The first two weeks of August have been a troublesome period for those in the Great Britain; who have seen a riot in Tottenham escalate to widespread unrest across the city and beyond within 72 hours: plundering, attacks on security forces, the burning of houses, vehicles, and residential buildings. We, the Pakistanis, are more accustomed to seeing burnt out vehicles, and buildings on our TV screens on the streets of Baghdad, Kabul or Karachi than we are in London. So it’s a profound embarrassment for the UK which is a country without the profundity of troubles affecting those other places mentioned. It is hardly astonishing that people are trying to assess the reasons of this chaos.
The quickly contagious character of this vulgar unrest suggests it was not merely correlated to the shooting by police of a ‘suspect’ last week.
There will be days or weeks before the inquiry committees are set up, and months before they report their conclusions. Until then, the masses will keep on commenting as to the probable causes of what went wrong, and where. Whether Mark Duggan was shot by police because he was an imminent threat to anyone or not, may or may not emerge. Whether or not the nonviolent protest was carelessly handled by the police will be a subject of debate, rather than a factual finding. Legal questions will be raised about the closing of youth clubs and youth projects in response to the government’s debt condition; and the percentile of youth joblessness. Are these violent mobs of youth, who will likely pay a great deal for their destruction if they are caught on CCTV, victims of the bankers? Probably Yes, or Probably Not. Many will doubtlessly debate on these issues.
But no matter what the discourse, the ‘scenes’ will make UK contemplate long and hard about how disconnected they are from the segment of the public that is fully engaged in an immoral violent behavior. The press releases of democratic leaders, that such violent attitude is ‘unacceptable’, look at best a statement of the apparent, and at most evil a evidence that they had no clue that things were this terrible in their own kingdom. Just as with Breivik, and Lehman Brothers, they had NO CLUE it was approaching.
Firstly, just about all commentaries about community unity in the past decade had matured on the Muslim population, and how minutely they had assimilated in to the social order – to the elimination of all other troubles. Britain, like other hard-core capitalist countries, has fault lines based on religion, age, race and urban liberals versus ‘middle Englanders’ [not almost as inflated as the liberal versus conservative crack in the USA, which is described by vigorous mutual loathing]. The present state of affairs should seriously make UK government become conscious how much the mob-infused youth have in familiar with the suburban mainstream watching in dreadfulness. This is as huge a model of a deficiency of social consistency as one could ever anticipate emerging.
Secondly, this violent group has been failed by those in authority, the civilisation and the system for generations; and this disregard has been inflated by politicians mechanising the case that the Muslim population is the obstruction to social synchronisation in the general society. Those who had been diverting all concentration on Muslims rather than addressing the real social pulling-together issues must split some of the guilt for what is happening today.
Thirdly, whenever citizens address any anti-social actions and growing lack of reverence in society they do not critically tackle why these attitudes have degenerated over several decades. The debate usually halts at how the capitalist system has added to the inequalities. Some will soon comprehend that the credit-crunch has come back home to bite, and the splits in ‘Broken Britain’ have been uncovered.
But very seldom do we have an sincere debate on how liberal principles have contributed to the collapse of family life; and how the crash of families has advanced to a couple of generations of young people becoming disengaged from ethical and moral principles that their ancestors collectively held in the post war era.
Very seldom do we see a study of how the capitalist system led to this breakdown of family life, as populace had to prioritise work, and the quest of money, over the ties of family and the society. Though they may sometimes truthfully appraise how capitalism encouraged uncontrolled individualism, such that people think of themselves and not others, they do not really consider how that has portrayed and let from the banker to the looter, both who apparently only recognize their own sense of self-entitlement. They do not believe that a society that feels free to insult and disrespect the sacred, will eventually and inevitably disrespect itself.
The vices of the capitalist system: the principles of individualism, lack of reverence and nonexistence of any sense of eventual accountability – these are too essential and intensely disturbing for policy makers in the West to tackle.
With the evident cracks in the western system of governance emerging with the ongoing riots, credit crunches, and debt crises, it seems that the London Bridge is burning down again, and the Muslims in the West will strive hard to safeguard standards of family, society, and realisation of their Creator in their homes, in spite of opposition from those who hold ill feeling to Islam, and would have a preference to see them adopt British values. The Muslims in the East, like those on the subcontinent, the Far East, Central Asia and the Middle East will strive rigorously to question if their salvation lies in the pursuit of secular values of the evidently declining West, or in the understanding and implementation of the 1300 years time-tested system of governance of Islam in the form of Caliphate, one way or the other. The debate is but becoming astoundingly inevitable!
think this is nothing new to london ,Riots and Terrorism are as old to London as the history of this city itself.
I do not think it is a failure of Capitalism .It is not a failure of capitalist society it is a failure of Social Welfare society falling apart because of abuse of social welfare system.Education ,housing and food and now they think they deserve a footballer life style on government money or else it is an injustice ???????
london always bounce back and recovers quickly from such shocks .
European or Christian countries or capitalist countries have their own morality and values .It is wrong to compare Capitalist society with Asian or Chinese or Arabic countries or continents at all.
The set of values ,beliefs and way of life is completely different .
Yes the corrupt Bankers and complacent governments have ruined the economy and robbed innocent people of the money.It is interesting to know that this corruption of big corporates and stock market speculation etc had started in USA . It is interesting as well that this gang culture widely exist in US and is shown in US films ,music and record industry etc.
How cool is it when a footballer or Justin timberlake wears a hoodie and sneakers ?
How cool is it when footballers have a shaven head and fingers full of bling infront of your eyes every where from Nike to Reebok to Music channles to films to live football pitches.
The gang culture is glorified in a very loathsome way ,and this gang culture is about the money ,big bling, big cars and big guns.
The problem is with the gang culture and I think police and government know it .They all tried to ignore it because it is no joke Prime Minister can go home because of these riots.So who will bell the cat ?
Yes I do agree the British media and government over did the Pakistani ,Muslim,Terrorism links etc but it was so because we do not react BUT in the gang cultures British police and government is afraid of reaction from the gangs.
Anyway the solution is simple .Strict punishment for the offenders and no exception for teen agers .If they are big eneough to commit the crime they are big enough to face the consequences.If they show remorse let them go with a warning but second time take them in.
And benfit frauds,cheats etc should be brought to book as well.
I think the crises was not that shops were robbed or there were riots ……..the crises is that police is afraid ,they cannot do anything ???
Human Rights , watch dog and civil rights have become so strong and powerful that they have made institutions like policing ,parenting and schooling etc impossible
It is very sad to see this happening to such a historical place. I really feel disappointed in the fact that so many places of value are being destroyed. That is my only regret in this happening in London. I have been a Rolex watch collector for years and love the beauty in the art. The beauty in the heart of England is being ruined by these protest.
Adeel I am completely shocked .When I read this article I was not ready to focus maybe on the problem Capitalism was facing .Maybe self denial or the artificial blanket of security and prosperity which the Western media has pulled before our eyes……….anyway few weeks later and I 100% agree with you.
The scenes of Arab spring repeated in US streets ,US people en-circling Wall street and the start of protests ……….This Christmas it would not be Father Christmas with gifts this year it will be food vouchers in his red bag……if he manges to get one.Anyway the whole world is changing I am not sure what Asian countries have to offer to the world or would Muslims be strong enough to identify themselves and evolve economically and socially.There are oppertunities but Muslims lack self confidence and infra-structure.
My hope rests with China ,Pakistan ,Iran Turkey and Arab world .The huge divide of Shiatte and Sunni is already kncoking in Arab world ………can Muslims be brought together to forget the differences and concentrate on similarities in order to live in peace and prosperity…….that is the question.
I agree. It is very sad to see something like this happen in such a historical place. We should all ask ourselves how we can prevent such a problem in our own communities.