Steve and I sat in the pub having fish and chips with a pint of beer, He was boiling with fury over ISIS, illegal immigrants and benefit scroungers and he made it clear that the quickest solution is to get out of the f—g EU.
I tried to simplify the discussion by dealing with each subject at a time; “You can’t just lump ISIS, illegal immigrants and benefit scroungers together. Let’s deal with each issue separately” I said. He wasn’t keen –‘It’s the bloody Muslims, not the Polish or the Albanians’. ‘Ah’, said I ‘But the Muslims are simply more visible, what with their beards, and women wearing hijabs and so on”. This received the reply – “Every time I watch the news on the telly, all I see is bloody Muslims either flooding Europe or killing innocent people as they did in France. I tried to convince him of how small a minority the terrorists are – “Obviously, there are people who sincerely view themselves as Muslims who have committed horrible acts in the name of Islam.”
But Steve ranted about mosques, sharia-law and demanded that the UK government should ban the burqa, “they ban it in France, we should ban it here.”
He began effing and blinding in a loud voice, blaming the EU and Muslims for everything. I asked him to calm down. We were attracting the attention of fellow diners and I didn’t want them thinking we were as common as muck. I played my final card; “I am of a Muslim background but I don’t want or expect anyone to bend backward to appease me. I, like many Muslims I know have integrated and do not want more mosques or any special treatment.”
He banged the table with his fist telling me that ISIS people, supporters and recruiters are here in London, why doesn’t David Cameron deal with them first before going after them in Syria?
So, I turned to solutions “If you could sit down with David Cameron, what actions you will demand from him to deal with the issues you complain about?
“Get out of the EU now, immediately”. Steve also wants the Channel Tunnel closed off with cement, so nobody can come to UK by train. I said this project cost UK and France some £12 billion and the French will not be happy. Steve said: “F—k the French. They can use the bloody ferry if they want to come to UK”.
Steve thinks pulling out of the European Union and blocking the Channel Tunnel would stem the flood of immigrants. At this point I said aren’t you confusing immigrants with refugees who escaped the war in Syria, only 5% of refugees said they are escaping from ISIS but over 90% are escaping from the regime’s barrel bombs and chemical weapons. Steve said fair enough but it is not our problem.
Commenting on the Tunnel I said even if it is closed, you can’t shut airports. He said there should be a special terminal for Muslims where they should be subjected to rigorous checks and interviews.” They should tell them “if you want to live in UK, you must accept this is Christian country, not a Muslim country, you must accept our laws and our way of life”. They must sign a statement that they accept. I am fed up with women hiding behind a black niqab in public”. I said this sounds draconian, he interrupted: if they don’t like it, they can go back. In fact; he added that he is in favour of a compulsory repatriation scheme. I asked him how this will work in practice. Steve said; “those Muslims who don’t like our way of life, should not expect us to adapt to them. If they want to live in an Islamic environment, they can choose to go back to an Islamic country where they can enjoy the niqab etc. Why should we keep building mosques for them and the Muslim countries don’t allow a single Christian church to be built”?
I asked how getting out of the EU will help the UK deal with terrorism, bearing in mind that the 7/7 terrorists were UK citizens and some of them were born in the UK? How can getting out of the EU stop another Lee Rigby type murder?
He shook his head, realizing the enormous challenges facing the UK in dealing with such issues, but remained adamant – he is not interested in the geo-political picture but in urgent steps to eradicate the problems with little regards to the consequences.
Tags: Burqa, ISIS, Muslims, Refugees, Terrorists, EU