THE JINN

"Jinn delight in punishing humans for any harm done them, intentionally or unintentionally, and are said to be responsible for many diseases and all kinds of accidents; however, those human beings knowing the proper magical procedure can exploit the jinn to their advantage."
"Belief in jinn was common in early Arabia, where they were thought to inspire poets and soothsayers. Even Muhammad feared that his revelations might be the work of jinn. Their existence was further acknowledged in official Islam, which indicated that they, like human beings, would have to face eventual salvation or damnation. Jinn, especially through their association with magic, have always been favourite figures in North African, Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, and Turkish folklore and are the centre of an immense popular literature, appearing notably in The Thousand and One Nights. In India and Indonesia they have entered local Muslim imaginations by way of the Qur'anic descriptions and Arabic literature."
  - Encyclopaedia Britannica

The Roots of Islam - I JUST THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE OF INTEREST TO YOU - NOT ALL MOSLEMS ARE TERRORISTS ANYMORE THAN ALL CHRISTIANS ARE FUNDAMENTALISTS - NOT UNDERSTANDING THE CHRISTIAN PARTICIPATION IN WIPING OUT ARABS IN THE CRUSADES, THE INQUISITION AND BY INVADING IRAQ. Below are some things we all should know - - -
taken from www.truthbeknown.com
 

The West is on five distinct collision courses with Islam:
1. the explosive Muslim immigrant ghettos could disrupt half the major cities in Europe;
2. U.S. troops have been put in the line of ancient hatreds in Bosnia;
3. war threats in the biblical lands smack of fire drills for Armageddon;
4. the suppression of oil prices to 25-year lows strikes at Muslim economies from Nigeria to Indonesia
5. financial colonialism is a provocation.

Kevin Phillips, "The Menace of Religious Zealotry"

The Islamic World is no longer somewhere else . . . instead, Chicago, with its 50 mosques and nearly half a million Muslims, is part of the Islamic world.

The Harvard Pluralism Project

War is a blessing for the world and for all nations. It is God who incites men to fight and to kill. The Koran says, "Fight until all corruption and all rebellion have ceased." The wars the Prophet led against the infidels were a blessing for all humanity. Imagine that we soon will win the war. That will not be enough, for corruption and resistance to Islam will still exist. The Koran says, "War, war until victory! . . ." The mullahs with corrupt hearts who say that all this is contrary to the teachings of the Koran are unworthy of Islam. Thanks to God, our young people are now, to the limits of their means, putting God's commandments into action. They know that to kill the unbelievers is one of man's greatest missions.

Ayatollah Khomeini, Mohammed's birthday, 1984

The Qur'an tells us: "not to make friendship with Jews and Christians" (5:51), "kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (2:191), "murder them and treat them harshly" (9:123), "fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem" (9:5). The Qur'an demands that we fight the unbelievers, and promises "If there are twenty amongst you, you will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, you will vanquish a thousand of them" (8:65).

Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society

Since Islam is the world's fastest growing religion, through conversion but mostly through reproduction, there is a tremendous need to address this subject, which, because of crazed Islamic fanatics, strikes fear in the hearts of most non-Muslims. First of all, if we were to take a body count, Islam would prove less bloodthirsty than Christianity. Nevertheless, this ideology represents one of the most repressive and unappealing that humankind has yet come up with.

We are emboldened to tackle this subject not only because of Islam's expansion and the coming together of its leaders from around the world, but also because certain Muslim leaders, anxious to rectify Islam's bad rap, are making statements such as, "There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, and 99.9% are peace-loving" (Haitham Bundakji). Were this statement true, it would be both frightening in its enormity and reassuring in its docility. However, Islamic doctrine is anything but "peace-loving," as it constantly calls for the slaying of "idolaters" and "infidels." (Q 2:191, 9:5, 9:73; Dawood trans.)

While this 1.8 billion figure seems to be rather high for the present, according to various interpretations of the prophecies of Nostradamus and others, Islam will in fact sweep the world, but, contrary to the best wishes of some of its adherents, this invasion will not be peaceful. A certain Hopi prophecy has also been interpreted to state that Islam will become world-dominant. It would be safe to say that no non-Muslim would like to see this world taken over by Islam, which, along with Christianity, represents the worst of Oriental despotism. Most futurists and visionaries would like to see this planet pry itself free of religions, especially those that are stuck in the Dark Ages. Indeed, to those who enjoy the ultimate freedom of expression, these prophecies are chilling, because Islam is a fervid theocracy with little room for individuality, not to mention that it utterly denigrates the female aspect of creation.

This repression of the female is actually ironic when one considers the roots of Islam, but it is not unexpected in a world that, for the past several thousand years, has done everything within its power to subjugate women simply because they are physically weaker than men, a characteristic shared with the apes and other "lesser beasts." While some may claim that this subjugation and enslavement of women is a cultural tradition, rather than a religious one, it matters not, for it comes hand-in-hand with religions which teach that there is some separate outerspace god who is exclusively male. In Islam, this god is interpreted through the minds of Muslims as being an Arab or Persian man, as opposed to the Jewish man of the Judeo-Christian ideology. Of course, this racist interpretation of the divine is absolute nonsense; yet, in their supreme arrogance and megalomania, many individuals would like the entire world to believe it is true.

What are the roots of Islam? Well, it is obviously built upon the Judeo-Christian tradition, but it is also a reaction to said tradition, which excluded and vilified the various Arab cultures. Like their Jewish brothers and sisters, the Semitic Arabs trace their lineage to Abraham, who had sex with Hagar the Egyptian, producing the progenitor of the Arab race, Ishmael. While the Jewish contingent interprets this tale to justify its own ethnocentric ideology, Muslims interpret it to fit theirs, claiming that "God" would make of Ishmael's people a "great nation" (Gen. 21:18). Typically, instead of searching for the truth about this tale, its proponents have turned it into a political competition.

The Fictional Patriarch
First of all, like numerous biblical characters, Abraham is a mythological construct. As superb scholar Barbara Walker states in The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets concerning Abraham:

"This name meaning 'Father Brahm' seems to have been a Semitic version of India's patriarchal god Brahma; he was also the Islamic Abrama, founder of Mecca. But Islamic legends say Abraham was a late intruder into the shrine of the Kaaba. He bought it from priestesses of its original Goddess. Sarah, 'the Queen' was one of the Goddess's titles, which became a name of Abraham's biblical 'wife.' Old Testament writers pretended Sarah's alliances with Egyptian princes were only love-affairs arranged by Abraham for his own profit - which unfortunately presented him as a pimp (Genesis 12:16) as well as a would-be murderer of his son (Genesis 22:10).

"In the tale of Isaac's near-killing, Abraham assumed the role of sacrificial priest in the druidic style, to wash Jehovah's sacred trees with the Blood of the Son: an ancient custom, of which the sacrifice of Jesus was only a late variant. Jehovah first appeared to Abraham at the sacred oak of Shechem, where Abraham built his altar. Later Abraham build an altar to the oak god of Mamre at Hebron. Even in the 4th century A.D., Constantine said Abraham's home at the Oak of Mamre was still a shrine: 'It is reported that most damnable idols are set up beside it, and that an altar stands hard by, and that unclean sacrifices are constantly offered.'"

Allah - Remake of the Moon Goddess
What this description means is that Judeo-Christian-Muslim tradition is built upon hoary myths, such that none of its offshoot religions can truthfully claim to be of divine or "inspired" origin. As concerns the god of Islam, Allah, Walker has this to say:

"Late Islamic masculinization of the Arabian Goddess, Al-Lat or Al-Ilat - the Allatu of the Babylonians - formerly worshipped at the Kaaba in Mecca. It has been shown that 'the Allah of Islam' was a male transformation of 'the primitive lunar deity of Arabia.' Her ancient symbol the crescent moon still appears on Islamic flags, even though modern Moslems no longer admit any feminine symbolism whatever connected with the wholly patriarchal Allah."

Indeed, the Koran verifies Allah's lunar or night-sky status: "Remember the name of our Lord morning and evening; in the night-time worship Him: praise Him all night long." (Q 76:23) And at Q 2:189: "They question you about the phases of the moon. Say: 'They are seasons fixed for mankind and for the pilgrimage.'"

In Pagan Rites in Judaism, Theodor Reik states, in a chapter called "The ancient Semitic moon-goddess":

"All Semites had once a cult of the moon as supreme power. When Mohammed overthrew the old religion of Arabia, he did not dare get rid of the moon cult in a radical manner. Only much later was he powerful enough to forbid prostration before the moon (Koran Sure 4:37). Before Islamic times the moon deity was the most prominent object of cults in ancient Arabia. Arab women still insist that the moon is the parent of mankind.

"Sir G. Rowlinson traces the name Chaldeans back to the designation of the ancient capital Ur (Chur) to be translated as moon-worshipers. The Semitic moon-god was 'the special deity and protector of women.' The Babylonians worshiped the goddess Ishtar, who is identical with the great Arabian goddess and has the epithet Our Lady. . . She also has the title Queen of Heaven, which really means the Queen of the Stars. She was horned and was, as all lunar goddesses, represented by a heavenly cow.

"The Hebrew tribes, or rather than ancestors, were the latest wave of migrants from Arabia. The cult of their god was associated with Mount Sinai - the mountain of the moon. The experts assume that the name Sinai derived from Sin, the name of the Babylonian moon-god. In Exodus (3:1) Sinai is called the 'mountain of the Elohim. This suggests that it has long been sacred.'

"In the Old Testament, which is a collection of much earlier, often edited writings, the moon appears as a power of good (Deut. 33:4) or of evil (Ps. 12:16). Traces of ancient moon-worship were energetically removed from the text by later editors. A few remained, however, and can be recognized in the prohibitions of Deuteronomy. In 4:19 the Israelites are warned: 'And lest thou lift up thine eyes upon heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, and be led astray to worship them, and serve them,' and in 17:3 the punishment of stoning is prescribed for the person who 'hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven . . . ' The Lord predicts (Jer. 8:2) that the bones of kings and princes of Judah will not be buried, but spread 'before the sun, and the moon, and all the hosts of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and whom they have worshipped.'"

In The Origin of All Religious Worship (25-26), concerning the Arab astrotheology, Charles Dupuis states:

"The Moon was the great divinity of the Arabs. The Sarazens gave her the epithet of Cabar or the Great; her Crescent adorns to this day the religious monuments of the Turks. Her elevation under the sign of the Bull, constituted one of the principal feasts of the Saracens and the sabean Arabs. Each Arab tribe was under the invocation of a constellation… Each one worshipped one of the celestial bodies as its tutelar genius….

"The Caabah of the Arabs was before the time of Mahomet, a temple dedicated to the Moon. The black stone which the Musulmans kiss with so much devotion to this day, is, as it is pretended, an ancient statue of Saturnus. The walls of the great mosque of Kufah, built on the foundation of an ancient Pyrea or temple of the fire, are filled with figures of planets artistically engraved. The ancient worship of the Arabs was the Sabismus, a religion universally spread all over the Orient. Heaven and the Stars were the first objects thereof.

"This religion was that of the ancient Chaldeans, and the Orientals pretend that their Ibrahim or Abraham was brought up in that doctrine. There is still to be seen at Hella, over the ruins of the ancient Babylon, a mosque called Mesched Eschams, or the mosque of the Sun. It was in this city, that the ancient temple of Bel, or the Sun, the great Divinity of the Babylonians, existed; it is the same God, to whom the Persians erected temples and consecrated images under the name of Mithras."

Astrotheology at Mecca
One of the sites for this worship of the "hosts of heaven" was Mecca. Regarding the Kaaba of Mecca, that holiest of Muslim holies, Walker writes:

"Shrine of the sacred stone in Mecca, formerly dedicated to the pre-Islamic Triple Goddess Manat, Al-Lat (Allah), and Al-Uzza, the 'Old Woman' worshipped by Mohammed's tribesmen the Koreshites. The stone was also called Kubaba, Kuba, or Kube, and has been linked with the name of Cybele (Kybela), the Great Mother of the Gods. The stone bore the emblem of the yoni, like the Black Stone worshipped by votaries of Artemis. Now it is regarded as the holy center of patriarchal Islam, and its feminine symbolism has been lost, though priests of the Kaaba are still known as Sons of the Old Woman."

And a translator of the Koran, N.J. Dawood, says:

"Long before Muhammad's call, Arabian paganism was showing signs of decay. At the Ka'bah the Meccans worshipped not only Allah, the supreme Semitic God, but also a number of female deities whom they regarded as daughters of Allah. Among these were Al-Lat, Al-Uzza, and Manat, who represented the Sun, Venus, and Fortune respectively."

The Arabian Matriarchy
Concerning the nation of Arabia, Walker asserts that, prior to the encroachment of Islam, it was a matriarchal culture for over 1,000 years:

"The Annals of Ashurbanipal said Arabia was governed by queens for as long as anyone could remember. . . .

"Mohammed's legends clearly gave him a matriarchal family background. His parents' marriage was matrilocal. His mother remained with her own family and received her husband as an occasional visitor. . . .

"Pre-Islamic Arabia was dominated by the female-centered clans. Marriages were matrilocal, inheritance matrilineal. Polyandry - several husbands to one wife - was common. Men lived in their wives' homes. Divorce was initiated by the wife. If she turned her tent to face east for three nights in a row, the husband was dismissed and forbidden to enter the tent again.

"Doctrines attributed to Mohammed simply reversed the ancient system in favor of men. A Moslem husband could dismiss his wife by saying 'I divorce thee' three times. As in Europe, the change from matriarchate to patriarchate came about only gradually and with much strife.

". . . However, the history of early-medieval Arabia is nearly all legend. Like Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and other founders of patriarchal religions, Mohammed lacks real verification. There is no reliable information about his life or teachings. Most stories about him are as apocryphal as the story that his coffin hangs forever in mid-air 'between heaven and earth,' like the bodies of ancient sacred kings.

"With or without Mohammed, Islam succeeded in becoming completely male-dominated, making no place for women except in slavery or in the seclusion of the harem. Islamic mosques still bear signs reading: 'Women and dogs and other impure animals are not permitted to enter.'

"Nevertheless, traces of the Goddess proved ineradicable. Like the virgin Mary, Arabia's Queen of Heaven received a mortal form and a subordinate position as Fatima, Mohammed's 'daughter.' But she was no real daughter. She was known as Mother of her Father, and Source of the Sun . . . "

Who Wrote the Koran?
As to the Koran, the Muslim holy book, Walker says:

"Mohammedan scriptures, often erroneously thought to have been written by Mohammed. Moslems don't believe this. But many don't know the Koran was an enlarged revised version of the ancient Word of the Goddess Kore, revered by Mohammed's tribe, the Koreshites (Children of Kore), who guarded her shrine at Mecca.

"The original writing was done long before Mohammed's time by holy imams, a word related to Semitic ima, 'mother.' Like the original mahatmas or 'great mothers' of India, the original imams were probably priestesses of the old Arabian matriarchate. It was said they took the scripture from a prototype that existed in heaven from the beginning of eternity, 'Mother of the Book' - i.e., the Goddess herself, wearing the Book of Fate on her breast as Mother Tiamat wore the Tablets of Destiny. Sometimes the celestial Koran was called the Preserved Tablet. There was some resemblance between this and other legendary books of divine origin, such as the Ur-text, the Book of Thoth, and the Emerald Tablet of Hermes.

"As in the case of the Judeo-Christian Bible, the Koran was much rewritten to support new patriarchal laws and to obliterate the figures of the Goddess and her priestesses."

As Walker says, the Koran was not written by Mohammed. In The Great Religious Leaders, Potter says of Mohammed, "It is very doubtful that he read any of the Bible: indeed, it has not been proved that he ever read anything, or wrote anything. He called himself 'the illiterate prophet.'"

Regarding the unoriginality of the Koran, Daniel Pipes says (The Jerusalem Post, 5/12/00):

"The Koran is a not 'a product of Muhammad or even of Arabia,' but a collection of earlier Judeo-Christian liturgical materials stitched together to meet the needs of a later age."

Indeed, the Koran was created over a period of decades, if not centuries, and does not represent a single "revelation" from the Almighty to Mohammed.

Who Was Mohammed?
Like that of Buddha, Jesus, Moses, et al., Mohammed's historicity is questionable. He seems to be yet another incarnation ("Neros") invented to create a "state" religion. His "history" is full of fantastic legends, but if we were to find an individual there, it would not be one of very high or affable character. As Potter says:

"Of women, his taste ran to widows with a temper . . . For recreation he delighted in cobbling shoes. Perhaps his greatest joy was when he beheld the severed heads of his enemies.

"His dislikes were just as varied. He detested silk-lined clothes, interest charges, dogs, others' lies, Jews and Christians. He hated poets, and said, 'Every painter will be in hell.'

"He was inordinately vain. A clever woman poet satirized him. She was slain when asleep with her child at her breast, and the vengeful Muhammad praised her murderer. Once he tortured a Jew to find the location of hidden treasure and then had him killed and added the widow to his harem. Strange indeed was the character of the prophet. How could such a person inspire such reverence and devotion? It is one of the puzzles of history.

"It was not that he developed a great theology, either, for what little theology Islam has, worthy of the name, was built up after Muhammad had long been dead."

According to the hadiths or hadees, records of the sayings and traditions of Mohammed and his companions, the Prophet was indeed of a character that would repulse any decent human being. One after another of the hadiths discuss Mohammed's insatiable sexual appetite, which included having sex with his "wife" who was 9 years old and who had not even reached puberty. All the while, this dirty old man had nothing but contempt for women.

As to how such a character could inspire such reverence and devotion, we would submit that it was because Mohammed and Islam were created by yet another faction of "the brotherhood" for purposes of competition with Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and other religions. As N.A Morozov says:

". . . until the Crusades Islam was indistinguishable from Judaism and . . . only then did it receive its independent character, while Muhammad and the first Caliphs are mythical figures."

Behind the creation of such ideologies are usually those who benefit the most, particularly "third-party" weapons manufacturers, since these divisive ideologies are forever setting one culture against another.

"Let My People Go!"
Despite the unconvincing attempts by well-meaning individuals to assert the pacificism of Islam, the fact is that it is a desert warrior's religion and was not spread by peaceful means. As Gerald Berry says, in Religions of the World (Barnes & Noble, 1955, p. 62):

"Partly because he needed funds and partly because his followers were not skilled in agriculture as were the natives of Yathrib, [Mohammed] organized fighting bands to raid caravans. Having no ties with the older religions, he sent them out even in the peace months. This started Arabia's Holy War. Mohammed's whole movement took on the character of religious militarism. He made the Moslem fanatic fighters by teaching that admission to Paradise was assured for all those who died fighting in the cause of Allah."

In the end, Islam, which means "submission," is built upon older myths and was designed to usurp the power of Christians, Jews and women. While we have no quarrel with Arabian culture, we do have a big problem with ideologies that are filled with half-truths and lies. Because of male arrogance and a racist mentality, ancient cultures, along with their variety, justice and beauty, have become nearly obliterated. In effect, the Western monolithic religions represent a massive degradation of culture. This fact is something no one should be proud of. Unfortunately, the masses are utterly ignorant of the roots of the traditions they so mindlessly follow.

If this planet's inhabitants would simply become educated to the origins of their traditions in full, we could live in a world of tremendous beauty and knowledge, as opposed to ugly, superstitious and repressive ideologies that are exclusionary and bigoted. Islam arose because of the repression of Christianity and Judaism, as well as the unbalanced female-oriented culture. Like those traditions, Islam is utterly out of balance, and we may all suffer for it, particularly if the predictions come true that Islam will be the most dominant religion in the world in the next decades. As previously stated, there are few non-Muslim women or men who would wish to live in such a world. Because of this aversion, we would expect to see in the future innumerable ghastly battles and wars waged in the name of one god or another.

If this world is to survive into the coming age, we will need as many people as possible to drop all of these divisive doctrines, which are simply racist and sexist ideologies not based in veracity or stemming from any god person. Indeed, there is no such vulgar god person who would be perversely pleased by the inhuman, despicable and grotesque behavior displayed over the past several thousand years by so-called religious people. What we need on this planet, right now, are honest, caring and whole human beings who are motivated not by potential favors and rewards from sadistic and ethnocentric deities in the sky but by innate decency and integrity. Only in this way can we all live in peace rather than fear, which is the weapon wielded by religion to convert the "faithful."

© 2001 Acharya S

Previous: Religion is Mental Illness/God is a Psychopath

Next: Is Buddhism All It's Cracked Up to Be?

Offsite: A Call to the Muslims of the World - The truth about the violent nature of Islam
The Massacres of the Khilafah - Murder and mayhem by Muslims
"Islam is a Religion of Peace" - This lie really needs to be put to rest. All those who keep promoting it should have their credibility impugned.

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Diversity will never unite us
By Zia Haider Rahma

An important and timely study published by the Policy Exchange think tank yesterday finds that young British Muslims are much more likely to be drawn to radical Islam than their parents. Thirty-seven per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds would prefer to live under Sharia law than the laws of this country. These findings may not come as a surprise: many will remember an NOP poll last August which reported that 45 per cent of British Muslims believed that 9/11 was an American-Israeli conspiracy. But it's important continually to draw attention to the disease of Islamic extremism in Britain in order to motivate a Government, long on rhetoric, to take decisive action.

For what it's worth, the authors, Munira Mirza, Abi Senthilkumaran and Zein Ja'far, are, well, not quite white supremacists. They indicate, rather, a growing number of British Asians, such as myself, who are critical of multiculturalism, the race relations industry and the peculiar culture of celebrating diversity. The report advocated that "people should be entitled to equal treatment as citizens in the public sphere, with the freedom to also enjoy and pursue their identities in the private sphere". But what we have seen in Britain over the last two decades is a fetish for celebrating our differences in the public sphere.

Last week I arranged a visit by two Bangladeshi professionals to a school on Brick Lane in London's East End, where I'm a governor and where the pupils are overwhelmingly Bangladeshi. The aim was to raise the aspirations of Year 5 and 6 pupils, and importantly, of their parents. These professionals, both Oxford graduates, came in to share their stories of success. When I had dinner with them the previous evening, I was struck by the fact that both had come from environments where attention had not been drawn to differences. They, like myself, had been the only Bangladeshis in their schools, which apparently had not been seduced by the widespread cult of ''celebrating our cultural differences". Instead, their schools had been concerned with learning. No bilingual provision for them (and none in the school where I'm a governor) but an implicit and unambiguous requirement that you're going to learn English because that's what you need.

advertisementTrevor Phillips has spoken of Britain ''sleepwalking into segregation". It seems to me that we have unthinkingly accepted the notion that celebrating our differences takes us closer to overcoming them. Our differences are not what bind us together as a people. If anything, we speak of these differences as things which need to be bridged. Anyone who has worked in the field of international development, as I have, will tell you that nation-building in states that are ethnically homogenous, all other things being equal, is an easier task than nation-building where there is diversity. Iraq is a case in point. We have our work cut out in Britain but the task of bringing about integration is not impossible. Calling attention to differences does not help.

This has been one of the worst effects of the pernicious doctrine of multiculturalism. The fetish of celebrating differences found champions in the radical Left in Britain in the Eighties among people who regarded themselves as counter-cultural or subversive, particularly many employed in local government, and who projected their own fixation with difference on to others. Successive British governments over the past two decades have taken up and promoted multiculturalism so that even today we hear it in the rhetoric of politicians.

When Tony Blair said last December that immigrants should sign up to British values – "belief in democracy, the rule of law, tolerance, equal treatment for all, respect for this country and its shared heritage" – he was striking the right note. In the same speech, however, he also said that we should celebrate our diversity. The Prime Minister strives, as ever, to be all things to all people.

But one group to which he need no longer pander are the multiculturalists, for only the deluded would today promote a dogma that has demonstrably caused enormous harm. He should jettison the language of celebrating diversity and speak unambiguously and clearly about the need to integrate. Moreover, taxpayers' money should have no part in keeping people divided. We need to question the value of a vast race relations industry that churns out with every passing fad of public policy some initiative that only reinforces our differences. We need to question – there are no sacred cows – whether diversity awareness training is doing more harm than good. Some things are not negotiable and we need to be very clear about those.

David Cameron, to his immense credit, drew attention yesterday to the oppression of women in some sections of the Muslim community.

Disturbingly, yesterday's report found that 74 per cent of young Muslims would rather Muslim women wore the hijab. These differences need to be highlighted because they are antithetical to British values.

Let's be clear about something. Ceasing to ''celebrate difference" does not mean that an immigrant cannot hold on to his heritage. It is not a zero-sum game. The key point is that difference is not something we should be revelling in within the public sphere.

What you do in your own home, barring egregious violations of the rights of others (such as the abuse of women), is your own business. We need to move towards a culture in which celebrating diversity beyond the home is widely seen as divisive. To this end, the role of government must be limited. First, it must ensure that taxpayers money is not being spent in ways that promote difference. This means looking at the provision of translation and interpretation services, as well as looking at the way money is being spent in schools, libraries, hospitals and social services, and the provision of English language teaching.

Second, the rhetoric of politicians and opinion-formers must move away from focusing on our differences. The current problem arises from a real threat presented by extremists within the Islamic community. The message to these extremists and those who are in a position to influence their thinking must be a clear one, yes, of inclusion but inclusion only on Britain's terms. When politicians talk of celebrating differences that message becomes confused. This does not mean we should be searching for things we have in common: Islamic extremists and the great majority of Britons share very little in terms of values.

Instead, politicians and opinion-formers need to assert loudly and clearly the call for integration and that means celebrate diversity, by all means, but only in the home.

In our intoxicated infatuation with differences, we can easily overlook similarities. Yes, all of us have families and love our children. But sometimes the similarities can surprise us. A friend of mine, a dour Yorkshireman who'd make Geoffrey Boycott look wet, reflected that he had more in common with Shilpa Shetty than with Jade Goody. And why not?

Zia Haider Rahman is a writer and human rights lawyer
 

 

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