On the Five Pillars' website Kasim Javed responds to his local MP’s
unsubstantiated claims that 'extremists' from Bangladesh could be flooding Britain.
On 26th May 2016, Rochdale’s MP Simon Danczuk, once again decided to exploit the “extremism” narrative by espousing unsubstantiated rhetoric that “Bangladesh extremists could come to Britain”. In light of this, I would like to make the following points:
(1) This is not the first time; Danczuk has decided to exploit the “war on terror” narrative for political expediency. Last year, he said the Rochdale family who were falsely accused of travelling to join IS will “not be welcome back”, even though they were immediately released upon their return. Similarly, he falsely accused a local “Khilafah Course” that was designed to challenge the propaganda of IS as “feeding into fear” in the community. Now, in classic dog-whistle fashion, he is juxtaposing the political turmoil in Bangladesh to sensationalised fears of immigration and terrorism acting as an echo-chamber for the right-wing.
(2) Since its inception in 1971, Bangladesh has been in major political and economic turmoil. It is one of the world’s poorest countries and has been governed by a secular dictatorial Kleptocracy that picked up from where the British Raj left. Sheikh Hasina is known internationally for her brutality and butchering of political opposition. Instead of targeting the cordial relations the UK has with this international criminal, Danczuk decides to exploit, like her, the people of Bangladesh for his hatred of immigrants. Interestingly, exactly 12 months on the day of Danczuk’s comments, Hasina neglected starving migrants of Rohingya who were stranded at sea, calling them “mentally sick” and accusing them of damaging the country’s image. There is no shadow of a doubt, that had Danczuk been in her position, he would have said something similar.
Muslims in Rochdale are trying hard to develop the relationship between Muslims and the wider society. Only 6 months ago, the Muslims were at the forefront of helping victims of the Rochdale floods demonstrating our compassion and mercy to human beings. This is only one of the dozens of voluntary community projects that are taking place in Rochdale. In the blink of an eyelid, comments like Danczuk’s reverses the positive message by painting the Muslim community of Rochdale, majority of who are first/second generation immigrants of Bangladesh and Pakistan, as some sort of threat to the community.
(4) As a Muslim community living in Rochdale, we will refuse to be used as a political football for politicians to thrive from, as we are currently witnessing in this country by the Government and media establishment irrespective of their political party. This country has major problems from social decadence, economic corruption, capitalist driven foreign policies and general political apathy. Perhaps Danczuk should focus on his own backyard instead of exploiting the anti-Islamic narrative, although as they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.