Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Just a small one: look at the graph below, courtesy of the Economist. Amongst all the collateral issues arising out of the WoT and the WoI, Muslims have been feeling alienated and discriminated against. Their opinions notwithstanding (individually or otherwise), we should get into perspective their status in this country, and treat them with the respect they deserve. Many words have been written about them; many hate crimes have been committed against them; many call for their expulsion (though quietly, privately amongst close friends). But there are not many of them in the UK, nor in the rest of Europe. I bet the average citizen of a Western country would be shocked by these statistics. I heard about a year ago on the radio that in a fair survey, respondents on average thought that asylum seekers represented 25% of the population of this country. In fact, it is 2%. Whether this reflects the average denizen's appalling mathematical skills or paranoia concerning refugees, it's not good. The media is in this case the one to blame. But then, who with a voice is going to blame the media? A paradox of modern democracies that has to be sorted out. Maybe I'll op-ed it soon, for I have many thoughts on the matter. If you don't mind, that is!
Graph of population of Muslims in Western Europe


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