This dhimmi Guardian piece (thanks to Anthony) about a new film depicting British “Islamophobia” contains a revealing detail: while filming an episode of harassment of a Muslim, two passing Brits who didn’t realize they were stepping into a film shoot stopped to intervene in defense of the person being assaulted. But the Guardian writer, Stuart Jeffries, dismisses this as evidence that the British are not as violent and xenophobic as the film suggests. Nor does he consider that British “Islamophobia” may be driven more from suspicion about the intentions of British Muslims to try to institute Sharia there, rather than racism or bigotry.
Jeffries hopes that it will do some good for beleaguered Muslims in Britain. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that it would do much greater good for Muslims in Britain to cooperate fully with anti-terror efforts, and help authorities identify all the followers of Omar Bakri and Al-Muhajiroun, among others.
On Monday the BNP announced that its leader, Nick Griffin, would stand as parliamentary candidate for Keighley, one of West Yorkshire’s most racially sensitive towns, in the next election. By a happy coincidence, this is the town in which Yasmin, a film about a Muslim community in northern England dealing with Islamophobia after the 9/11 attacks, was filmed. I say “happy” because the film’s most moving scene shows Keighley in a more racially harmonious light than would ever be dreamt of in Griffin’s philosophy.
In that scene, a gang of young white boys throw milk at a Muslim woman wearing a burka in a Keighley shopping precinct and yell at her to go home. Simon Beaufoy’s script has the eponymous Yasmin comforting the distressed woman, but what is particularly lovely about the scene is that an elderly white woman, appalled at the boys’ behaviour, rushes up to the two women to apologise.
The woman turns out to have been a passing shopper who did not realise she had stumbled on to a film shoot. “It was such a great unscripted moment, we decided we had to keep it in,” says producer Sally Hibbin. “There was also an old bloke who started coming over and attacking the kids for what they were doing. He didn’t know we were making a film, either.”
A sceptic might argue that these real-life interventions subvert the film’s rather schematic perspective on Islamophobia in northern England. But that would be a tad unfair: Kenny Gleenan’s film, based on six months’ research in Asian communities in Pennine mill towns by two white, middle-class men (Gleenan and Beaufoy), is evidently an important picture dramatising how Muslim communities in Britain have been tormented in the wake of 9/11.