Moody music? Check. Bunch of Pak*s milling round fresh fruit like it’s still the 1950s and supermarkets with a fruit & veg section have not been invented? Check. Sinister music? Check. Yep, Trevor Phillips was straight trolling Muslims with this documentary.
He amusingly linked Nadiya the Bake Off champion with the 7/7 bombers, just because they happen to be from Luton. Leaving the viewer in no doubt that, yes, Nadiya is lovely, but for every Nadiya there are 10 other Muslims who are only two Halal Nando’s away from imposing Shariah in the UK.

This juxtaploitation was so effective I came up with few of my own: I, Raf, born and bred near a park renamed Altab Ali Park, schooled and ducked racists just 5 miles from where Stephen Lawrence was brutally murdered. I share London with Parliament which had a Prime Minister take us into an illegal war. Yes juxtaploitation is a two way terror street Trevor.

The reconstruction of the face to face polling in the documentary would make the set makers from Withnail & I blush. A Dickensian nightmare of peeling red paint on the front door and a dark, dank room with no electricity or sunlight (what happened to the housekeeping skills of all those Shariah-mandated stay-at-home women?).  If all the face to face surveys were conducted in homes like this, I could see how the results would show a pessimistic view on life. I’d want to hasten my own demise via suicide vest and get to heaven where it’s 2016 with wifi so at least you can watch the documentary on Channel 4 catch-up and finally find out what all British Muslims think.

My favourite highlight was the polygamy bit and the fact that 1 in 3 Muslims support it as a sign of extremism. I know at least one group of non-Muslims who would disagree with Trevor and we shall call them subscribers to Ashley Maddison website – maybe Trevor just objects to the term ‘polygamy’? In which case may I suggest Muslims reform the name of polygamy to something more progressive like Tinder, Grindr or ToryMPHasSecretMistress.com?

It seems the only lesson learned from the past debacle that was The Sun’s poll on Muslims (‘1in5’) is to double down on highly dubious statements. Never mind that both The Sun and The Times were forced to issue mealy mouthed apologies after a record number of complaints forced IPSOS to intervene.

The Times, in conjunction with Channel 4, brings us ‘1in5’ 2.0, or the ‘What British Muslims Really Think’ poll. With a sample size of a thousand Muslims questioned only in areas where Muslims formed more than 20% of the population, in what happen to be some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Britain might just give a skewed result. Not to mention most of the Muslims living in London are under 25 and those they polled were not. A thousand Muslims polled to extrapolate what nearly 3 million Muslims in the UK think would make bankers dealing in sub-prime mortgages before 2008 blush.

Muslims can’t even get their act together to have a monolithic view on what day to have Eid, or come to a consensus on how to spell Mohammed. (It’s this way.) Yet this poll is definitive proof of what British Muslims think. Muslims and certainly the ones questioned in the poll come from the most socially disadvantaged groups of society; imagine polling people coming out from Sugar Hut in Braintree after a TOWIE cast party and then using this to reflect all of England – pretty sure Chipping Norton and Made in Chelsea would be livid at the resulting think pieces and documentary.

For British Muslims there is a sense of déjà vu; we’ve been here before, like the latest Yasmin Alibhai-Brown article or dire warning on TV that British Muslims are crazy, like a depressed Mayan that has been predicting the end of civilisation for past 15 years and every year is forced to accept she is wrong.

One imagines hordes of goldfish suffering amnesia, head butting keyboards in all our august publications, trying to convince themselves and us that this time we really do know what British Muslims think from a small survey and it’s blooming scary.

It’s an unedifying sight to see the usual columnists sliding up and down this Muslim poll like they’ve just heard a bunch of premier league players are going to read their Muslim related story.

If they wanted a representative sample of what Muslim think in a cost effective manner they should have asked a Muslim; they would have told them to wait until wedding season to turn up and canvas their views. If they wanted to get views from 18-24 age groups why ask Martin Boon, Director of ICM? You want an honest answer, get the guy who questions Stormzy at the beginning of Shut Up Bruv.

State your name Cuz
Muslim: Abdul Innit
What you doing today?
Muslim: Islamism innit
What do you think of Tony Blair?
Muslim: Tell that man to shut up!

This more accurate face to face survey could be conducted on a Friday night on Edgware Road or Wilmslow in Manchester for a more representative poll on what young Muslims think.

Well intentioned pieces with facts on why the poll is problematic and pieces by Muslims saying we’re not like the caricature depicted in the poll findings will be commissioned. But that’s like having to face Barcelona with an Arsenal defence with Per Mertesacker; you know the vast majority of articles will be one way and largely negative by the media.

Then we have Kelvin McKenzie who has had more comebacks in The Sun than gonorrhoea at your local brothel, pushing the ‘them and us’ narrative. Why anyone would take McKenzie seriously, let alone employ him after spending a career kicking minorities, miners and JT96, is beyond most sane people’s comprehension – maybe he is a super strain STI, resistant to antibiotics and facts?

You just know Richard Littlejohn with all the charm of a 1950s Daily Mail headline salivating at the poll findings. A wordy EDL screed will surely follow in The Telegraph for the chardonnay crowd, proving Islamphobia has moved from the dinner table and retired to the study for the type of casual racism not seen since the 1930s.

Maybe these hordes of Muslims with views on LGBT which are more aligned with Nicky Morgan before she became Education Secretary need uplifting from poverty and poor life chances? In the same way Nicky Morgan was rescued from the fringes of the Conservative party with its Nigel Farage types to get to her more enlightened stance on LGBT? Plot twist: maybe this is all a socio-economic phenomenon of marginalised minorities and not only Islamism as Trevor and his cabal of right wing journalists suggests.
If all this is not enough to contend with, we have the Lynton Crosby-inspired Zac for Mayor Campaign. A lanky Norman Tebbit with the cute delivery of a Hugh Grant in Notting Hill running an increasingly racist campaign against Sadiq Khan.

If my polemic doesn’t convince you of the badness of What British Muslims Think was, ask Ed Milliband about the veracity of polls.

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Raf is a vegetarian Muslim who does current affairs with jokes. Follow him on Twitter @1Rafz

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MORE BY UNCLE RAF

Why Won’t Hipsters Integrate?
It’s all “One Ummah” Until a Black Muslim is Murdered
#YouAintNoMuslimBruv is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic Twitter drag of all those who would divide us

4 replies

  1. One the one hand, the whole idea of “the muslim mind” is an obviously false and extremely prejudiced construct (the “catholic mind”, the “aetheist mind”, hahaha), so it’s no suprise that a “let’s find out what muslims think” exersize turns out to be prejudice-confirming rubbish. On the other hand, a better comparison would be with economically and socially disadvantaged catholics vs. well-to-do catholics in (for example) Ireland/N Ireland. I think the divide on LGBT/abortion etc might be pronounced in that case too. So the natural question would then be: amongst economically and socially similar groups in the UK are there differences due to faith? Are there differences between the faiths..? I wouldn’t be completely shocked if it turned out that economically disadvantaged catholics/muslims held stronger LGBT prejudice than similarly economically disadvantaged people of no particular faith… but I could be wrong. So I’d be interested in answers to those questions, though dear Trevor might be distressed at the lack of “useful” data such an exersize would generate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was brought up in Bradford ….moved away for a while in my late teens and moved back to a similar urban area just down the road in my 30’s …I work in the community which has a high Muslim population and is generally mixed …the street I live on is mixed ….and I hate to correct you …but yes the7/7 bombers were staying in Luton but 2 of the 3 were from around here sadly BUT the vast majority of folks around here GET ON!!….and I am white and non Muslim ….every time I hear of reporting like this ( and I haven’t seen Trevor Philips documentary yet ) I think ‘Oh shit …here we go again’

    Liked by 1 person

    • WTF? “He amusingly linked Nadiya the Bake Off champion with the 7/7 bombers, just because they happen to be from Luton.” That means the author is saying the “7/7 bombers” were from Luton.

      What part of that single sentence were you unable to comprehend?!

      Like

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