By Daniela Castro
By Daniela Castro
New York – The increasing number of terrorist attacks and immigrants flowing from Muslim countries to Europe has sparked discussions about how to counteract Islamic radicalization, putting Muslims at the center of the debates.
Trevor Phillips, a British writer and former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the Policy Exchange think tank on Monday night that Muslims “see the world differently from the rest of us,” reported the Times.
“Continuously pretending that a group is somehow eventually going to become like the rest of us is perhaps the deepest form of disrespect,” said Mr. Phillips.
Implying that Muslims are still not civilized to catch up with people of different religious persuasions, he said, “Because what you are essentially saying is the fact they behave in a different way, some of which we may not like, is because they haven’t yet seen the light. It may be that they see the world different from the rest of us.”
“Part of the integration process is for the rest of us to grasp that people aren’t going to change their views simply because we are constantly telling them that basically they should be like us,” he continued.
Phillips statement did not sit well with the Muslim community in the UK. A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told the Times, “It assumes that Muslims are not equal, and not civilized enough to be part and parcel of British society, which they most certainly are.”
Last week, Prime Minster David Cameron announced a £20 million ($28.5 million) English language tuition fund to “combat social isolation for some Muslim women,” and claimed that migrants who do not pass an English test cannot extend their stay in the United Kingdom or seek citizenship, linking a failure to integrate into British society to terrorism.
Writing in the Times, he said issues like gender segregation, discrimination, and the isolation of some women in society could help lead some to slide towards radicalization and extremism.
According to the MCB, Muslims are only one third of Britain’s minority population—around two million Muslims, or 4.8 percent of United Kingdom’s population. It is estimated that approximately six percent of the Muslim population struggles with the English language.
According to various reports, around 750 British Muslims have joined ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq over the last three to four years.