The title of this post is deliberately ambiguous; “Muslim bigotry” can mean bigotry towards Muslims or bigotry by Muslims. Which is just as well since I intend to talk about both.
Over at Bella Caledonia, Mhairi McGregor writes:
The Scottish independence movement is dominated by the left, the centre-left, and now the green-left coalescing around a set of political and cultural norms and assumptions. Amongst them is the idea that we are all Jock Tamson’s Bairns, a mixture and proud of it. Close to this is the idea of Scotland as a country with a distinct sense of the importance of social justice, in particular this is expressed by the policy put forward that anyone can become a Scot on independence, and further backed-up by the differing policies on immigration (frequently overridden and ignored by the Brit State).
So we shouldn’t be giving a platform to or promoting racists, particularly those who shame the independence movement by writing one day about the merits of home rule and the next on the colour or creed of people coming to or resident in this country,
Creed comes from Latin credo meaning “I believe”: McGregor is saying we shouldn’t discriminate against people based on their beliefs. But she’s also saying she’s against racism, which is of course a belief. You can’t have it both ways: either people should be anathematized based on the their beliefs, or they shouldn’t.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. The problem is Muslims. There are plenty of Muslims who hold modern liberal democratic values, who are decent, civilised people, and I have no problem with them. However, there are also plenty of Muslims who want to live in the dark ages, who think sharia law should trump secular law, that a woman’s testimony should count less than a man’s in court, that Muslims shouldn’t marry non-Muslims, and who are bigoted against gays. These people’s beliefs are such that I don’t want them living anywhere near me, for fear that they will contaminate the political atmosphere. In fact their beliefs are not a million miles away from the BNP and SDL who McGregor (correctly, in my opinion) abhors.
I don’t like bigots, and it makes no difference to me whether their bigotry stems from their religious beliefs. Or, more pithily: “God told me to do it” doesn’t excuse bigotry.