Mad Mel: it’s the Muslims’ fault

Melanie Phillips once again turns her fire on the BBC, complaining that in a recent feature for Today on the recent violence in the French ghetto suburbs, the presenters “simply excised all references to Islam” from the piece. Shocking that, isn’t it?

It presented the issue instead as a problem of ‘north African immigrants’, of the French banlieues, of the ghetto. It was said to be all about the way women were perceived to uphold the ‘honour’ of ‘the ghetto’ and ‘the family’. But which ghetto? Which family? And by whom? All immigrants? All north Africans?

Of course not. The issue of honour is a specifically Islamic issue. It does not apply to, say, north African Christians or north African Animists. It is specific to those North African immigrants who are Muslims. The women were rightly quoted as saying that this violence towards them is then also expressed towards the outside world. But the reason for this violence was simply left dangling. Listeners were left none the wiser. Yet ‘ni putes ni soumises’ translates roughly as ‘neither whores nor submission’. It is not ‘north African immigrants’ who regard women as either whores or having to submit – such attitudes are specific to the Muslims among them.

Well, soumises means submissive (plural), not submission. But the fact remains that nearly all north Africans are Muslims, except for Coptic Christians (and Egypt generally isn’t thought of as North Africa anyway), there is a Jewish minority, and no animists there anymore. But as people who have done any serious research into the subject could tell Phillips, the people responsible for violence in the French ghettoes against women are not religious young men, but irreligious delinquents whose Islam is residual and who don’t let it get in the way of their criminal activities, but who use it to justify their misogyny. In other places where honour-related violence is a problem, it is not confined to Muslims.

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