Opinion: Muslims Should Learn from Jews' Successful Integration into European Society

August 5, 2004

Source: The Independent


On August 5, 2004 The Independent ran an opinion piece by Ismail Patel, chairman of a Leicester-based human rights organization, in which he wrote about the situation faced by Muslims in British society: "British Muslims today find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. They are told to integrate, but when they do, via active political participation, they are informed that the 'Muslim vote' poses a threat to democracy...It is easy for a Muslim in 2004 to relate to the pain of the Jews in early 20th-century Britain. Seeking to escape the pogroms of eastern Europe, the Jews were lambasted by the British media. Mirroring what is being said about Muslims today, the Jews were accused of being parasitic, a threat to the British way of life and a danger to the nation's security...Despite such hatred, the Jewish community today boasts the Leader of the Opposition and nearly 50 Jewish MPs in Parliament. They have influence across society at all levels, and no one today would dare to repeat the race libels that persisted into the Thirties in newspapers such as the Daily Mail. If the Muslims are moving towards similar integration - and all indications are that they are, slowly but surely - then they need to take a leaf out of British Jews' history...Muslims do not need to engage in a jihad in foreign fields. There is a battle at home for the hearts and minds of the people of this country, which we are proud to call home. The jihad is for Muslims to be accepted as equals. No more, no less."