Saturday, 13 August 2016

Not all guys named Mo are equal - it's okay to cheer some and fear others

The utterly wonderful Mohammed Sbihi
Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine (a hard-headed businessman, and not - as far as I can tell - in the least left-wing) tweeted the following:

"To all the haters - a young English-born man of Moroccan descent called Mohammed Sbihi won rowing gold as part of our coxless four"

I'm not sure which set of "haters" my chum (a thoroughly likeable and sensible man) was referring to. I'm sure there are people out there who object to someone - anyone - called Mohammed representing Great Britain at the Olympics. For all I know, there might even be some who won't be cheering on Britain's two female heptathletes - both of whom are mixed-race - today. But I suspect they represent the tiny minority of Britons who are outright racists - there are probably fewer of them here than in any other western country (Third World countries, of course, tend to be fantastically racist).

As I'm pretty sure my old chum wouldn't bother addressing such a remark to outright racists (none of whom would have any reason to follow a West London new media company owner and guru on Twitter anyway), I presume he meant it as a riposte to the majority of Britons who are worried about the hundreds of thousands of young Muslim men who've poured into Europe in recent months/years, and who are upset by the idea that many of the descendants of earlier Muslim immigrants hate this country and its people. The suggestion is that you can't cheer on Muslim British sportsmen if you have doubts about the unalloyed benefits of mass immigration. (I could be doing the tweeter a disservice, but I'm not sure how else to interpret his remark).

Well, I'm no fan of mass immigration, and I'm upset that many Muslims who've been raised in the West reject western values and wish to destroy the way of life of the generous people who've accommodated them - and, in some cases, wish to murder as many of those generous people as possible. I think that stinks. But why would that stop me - or the many tens of millions in the West who share my justified sense of discomfort - from cheering on Muslim sportsmen and women (or Great British Bake-Off competitors, come to that) representing their country? I'm sure there are many England cricket supporters who both cheered Moeen Ali to his sparkling century on Thursday, and wonder if putting a brake on current Muslim immigration might be such a bad idea. You don't have to choose between, on the one hand, supporting British sportsmen named Mo, having Muslim friends and happily working for a Muslim boss, and, on the other, disapproving of men named Mo raping underage white girls or supporting - or committing - slaughter in the name of Islam. This really isn't an either/or binary choice, and I'm surprised anyone who doesn't read the Guardian or support Jeremy Corbyn imagines it is.

Speaking of the Olympics, I was reminded this morning that, when it comes to racism, many Arabs deserve a gold medal. Step forward (or hang back, sulking) Egyptian Judoist Islam El Shehaby, who yesterday declined to shake hands with his first-round opponent Or Sasson, after the Israeli had whipped his sorry butt (telling them apart shouldn't be difficult):

Classy, Islam - really classy (or, if you prefer, really shabby, El Shehaby). Mind you, when it comes to anti-Semitism, many British hard leftists have earned a place on the podium alongside the odious Egyptian. After yesterday's win by the Labour Party (well one bit of) when the Court of Appeal decided 130,000 new members (most of them Corbyn supporters) can after all be banned from voting in its upcoming leadership contest (what it had to do with the courts in the first place beats me), Corbynites were in no doubt who was to blame for this reversal:

This follows hard on the heels of a Corbyn supporter at a meeting of the Islington North Constituency Labour Party (Steptoe's manor) blaming the Israeli Ambassador for Labour's current woes. (No, honestly - you can read about it here.)

Meanwhile, for a heart-warming story about Muslims, I recommend the Telegraph item,  Women rip off their burqas as Syrian residents of Manbij celebrate rescue from Isil. Here's a chap - quite possible named Mohammed - taking advantage of his liberation by the mainly Kurdish SDF to have his beard cut off:

That must feel good! Returning to the tweet with which I started this post (it seems a long time ago), I'd recommend that the tweeter reads this section of the Telegraph report:
Manbij was of great strategic and symbolic importance to the Islamists and they held out to the last. 
Some 25 miles from the Turkish border, it had been a hub for the smuggling of weapons and foreign recruits from Europe. Manbij had such a large number of British fighters, it earned the nickname locally as Little London.
The battle had not just pitted Syrian against Syrian, but Briton against Briton. 
Among those on the frontline with the SDF was Macer Gifford, a 29-year-old former currency trader from Oxfordshire.
“I wanted to join the fight against Isil in Manbij, in particular, because of the connection it has with Britain,” said Gifford, a public school-educated former Conservative councillor who had no previous military experience apart from a few days’ training with the Territorial Army.  
“I wanted to confront those people who were brought up in the West and given every chance to succeed, but who instead chose to come to Syria to brutalise and terrorise the innocent people here,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
Little London??? No, nothing to worry about here - move along now.

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