Radio 4: Muslims leaving the UK

BBC Radio 4 - I’m a Muslim, Get Me out of Here!

This programme (to which you can listen until this time next week) examines the phenomenon of educated, professional Muslims leaving the UK, both for the Gulf, particularly the UAE, and their old homelands, particularly Pakistan. A number of people are interviewed, including a couple who are not of immigrant stock and have no obvious bolt hole, but still want somewhere better to bring up their children than the UK.

I must say I feel a little uneasy about all this, not least because many of those leaving are the wealthier Muslims, who may well end up leaving the less well-off behind. However, since a favourite hijrah destination is the Emirates, how long do British Muslims really have to live the high life there? The place may not be as repressed and repressive as Saudi Arabia, but it (or parts of it) still has a reputation as a place where you can get in serious trouble for getting on the wrong side of the wrong people, and unless the laws are changed in the next few years, neither you nor your children will get citizenship unless you are a female who married a local, which means that as soon as they decide there’s not enough money to go round, they will chuck you out. I appreciate some people’s urge to do hijrah, but it’s not as easy as taking a highly-paid job in Dubai (or going to teach English) and thinking you’re secure.

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