--------------------------------------------------------------------------- From Sajid (full name and address supplied):
I've just caught up with a Panorama programme on YouTube about the Muslim community becoming more and more insular and divisive – in Blackburn. These are the links: Part 1 http://anonym.to/?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZuzRSYSsqo Part 2 http://anonym.to/?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epbbEqvXOU8 Part 3.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TQ3IrhY6dc
This is a good programme to also highlight the religious community that I escaped from. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I use the word 'escape'. So, it gives you a good picture of my own background, where I come from, the people that reside there, and the way it's changing – for the worse. It's what I always talk about; the more 'cultural' the community becomes, the more 'religious' the community becomes, without reaching out to the wider community on mutual understanding, this 'multiculturalism' will soon transform into something nasty and dangerous.
I'm surprised the local MP Jack Straw can't see the potential problems that may arise. After all, he's been the MP for Blackburn since 1979. Or maybe that's the problem: if someone new is elected, they might see the situation with a fresh perspective... if they're not Muslim though!
The Muslim march scares me somewhat. Apart from this being a divisive event, in a community that could do without this kind of thing, the marchers create an atmosphere where the whole community is supposed to act in the same way they do. You know, going more deeply into faith, and expecting others to follow suit. Any behaviour counter to this is seen as heretical.
It's all spiralling into a doctrinal cage, which, by the looks of it, Blackburn is becoming (if it isn't already). This was an interesting quote by the Canon of Blackburn Cathedral, Chris Chivers:
"I've previously worked in Cape Town in South Africa, which is emerging from an apartheid history, which is of course, deeply divided. I can honestly say I have never lived or worked in such a segregated community as this."
I always maintain: I've got no problem with religion: one can believe what one chooses to. And they have every right to do this, but on the condition of fair-mindedness and equality. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case. I have changed so much that I just cannot identify with Blackburn's Muslim community, the people, or the cause. Just how is it that I can see things so differently, even from people who are older than me, (supposedly) more wise than me, and (supposedly) more intelligent than me?
All in all, this programme is a bit upsetting for me. It's just sad to see the town where I grew up, and have fond memories of, being turned into something I just don't recognise.