Daily Mail, 10 March 2008
by Melanie Phillips
Britain currently seems to be in a state of permanent uproar about its national identity.
Home-grown Brits don’t seem to know what it is any more, while immigrants flock to these shores in vast numbers to claim it for themselves.
The Prime Minister frets about recreating a sense of national solidarity which he thinks has been lost. Accordingly, he has proposed erecting hurdles for immigrants to jump before they can join the British national project.
According to weekend leaks, this will suggest that schoolchildren should swear an oath to the Queen and promise to obey the law in ceremonies similar to those for new immigrants.
We don’t yet know whether the review will in fact say this. But it sits with the view often expressed by ministers —who look enviously at the way every American pledges allegiance to the Stars and Stripes —that similar loyalty oaths to our own national symbols will make people identify with Britishness.
This, I’m afraid, gets the argument totally back to front. Their flag doesn’t make Americans patriotic. They rally to it so emotionally because they have enormous pride and belief in their country.
That’s because they believe that America’s defining characteristics of freedom and equality, based on Judeo- Christian ethics, are simply superior to anything else. So they love their country for what it represents and, accordingly, are prepared to fight and to die for it. That is the essence of a shared sense of national purpose.
Just to state this about America is to realise the depth of the problem in this once-great United Kingdom. This country has simply lost belief in itself.
there are now two Britains. There is the Britain that loves and would defend to the death its own historic national identity — and the Britain that either wants to destroy it or refuses to acknowledge that it is under such threat. And it is the latter which currently wields the levers of power.
and now the response of a moslem in Britain, pay special attention to whom he/she pledges his/hers allegiance (the same can be said for every single moslem in America, without exception):
I was reading your article in the DM which was left behind on the tube, regarding your views on allegiance. I don't but the DM you see.
I agree that we should not be asked to show allegiance to the Queen. After all the Queen doesn't have any real powers anyway. As a Muslim, why should I show allegiance to a non Muslim. Those who wish to show allegiance to her are welcome to do so. That's there business. IF I vote in the general elections, I don't show allegiance to the person I might vote for even if it's a Muslim politician.
As far as allegiance to the country, what does that mean? After all, if we obey the law isn't that enough? As a Muslim I feel I've done all that is required of me and can people stop telling me to go back to where I come from. I was born in Scotland, is that what they mean as I now live in England???
My allegiance is to the God of Adam\Noah\Abraham\Moses\Jesus\Muhammad peace and blessing of Allah be upon them.
There are of course some people such as the media and politicians who strive hard to allienate people from this country, particularly in regard to Islamphobic comments of which you have been a strong adherent for many years. I believe if people such as yourself were to be a bit more rational in your views and think clearly about some of the nonsense that you and others spout, that would make a greater contribution to
obtaining cohesion within society. Having said that, I'm sure their are many people who see through your many hateful comments over the years. It's like taking painkillers, where after a time their affect reduces. Similarly your views are probably being ignored each time you open your mouth.
Over the past few months as I travel to work, I have been wearing the arab scarf, which by the way I have noticed non Muslims are also wearing, to show my identity as a Muslim. I never did that before. Hence I would say that the more you alienate
people like me, the more stronger my identity, at least visually, will become. Anyone, including you who don't like it, can lump it. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. This is what sticks in the throat of people like you, and their is very little you CAN do to make me a Muslim change my way of life. This is what makes you say the hateful things you say. Not surprisingly in your article didn't fail in making a dig at Islam and Muslims. You are, if nothing else, consistently seethed in hate. There will be a Day of Judgement. I would like to be there when you are judged.
1) Britain’s broken heart
2) The war within the west