September 01, 2006


From the first Muslim Miss England:

The first Muslim to be crowned Miss England has warned that stereotyping members of her community is leading some towards extremism.

Hammasa Kohistani made history last year when she was chosen to represent England in the Miss World pageant.

But one year on, the 19-year-old student from Hounslow feels that winning the coveted beauty title last September was a "sugar coating" for Muslims who have become more alienated in the past 12 months.

She said: "The attitude towards Muslims has got worse over the year. Also the Muslims' attitude to British people has got worse.

"Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more."

"...moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway."

According to Ms. Kohistani's logic, alcoholics should forego trying to get their lives back together, say, "the Hell, with it," and go ahead and drink because people expect them to be drunks.

It is a troubling mindset, and one I hope is not widespread in western Muslim communities. If Muslim moderates star to embrace terrorism as a way of "proving themselves" to radicals within the nations they inhabit, current feelings of disassociation that they seem to presently feel will only worsen, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. If an embrace of terrorism becomes widespread, or more likely, an appearance of the embrace of terrorism becomes widespread, crackdowns against Muslims will only worsen. It could perhaps lead to even worse tensions and violence if the rest of the British population feels significantly threatened.

If Hammasa Kohistani wants to change public opinion and stereotypes against Muslims as she says elsewhere in the article, she needs to encourage Muslims to prove, time and again if necessary, that the violent fundamentalist way is not their own. British Muslims should respond to suspicions not by embracing terrorism, but by becoming the most vigilant fighters against it.

A widespread "we might as well do it anyway" mindset that validates these stereotypes is precisely the wrong message to be sending.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at September 1, 2006 08:48 AM | TrackBack

Notice the arrogance of someone from a culture that has NO tolerance of anyone deviating from the party line threatening violence if THEY aren't tolerated!

Posted by: Tom TB at September 1, 2006 10:33 AM

Is she not correct that Muslims feel alienated? not correct that attitudes toward Muslims are worsening? not correct that Muslims' attitudes toward Britain are worsening? not correct that moderate Muslims are feeling more hostile? I appreciate her refreshing candor as opposed to the all too common denial, blame or public spin. I detect no arrogance in her words nor any approval for behavior of any parties, just a concern that alientation is not helping matters on either side, something of a plea for basic human kindness, warmth, not to be confused with acceptance of Islam.

Posted by: Cindy at September 1, 2006 11:39 AM

Cindy, you just keep thinking liberal; you will be covering your head after you just left the beauty salon.

Posted by: Tom TB at September 1, 2006 06:02 PM

islamo-fascism on the move - i wonder why Europe is so accomodating - no, it is fear

Posted by: battal agha at September 2, 2006 10:14 AM