The Myth of the Muslim Tide by Doug Saunders

Doug Saunders is a Canadian journalist based in London. In this book he takes apart the mythology, current in both Europe and North America, that Muslim immigration threatens Western culture. The book is divided into four sections:

In the first titled ‘Popular Fiction’ he examines the mythology as it is presented by various right-wing ideologues in Britain, North America and Europe. Its main proponent in the UK is of course Melanie Philips who set out her ideas in her book Londonistan.

In the second section ‘The Facts’ he shows how way-off reality the myth-makers are.  This section is very well researched, peppered with statistics and makes for some fascinating reading.

In third section ‘We’ve been here before’ Saunders looks at the historical reaction to Irish and Jewish immigration, and draws parallels with the present.  I found this section quite chilling in that there seems to be so little historical progress in the way we view immigrant groups with different cultures to our own.

Finally, in ‘What we ought to worry about’ he examines what the real problems are in immigrant communities and makes some suggestions about what we should be doing about it.

I learned a lot from this book, including the uncomfortable realisation that I’d had some misapprehensions and prejudices of my own. I highly recommend it. It would also make an ideal Christmas gift for your irritating Daily Mail reading in-law.

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