The rise of Islamism in Britain has been an ongoing process which raises serious concerns for the European country. A sharp rise in the number of illegal immigrants and religious fundamentalism is being witnessed in the UK and it has reflected on the institutions, policies and politics of the country and now also manifests itself in their foreign policy choices as the UK, to everyone’s surprise, took China’s and hence, Pakistan’s side at the closed UNSC meeting on August 16, pitching for an open meeting on Kashmir and a public statement by India. This came a day after Pakistani mobs ambushed the Indian High Commission in London where Indians had gathered to celebrate Independence Day.
As Indians around the world marked 72 years of Indian independence, celebrations in London were marred with a huge radical mob disrupting and hindering celebrations organized by the Indian Diaspora. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has come under fire for allowing Pakistani protest to take place on the Indian Independence Day and jeopardizing the safety of the members of the Indian diaspora. Thousands of protesters were brought in from Birmingham, Nottingham and others places in coaches and carried Khalistani and Kashmiri flags. A huge part of the crowd turned into an angry mob that targeted members of the Indian community at the Indian High Commission. Apart from throwing eggs, bottles, vegetables, batteries, potatoes and hot coffee the violent protesters also used smoke bombs to confuse the police horses and broke through the barriers; Indian families were reported to have been trapped for hours as the violent mobs surrounded them restrained only by a thin line of British police. Ultimately, after hours of horror, the Indian community had to call off the cultural program planned for the Independence Day celebrations.
This unprecedented attack against peaceful assembly of Indians in London has shifted the world’s attention towards Britain, which over the past few years has been witnessing major socio-political changes. Political observers have indicated that the rise of fundamental Islamists in politics and other crucial societal pivots has been the main driving force behind this intolerant approach towards other communities, mostly non Muslim communities and minorities within Islam. Muslim appeasement dominates among left political circles, and so are crime rates, illegal immigration, religious fundamentalism and lone-wolf terror attacks. The most concerning of these is the rise of rape & child grooming gangs which are dominated by Pakistani men.
However, the rise of fundamentalist Islam and its supporters along those who act as apologist for Islamists, is not a recent phenomenon but its roots can be traced back to the partition of India by British in 1947. United Kingdom had more than 200 times the numbers of mosques in 2011 than compared to 1961, when the whole of United Kingdom just had 7 mosques. The number of Islamic religious schools or Madrasas have also skyrocketed; despite several allegations of bigoted approach towards disseminating education in these madrasas. A video had also surfaced from an Islamic School in Birmimgham, where it is clearly seen that young children around the age of 10 or 11 were being indoctrinated to hate and mock other religions.
“The disbelievers, they are the worst of creatures” an instructor in the video can be heard clearly. There are more than 100,000 young children in Britain who have been enrolled in similar religious schools. Nonetheless this Madrasa which should have been flag downed by educational authorities in Britain was instead praised by Educational inspectors who said “Pupils learn about the beliefs and practices of other faiths and are taught to show respect to other world religions.” The sheer ignorance of British authorities towards institutionalized hate preaching is a clear indication of rise of fundamentalist forces into Britain’s administrative structure.
This skewed support towards hardline Islamists was also clearly seen in the 15th August attack on Indian Diaspora celebrating in London, also the failure of UK authorities, especially Pakistani-British Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to protect peaceful assembly was also questioned. Many observers have also cited that the rise of Islamists and the corresponding electoral clout has not only impacted internal decisions in the United Kingdom but has also adversely impacted foreign policy of UK. A day after Pakistani mobs ambushed Indian Independence day celebrations, the UK sided with China to have an open meeting on Kashmir in the UNSC, the benefit of Pakistan’s radical agenda. This was done possibly in a bid to appease the Islamist vote bank in UK.
The Islamist forces have also surfaced in areas where they have even called for Sharia law to be implemented in UK, and community based fundamentalist policing is also on a rise. A recently proposed legislation even seeks to criminalize criticism of Islam in the country, experts have claimed that this new legislation is nothing short of a backdoor blasphemy law which will be “used to effectively shield Islamic beliefs and even extremists from criticism.”
Tony Robinson, an activist against the Islamist terrorism and radicalization, has also been imprisoned on made-up charges because he sought to expose the ‘grooming gangs’ mainly involving Pakistani Muslim men who sexually abuse and rape minor girls. The culprits in the grooming gangs got a rap on the knuckle even after huge hue and cry. According to the London Evening Standard, nine members of a Bradford gang consisting of fundamentalists have been jailed for an “appalling catalogue of abuse” against young, vulnerable girls.
Nonetheless, the rise of regressive Islamist forces in Britain over the past few decades is surely a critical issue and needs immediate attention. As the legislative and political developments on both the internal and external front in UK clearly reek of the state’s efforts to please these radical forces that perpetuate institutionalized hate against non-Muslims in UK and around the world. Moreover, the influence of these subversive and fundamentalist forces on UK’s foreign policy is not only highly distressing but also calls for the world community to safeguard their own administrative structures form these bigoted influences.