Muslim or British?
One feature of the recent mainstream media’s commentary, and that following last year’s London bombings, is surprise and incomprehension that British-born Muslims should identify so strongly with the travails of Muslims globally — feeling the pain of the Ummah — that they are prepared to take up terrorism. From the Pew Global Attitudes Project — Muslims in Europe:
Religion is central to the identity of European Muslims. With the exception of Muslims in France, they tend to identify themselves primarily as Muslim rather than as British, Spanish, or German. In France, Muslims are split almost evenly on this question. The level of Muslim identification in Britain, Spain, and Germany is similar to that in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Jordan, and even higher than levels in Egypt, Turkey, and Indonesia. By contrast the general populations in Western Europe are far more secular in outlook. Roughly six-in-ten in Spain, Germany, and Britain identify primarily with their country rather than their religion, as do more than eight-in-ten in France.
In Britain only 7% of Muslims consider themselves British first while 81% consider themselves Muslim first, this is comparable to Pakistan (8%:87%) and worse than Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Indonesia. That means 1.2 million British Muslims consider themselves Muslim first. This is the reason for the growth of Islamic terrorism within our country: based within self-supporting and self-reinforcing enclaves, induced by fundamentalist preachers and appeased by a multi-cultural elite.
It is therefore no surprise to find suicide bombers, who have a closer identification to their fellow Muslims in Iran, Lebanon or Gaza than their neighbours, occurring within our midst.