Islam Are Muslims Hated? [UK TV]

DOCUMENTARY: Are Muslims Hated?

Channel: Channel 4

Date: Friday 25th February 2005

Time: 02:40AM to 03:10AM (starting in 8 days)

Duration: 30 minutes.

Kenan Malik challenges the perception that Islamophobia is rife in Britain. He takes on Muslim writers and leaders who claim to be victims of physical attacks and police harassment.

(Repeat, Subtitles)

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I think Muslims are most certainly hated. In turn, Sikhs are hated because we look like muslims. I think part of this has to do with the fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and people fear it --especialy Europe which in my mind can only be described as rabidly anti-islamic. Consider the head scarf ban in France in Turkey. Sikhs are rallying to become an EXCEPTION to the rule rather than fighting against the ban itself and France in turn repeats that Sikhs were never meant to be included in this group --as if discriminating against Islam is ok. Turkey is even worse (we don't discuss this much as there aren't any sikhs living there) and more clearly anti-islamic.

I can understand why those following Eastern religions are fearful as Islam clearly states that "the people of the book" should be respected (Chrisitianity, Isalm and Judaism) whereas all others are kafirs (eastern religions). But this is still far better than chrisitianity where it is clearly noted that the only way is through christ --Chrisitianity is far more "dangerous" in this sense.

Caramel Chocholate, not being from the UK I can't watch this program but I would love to hear what your impressions are especially considering that you are part of an oppressed minority group yourself --I say this honestly and not sarcasticly.

I recently had some (sikh) friends visit from the UK and they were shocked and appalled that my wife-to-be is a muslim from Turkey. Neither of us are going to ask the other to convert as niether of us believe in conversion. My friends could not grasp this and I found that they had a seemingly insurmountable prejudice against muslims. They informed me that the feeling was mutual and that Sikhs and muslims (and many other ethnic/religious groups) do not get along at all in the UK. I know that this is anecdotal (because they only sample I have are a few friends) but I would be interested in hearing what UK and (other europeans) think of this. Are racial/religious tensions especially high in Europe?
ravisingh said:
Sikhs are rallying to become an EXCEPTION to the rule rather than fighting against the ban itself and France in turn repeats that Sikhs were never meant to be included in this group --as if discriminating against Islam is ok.
No, discrimination based on religion could not be ok. Sikhs are not doing anything better if they just say - I am not muslim, so exclude me from this ban stuff. Sikhs need to fight against religion based discrimination and laws, the kind of laws France and Turkey have brought forward.
Ravi Singh - From what I have heard, Muslims in the UK are much more conservative than Canadian ones, and in general, Turkish Muslims a pretty liberal.
But yes - I am shocked to hear of Sikhs or Hindus settling with Muslims... British people are at large Islamophobic, and I can understand why, because most of my experiences with Muslims have not been that great.
For example - I was doing an anti-homophobia campaign at school and a Muslim friend of mine would not participate... because racism is wrong, Islamophobia is wrong and everyone is equal... but when it comes to the rights of others they couldn't be bothered one bit. This is why I refuse to go out of my way to stop Islamophobia because Muslims want rights for themselves and not others. I am not asking Muslims to think it is right but I am asking them to treat others as they wish to be treated.
While I respect Islam as it is [although I view it as a cult], I have little respect for Muslims themselves.
But about your wife to be - I am not surprised because she is Turkish, but any other type of Muslim [Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Arab, Somali] I would have been surprised.

Gyani Jarnail Singh

Sawa lakh se EK larraoan
Turkish "muslims" are not even considered "muslim" by other Muslims..they are too liberal. Look at Turkey..Headscarves and Hijjab etc are BANNED !!! and people are kicked out of universities even parliament for wearing head scarves...much worse than in France... how could Turkey be "muslim" ??

Jarnail Singh
Yes it is true the Turkish state is hardly muslim but most of the popluation that does not live in cities are in fact devout muslims. I went to Turkey a few months ago and I thought that I would be harrassed because of my dastar but surprisingly I had very few problems. I even visited two campuses and nobody including police and security officers said anything to me. I completely agree that the laws there are ridiculous and oppressive but I find it extremely odd that both France and Turkey are considered liberal by most people while they clearly and explicitly discriminate on religious grounds.
ravisingh said:
both France and Turkey are considered liberal by most people while they clearly and explicitly discriminate on religious grounds.
It is the discrimination which has gone so deep in some heads, that they want to enforce that as a law.
living in america (and originally from canada) i can attest that for one reason or another, people of british origin are FAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRR over the top about islam. either they really detest it with a passion, or are fananatically passionate about it.

i dont think turks are any less conservative than arabs, africans, or persians. its just that muslims from the indian sub-continent are just notoriously narrow-minded which, in my opinion, has more to do with indian culture than islam itself.

to put things in perspective, desi muslims are looked down upon by all other muslims (just like indians are looked down on by non-indians). therefore, to compensate their inherent insecurities, the desis have adopted the most fanatical sect of islam -- wahabism. mainly to appease the arabs whom desis venerate, though to be fair to desis US World Report wrote an article about how saudis have spent $70 billion to propagte wahabism.

all in all, this is more of an issue of identity crisis since almost every desi muslim you will meet will love to tell you about how he is descended from some outside invading muslim tribes, when in fact genetically and culturally they are a mirror image of hindus and sikhs to the extent that even many pathans have the same surnames as their north indian non-muslim brethren.

non-muslim desis also suffer from the same colonial complex. i am sure we have all come across the new brand of educated "jats" who go around thumping about their "saka/scythian" origins and consequently linking themselves to every dynasty to ever grace iran to mongolia and every land in between. of course the origins of these "theories" (now disproven) lie in fabulous tales spun by their british masters.

then there is the whole "aryan" theory and the belief of many dark-skinned hindus that they are descended from whites if not white themselves. add to this some lunatic rantings of adolf hitler, and hindus will not stop proclaiming their aryan-hood to the world.

so all in all, what i'm saying is that indians of all ilk, muslims and hindus, suffer from a colonial complex where they are in denial of their indian identity while at the same time being highly protective of their individual clan/tribe/caste whatever they maybe to the point of looking down on every other indian clan/tribe/caste. and living in england, these feelings amongst the desis are just magnified. thats why i believe that many americans and canadians find british desis to be just .... odd (at the risk of sounding ethnocentric myself, i always felt they were kinda "backwards"). :shutup:

Just watched the program... it was interested but it showed that there was no increase in Islamophobia in the UK [in terms of physical attacks on Muslims]... and the conclusion of the program was that Islamophobia is used too much and in the wrong context just so that Muslims can go further in British society, and that as soon as someone disagrees with Islam's principles, they are branded Islamophobic.
Islamaphobia? “Just because your paranoid doesn’t mean they haven’t got it in for you”. Well so the saying goes.

The reason many in Britain are labelled Islamaphobic is that this government has given almost total freedom to ethnic minorities of which Muslims are the most vociferous in their clamour for everything they can get. So when we voice our justifiable concerns about Islam we are labelled Islamaphobe’s.

So before any feel that we should just let them get on with it please read the report below. This is how the Maldives interprets Islam!

The Maldives:Freedom of religion is restricted significantly. The 1997 Constitution designates Islam as the official state religion, and the Government interprets this provision to impose a requirement that citizens be Muslims. Foreign residents are allowed to practice their religion if they do so privately, and cannot encourage Maldivian citizens to participate.
Restrictions on Religious Freedom
In July 2000,
President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom stated that no religion other than Islam would be allowed in the country, and the Home Affairs Ministry announced special programs to safeguard and strengthen religious unity. The Government has established a Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs to provide guidance on religious matters. The President must be a Sunni Muslim and under the Constitution is the "supreme authority to propagate the tenets of Islam." Cabinet ministers also are required to be Sunni Muslims.
Members of the People's Majlis (Parliament) must be Muslim.
The Government observes Shari'a. Civil law is subordinate to Shari'a, which is applied in situations not covered by civil law as well as in certain acts such as divorce and adultery. Under the country's Islamic practice, the testimony of two women is required to equal that of one man in matters involving Shari'a, such as adultery, finance, and inheritance. In other cases, the testimony of men and women are equal. Shari'a also governs intestate inheritance, granting male heirs twice the share of female heirs. The Constitution provides that an accused person has the right to defend himself "in accordance with Shari'a." The Government only registers clubs and other private associations that do not contravene Islamic or civil law.
The law prohibits public statements that are contrary to Islam.
There are no places of worship for adherents of other religions. The Government prohibits the importation of icons and religious statues.
... The Government prohibits non-Muslim clergy and missionaries from proselytizing and conducting public worship services....
Conversion of a Muslim to another faith is a violation of Shari'a and may result in a loss of the convert's citizenship.
Islamic instruction is a mandatory part of the school curriculum, and the Government funds the salaries of instructors of Islam.
Abuses of Religious Freedom
The law limits a citizen's right to freedom of expression in order to protect "the basic tenets of Islam.

Islamaphobic? No concerned.

Kind regards

To all


Perhaps Islam of todey followed by many is more a sort of contrdictions.They want a lot from others but loath to do much in return.

Das want to say that in may middle east countiers recently many Gurudwaras were made to stop functioning.

So does it mean that Sikhs also do the same with thier places of worship in Sikh majority Area.

Das is at a lost in this reagard.
vijaydeep Singh said:
Das want to say that in may middle east countiers recently many Gurudwaras were made to stop functioning.

So does it mean that Sikhs also do the same with thier places of worship in Sikh majority Area.
I havent ever come across where Sikhs have done something like this. In fact, sikh majority has taken care of other religious places, be those temples or mosques, wherever those are.

I understand one important aspect now - Be what you are. If a Sikh, be a Guru's Sikh. If a Muslim, then Allah's muslim etc etc. Hatred or proving superiority wont achieve anything, in fact, such mad-race is going to push humanity backwards.
Look you have all got to stop talking in this code or else have a key alongside your postings so that mere mortals can follow the complexities of the discussions.

Will Arvind consider opening a class for those who speak English to teach the rudiments of Sikh speak?! :}:):

Arvind please fill in the translation.

  • Desi.............?
  • Jats..............?
  • Dastar..........?
:rofl!!: What's it all mean???????????????????????????????????/
I feel your pain thecoopes:)

I'll provide a brief glossary for you:

Desi = someone of Indian heritage coming from the word "des" which means country "desi" literally means 'of the country'

Jats = an ethnic group that migrated to various parts of the world (Many croatians are Jats, the Jutes of Kent were Jats, many other central asian groups are Jats as well). The Jats being referred to in this forum usually refer to the Jat clans that invaded India 2000 + years ago and primarily settled in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India. Most Sikhs fall into this ethnic group and mistakenly refer to it as their caste (eventhough the caste system is strictly forbidden in Sikhism). for more info on the Jats here is a link:

Dastar= the turban worn by Sikhs. The term literally means "10 lines" referring to how many times it would wrap around someones head.

Sardar = someone who wears a dastar and is a Sikh

Das = is equivalent to the English indexical "I". So "das wants ice cream" is equivalent to "I want ice cream".

Let me know if there are any other terms that are confusing you. I will do my best to answer them.


Ravi Singh
Dear thecoopes,

Thanks to Ravi Singh, who has already explained the meanings, and honestly I learnt a lot from his recent post :)

John, Thanks for bringing this up, which makes us feel that this open forum is being participated by people from different backgrounds. We try our best to communicate in globally accepted English, however some or other times, punjabi words are bound to creep in. So lets look at a few solutions as below. Tell me which way you feel better:

1. Posting Punjabi language classes: which will be able to teach you punjabi language at your pace, and some guidance towards understanding Guru Granth Sahib after learning daily usage punjabi words. However they may not serve the exact purpose what you want to achieve.
2. Indexing the terms: Like Ravi Singh has explained the meanings, we can maintain a post with such translations for quick reference.

Choice is yours. Please let me know :)

Dear Ravi Singh & Arvind,

Thanks for the explanation and the kind offer.

I need to get together a list of words and names that are not readily understood by people with a conventional non-Indian background.

What are clear and everyday expressions to yourselves tend to leave an understanding gap when I’m reading through the postings.

As I come across them I will save them and when I have a few will get you to give a short clarification.

Best wishes