BBC Big Questions Appearance

I participated on BBC’s ‘Big Questions’, a flagship program which addresses current issues from a moral, ethical and religious angle.  Hosted by famous anchor Nicky Campbell, the episode focused on 2 topics.

  • On the weekend that the EDL and far-right groups from across Europe held a rally in Denmark,  has Britain become too complacent about the far right?
  • With John Mann’s Private Members Bill on prostitution soon to be debated in Parliament, should it be illegal to pay for sex with a young adult?

English Defence League

The growing popularity of EDL in sections of British Society rest on issues which have been misconstrued and further agitated by mainstream politicians. EDL have used the race and religion card to strum up support on what they say are issues which Major Political parties are shying away from. This includes cases of Extremism, terrorism, Grooming, Mosques preaching isolation and what they feel is the introduction of Shariah law in Britain through provision of Halal foods in schools, Supermarkets and Popular eating out places.

My brief comment on the show highlighted that EDL’s propaganda rests on a climate which has been created by Mainstream and seasoned Politicians. If one were to observe recent political speeches, policies and legislation in the last years, one will find a cross-over in what politicians have said and done and the activities of EDL. Whilst EDL is marginalised as a thuggish group its line of thinking on domestic issues is not dissimilar to rhetoric spurred out by politicians who light the fires and allow organisations like EDL to take these to street level.

Politicians have lectured the Muslim community on how they should integrate. A deeper study unveils that it is more about enforcing uniform ideas that all communities need to subscribe to in order to somehow prove their loyalty or Britishness. Tommy Robinson in the show was explicit in his comments when asked ‘What does he want the Muslim community to do?’ His reply, was “They should assimilate”. Wasn’t this reflected in David Cameron’s Speech in Germany where he talked about ‘Muscular Liberalism’?

Lets look at a track record of issues by our mainstream

  1. It was David Cameron who wrongfully raised alarms that Islamic Primary Schools were being used to teach segregation
  2. Again, PM Cameron talks about community building yet has cordial links with Far right European Groups himself
  3. Jack Straw attacked the Niqaab which fuels the propaganda for EDL
  4. Jim Fitzpatrick criticised and ridiculed Muslim marriage arrangements (segregation between male and female at weddings)
  5. John Reid said Muslim parents should spy on their children for signs of extremism
  6. Ruth Kelly said she wanted to create a British version of Islam and created a govt curriculum for masjids/madrassas for this
  7. Hazel Blears designed the Muslim womens assertivness course which pushed women to spy on their husbands and brothers and report them to police if they believed there were ‘signs’ of radicalisation (growing a beard, wearing a jubah and going to the mosque regularly)
  8. Dennis McShane said we must confront Ideological Islam (an Islam which puts forward a world view on how muslim countries should base their laws on Islam)
  9. David Blunkett was responsible for introducing debate on Muslim marriages in 2002 as a way of controlling immigration from South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) which in essence targeted muslim marriages
  10. David Milliband introduced the Forced marriages act which wrongfully associates Islam with this act and pushes a more liberal perspective for our young children on marriage including respecting their views on even becoming gay or lesbian if they want to
  11. Charles Clarke said that Shariah and Caliphate in the Muslim world are non-negotiable for the British Govt (they will never accept its existence)
  12. Labour was behind the creation of the ‘Prevention of violent Extremism’ Program which wrongfully associated extremism with the Muslim Community., which now the Con-Dem Government has still resumed but under a different guise.

Successive governments are equally responsible for creating a climate where groups can spur hatred. Divisive politics are therefore in full force, making communities vulnerable to further isolation, attacks, and stigmatisation.

Raising age for Paid Sex

I didn’t manage to comment on this topic on the show. My main points would have been that a change in ideas and not a change in law is required. How men view women is something which needs to be fundamentally addressed. The worth of Adult services like paid sex also requires reflection. Where is this demand coming from? Is it a positive influence on Society?

Existing laws on ‘Adult Entertainment’ are already creating a social dilemma with the availability of it at the click of a mouse. BBC have run programs in the last years talking about sexualisation of children and many of whom were addicted to porn. If this is how our children are goring up, then it is understandable how certain ‘professions’ like paid sex can be seen as a glamorous option as was articulated by the ‘call-girl’ on the Show.

Some may fall into paid sex through necessity for feeding and providing for their families. This activity rests upon a demand for paid sex, which is being deemed as perfectly acceptable. These attitudes, mainly of men, are placing young girls in great danger, where sexual abuse is often inflicted with girls having nowhere to turn to.

Whilst many laughed at the gentlemen comment sat next to me when he talked about family, it is this very breakdown of the Family, owed to secular values, that has served as a catalyst for destruction.


  1. Islamic primary schools dont teach segregation? I guess most ppl see that having muslim and non-muslim kids go to different schools IS segregation of the most harmful kind. Furthermore i feel quite certain Islamic schools do teach islam, and i know islam doesnt allow women to marry non-muslims. Different schools….not making marriages and families together…..we are in Mississippi 1960. I know for you islam is perfect but you Are not making any sense.

  2. blackboard1986 says:

    A very good, well-written piece, Majed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and found myself nodding along in agreement to all your points. I agree with you that politicians are much to blame for the current islamophobic climate in the country with their often divisive rhetoric, they are meant to bring communities together not pull them apart.

    As for the paying for sex with young adults question, I agree with the gentleman who said that the breakdown of the family structure has a lot to do with women being undervalued in our society today. Since the family is the unit which make up our communities any change in attitudes towards women must start there. I don’t know why they laughed at him, he made a perfectly reasonable point.

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