Geet Wilders

Elliot's weekly round-up: Immigration, Integration & Islam



The election  held in The Netherlands this week  was dominated by the theme  of immigration, integration and Islam.

Geet Wilders party which wanted to ban the Qur'an and mosques has only gained a few additional seats and so will be ruled out of talks about forming a coalition. 

The European Union has ruled that employers can ban visible religious symbols in the workplace. This has potentially huge implications for hijab wearing Muslim women all over Europe. Some have welcomed the ruling others have feel it discriminates against Muslims.


For Muslim women a headscarf is not an accessory; rather, it is a part of their belief. So, just like one’s ethnicity, it can’t be changed or replaced. The headscarf ban will keep Muslim women out of jobs and business

The final episode of Extremely British Muslims was shown this week on Channel 4. It was about how Muslims live by the rules from the Qur'an and Hadith.

It featured brothers Shaun and Lee, who couldn't be more different. Shaun has become a Muslim and is now known as Abdul. His wife is Pakistani. His brother, Lee, is/was a member of the English Defence League.

On their visits to each other, with their families, having frank chats in the back garden, they reminisce about the good old days.

“We liked going out and getting wrecked, didn’t we?” says Lee. Abdul, you didn’t! Oh, but he did. “The party was always at our house,” he smiles – is that nostalgia or regret?

They laugh together about Abdul’s ginger beard, while Lee admits he used to think Muslims were baddies and that, by attending EDL rallies, he was “sticking up for his country”. Asked if he would ever go to the mosque with his brother, Lee gives an honest no, prompting Abdul to say:

If any of his friends saw him in a mosque, that would look bad

How can we respond to en election, a European ruling, a TV documentary set in Birmingham. I have been reading a book this week - it has a suggestion.