Riots in the North of England, and the anti-Muslim hysteria whipped up as part of the "War on Terror" campaign pushed the question of "integration" of the immigrants into the British Culture onto the 'political' agenda. And now with the electoral panic in France the issue is even more in the news.
But, as usual in 'political' debates, people argue and express strong views about slogans and catch phrases without making the effort to ask themselves what they mean.
This human habit is not new. In the Qur'an (revealed over 1400 years ago) the phrase "Why do you argue about things which you do not understand?" is repeated a number of times in different variations and contexts.
The Qur'an itself, by contrast, seeks to define and explain concepts which it introduces by asking the question: "What is ... ?" and then explaining the concept.
So let us ask ourselves, what does it mean to "integrate" as applicable to immigrants?
Apparently, the general answer is: "to acquire the values of the native (aboriginal) society".
So what are these modern British values that the immigrants should seek to acquire?
Adopt the alcohol culture, requiring one to debilitate one's senses by consuming alcohol on every occasion, and with the same regularity as Muslims perform their daily prayers?
Adopt the habit of wasting one's time watching spectator sports, which does nothing to improve one's fitness?
Become a football hooligan?
Try to improve one's financial position by joining a trade union,rather then relying on one's own efforts?
Join a political party, a group of arrogant, ignorant, intrinsically dishonest people seeking to control other people's lives?
Take up gambling?
Become pop music fans?
Start frequenting penile puppetry shows?
Get involved into a series of sex relationships with persons of either sex, instead of getting married?
All the above are the modern British values, which I happened to observe emerging and establishing themselves during the past 30 years.
Would adopting all these values be seen as qualification for Britishness, and if not all, then which ones are the mandatory ones?
There used to be other values in Britain:
Honesty the Best policy,
Personal responsibility for the results of ones own actions,
Chastity before Marriage,
Marriage (between people of opposite sex) as a norm of life,
Respect for property,
Respect for law.
But these are what today's politicians have worked hard to eradicate from the British society. They decry these values as old-fashioned 'Victorian' values of the barbaric 18th century, which have no place in the 'modern', 'enlightened' society which they seek to establish.
These 'old-fashioned Victorian' values also happen to be the values of the Qur'an.
And those immigrants who follow these values are successful in Britain and anywhere they go. Those who follow the 'modern' British values fail.
The Asian youngsters involved in the riots which inspired Mr. Blunkett to an act of political 'doing-something-aboutism' were not children of 'illegal immigrants', they were children of Asians who were encouraged to come to Britain by the British government to provide cheap labour for the declining textile industries of the North.
They were victims of the 'social policies' in the same way as the native 'working class' who were goaded into council estates and encouraged to depend on government for the basic comforts of life, and thus deprived of the sense of responsibility for their own lives.
Those immigrants who came to Britain legally, or 'illegally', and did not rely on the various social benefits, but took responsibility for their own lives, now own businesses that provide employment to other immigrants and to the natives as well. They do not riot. But they do not use alcohol, have arranged marriages, are not homosexual, do not gamble, are not pop fanatics, are not members of a trade union, do not vote (not because they are 'apathetic' or 'indifferent', but because no politician is worth voting for), and their women observe hijab and do not frequent penile puppetry shows.
Are they well "integrated"?
And if not, should they, Mr. Blunkett?