Saudi-Sponsored Report Grossly Inflates U.S. Muslim Hate Crimes

In several cases, the authors misrepresented what was reported by the media, claiming as hates crimes cases that were never investigated as hate crimes.

BY Paul Sperry

August 19, 2016

A recently released academic report claiming the candidacy of GOP presidential nod Donald Trump has led to a mini-holocaust against Muslims in America is riddled with errors and exaggerations. Yet Muslim pressure groups are actively pushing it out to the media to support the notion that Muslims are the ones under violent attack.

Sponsored by the Saudi prince who tried to bribe then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani into saying U.S. foreign policy was to blame for 9/11, the “special report” — “When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections” — is designed to gin up sympathy for Muslims and shut down terrorism investigations in the Muslim community, as well as the presidential debate over Muslim immigration.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council — which was founded by known members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement — is distributing the report by Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in an email alert to members. MPAC’s president, Salam al-Marayati, who signed the emailed letter, was once kicked off the National Commission on Terrorism after his defense of terrorist acts and the groups who carry them out was revealed.

“During the course of 2015, there were approximately 174 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism, including: 12 murders; 29 physical assaults; 50 threats against persons or institutions; 54 acts of vandalism or destruction of property; 8 arsons; and 9 shootings or bombings, among other incidents,” the 73-page report claims. “The number of incidents in 2015 is also higher than the total number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in 2014: 154.”

Sounds terrible. But it’s not what it seems.

The only accurate part of the statement is that there were, in fact, 154 confirmed anti-Muslim incidents in 2014, according to FBI crime tables. That’s up from 135 cases in 2013 and 130 in 2012, but a far cry from the total number in 2001, when the FBI investigated 481 hate crimes against Muslims.

Even that high number isn’t as bad as it seems. Of the 554 victims of anti-Islamic crimes reported in 2001 — a year that included the murder of almost 3,000 Americans by 19 Muslim hijackers — more than half (296) were victims not of aggravated assault or even simple assault but of “intimidation.”

According to the Justice Department, hate crimes against Muslims have fallen dramatically since 9/11, and it’s unlikely 2015 will break the trend, Georgetown’s alarmism notwithstanding.

Its tally of 174 hate crimes last year is unofficial, unconfirmed and, as it turns out, grossly inflated. Its source is not the FBI, which won’t release actual data for 2015 hate crimes until November, but the media. “These incidents were reported by local and national news outlets,” it admits in a footnote in the report.

But Georgetown doesn’t even get that right. A review of press accounts of incidents cited as anti-Muslim hate crimes reveal that in several cases the authors of the Georgetown report misrepresented what was reported by the media, claiming as hates crimes cases that were never investigated as hate crimes.

In fact, some of the Muslims the authors claim were murdered because of their religion were in fact killed during a robbery. Hatred for their faith had nothing to do with it.

For example, the report claimed: “On April 19, in Lexington, Ky., Salahuddin Jitmoud, 22, was murdered outside an apartment building in what his faith community fear was a hate crime.”

In fact, Jitmoud, a pizza delivery driver, was gunned down in a robbery carried out by three black suspects. Police never even considered it a hate crime.

The report also counted as an “act of anti-Muslim violence” the following: “On Dec. 7, in Miami-Dade, Fla., someone shot a Muslim store clerk.”

That someone was an armed robber described as a black man who shot a food-mart operator after he refused to hand over the money from his cash register. Police are investigating it as a robbery, not a hate crime.

The report also falsely cites as an anti-Muslim hate crime the February 2015 murder of three Muslim students — Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha — who were shot by a neighbor near the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill campus.

Only, local law enforcement authorities investigating the murders cited a long-standing parking dispute as the likely motive. Even the Obama Justice Department has declined to prosecute the case as a hate crime. The main source claiming the triple homicide was religiously motivated is the victims’ Muslim-activist father.

The Georgetown report claimed instances of anti-Muslim violence surged “after Mr. Trump threw his hat into the presidential ring” on June 16, 2015. For instance:

•    “On July 1, in North Brunswick, New Jersey, a South Asian man was found on the side of the road, bleeding from the head after a bias attack.”

•    “On July 5, in Chico, California, the Fusion Hookah Lounge was set ablaze after two men drove by yelling threatening comments.”

But the New Jersey victim wasn’t even Muslim. He’s Hindu. And Chico investigators say there’s no evidence of a hate crime there.

In at least three other cases, Georgetown mistakenly counted Sikhs as victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

The report’s authors also counted as a hate crime the defacing of a “Hijab Day” poster hanging on a wall at Murray State University in Kentucky.

What’s more, they falsely claimed a Seattle mosque was targeted by arsons. Local authorities say a large building that housed several tenants including the mosque was set ablaze along with other property in a string of arsons last October. They said it did not appear the mosque, which was located on an upper floor, was targeted.

Increasingly, Muslim activists are faking anti-Muslim hate crimes across the country to prop up the fiction that Muslims are routinely victimized. Over the last few years, in fact, authorities have documented several totally fabricated cases. More and more Muslims are crying wolf, and the media are falling for it every time, numbing the public to real cases of religiously motivated violence.

There is no pogrom against Muslims. It’s a myth. In fact, there are fewer attacks on Muslims today than a decade ago and a third as many as 2001. And even then, they were dwarfed by attacks on Jews, most of which were instigated by … Muslims. In 2014, the 609 crimes against Jews were four times the number of crimes against Muslims.

The real problem is anti-Semitism, something that radical, Saudi-backed mosques and madrassas in America are guilty of spreading in their hateful sermons and literature every week. Of the total of 1,140 victims of anti-religious hate crimes reported by the FBI in 2014, a whopping 57% were Jewish. Only 16% were Muslim.

In the latest rash of anti-Semitism, pro-Palestinian thugs have been attacking Jews at the University of Tennessee and other U.S. campuses.

Hysteria over “Islamophobic” hate crimes is merely used by radical Islamist groups such as MPAC and the Council on American-Islamic Relations to stifle criticism of the jihadism and Shariah creep they promote. It’s noteworthy that terrorist front CAIR is bankrolled by the sponsor of the Georgetown hate-crimes report: Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

After 9/11, bin Talal offered Giuliani $10 million in disaster relief on the condition he call on Washington to reexamine U.S. policy in the Middle East. The former New York mayor rejected his blood money.

If politicians and the media continue to take such phony alarmism seriously, the public risks focusing on imaginary threats against Muslims while ignoring real threats by Muslims.

Al Jazeera poll suggests 81 percent of Arab Muslims support ISIS

by Andrew Mark Miller - May 26, 2015

Even if this poll is wildly inaccurate, President Obama's statement that 99.9% of Muslims reject ISIS is false.

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2015 –, the Al Jazeera Arabic media network web site, recently conducted an online poll asking the question, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?”  Thirty-eight thousand people across the Arab world responded to the poll and a shocking 81 percent of those polled came back with an answer of “Yes.”

This poll should be taken with a grain of salt for many reasons.  First, Al Jazeera has a well-documented track record of sympathizing with radical Islamic extremists.  The network is run by the royal family of Qatar, which has been accused several times of directly funding the Islamic State.  A similar poll was released by Al Jazeera following the tragic events of 9/11, and 50 percent of respondents voiced support for Osama bin Laden.  Words like “terrorism” and “insurgency” are rarely mentioned on the network and are often replaced with “resistance” or “struggle.”

The second reason to question this poll is that it took place online.  It is very difficult to track any background information when surveying people online and it is nearly impossible to prevent anyone from voting more than once or from sharing it with ideologically similar friends.

However, despite the possibility that 81 percent might not be the exact figure, it is still surprisingly high.  Even if the poll is off by 30 percent in terms of how most Muslims in the Arab world feel, that still means that half the people in the Middle East are sympathetic toward ISIS. That would completely contradict the popular claim that the “vast majority” of Muslims are peace-loving people who abhor terrorism.

President Obama even went so far as to say that 99.9 percent of Muslims are “moderate.”  If this recent Al Jazeera poll is even remotely an accurate glimpse into the Muslim world, it would render President Obama’s statement mathematically impossible.  If the 81 percent figure is off by a whopping 75 percent, even that would call into question Obama’s sweeping generalization.

To say that 99.9 percent of Muslim reject terrorism, as the president stated, has become almost asinine at this point. Countless polls have been conducted in the Middle East that have all come up with the same consensus that terrorism is not overwhelmingly rejected as a way to solve problems.

In Jordan, 72 percent of the population supports Hamas, which, as most people know, is a ruthless terrorist organization responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. In Egypt, that number is 48 percent.

In Egypt, Malaysia, and Lebanon at least 15 percent of the population believes that suicide bombings are sometimes justified.

In Turkey, 86 percent of the population has a negative view of Israel, which is 1 percent higher than the number of people who have a negative view of the Islamic State.
Eight percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people have a favorable view of the Taliban.
The list goes on and on.

When compared to the overall number of Muslims on the planet, which is roughly 1.6 billion, the 38,000 people in this poll might not seem like a big deal. However, not only is 81 percent an extremely high number that is well above any standard margin of error, the Al Jazeera audience is estimated at around 40 million.  Based on that number, this poll suggests that over 30 million Muslims in Arab countries are sympathetic to ISIS, which is a truly startling number.

Every article published and every news story issued lately has been required to include the tired qualifier that “not all Muslims support violence” and that “most Muslims are peaceful people,” and while that is certainly true, it has become almost impossible to deny that an enormously high number of Muslims in Arab speaking countries are sympathetic to radical jihad.

Support for Suicide Bombings and Bin Laden Still High Among Some Muslims

Friday, September 11, 2009

By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

 ( – A new survey gauging Muslim attitudes indicates that backing for suicide bombings against civilians, while generally down from earlier years, remains significant in some Islamic countries – challenging the assertion that Muslims supporting terrorism constitute a “tiny minority.”
In the Pew Global Attitudes Project poll released on Thursday, 68 percent of Palestinian Muslim respondents said suicide bombings against civilians were justifiable “to defend Islam from its enemies.”
That view was shared by 43 percent of respondents in Nigeria and 38 percent in Lebanon, where 51 percent of Shi’ites held the view compared to 25 percent of Sunnis.
Elsewhere, the proportion of Muslim respondents supporting suicide bombings against civilians was 15 percent in Egypt, 13 percent in Indonesia, 12 percent in Jordan, seven percent in Israel (Muslim Arab citizens), five percent in Pakistan and four percent in Turkey.
Of the eight countries polled, support for suicide bombings increased since last year in five of them.
On the other hand, this year’s results show a decline over the period since 2002.
Pakistan recorded the most striking drop: In 2004, 41 percent of respondents justified suicide terrorism, whereas the number recorded this year was five percent. Terrorism has surged in Pakistan since 2007, and this year alone, at least 750 people had been killed and 2,276 injured in 365 bombings inside Pakistan as of the end of August, according to figures compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal in New Delhi.
The Pew survey also found although majorities in Nigeria (54 percent) and the Palestinian territories (52 percent) expressed “confidence in the al Qaeda leader [Osama bin Laden] to do the right thing regarding world affairs.”
In the other countries surveyed, the Saudi terrorist enjoyed the backing of 28 percent of respondents in Jordan, 25 percent in Indonesia, 23 percent in Egypt, 18 percent in Pakistan, 16 percent in Israel, four percent in Lebanon and two percent in Turkey.
The biggest drop in support for bin Laden was measured in Indonesia (down 34 points since 2003), Jordan (down 28 points) and Pakistan (down 28 points). The trend in Nigeria was in the opposite direction – up 10 points since 2003.
‘Tiny minority’
The poll comes amid reports that the New York Police Department – after taking flak from Muslim organizations – has inserted into a key report on terrorism a “statement of clarification,” saying among other things that “a tiny minority of Muslims … subscribe to al-Qaeda’s ideology of war and terror.”
The two-page statement has been added to a report first drawn up by two NYPD intelligence analysts in 2007 and reportedly used by government agencies around the U.S.  The report is entitled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat.”
The report examines the jihadist ideology, inspiration provided by al-Qaeda, and the process of radicalization, including political, social, economic and personal factors that can act as catalysts. It also highlights the role of the Internet in disseminating the jihadist ideology.
When the report first came out, it caused a stir among Islamic organizations. In response, some came together to form the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC), which late last year released a critique.
In it, MACLC said the NYPD report “presents a distorted and misleading depiction of Islam and its adherents,” calls their loyalties and motivations into question, and “erroneously associates religious precepts with violence and terror.”
It contested the NYPD’s argument that the threat of “Islamic-based radicalism” was growing, calling it unsubstantiated and speculative.
To back up that position, MACLC cited a 2008 Gallup Center for Muslim Studies survey which found that across 10 Muslim-majority nations, the radicalized group – those saying 9/11 was “completely justified” and voicing an unfavorable opinion of the U.S. – comprised “about seven percent of the total population.” (Seven percent of 1.3 billion, the estimated number of the world’s Muslims, is 91 million).
The “statement of clarification” now inserted by the NYPD points out that the report focuses on terrorism in the West, inspired by and linked to al-Qaeda.
“The twisted ideology that underpins this specific type of terrorism claims its
legitimacy from an extremist misinterpretation of Islam. As a consequence, this particular type of terrorist ideology has historically found most of its supporters to be Muslim.
“Nevertheless, NYPD understands that it is a tiny minority of Muslims who
subscribe to al-Qaeda’s ideology of war and terror and that the NYPD’s focus on al-Qaeda inspired terrorism should not be mistaken for any implicit or explicit justification for racial, religious or ethnic profiling.”
In a letter to NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly this week, MACLC welcomed the appearance of the “statement of clarification” but said the police department needs to do more to publicize the move, which it said had apparently been made “without any public announcement.”
It also argued that the report itself remained unchanged, and said it regretted that the statement of clarification “was relegated to an insert within the report, rather than being implemented throughout the text itself.”

Trouble in Londonistan

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
July 11, 2006

The London transport bombings of July 2005 prompted no less than eight surveys of Muslim opinion in the United Kingdom within the year. When added to two surveys from 2004, they provide in the aggregate a unique insight into the thinking of the nearly 2 million Muslims in " Londonistan." The hostile mentality they portray is especially alarming when one recalls that London's police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, recently said that the threat of terrorism "is very grim" because there are, "as we speak, people in the United Kingdom planning further atrocities."

The July 7 attacks: About one in 20 British Muslims has voiced overt sympathy for the bombings a year ago. Separate polls find that between 2% and 6% endorse the attacks, 4% refuse to condemn them, 5% believe the Koran justifies them, and 6% say the suicide bombers were acting in accord with the principles of Islam.

Without endorsing the attacks, far larger numbers show an understanding for them: Thirteen percent say the July 7 suicide bombers should be regarded as "martyrs," 16% say the attacks were wrong but the cause was right, while 20% feel sympathy for the "feelings and motives" of the attackers. A whopping 56% can see "why some people behave in that way."

Help the police? A worrisome number of Muslims would not help the police if they suspected a fellow Muslim was planning a terrorist attack, ranging in different surveys from 5% to 14% to 18%.

Violence acceptable? Before 7/7, 11% found it acceptable "for religious or political groups to use violence for political ends" but only 4% thought so after the attacks, showing a rare improvement. Two polls turned up the identical figure of 7% of Muslims endorsing suicide attacks on civilians in Britain. (Among 18- to 24-year-olds, those most likely to carry out such an attack, the number jumps to 12%.) How about suicide attacks on the military in Britain? Positive answers came in at 16% and 21% (with 28% of 18- to 24-year-olds). Are the respondents themselves willing to embrace violence to bring an end to "decadent and immoral" Western society? One percent, or some 16,000 persons, answered in the affirmative.

Muslim or British: Polling indicates that a majority of Muslims perceive a conflict between their British and Muslim identities. Two polls show that only a small proportion identifies itself first as a British (7% and 12%), but they differ widely on the number who identify first with their religion (81% and 46%).

Implementing Islamic law: Muslims widely state that Shariah should reign in Britain. Forty percent approve of Shariah being applied in predominantly Muslim areas, and 61% want Shariah courts to settle civil cases among Muslims. All of 58% want those who criticize or insult Islam to face criminal prosecution. Schools should be prohibited from banning female pupils from wearing the hijab, say 55%, while 88% insist that schools and work places should accommodate Muslim prayer times.

Integration into Britain: In a nearly mirror-image of each other, 65% say Muslims need to do more to integrate into mainstream British culture, and 36% say modern British values threaten the Islamic way of life. Twenty-seven percent feel conflicted between loyalty to fellow Muslims and to Britain. Of those who despise Western civilization and think Muslims "should seek to bring it to an end," 32% endorse nonviolent means and 7% violent means.

Attitudes toward Jews: Polls confirm that the antisemitism widespread in the Muslim world also rears its head in Britain. About half the Muslims polled believe that Jews in Britain have too much influence over Britain's foreign policy and are in league with the Freemasons to control its press and politics. Some 37% consider Jews in Britain "legitimate targets as part of the ongoing struggle for justice in the Middle East," and 16% state that suicide bombings can be justified in Israel. (Among 18- to 24-year-olds, that number rises to 21%.)

In sum, more than half of British Muslims want Islamic law and 5% endorse violence to achieve that end. These results demonstrate that Britain's potential terrorists live in a highly nurturing community.


One in 5 Muslim Indonesians backed Bali bombs - survey

Friday, July 28, 2006

JAKARTA (Reuters) - One fifth of Indonesian Muslims surveyed in March said militant bombings that killed more than 220 people on the resort island of Bali were justified because of the decadent lifestyle there, according to a survey.

The survey of 1,200 people, carried out by Jakarta's State Islamic University, also found that 16.1 percent of respondents supported the September 11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center that killed almost 3,000 people.

Many mainstream Muslims around the world have condemned militant violence, such as the Bali bombings and September 11, as not in keeping with the teachings of their religion.

Researcher Jajat Burhanudin, author of the study, blamed the findings on Islamic teachings that he said justified violence in the name of the faith.

"The behaviour of religious violence that is developing in Indonesia at the moment is strongly rooted to the understanding over Islamic teachings that justify violence", Burhanudin said in a statement.

"There must be a firm and strategic policy from the government to stop violent acts in the name of religion that have been growing in Indonesia lately," he said.

Some 85 percent of Indonesia's 220 million people follow Islam, making it the world's most populous Muslim country.

Although most Indonesian Muslims are considered relatively moderate and the government is officially secular, hardline groups are becoming increasingly vocal and visible.

According to the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, 18.1 percent of respondents supported the murder of Muslims who converted to other faiths, while 23.1 percent said they were willing to wage war for Muslims in Iraq.

The October 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali killed 202 people, most of them tourists.

Islamic militants also carried out suicide blasts on the predominantly Hindu island that is Indonesia's prime foreign tourist destination in October 2005, killing 20 people.


What young British Muslims say can be shocking - some of it is also true

French Muslims identify with France more than their British counterparts do with Britain. We need to understand why

Timothy Garton Ash
Thursday August 10, 2006
The Guardian

For anyone who has hoped and believed, as I have, that the British way of integrating Muslim citizens is more promising than the French one, the last year has been discouraging. Following the shock of the July 7 London bombings, perpetrated by young Muslims born and educated here, we now have the results of two recent opinion polls, an excellent TV documentary by Channel 4's Jon Snow, and the sombre warnings of Britain's most senior Muslim policeman. All convey the same message. Not only do many young British Muslims feel more alienated from the country they live in than their parents did - that's true of Muslims from immigrant families right across Europe - but the sense of not belonging seems to be even more acute in Britain than in France.

In a poll conducted for the Channel 4 documentary, only half the British Muslims questioned said they thought of Britain as "my country", whereas nearly a quarter said they thought of it as "their country" - meaning someone else's. The younger respondents were, the greater the alienation. Shockingly, one in three British Muslims aged between 18 and 24 said they would rather live under Sharia law than under British law. In a Pew poll of Muslims worldwide, a gob-smacking 81% of British Muslims said they thought of themselves as a Muslim first and a citizen of their country only second. This is a higher proportion than in Jordan, Egypt or Turkey, and exceeded only by that in Pakistan (87%). By contrast, only 46% of French Muslims said they were Muslims first, compared with 42% who felt themselves first and foremost citizens

Why is this? Here are a few possible explanations, none of which are mutually exclusive. It may have something to do with the different regions from which French and British Muslims come. I find it suggestive that the only country to top the British score was Pakistan. And to where do most British Muslims trace their origins? Well, nearly half of them have their roots in Pakistan, and another quarter-million or so in India and Bangladesh. A very large number hail from just one region: Kashmir. Is there something about the particular religiosity of Kashmiri, Pakistani and more broadly south Asian Islam, and the way it develops in interraction with a European host culture, as opposed to the Islam of the Maghreb, from which most French Muslims come?

Then, and most obviously, Blair's Britain has been the most prominent ally of Bush's America in the Washington-styled GWOT (global war on terror), seen by many young Muslims as a GWOI (global war on Islam). By contrast, Chirac's France has positioned itself, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Lebanon today, as an opponent of the GWOT/I and in some measure a friend (or appeaser, to American and British neocons) of Muslims in general and Arabs in particular. There is now overwhelming evidence that Blair's foreign policy, and especially the role of British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, has contributed very significantly to the alienation of British Muslims in general, and younger, better-educated ones in particular. In the Channel 4 poll, nearly one third of young British Muslims agreed with the suggestion that "the July bombings were justified because of British support for the war on terror". That's truly shocking.

This doesn't mean Blair's foreign policy has been all wrong. For example, I believe that the intervention in Afghanistan was entirely justified, because the al-Qaida terrorist network that demolished the twin towers was based in that failed state. The tragedy is that, instead of then devoting our resources to rebuilding Afghanistan, we rushed on to the neocons' war of choice in Iraq, thus creating two bloody failures instead of one possible success. But, whatever you think of the policies in detail, there is no question that they have angered young British Muslims.

I have always thought that the very undemanding vagueness, the duffle-coat bagginess of Britishness was an advantage when it comes to making immigrants and their descendants feel at home here. After all, what have you traditionally required in order to be British? An ability to talk about the weather at inordinate length. Being willing to mind your own business, to live and let live. A general inclination to obey the law of the land, more or less. Perhaps a mild interest in the royal family, football or cricket. That's about it. The very idea of talking about ourselves as "citizens" has seemed to the British vaguely pretentious and foreign, more specifically French - and therefore bad. But perhaps a more demanding civic-national identity, like that of the French Republic, has its advantages after all, giving a stronger sense of identity and belonging. (Whether we can change this by state-ordered pep talks on Britishness and citizenship is another question; although I do think more can be done in schools.)

Another possible reason is that Britain now has one of the most libertine societies in Europe. Particularly among younger Brits in urban areas, which is where most British Muslims live, we drink more alcohol faster, sleep around more, live less in long-lasting, two-parent families, and worship less, than almost anyone in the world. It's clear from what young British Muslims themselves say that part of their reaction is against this kind of secular, hedonistic, anomic lifestyle. If women are reduced to sex-objects, young Muslim women say, I would rather cover up. Theirs is almost a kind of conservative feminism. Certainly, it's a socially conservative critique of some aspects of British society, particularly visible in their generation, in the urban neighbourhoods where they live.

And the critique is nuanced. Half those asked for the Channel 4 programme thought Muslim girls should make up their own minds whether to wear the hijab to school. Nearly a third of female respondents felt there was some truth in the idea that Islam treats women as second-class citizens. (The men just couldn't see it. Now I wonder why ...) And a majority said that British society treats women with respect.

Whatever the mix of causes for this alienation, we need to escape from seeing British Muslims only through the prism of two currently prevailing paradigms: the terrorism paradigm and the backwardness paradigm.

The former starts from the question: how can we prevent our Muslims becoming terrorists? A reasonable enough question, but if this becomes the predominant way of looking at British Muslims (Muslim = potential terrorist), it risks contributing to the very effect it aims to avoid. The latter asks: how can we help these people to integrate better into our modern, progressive, liberal, secular society? Its implicit equation is: hijab = backwardness.

The idea that these young British Muslims might actually be putting their fingers on some things that are wrong with our modern, progressive, liberal, secular society; the idea that rational persons might freely choose to live in a different, outwardly more restricted way; these hardly feature in everyday progressive discourse. But they should.

Articulate British Muslims, as encountered on Jon Snow's Channel 4 documentary and in magazines such as Q-News and Emel, are not merely telling us non-Muslim Brits a lot about themselves. They are also telling us something about ourselves.