Saturday, 16 January 2010

Ban on Burka

UKIP becomes the first political party in the UK to call for a total ban on Burka. They argue that Burka has no place in the British tradition and is not compatible with British values. Furthermore, they also shows the audacity to say Burka has no basis in Islam.
UKIP calling for a total ban on Burka is not surprising at all. This is not the first time that they have expressed their 'Muslim hatred' openly and I am sure that this will not be the last. What does surprise, however, is their confidence in such strategy to win them more votes in modern Britain, in particular the appeal of such policies within the working class British people.
For me personally, the call by UKIP to ban Burka should ring alarms in the mind of all reasonable people of this Island. For this shows how weak our major political parties has been in addressing the hate elements of our society. Larger, mainstream parties has allowed cheap but successful political propaganda to overtake principle of equality, justice, freedom of speech and belief. The failure of the mainstream has made it fashionable in modern Britain to be hateful of others openly. Instead of creating a climate where xenophobes, racist and fascists will feel uncomfortable and shaky in expressing their hateful views, certain of our political class allowed these hatemongers to flourish. Even organizations like BBC has given fascist movements like BNP a kind of legitimacy which earned them credible standing in the views of many.
The big question, of course, is not the failure of our political parties. It seems that the lies, half-truths and more importantly hatred of Muslims are likely to grow. This is because the mindless thugs of the likes of UKIP, BNP and others who are the true affront to our British values of democracy and freedom are ever more confident in their political activism. The ideological bankruptcy of the larger political parties allowed these tiny ugly spots of our society to gain popularity. We therefore need a strategy to deal with it in a manner so that we can engage the wider population of our country. We need to engage in meaningful and intellectually rich debates.
There are organizations like the MCB who are working very hard to ensure Muslim voices are being heard. They are working to challenge the hallow and prejudicial views of these new Nazis. But their work needs to be complemented by others at organizational and individual levels. There needs to be a serious rethinking of our strategies too. Only when we will have a more coherent, better thought set of strategies to engage the masses effectively, we may hope to defeat these xenophobes.