Hi William, while I generally agree with the message of acceptance you promote in your article, I find the argument a little one-sided.
As I’m sure you’ll agree, acceptance can only be achieved with balance.
For example, the opening is a little disingenuous. I have read Johnson’s article and what you fail to mention is his defence of the right to wear a burqa.
Certainly, in part, his language was insensitive. But you can’t berate someone for their beliefs. He has every right to voice his view that it is a ridiculous garment. Despite it being traditional dress and some choosing to wear it, for many, it is also a symbol of oppression and a deep-seated misogyny.
Your use of imagery is full of bias focusing on emotive pictures of the struggles faced by immigrants, whilst disregarding anything that might support the opposing argument.
I also don’t agree with your definition of assimilation. It is not, as you state, a process of forcing a culture to absorb. Coming from a Jewish cultural background, I see it more as a natural and necessary part of integration.
To assimilate is to truly integrate. It is a process that goes beyond acceptance. It is the participation and later, adoption of the culture into which you are welcomed. To assimilate is not to give up your identity. Far from it. My Jewishness and my Britishness exist side by side. Neither usurping the other.
But what I find most difficult is you want the reader to accept that not all Muslims are extremists, while accusing everyone else of being anti-Muslim.
This is simply not the case. Sure, there are fanatics on both sides, but you will find it difficult to sway people to your argument when you exhibit the same prejudice as the people you seek to oppose.