Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How the Steel Was Tempered: An insight into the life of British Muslims

Britishness is the most nominal aspect of identity to many young British Pakistanis. The thinking in Britain's political class has at last begun to move on this front, but when our tube bombers were growing up, any notion that an idea of Britishness should be imposed on minorities was seen as offensive. Britons themselves were having a hard time believing in Britishness. If you denigrate your own culture you face the risk of your newer arrivals looking for one elsewhere. So far afield in this case, that for many second-generation British Pakistanis, the desert culture of the Arabs held more appeal than either British or subcontinental culture. Three times removed from a durable sense of identity, the energised extra-national worldview of radical Islam became one available identity for second-generation Pakistanis. The few who took it did so with the convert's zeal: plus Arabe que les Arabes.

Another investigative journalism article trying to address the burning question of how Britain's 7/7 came about.
There's lots of interesting stuff in it but I qouted this passage coz it caused me a great pain reading it. Yes, pain and shame. I'm sort of an Anglophile. So to realize that today's British society, at least its chattering classes, are so engulfed in self-hatred makes me seething with frustration and anger.
I'd be opposed to it even the reprecussions of that self-hatred weren't so deadly. But what price in human lives the West should pay to stop hating itself.
But again, being some class of an insider, I'm perfectly aware of the sheer volume of dissertations, articles, research papers that have been written social scholars in Western universities the guiding principle of which would be to exercise this self-hatred yet from another angle. Those people won't go away for they've made their careers on it.

P.S. the first half of this post's title refers to a famous Soviet book by Nikolai Ostrovskii (Kak zakalyalas stal' in the original) which depicts the life of a young communist Pavel Korchagin.


At 6:30 AM, Blogger Pavel Koschagin said...

Hi, I'm vietnamese. I like "How steel was tempered" by Nikolai Ostrovsky. So do you, don't you? I am very happy when i know that you read this novel.


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