Finish the sentence:
‘Jews are disproportionately represented in…’
Whether we’re talking about Nobel Prizes, the banks, Hollywood or any other well-paid profession, you’re guaranteed to read or hear the term ‘disproportionately represented’ thrown about generously online. I’m not for a moment suggesting that Jews don’t do well – they do – but I am suggesting that the term ‘disproportionate’ is out of place and redundant. It’s not entirely meaningless, but it simply isn’t relevant if we’re talking about the qualities of an ethnic group.
I regularly see the word being used inaccurately to describe the actions of Muslims, too.
The BBC reported in March 2015 about the ‘disproportionate representation of Muslim men at all stages of the criminal justice system’ – a claim made in a 2014 report by Lady Lola Young of Hornsley. With a name like that, she’d be better off in porn than the House of Lords.
In regards to the success of the Jews, we must remember the historical context, and that they have needed to remain literate, intelligent and driven in order to even survive as a people. Like the Japanese, they have a culture of encouraging their children to be as studious and successful as possible – and, if you’re a believer in the racial bell curve, the Ashkenazis are one of the most intelligent ethnic groups on earth. Their success is therefore not ‘in excess’ of what one would deem normal or expectable, and therefore the term ‘disproportionate’ isn’t applicable. Their success is the proportionate result of Jewish history and culture.
In terms of the Muslim claims – despite making up 4.8% of the population in England and Wales (according to the 2011 census, and a figure that has since increased), Muslims now make up 14.4% of our prisoners. There has been a 122% increase in the amount of Muslim prisoners in England and Wales since 2002, but it’s still not disproportionate.
To be disproportionate, something must be ‘to a higher degree’ that is unacceptable, undesirable or unallowable.
It must also be to an ‘excessive’ degree – but, who exactly is in charge of deciding what degree is excessive or unacceptable? And, for that matter, why are we assuming that everyone begins on a level footing? We certainly don’t.
This is why anybody on the political or ideological right referring to these cases as ‘disproportionate’ infuriates me – it is based on the assumption of equality. In terms of the success of the Jews, assuming we’re talking in racial terms, the notion of ‘disproportionality’ is based on the idea that all ethnic/racial groups have the exact same biological and cultural traits. In terms of Muslims being ‘disproportionately’ represented in the prisons, it is based on the assumption that Muslims have the same ethical standards as Westerners – they don’t.
The doctrine of the perfect man, or Al-Insan al-Kamil (which translates to ‘person who has reached perfection), says that the Islamic prophet Muhammed is a shining example of ethics for every Muslim. He is said to embody all of the divine attributes of God.
This same perfect man married a six-year-old girl called Aisha, and consummated that marriage at nine years old (Hadith of Bukhari, Volume 5 #234). Furthermore, after arriving in Medina with his followers in 622 AD, Muhammed began evicting the Banu Nadir and Banu Qaynuqa tribes. He then laid his focus on the peaceful tribe of Banu Qurayza. In 627 AD, Muslims dug trenches around the northern and western parts of Medina, during a conflict known as the Battle of the Trench. Banu Qurayza had pledged to remain neutral, but Muhammed claimed that the angel Gabriel later ordered a siege on the peaceful Qurayza (Ishaq/Hisham 688). The Jews protected themselves for 25 days, but soon surrendered.
Muhammed’s people took the men, bound them with rope and beheaded them in trenches.
All those with pubic hair experienced the same fate (Book 38, #4390). Children were taken as sex slaves for his men, and some Qurayza women were sold as slaves (Ishaq 693).
Muslims cannot therefore be on an equal footing to Christians and non-Muslims. Their perfect man engaged in this behaviour. We cannot logically deduce that Muslims committing similar acts of paedophilia or violence are on an equal ethical footing to us. With this in mind, the percentage of Muslims in British prisons is proportionate. There is historic reasoning for these crimes taking place, meaning that these events are not in ‘excess’, but are representative of a violent ideology.
It is simply a matter of Muslims doing what their perfect man would want them to do – in the same way that old Christian women hold bring-and-buy sales to pay for the repair of the leaking church roof.
If there is historic or statistical reasoning to suggest that two groups do not begin on an equal ethical footing, it is therefore not disproportionate to see these groups represented differently in schools, prisons, professions or otherwise. It is entirely proportionate.