The official website of Mohammed Ansar
The recent documentary film by journalist Shaista Aziz, “A Nation Divided?: The Charlie Hebdo Aftermath” was an incisive look at the challenges for Muslim life in France in a post-Hebdo world. I’ve followed Shaista’s work for a number of years after we met for a television program on tackling the far right in Britain. Her film exposed the hypocrisy of laïcité and faux-freedom which is little more than a thin veil over French anti-Muslim prejudice and fascism. More worrying, it reflects a broader European anti-Muslim sentiment that would have Muslims deported from Europe. In fact, it would have been almost unthinkable to have expressed let alone typed such sentiment decade ago, so quick has been the decline towards this insanity.
Bizarrely, whilst European white folks freely traversed the planet ingratiating themselves to naive indigenous peoples around globe before committing horrifying acts of genocide, pillaging resources and claiming nations for Queen and country, driven all the whilst by exceptionalism and religious and racial superiority; their European descendents seem to get awfully uptight about peaceful inward European migration from Muslims and people of colour – to the extent where we’d see Jim Crow style ideas re-emerging, that the children of immigrants settled in Europe for generations are neither white nor native and therefore should be deported back to ‘countries of origin’. We wonder if those who harbour such ideas know that the majority of the world is brown-skinned; that it is they, white folk, who are the minority. That amongst this minority, it is they who are the extremists. This quite aside from what is to be done about those thousands of white Europeans embracing Islam each year and a history of white European Islam spanning more than a millennia.
Looking ahead to 2100, according to Prof Hans Rosling the regions of the world which will see their populations increasing will be Asia, Africa and the Middle East adding 4 billions to the global family, as we hurtle towards and then plateau at a global population of 11 billion. It is an entirely sustainable population. White majority regions like Europe and the US will see populations static or dropping and a greater mixing of culture and races. The sign of a strong and healthy civilisation will soon no longer be relative economic wealth, nor military power but an abundance of people who are at peace within themselves and the world around them.
Success will be happy children. It will be family.
Perhaps if European culture and heritage was so important, the governments of those nations who are now hysterically approaching defcon one over immigration, would have been better-off investing in families and mothers, rather than devaluing them. Perhaps they would have prioritised family values, instead of corporate profiteering and tax avoidance. Perhaps rather than war-mongering, sex, drugs and rock n roll, they might have invested in peace. After all, we reap what we sow. Western civilisation has instead become obsessed by the curation of its culture. Trinkets of a bygone era are valued more highly than children in Syria. Of looking backwards rather than forwards. We house it in museums and galleries where we sip beverages and pay to bask in the afterglow of relics and people long passed, rather than addressing the injustices and social ills of a society on the edge in the death throes of catastrophic failure. The greatest civilisations, the ones that truly count, are not the ones of yesterday but the ones in which we live. Today.
With some current estimates of the Muslim population across the world at 2.2 to 2.4bn, Europe is going to have to get used to living with Muslims. Coexisting with the Islamic reference. Europe is going to have to stop whinging. European culture and civilisation, from music to arts, from legal systems to food, from the scientific method to critical thought and humanism – it was produced and pioneered by the Muslim contribution. Muslims were the heirs to Hellenism. And whilst many will beg to differ over the Muslim narrative that these incredible things happened because of Islam not incidental to it, the censorship over the Muslim contribution to the West – the denial that the very foundations of modern Europe was born of Islam – is a disgraceful and unsustainable lie. To leapfrog the Muslim contribution to keep alive a deeply flawed link to all that is Aristotelian, is nonsensical and it is time this outdated revisionism was put away on the shelf where it belongs.
“remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind” ~ 43rd President of the United States of America
Whether in France, Germany or Britain, European anti-Muslim prejudice cannot simply demand that the world be stopped and that Muslims be thrown off. It is the same European hard heartedness and intolerance that has lead to eight Crusades; the near destruction of European Jewry had it not been for the intervention of Islam – Quranic injunctions and directives from the Prophet; the Reconquista and 1492 Crusades against Islam in the Americas, Iberian peninsula and the Balkans; the Slave Trade; the Berlin Congress and Scramble for Africa; the Holocaust; 100 years of constant war. Perhaps even 1,000. Before we start talking of deporting Muslims and of white flight, we must learn from the past and commit ourselves to a new future.
My advice to Europe?
Gear-up. Build. Homes, schools, businesses, hospitals. A grand renewal. The great growth plan for construction and building. Instead of a nation of shopkeepers be a civilisation of people who serve others. To serve is to lead. Make money. Flourish. Embrace the diversity. Build your ways out of austerity and economic enslavement to a corrupt and broken fiscal system. It is only there to serve the elite. It is only there to serve the elite. The alternative is is stark – decay, ruin, intolerance, xenophobia. And then change nonetheless. The fact is, change is here. Now. The choice and methodology of implementation is entirely down to European governments to choose. To be more accurate, it is for the people to determine. Us. But choose we will have to and integrate we will have to. Those choices will be determined by our sense of political morality. By ethics. Prioritised through spirituality and the best of human values. Europe, and by extension the US, will need to learn to live with the rest of the global community in peace.
“But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind . . . Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both.” ~ H. A. R. Gibb, “Whither Islam”, 1932
So Europe, let’s stop whinging and let’s start getting on getting along.
There is after all, rather a lot to do.