Thoughts of us, of home - Kamran Shafi - Tuesday 26th April 2011

EVERY single time I have travelled in the West I have noticed that immigrants from Asia and the Middle East, specially those of our religion, are invariably in-your-face, and loud, almost threatening to those who happen to be in their vicinity.
My experience this time around is exact same: on the very day that I arrived in London and, dropping my luggage in my son’s flat went out to the local shop, I found these young lads, one Pakistani-Brit, one Arab, slouching in a corner, both of them shouting into their cellphones.
When anyone looked at them, if only to see what was wrong because people do not normally shout into their telephones here, they would glare at them unsmilingly and mutter what surely were abuses. They stood out like sore thumbs on that quiet and orderly street, on which people went about their business quietly and politely.
Change the scene to my favourite German city, town actually, Regensburg in Bavaria where I am staying with my pal Wolfgang and you see the same scene, this time with our Turkish brothers and sisters. The loudest young children on the street are invariably Turkish with their mothers not doing anything at all to stop them from behaving badly.
I have asked this question before, I ask it again: what in the world is wrong with us? There is nothing to recommend us: most of us come from poverty-stricken backgrounds from countries where there is no security of self or property; most of us are asylum-seekers living on the dole; most of us live in ghettoes among our own and do not adapt to the ways of the host people.
To add to all of this, we are aggressive and very often stretch the protection that the host country’s laws give us to breaking point.
What better, or shall we say worse, example of this attitude than the one provided by Taj Eldin Hilaly, the former imam of the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, Australia, and once the most senior Muslim cleric in all of Australia? Some years ago, Hilaly made a statement that scantily dressed women were like ‘uncovered meat’ who invited sexual assault.
Verbatim: if you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat’s? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred. Unquote. I ask you.
These are not the only pearls to fall from Hilaly’s lips. He is also reported to have said: “In the state [case] of zina the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement [igraa]. I mean, is this man even sane?
Hilaly also commented on the prison sentence of Bilal Skaf, the leader of a group of Lebanese Australians who committed gang rapes in Sydney in 2000, saying that women would “sway suggestively” before men “and then you get a judge without mercy [rahma] and [who] gives you 65 years”.
The question remains: why are we what we are? The happy days are about to end, however, the host populations slowly but surely rising up against immigrants in general and so pushing their governments to become proactive in protecting them against what are increasingly seen as violent and vicious guests who take undue advantage of the system.
France banning the full face veil and other countries also coming into the act will, before we know it, make it extremely difficult for even those who are truly deserving of shelter in foreign lands, and for those who want to work hard and better themselves.
And now to home which is never far from one’s thoughts and feelings no matter where one might be — I mean I am having a great time walking five miles along the Danube every day, passing through the old town and stopping for an espresso at one of the best coffee shops in the whole wide world; I am being pampered to a T by my buddy; my favourite marzipan is available in abundance, yet Pakistan remains foremost in my mind. And every single piece of news that comes out of the dear country is uniformly bad.
From the attitudes being struck by the Deep State’s movers and shakers to Imran Khan’s new-found love for Altaf Bhai to the two main political forces getting further from each other with every passing day, to the outcome of the Mukhtar Mai case in the Supreme Court, one has little to be happy, even sanguine, about.
First to Imran and Altaf Bhai. My readers know me to be a stout defender of democracy and elected people, so let me say straightaway that contacts between any political leaders are good and ought to be lauded.
In this case, however, where there was so much acrimony that even personal lives were the subject of vile innuendo and blame and malice, how is it that suddenly, as if on cue, all is well between the two? And that so soon after the Deep State began to “show its eyes” so to say, to Amreeka Bahadur? Too pat if you ask me, and therefore, highly suspicious.
Imran’s exertions in Hayatabad, however, turned out to be yet another damp squib. Reportedly 3,000 to 4,000 people, even the raucous (and ghairatmand!) part of our press putting it at 5,000.
Why thousands of tribals did not stream down from the Khyber hills is a question that Imran, a man I appreciate very much incidentally, for several reasons other than his politics, must ask himself. Could it be that the majority of tribals want to be rid of the foreigner jihadis who have made their lives a living hell? I invite the leaders of the Deep State to also ask themselves this question.

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