[ed. - found in a trashbin in Trafalgar Square: first draft of Time Out London's suck-up to their new religious overlords]
By Michael Hodges, Time Out London
Islam -- it’s the capital’s hottest lifestyle trend! A growing religion, based on noble traditions and compassionate principles, yet infidels sometimes get the wrong impression because of ignorance and misunderstanding and the occasional subway bomb. Here Time Out argues that an Islamic London would be ab fab!
The expectant crowd ululates as the open-backed lorry drives slowly around the Picadilly Circus – known since the Islamic revolution of 2021 as The Mohammad Sidique Khan Roundabout – nudges its way through the thousands gathered. The loudspeakers blare: "Good news! By order of Sultan Charles, Islamic RAF bombers have finally destroyed the criminal Zionist entity!" The lorry spills a load of Cadbury bars in the street and the celebration erupts, with cheers of ‘Allahu akbar’ ...
Farfetched? According to current demographic trends, this sweets-filled celebration is only part of the fun awaiting future Londoners with Islam becoming the hottest trend to hit the city since Beatlemania. Unfortunately, like the rock 'n' roll Teddy Boys of the 50's, the scootering Mods of the 60's, and the safety pinned-Punks of 70's, London's cutting-edge Islamic fashionistas are causing panic and hysteria among uptight Tory squares. Loosen up daddy-o, it's time to set the record straight about Britain's Fab Four Million!
For a start, Islam is not an alien religion to London. At the end of World War I the city sat at the heart of a vast Empire that had 160 million Muslim subjects. Forty years later and the end of that Empire, mass immigration brought millions of Muslims to these shores. Today, London has made a dramatic comeback and is poised once again to be the seat of a new Empire with millions of Muslim subjects. Well done, England!
According to the 2001 census there are 607,083 Muslims living in London (310,477 males and 296,606 sub-males). By 2012, the Muslim Council of Britain estimates that the Muslim population of suburbs like Bennyhill, Fishwife, Swineham Forest and Snotney will be 250,000, not counting the lads who will be in Pakistan training for martyrdom operations.
This growth has strained London's mosques, many of which have come dangerously close to male-female prayer contact due to overcrowding. Luckily there are plans afoot to build the UKs biggest mosque – capable of welcoming 40,000 worshippers – near the 2012 Olympic site, which itself could also make an even bigger mosque if you think about it. This has prompted predictable outrage from some of Fleet Street's reactionary and ill-informed tabloids. No wonder Muslim disillusionment and explosion are at an all time high.
But rather than fear the inevitable changes and possible detonations this will bring to London, or buy in to a racist representation of all Muslims as terrorists, we should recognise both what Islam has given this city already, and the advantages it would bring across a wide range of areas in the future.
On the surface, Islamic health doesn’t look good: the 2001 census showed that 24 per cent of Muslim women and 21 per cent of Muslim men suffered long-term illness and disability. But these are factors of social conditions rather than religion, such as back and forehead infections from social self-flagellation. In fact, Islam offers Londoners potential health benefits: the Muslim act of prayer is designed to keep worshippers fit, their joints supple and, at five times a day, their tummies trim. It's like Pilates -- with eternal paradise awaiting for buff shahids!
Alcohol imposes huge health costs on British society. Thankfully alcohol is haram, or forbidden, to Muslims. Turning all the city’s pubs into juice bars or prayer work-out gyms would have a massive positive effect on public health. Forbid alcohol throughout the country, and you’d avoid many of the 22,000 alcohol-related deaths recorded each year, with only a minimum increase in alcohol-related deaths imposed by London's roaming squads of virtue bobbies.
Also forbidden in Islam: pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexuality. This will obviously help reduce London's appallingly high rates of sexually transmitted disease. And during public executions for the guilty, vigorous aerobic stone-throwing will help build upper-body definition.
Just think of it -- instead of a decadent nation of tubby gay pub sots, England will be a happy sultanate filled with believers with the hardbodies to shame Posh 'n' Becks! UK boys will have the six pack abs to impress any celestial virgin, and beneath their burqas UK girls will have the trim figures to fetch a 20-goat dowry for their families!
When you think of the Muslim world what's the first thing that comes to mind? That's right, ecology. Soon London will be enjoying the same careful Islamic environmental stewardship seen today in places like Cairo and Damascus.
‘The world is green and beautiful,’ said the prophet Muhammad, ‘and Allah has appointed you his guardian over it.’ The Islamic concept of halifa or trusteeship obliges Muslims to look after the natural world. Natually, this natural world includes London. So remember, when a Muslim drops by and take guardianship of your flat, he is simply doing what God is appointed him to do.
Presently, Muslim students sometimes perform less well than non-Muslim students, but only if you limit performance measurement to racism-tinged subjects, like maths. In subjects that are more attuned to a Muslim ethos, such as reciting the Quran whilst being beaten with a stick, Muslim students outperformed their non-Muslim counterparts 78% to 11% in a recent study by the Ministry of Schools.
Assan Ali, education spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, says the secret to Quran recitation success is faith schools that work in tandem with home values: ‘Muslim schools use the children’s faith and heritage as primary motivators, along with sticks. This is consistent with the messages and beatings that children are getting at home, so it is a very coherent operation between the home and the school.’
If Islam became the dominant religion in London the same ethos could have a revolutionary effect on recitational achievement and, perhaps just as importantly, general levels of discipline and self-respect. Shockingly, though, only five of London's 37 Muslim schools are state schools. But there is growing pressure to bring more into the state sector which, according to Ali, will ‘help raise achievement for many sectors of the Muslim community. Many private Muslim schools are under-resourced and in desperate need of goverment funding for more sticks.'
Application of halal (Arabic for ‘permissable’) dietary laws across London would free us at a stroke from our addiction to junk food, as well as our addiction to doing things that are not permissable. The adoption of a south Asian diet rich in fruit juice, rice and vegetables with occasional mutton or chicken would have a drastic effect on obesity. The annual fasting month of Ramadan instils self-discipline, courtesy and social cohesion. No longer constantly ramming food into our mouths, newly slimmed down Londoners would find it much easier to fit into form-flattering martyrdom belts.
In an Islamic London, inter-faith relations would be little changed. As ‘peoples of the book’ Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs would likely be allowed to exist, just as they are allowed to exist today. And like today, these people of faith would also be allowed to submit to Islam. And it doesn't stop there: under Islamic rule you will be conditionally allowed various other freedoms, within reason.
Some of the finest art in London is already Islamic. The Jameel Gallery at the V&A houses ceramics, textiles, carpets, metalwork, glass and woodwork, which date from the great days of the Islamic caliphate. Or take a free daily tour of the Addis Gallery of Islamic art at the British Museum. In fact there are so many fine Islamic art treasures to enjoy in London that art lovers will not even miss the Tate after it is shuttered and turned into a prison for blasphemers and makers of graven images, like Damien Hirst and Gilbert and George.
Each Muslim is obliged to pay zakat, a welfare tax of 2.5 per cent of annual income, that is distributed to the poor and the needy. If the working population of London, 5.2 million, was predominantly Muslim this would produce approximately £3.2bn each year. London would become a little less cruel, thanks to the good work and sharp eyes of Her Majesty's Islamic Revenue Service.
Under Islam all ethnicities are equal. Once you have submitted to Allah you are a Muslim – it doesn’t matter what colour you are. If you haven't submitted to Allah, you are NOT a Muslim - and it matters even less what colour you are. End of story.