On Xenophobia, Again

So I think I once wrote about xenophobia in an article that on reflection has some very embarrassing typos. I'm writing about it again, this time to fend it off along with one of its not-so-distant cousins, Islamophobia.

Anyway, Britain can be a very racist, xenophobic and Islamophobic country, as I think I've mentioned previously - people thinking Muslims want to take over Europe and can't integrate, while POC are lazy and all immigrants are scum who just want to get benefits. There seems to be an irrational hatred (in particular - though even white immigrants like me get flak) of Muslim immigrants, which in practice in the UK mainly means people from Pakistan or Afghanistan. They've been described by native Britons as people who "would fleece you without blinking or kill you without breaking step if they thought you were not 'with them'", with "no compelling reason whatsoever to be allowed to stay" - oh, except for marrying locals (albeit sharia-style) and having children, which according to the author seems to be "dishonest, calculating, cynical and deceptive". That's strange. I thought that was called assimilation and was something to be encouraged. But what would a filthy, conniving immigrant like me know? (Chances are, more than most nationalists.)

Now, onto some actual points. Firstly, I'm a confirmed antitheist because religions (especially Abrahamic religions) seem to be quite bad ideas on the whole - look at the genocide and rape in the Bible, for example. However, that does not mean I hate all religious people - that would be quite difficult when some have done great good and when others are my friends. I dislike the idea of religion, but that's different from disliking or hating every single person who holds it.

Secondly, while I'm an antitheist, I think the way to confront religion is with secularism, not with Islamophobia. My problem is mostly with the Abrahamic religions - a set of ideas. Taking it out on a specific group of marginalised people (Muslim immigrants, often Asian) would be nothing short of bigotry. If you really hate religion that much, kick all believers out of the country, including natives. It's an absolutely terrible idea and violates freedom of thought (which is essential, and let's admit it, us atheists and antitheists would be crying if all atheists were suddenly kicked out of the country on atheophobic grounds), but it's slightly more consistent than xenophobia.

Thirdly - I'm this het up because, as I keep mentioning in a vain hope of getting the bigots to pay attention and change their minds, I myself am an immigrant. More to the point, I'm an immigrant with a very basic grasp of history who knows that nationalism has failed to work out and who knows about the disgusting prejudice against other groups (to clarify: my family is Jewish-descended, my dad's quite big on passing down his cultural heritage, and so I learned about anti-Semitism). I am deathly vigilant against the rising tides of bigotry because I know what they did to the cultural group that I was born into and that will forever be a part of what makes me who I am, whether I like it or not. It would only be right for me to not inflict the same horrors on other people. It would only be right for me to stand in solidarity with them and to watch out for the same thing happening again. Besides, as much as I detest Britain, as much as I'm not proud to be British, this is still where I live. Don't tell me to go home, don't try to repatriate me - where the hell do I have to go except an increasingly racist and theocratic country that I want nothing to do with? I'm the equal of any native-born Briton, regardless of which side of an imaginary line I was born.

Fuck this, I'm going to Antarctica.