Paki Come Home !

Message to the British Muslims of South-Asian origin

Dr Koenraad Elst

After the timely folding of yet another Islamic terror plot, the public's attention is focused once more on the "Paki problem". Over twenty Muslims have been arrested in connection with the alleged discovery of preparations to blow up a set of airplanes on trans-Atlantic flights starting from London Heathrow. They are mostly holders of British citizenship, born in Britain though of South-Asian origin, and from well-settled families. To their British neighbours, fellow students or colleagues, they must have looked like success stories in terms of integration into British society. And yet, they secretly wanted to terminate the lives of hundreds of anonymous Britons, not excluding those same unsuspecting neighbours.

This is only one incident, though apparently a very sizable one. We may even concede that the incriminating evidence is not fully in yet, so we shouldn't judge in haste. But then, it is only one incident among many. The German police have just folded a Muslim plot to blow up trains, and worse than the failed terror attacks are all those that have succeeded. Remember the trains blown up in Madrid, the tourist centres blown up in Bali, the murder of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, and so many others. Specifically Pakistani connections were in evidence in the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the WTC in New York, on the public transport system of London on 7-7-2005, and in the endless series of terror attacks in India: buses stopped and all non-Muslims shot every other month in Jammu & Kashmir; repeated bomb attacks on trains and public buildings in Mumbai, from the big international trend-setter of 12-3-1993 (many synchronous explosions) to the latest one on 11-7-2006; on a political meeting in Coimbatore 1998; on Parliament buildings in Srinagar and Delhi in 2001; on temples in Gandhinagar, Ayodhya and Varanasi (the details of the latest temple attack in Imphal remain to be discovered); on a Diwali shopping crowd in Delhi, and so on.

Yes, we know your excuses: that you are millions while the terrorists are counted in dozens, so most of you are innocent and unrelated to terrorism. Still, outsiders will wonder just how many of you are in the know when these "unrepresentative" and "isolated" young men make their preparations for acts of terror. How many of you shield suspects when the police comes looking for them? Just a question.

And then the big excuse: that "this isn't real Islam", that "this great peaceful religion condemns terrorism", that "terrorists have no religion". We don't believe this convenient plea, but we would still welcome it if it could actually dissuade would-be terrorists from their project. Why do you always address us, the non-Muslims, with those rosy stories about peaceful Islam? Why not go to the centres of militancy and repeat those sermons there? We don't mean some perfunctory "open letter" meant for non-Muslim consumption, but an earnest effort to persuade the militant Muslims, one that doesn't stop until the goal is reached. We suspect you have so far never tried this because in your heart of hearts, you are perfectly aware that Islam does condone these acts. Because you expect the militants to quote chapter and verse from your own Quran to justify their methods, reminding you of how Mohammed's career mainly consisted in armed struggle against the infidels, and leaving you speechless.

The consequence is that only an extremely gullible fringe of British society can now remain unsuspecting. After this, what Muslim will they trust? Every time the problem of Islamic terrorism raises its head anywhere in the Western world, the public is treated to assurances that "this isn't the real Islam" and that "the vast majority of Muslims abhor this terrorism". Each time the politicians accompanied by camera crews pay visits to mosques to assure Muslims of their lasting confidence in Islam's peaceful intentions, which alas leaves them no time to go and comfort the victims of Islamic terror. Each time, ordinary people including the non-Muslim immigrants force themselves to keep in mind that "not all Muslims are terrorists", in particular this one and that one with whom they try to stay friends.

But there is a limit to all this patience and goodwill. If Muslims who could be showpieces of multicultural integration turn out to be discreet fanatics and murderers, who says the friendly Paki news agent around the corner isn't plotting your death? This time around, Paki Britons will notice how the looks in people's eyes have become icy. Their mouths may not yet voice it, but their eyes are completely eloquent about it: "Paki, go home!" Indeed, if I hadn't studied Islamic doctrine and history, I too would by now have renounced all hope of a harmonious outcome and concluded: "Paki, go home!"

Fortunately, there is an alternative and simpler solution. You must have noticed that natives are far less prone to "Hinduphobia" or "Sikhphobia" or "Parsiphobia" than to what politicians like to call "Islamophobia". Indeed, non-Muslim South-Asian immigrants have authoritatively been praised as Britain's "model minority". If they too sometimes suffer harassment, it is very largely from natives who don't know the difference between all these exotic religions, between a Sikh and a bearded and turbaned Osama bin Laden. This way, you Pakis have made them the indirect victims of the sinister reputation that you yourselves have earned. Still, the performance in education and professional life of the non-Muslim South-Asians must be a matter of envy to you.

So, why not become one of them? You live in a country with unfettered religious freedom, quite a different situation from the religious oppression in Pakistan. Overnight, you can shed the burden of your Muslim identity and embrace Anglican Christianity, Methodism or Roman Catholicism. You can become an atheist or agnostic or go and congregate with the Druids and New-Agers in Stonehenge. Better still, you can return to your roots.

Every South-Asian Muslim knows that his ancestors were Zoroastrians or Kalash Kafirs, Buddhists or Hindus. In dramatic circumstances, they converted to Islam as the lesser evil in preference to death or impoverishment or third-class citizenship. Out of inertia or brainwashing, you yourselves have so far chosen to remain in Islam and not to undo their shame. Now that you are facing the consequences of being Muslims, viz. the hostility provoked by never-ending Islamic arrogance and aggression, you have a good occasion to reconsider your religious identity. Drop this erroneous belief system that was forced upon you and come home to your ancestral community, where you belong.