Whose country is it?

#1
I'm having a serious problem with this.

I just read the Shia Law thread (and dithered on whether to add or start this)... and was hit by the point from young Muslims, who want Britain to be plonked in the Middle East, that this is their country.

What does it take before you can claim part-ownership of a country? A passport? to be born here? to be integrated? to police it? to spill your blood to create it? A generation or a few?

It is their country... too. Welcome to democracy. But I think a fair few would wildly dissagree.

I've got a Danish daughter, with a Danish mother growing up in Daneland. She'll be Danisssshhhh. (hands of my bacon)... I've got 2 Scottish friends over here (married together)with a 100% Danefied daughter too... and then there seem to be other foreigners whose kids won't accept the traditions and laws over here at all...

As I say... where's the line?
 
G

Goku

Guest
#2
If you can’t accept and respect the traditions, laws and history of the country you reside in then you’re simply a guest.

Any Muslims whishing to live under Shia Law can bugger off to the Islamic country of their choice and it really doesn’t matter if they were born here or not.
If you don’t like our culture then the answer is simple… leave.

You can apply that to any other ethnic/religious/political group that wish to moan about this or any other country.
 
#3
It's their country too. Nobody has ever said that they have to conform to our culture or adopt our way of dress, social behavioual norms or our religion so yes, it's their country too. The point I made elsewhere this morning though, is that your Danissssshhhh daughter may have adopted Danish customs but they don't really stand out in the everyday way of traditional British life. All it takes to assume 'ownership' of a nation is (it seems) to live here. I say 'here', because if we tried the same thing in other countries, we would find ourselves dangling off lamp-posts for insisting on continuing our native customs.
 
#4
Goku. That may be the way most of us feel, but it's not what those in power are saying. There is no pressure whatsoever to adapt to or adopt our culture or ways. There is however some sort of government inspired guilt complex that means we should bend over backwards to accomodate whatever 'diverse' cultures our honoured guests choose to bring with them. The same insidious culture of appeasement exists across the world.
 
#5
i look forward to when the ex-pat community in Saudi can elect to live under British law, drink alcohol, and not risk having their hands chopped off for stealing a wine gum.
 
G

Goku

Guest
#6
Lama I am fully aware of our spineless governments attitude towards immigration.
If I didn’t know any better I’d say New Labour indulged in a little too much cheese and garlic.

I’m not saying that if immigrants don’t accept our ways then they are not welcome, but they certainly can’t call themselves British if they can’t adapt to our culture.
 
#7
At the end of the day if they make ID Cards compulsory we won't have this problem. The illegals will all be deported. It will never happen because the leftist gay muslim society says it's an infringment of their human rights. Hope i'm not being too PC. This people need to abide by this countrys rules or bugger off. Bugger off would be the better option.
 
#8
Whose country is it? The prevaling and dominant society represented by the government voted in by those good folk. As far as I can see in this country, not a minority of individuals who wish for the introduction of Shiara law.

I'm with Goku on this one.

Any Muslims whishing to live under Shia Law can bugger off to the Islamic country of their choice and it really doesn’t matter if they were born here or not.
If you don’t like our culture then the answer is simple… leave.
Couldn't say it better myself.
 
#9
As I say... where's the line?
Well that is a good question but also too simplistic a question, so it has no simple answer. The issues involved are complex and diverse for there to be easy answers.

I can give you some examples of the complexity. My wife is not British, nor incedentally does she aspire to be. She is a Chinese Malaysian and as proud of her roots (including the British connections) as I am of mine. She could take up British Citizenship, but chooses not to.

Now it might be fair to argue that since she does not want to be British she should have no say in how Britain is governed. But then she lives here, has the right to reside her forever, works and pays her taxes here and has a family here who have to live by the rules we make democratically. So there are strong arguments that she should have her democratic say...as she currently does.

Because she is from an Islamic country we have quite a few muslim friends. Now muslims are as diverse a bunch as any other group and those we know are all highly educated (Oxbridge or Ivy League generally) Expats living and working in the UK. They have made the point to me that muslims views of sharia Vs domestic law vary greatly. Some do not want sharia to have any part in thier lives, some would like to see the entire world united under islam and sharia law. Both extreme views do not reflect the views of the majority.

The majority see no incompatibility between domestic and sharia law. In many cases our laws are the same anyway. Murder is an offence in both systems for example. In other areas we, all of us, can choose how we deal with a problem rather than have domestic law dictate how we do it. So when a couple divorce they can agree how to settle things without a judge telling them what to do, or they can let a judge settle it for them. In the same way muslims can choose to be led by thier own chosen system, or they can go to the domestic courts.

It is worth making the point, that a good deal of "law" is in fact devolved to religious courts of one sort or another already. These are not things that impact on most of us, certainly not in our daily lives, but they do impact on some of us. I can recall, for example, that Blooms, the famous kosher resteraunt in whitechapel, lost its kosher licence and its business was destroyed by the decision of a jewish court. They appealed the decision to the domestic courts and were told that the domestic courts could not intervene.

Lastly, our laws do not, and have never, applied equally to all of us. Scottish law is different to English law. Within English law we have made exceptions for certain groups for religious reasons (Sikhs not having to wear crash helmets or the Brethren having tax concessions are just a couple of examples).

So. When muslims "call for sharia", just what does that mean? People jump to conclussions about what it means and often those conclussions are entirely wrong.

People respond with "we should all be treated the same", ok thats a fair view to have but do understand that being treated the same would be a departure from traditional British or English law.

You see the complexity?

The debate will run and run I am sure.
 
#11
GwiaLo,

A good post but one with a few areas I have difficulty with.

You imply that there is justification for a section of society to operate under different laws than that of the rest of the land. You use Scotland whixh is, I would suggest is a poor example. Scotland has always operated under its own laws. It is Roman Law based rather than Anglo-saxon (a la south of the border) and has been a seperate operating system since long before the Union.

The example of sikhs in turbans getting dispensation from helmets is a disenginious to say the least.

A nation should not be operated on laws applicable to some and not all. A call to allow Shaira law to operate for a proportion of the population is simply not on.

The other difficulty I have is the law is subject to religous interpretation. I am not going to say that we haven't done the same in our past but I would hope that we are somewhat more enlightened these days.

The degree of interpretation that Shai is taken to in different countries of the world is worrying to say the least. The Taliban's take on interpretation is an example, an extreme one, I admit, but one that some wish to adhere to. Which interpretation would you advocate?

UK law (north or south of the border) is well established and provides for the totality of legal problems we face day to day. As a citizen of this country, prove that the law is unjust and we have a legal process to change or update it.

Ultimately, it is nice for a religeous grouping to have its own law. However we live in a nation state and to that end, abide by the laws that prevail.

Whilst you have my sympathies that we poor misguided individuals don't see just how good it would be to operate under Shia law, if you really don't like the way the system works and aren't willing to live within the framework of law that exists, you should go elsewhere.
 
#12
GwaiLo said:
As I say... where's the line?

Lastly, our laws do not, and have never, applied equally to all of us. Scottish law is different to English law. Within English law we have made exceptions for certain groups for religious reasons (Sikhs not having to wear crash helmets or the Brethren having tax concessions are just a couple of examples).
Yes and I did not agree with that either......Get your helmets on the lot of you...More work for the NHS when they fall off....
 
#13
quote]You see the complexity?[/quote]

To be honest I don't. It seems as a nation we have lost the ability to be assertive. It has been confused with being aggressive or racist or one of many "ists." It is interesting that the older generation reject Sharia, whilst the younger relish it. This shows a failure in the last two decades. Could there be a correlation between a swing to a more liberal "rights" based outlook that pervades all forms of public service and the regulations the private sector has to labour under?

The almost daily spats over Sharia, female covering etc, mask the fundamental question. That is, “Do you support the rule of law and the democratic process as practiced in the UK?" It has been our failure firstly not assert our perceived way of life legally (eg Turkish law on covering, French law divorcing state from religion etc), and secondly assert the fundamental principles of living in our democracy.

Now if we were to assert those two ideas, would many people be offended? Yes, but I would wager that the majority would be the liberal left equality adviser type and not those who the message is aimed at.

PS: Don't you think the ruling on Sikh headdress originates from a fondness the British have of the Sikhs? A national anomaly surfacing in legislation, but not intended as a free for all?
 
#14
Goku said:
I’m not saying that if immigrants don’t accept our ways then they are not welcome, but they certainly can’t call themselves British if they can’t adapt to our culture.
Quite frankly, this is exactly what we should be saying! Gwailo posits the example of his Malaysian wife in the UK. Fair play to her. However, let me posit the position of non-Muslim expats in Saudi Arabia. They are welcomed in that country so long as they respect the strict laws and do not try and circumvent or change them. Those who deviate from what is deemed acceptable by the Saudi authorities, very quickly learn the error of their ways. I'm thinking here of the Christian Filipinos who have been executed for holding prayer meetings in private houses at which curious/open-minded muslims have been present.

The Saudis have a simple answer to expat grumbles about the lack of booze and the propensity of the Mutaween, the universally hated Saudi Religious Police, to beat expat wives in the street for the henious crime of showing too much ankle. That answer is: "Nobody forced you to live here. You know the score and if you are uncomfortable with that, don't come!"

The basic message for those who wish to come and live among us, of whatever faith, should be "When in Rome, do as the Romans." It's that simple.
 
#15
wh ydon't they bu**er off home if they don't like it so much? This 'molly-coddling' state is getting out of hand. Why can we not just say "If you don't like it, then leave!"
 
#16
in_the_cheapseats said:
Ultimately, it is nice for a religeous grouping to have its own law. However we live in a nation state and to that end, abide by the laws that prevail.
That would apply to the Kirk in Scotland, would it?
Or the Welsh Chapels?
 
#17
A nation should not be operated on laws applicable to some and not all.
Perhaps. We will all have our own opinion about that and I am not trying to tell anyone what they should think. What I am doing is pointing out that anyone who agrees with you must WANT CHANGE to our laws, because they do and have always been (to some extent) applicabke to some and not others. So you are not arguing to keep our laws as they have been traditionally, but for a depature from the way things are and always have been.

You see I think that many people actually imagine that all of our laws apply to all of us equally now or have done in the past, and that simply is not the case.

The example of sikhs in turbans getting dispensation from helmets is a disenginious to say the least.
It is an example of the faxt that our laws do not apply to us all equally. Nothing more and nothing less. I gave another of Plymouth Brethren being treated differently for tax purposes for religious reasons. I could, if I had the time or inclination, give you hundreds of examples where particular groups are treated differently by our laws. The reason for doing so is to point out that for from being unusual it is very very common.
 
#18
in_the_cheapseats said:
GwiaLo,

A good post but one with a few areas I have difficulty with.

You imply that there is justification for a section of society to operate under different laws than that of the rest of the land. You use Scotland whixh is, I would suggest is a poor example. Scotland has always operated under its own laws. It is Roman Law based rather than Anglo-saxon (a la south of the border) and has been a seperate operating system since long before the Union.

The example of sikhs in turbans getting dispensation from helmets is a disenginious to say the least.

A nation should not be operated on laws applicable to some and not all. A call to allow Shaira law to operate for a proportion of the population is simply not on.

The other difficulty I have is the law is subject to religous interpretation. I am not going to say that we haven't done the same in our past but I would hope that we are somewhat more enlightened these days.

The degree of interpretation that Shai is taken to in different countries of the world is worrying to say the least. The Taliban's take on interpretation is an example, an extreme one, I admit, but one that some wish to adhere to. Which interpretation would you advocate?

UK law (north or south of the border) is well established and provides for the totality of legal problems we face day to day. As a citizen of this country, prove that the law is unjust and we have a legal process to change or update it.

Ultimately, it is nice for a religeous grouping to have its own law. However we live in a nation state and to that end, abide by the laws that prevail.

Whilst you have my sympathies that we poor misguided individuals don't see just how good it would be to operate under Shia law, if you really don't like the way the system works and aren't willing to live within the framework of law that exists, you should go elsewhere.
Just a couple of quibbles about that post. Our laws are changing on a daily basis - Labour have brought in 3000 new laws and ordanances during their tenure, our law is not as inclusive as you seem to think.

Second point, if I feel a law is unjust or wrong then according to you I should leave the country instead of trying to get it changed? Best tell the countryside alliance for one to get their passports updated then.

While I agree with the main aim of your post surely it is the democractic way that if the majority want the law changing then it should be changed, always making sure you take into account the wishes of the minority as well, else you have mob rule and not democracy.

The question is when do immigrants get a say in changing the culture/laws of the land. Does a brand new immigrant clutching his freshly printed UK passport (which he got because he married into it) have as much right to change things as a 3rd generation immigrant who was born and bred here? If not then why not.
 
#19
The question is when do immigrants get a say in changing the culture/laws of the land. Does a brand new immigrant clutching his freshly printed UK passport (which he got because he married into it) have as much right to change things as a 3rd generation immigrant who was born and bred here? If not then why not.
You are complicating the issue. There is no problem with the above parties "getting a say" as long as that process follows the rule of law and is democratic.

Another question is why would the brand new immigrant want to change the law? They are here for a better quality of life. The problems arise in the 2 and 3rd generations, who have forgotton what motivated their family to move, but have suffered from a lack of leadership on OUR part to clearly lay out what the rules are.
 
#20
The degree of interpretation that Shai is taken to in different countries of the world is worrying to say the least. The Taliban's take on interpretation is an example, an extreme one, I admit, but one that some wish to adhere to. Which interpretation would you advocate?
I wouldn't advocate or adhere to any of them. I am not a muslim. I personally think all religion is all hocus pocus. But for the purposes of this discussion my personal views are niether here nor there.

What matters for the purpose of this debate is whether we are and want to remain a democratic nation, and if we do who should have the right to participate in the democratic system.

I can't go along with the idea that we ban people from participating solely because we don't like what they would vote for.
 

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