The Telegraph & Argus (Bradford) newspaper reported today that the MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, urged Muslims across the country to fly the Union Jack on mosques “to show their unity and commitment to Britain”.
Mr Davies wants Muslim communities in Britain to adopt the measures, just as similar demands were made in Australia.
He is quoted in the T&A newspaper, stating that such methods would “publicly show everyone that those in the Muslim community are very keen to integrate and positively contribute to good community relations in the UK”. He also says that, “If it is good enough for them to do it in Australia I do not see why it is not good enough for Muslims to do in Britain”.
Well my first point would be to the minority of Muslims who could get very hot headed about this. Acting like bulls when they see red! This is not legislation. It’s just an idea from a local, nationally unknown Conservative MP, who wants to get his name in the papers. He may have seen Jack Straw MP, do something similar a while ago and may have thought that he would have a go. It increased Jack’s image in the papers, so it might be the same for him!
Seriously, let us argue this in a rational and calm manner.
So then, he wants mosques to fly the flag to show that Muslims are loyal and patriotic towards this country. Yeah why not? However, I, like many other people do not feel that I should have to prove to people like Mr Davies, my patriotism. I can do that without waving a flag or wearing a badge. Secondly, why did he suggest mosques? Why not Hindu temples, Sikh temples, Synagogues and churches? Thirdly, he points out that if it’s good for Australia then why not for us? Well, Australia has made voting in elections compulsory. So why not do it here in Britain? Some would argue it would strengthen democracy. Voting turn out at election times has dwindled in the years, so compulsory voting could be an option. I mean if it’s good for Australia, then it could be good for us.
I can understand Mr Davies’ concerns about the Muslim community not showing enough loyalty to Britain. I have seen it myself. But let us teach people more about Britain, rather than force them to acknowledge it’s flag. For if they are taught the history, culture and values of Britain, then I am sure their patriotism will increase.
As one of the contributors to the article rightly points out, mosques are places for spirituality, not politics.
If Mr Davies needs convincing of my patriotism to this wonderful country, then I invite him to speak to me over a cup of Earl Grey.
You can read the article by clicking here.