Yet another hugely unpopular public spending announcement – likely to have the exact opposite effect to the one they intend – finds the city council proposing to fork out £80,000 of our money on a survey to help Muslims “integrate into the Bristol community”.
This daft and unnecessary proposal may have the unique attribute of both managing to upset Muslims – who might just be a little of wary of the state banging on their door asking a series of questions – and the wider community who might not see this as a spending priority for our cash-strapped council.
However, this survey must be done, we’re told, to get “a better picture of the estimated 30,000 people in the Somali, Pakistani, Bosnian and other Muslim communities living in Bristol.”
And in a further proof that the lunatics appear to have set up an equalities team with a media monitoring unit in the asylum, the council have also announced that they will be spending yet more money producing a 37-page “myth-busting” glossy leaflet to dispel “common misunderstandings” we’re told we hold about Islam and to point out to us its unique contribution to British culture.
Let’s hope this leaflet is a little more sophisticated than the council’s 5 myths about Islam leaflet currently doing the rounds that can be viewed here (pdf).
The leaflet seems to largely consist of ‘straw man’ statements that nobody actually believes anyway, which the city council’s in-house equalities team can then expertly disprove for us.
Hence we’re spoon fed “myths” like “Muslims worship a different God from Jews and Christians” – despite the fact very few people actually think this – just so the council can set us straight.
On some of those trickier “myths” like “Islam oppresses women, condones wife-beating, forced marriage and honour killings” we find the council taking a different tack and resorting to academic ruses from the cultural studies department in their efforts to persuade us to tolerate intolerance.
So the equalities team assures us that any apparent sexism you might equate with Islam is no such thing at all. It is in fact simply “the result of male-biased, cultural misinterpretations and a lack of understanding of Islam by some Muslims.”
So that’s all right then.
However, the “myth” that really caught The Blogger’s attention was this one: “There is no such thing as ‘Islamic terrorism'”.
No argument there really. Technically this is an objectively true statement, although it is also a misleading one as there certainly is such a thing as ‘islamist terrorism’, which the council’s leaflet fails to mention at all.
Another statement from the council seems determined to confound the issue even further:
“Data from the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report of 2007 for Europol (European Law Enforcement Organisation), shows that of the 498 reported terrorist attacks across Europe in 2006, only one was carried out by a Muslim.”
Is there no Islamist terror threat then? Can we conclude attacks such as 9/11, the Madrid bombings, 7/7 and the attempted attacks last summer in the UK were nothing to do with Muslims? Perhaps the media – a clear target of criticism and derision in the council’s leaflet – have just made it all up to sell newspapers?
But if – as the bulk of evidence strongly suggests – Islamists are involved in terrorism, why is a leaflet funded by the tax payer doing its best to make it appear otherwise? Does our council think this kind of confusing and misleading information is helpful?
To whom exactly?