UK: The Talibanisation of British childhood by hardline parents

UK: The Talibanisation of British childhood by hardline parents

Via Daily Mail h/t Veritas Universalis

Last November, on the steps of Tate Britain, I witnessed a scene that troubles me still.

A furious Asian father was shaking his young son and tearing up the picture his child had drawn.

The boy kicked and cried. Recognising my face from TV appearances I had made as a commentator on current affairs, the father came across to say 'hello'.

So I asked him what his child had done that had made him so angry. He explained that according to his Islamic mentors, drawing pictures of people was forbidden.

I was flabbergasted. After all, this was in the middle of Britain's multi-cultural capital - a modern metropolis, not some dusty backstreet in Kabul.

What harm can there be in a picture?

So I asked the man if he owned a camera. 'Yes,' he replied. 'And a video camera.'

So why, I asked, was it acceptable for him to take pictures, but not for his child to draw a stick figure?

'The madrasa teacher told me children are not allowed to,' he said, referring to the places of religious instruction for Muslim children, which are the equivalent of Sunday schools for Christians.

'I am not an educated man, so I must listen to them.


Tolerant Muslims who fear and loathe the propagators of Bin Laden's Islam can see where this will lead.

Young British Muslims - too many of whom are way behind in educational achievements and at the bottom of the job market - will be affected unless we can find a way of stopping the ideologues.

The full burka has been banned in France (where the hijab - a headscarf - is also not allowed in schools) and other European nations will follow.

In Britain, where personal liberty is sacrosanct, such state actions would appear authoritarian.

To me, that hands-off approach makes no sense.

Why are we fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and indulging Taliban values here?

Even if it offends liberal principles, the powerful must find a way of stopping Islamicists from promulgating their distorted creed.

If they don't, the future is bleak for Muslims and the country. Many of us British Muslims care deeply about both.