Xenophobia does not readily come to the peoples of the geographic British Isles. Although it is true to say that these islands have a history racked by sectarian division, it is equally the case that these islands have been hospitable to the stranger. In this the Good People of the Isle of Bute are as the rest of us Britons.
Yet we are seeing local resentment fostered by behaviour of SOME of the Syrian newcomers that can best be described as arrogant elitism. Far from wishing to find their feet and fit in, some of these Muslim people appear intent of foisting their values upon their new neighbours. Examples it seems are instances of abuse directed towards local woman taking advantage of the unseasonal mild weather and walking in a public case with their arms and shoulders uncovered.
Naturally, the locals have taken the attitude: “Who the hell do they think they are!”
The British Gazette regretfully has to supply an answer: Muslims who regard the locals as “Harami” meaning a sinner or a bad person.
Islam has a concept of “Hala” and “Haram”. Halal means permissible according to Islamic law and “Haram” is the highest level of prohibition and would result in sin when committed.
British Gazette readers well know the problems associated with migration multi-culturalism and political correctness: that the toleration towards one group (such Muslims criticising secular Westerners) is not extended to other groups (Working class white males complaining about a perceived dilution of their culture).
Political scientists and sociologists will allude to the concept of the “Paradox of Tolerance” – a tolerant person being antagonistic toward intolerance, hence intolerant of it.
To cater for the asymmetry of response towards perceived “intolerance” on the part of one group and not another, the British Gazette puts forward another concept: The “Parallax of Tolerance”
British Gazette readers are of course familiar with the meaning of “Parallax” – being a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines. The term is derived from the Greek word παράλλαξις (parallaxis), meaning “alteration”. Nearby objects have a larger parallax than more distant objects when observed from different positions, so parallax can be used to determine distances. Astronomers use the principle of parallax to measure distances to the closer stars.
We would suggest the Parallax of Tolerance is the measure of the difference of judgemental standards applied to a differing groups or individuals based on the prejudices of the judge.
Thus a member of “Hope Not Hate” may well view the attitude of the Syrian Muslims now on Bute as “an understandable reaction to a new and strange environment” whereas they will regard the concern expressed by the locals as “bigoted xenophobia” and something to be roundly condemned.
Whilst we at the British Gazette may regard such a member of “Hope Not Hate” as a misguided individual we are sure that the members, supporters and sympathisers of so called “IS” will regard them as “Useful Idiots.”