3 Dec 2011

Are Muslims mistakenly ‘loyal’ or radicalised?

I encountered an interesting situation a couple of days ago. I took Punks out for a meal in a Chinese restaurant, and in coming home, we opted to take a taxi due to inclement weather. The driver turned out to be what in England is called ‘Asian’. No, not Chinese/Japanese ‘Asian’ but ‘Indian’ Asian.

During some small talk on the ride home, he kept referring to himself as Pakistani. *

Now this chap has a strong Brummie (Birmingham) accent, and thus the following conversation ensued:

Jumbie: “You were born in Pakistan?”

Driver: “I was born here, in England.”

Jumbie: “So you're British?”

Driver: “No, I’m Pakistani.”

Jumbie: “But you said you were born here in England. You’re British…”

Driver: “No mate, I’m Pakistani!”

Jumbie: “So you were raised in Pakistan?”

Driver: “No. I was raised here.”

Jumbie (with some obvious confusion at this point): “You went to school in Pakistan?”

Driver: “No, no. I was born and raised in England. I went to school here.”

Jumbie: “… but you have Pakistani citizenship?”

Driver: “No, my parents do. But I go there every year for holidays.”

Here, I pointed out then that he could not be Pakistani because he was by birth first a British citizen. This was something he refused to acknowledge or accept, not for one moment. He insisted he was Pakistani, and that Pakistan was his ‘home’ country.

He offered that at best he was a ‘British-born Pakistani’ but despite being born, bred, educated, lived, dated, worked, slept, shit and ate in Britain, he was… Pakistani. I should point out that this chap appeared to be in his late 30’s or early 40’s!!

All I could think to myself that this sort of close minded rejection of his native country, overthrown for a country he barely knows, was how radicalisation is born and rooted. I mean, this could lead to the fundamentalism of Islamic brainwashing (not that every person is susceptible to that), but it is how the subtle brainwashing begins and turns them into terrorists. A misplaced sense of loyalty to a country he has minimal ties to but which overrides everything patriotic he OUGHT to be feeling for the country that he owes everything to.

I have to say, it was a most paranoiac ride for me. This was a man who could easily turn against the English, and England at the drop of a hat, with only a minor amount of pushing…

The sad part is that this behaviour is rising among Muslim youth. It is interesting to note that this type of attitude resulted in a 47% increase in ‘honour killings’ (where Muslim women are killed for ‘dishonouring’ the family) since 2009. 47% increase!!

* Even though Trinidadians like to shorten their moniker to ‘Trini’, it is deemed racist and is actually illegal to shorten Pakistani to ‘Paki’.