Our expatriate English correspondent Peter returns with a look at the Islamization of the UK over the past three decades. He accompanies it with this brief note:
This piece includes my impressions of Islam in the UK from 1998 when I returned from my travels until 2003, when I gave up. I gave up for several reasons, mainly because the UK publishing industry was so far up itself I would only get into print if I changed my name to Victoria Beckham. They were also into self-preservation and were reluctant to publish Islam-critical material after what happened to Viking over the Satanic Verses.
Bradistan: Importing a Culture Gap
I cannot blame anyone in Pakistan for coming to the UK, either as a refugee or as an economic migrant seeking a better life. Indeed, I am surprised that anybody stays there at all, as Pakistan has little to recommend it. What does surprise me, though, is that a number of Pakistani immigrants seem determined to bring Pakistan with them and, having arrived here, resist all inducements to integrate with the host community. This situation should have been addressed and arrested a long time ago but it has been allowed to fester over the years with disastrous consequences.
When I went travelling in 1994, Islam was firmly entrenched in the UK but very few people viewed it as the threat it ultimately became. Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas Fund put out monthly newsletters giving up-to-date bulletins of murders and other crimes committed internationally by Muslims against Christians and other denominations but for the most part, the main stream media tended to view Islam as a joke. Looking back I can understand why. There were three stock comic characters continually featured in the daily press who were viewed as Falstaffian personalities while preaching bile and hatred against their western hosts, but for the most part they stopped short of outright incitement to violence. They were Omar Bakri Mohammed, Abu Hamza Al Masri and Abu Qatada — none of whom was Pakistani, but the vast majority of their followers were and they believed every word these maniacs uttered.
Syrian-born Omar Bakri Muhammad, real name Omar Bakri Fostock is an Islamic hardliner who was instrumental in developing Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK before setting up Al Muhajiroun until it became a proscribed organization in 2004. For several years Bakri was one of the best-known Islamic militants in the UK and was frequently quoted and interviewed in the British media. Although he was described as “closely linked to al Qaeda” he was more commonly known as the “Tottenham Ayatollah”, and considered to be a bumbling incompetent more akin to Inspector Clouseau than Osama Bin Laden.
By way of contrast, the fearsome, hook handed Mustafa Kamel Mustafa born in Egypt on 15 April 1958 and more commonly known as Abu Hamza al-Masri was formerly the Imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London, where he preached extremist Islam and Jihadism. He was subsequently imprisoned for incitement to violence and ultimately deported to the USA where he was convicted of terrorism and is currently awaiting sentence when, it is hoped, he will never again see the light of day.
Abu Qatada al-Filistini, born Omar Mahmoud Othman in 1960, is a Jordanian national of Palestinian origin. He had been in and out of prison in the UK and although rumoured to be Al Qaeda’s right hand man in Europe and being involved with Islamic terror in London and elsewhere, he has never been found guilty of any crime. After a long drawn out legal battle, he was deported to Jordan to face terrorism charges and subsequently acquitted. The UK Government has stated that he will not be returning to Britain but expect this to be quietly overturned if Labour win the General Election in 2015.
Apart from Islam, the other characteristic these people had in common was that they all lived on welfare generously provided by the British taxpayer, including free palatial housing for their multitudinous dependents, with both Bakri and Hamza receiving additional payments for disability. There are many, many Muslims in the UK today receiving the same level of benefits for doing absolutely nothing but sitting around and procreating. Is it any wonder why they congregate in Calais from all points of the Islamic compass to jump onto the UK gravy train?
I returned to the UK in 1998 and, as my flat in Hayes was let until December 1999, I took lodgings in a shared house in South London where I became aware of a number of changes. Firstly, there were far more Muslims on the streets than there had been when I went away, and although they were far more assertive in projecting their Islamic identity, newspaper articles were fewer and far less critical of their activities.
In the summer of 2001, the strained relationship that had long existed between Britain’s Muslim population and its Anglo-Saxon hosts finally erupted into violence on the streets of Oldham, Burnley and Bradford. Three different Government enquiries took place after the events and produced a plethora of recommendations. They highlighted as the main causes of the unrest a lack of social cohesion and the fact that both sets of communities had been allowed to develop in tandem, living polarised lives with little attempt at integration. Muslim communities in particular came in for criticism for being inward-looking and reluctant to accept the British way of life. But none of these conclusions was unexpected.
After the destruction of the World Trade Centre on September 11th 2001, Europe was forced to accept the fact that the bitch that bore the Taliban was now in its midst, and she was in heat again.
In the UK, Britons were incensed to discover that a disturbing proportion of their Muslim population not only supported the atrocity, but celebrated it. They were even more indignant when it was revealed that a number of vociferous Islamist organisations were active in their cities urging and recruiting young British Muslims to fight alongside the Taliban against the allied forces in Afghanistan, while increasing numbers of rogue clerics were preaching violence, race-hate and religious intolerance to congregations, a significant number of whom, were anti-British, anti-Western and anti-white. While the outrage of the British public was understandable, the revelation should have come as no surprise. Islamist organisations had been in this country for decades, and successive British Governments had been criticised by many of their European counterparts for their tolerance of the nefarious activities of their Muslim guests. The French Government, in particular, had accused London of operating “a revolving door for Islamic terrorists.”
That racial violence should finally break out on the streets of Oldham, Burnley and Bradford should not have been received as a bolt from the blue as the signs were there for all to see. For decades, there had been exclusively Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian, non-English-speaking enclaves in many of our major cities, where the occupants offered no allegiance to the United Kingdom, neither did they feel bound by its laws. Bradford itself has long been known as “Bradistan” — Little Pakistan by its Pakistani community. In the months leading up to the riots, stories had been appearing in the newspapers about “no-go” areas for whites in Oldham, while police figures for Greater Manchester up to April 2001 showed a record level of racial attacks, and that 60% of the victims were white.
Rabble-rousing agitators from the BNP (British National Party) and the ANL (Anti Nazi League), surely two ends of the same pantomime horse, were also operating on the fringes, presumably hoping to make capital out of any unrest they might stir up. Although serious, the violence was the tip of a very large and sinister iceberg that has been allowed to grow by successive British governments who habitually swept racial issues under the carpet in the vain hope that they would go away. The Blair government exacerbated the problem, stifling much-needed debate by smearing anybody who attempted to highlight racial difficulties as ‘racist.’ Similar attitudes have handicapped the police and numerous care agencies in their approach to minority ethnic groups and enabled such things as drug trafficking, extortion, generic domestic violence, gang rape of white minors and forced marriage to continue unabated within those communities.
During the late 1990s the issue of forced marriage abroad gradually gained recognition until the extent of the problem was finally acknowledged. Stories started to appear in the press about the plight of Pakistani-Muslim girls in the UK and of the way those in authority persistently looked the other way while the rights of those girls were being systematically abused. Allegations were being made that thousands of girls, some as young as 13 or 14, were being taken out of school in the UK every year and forced to marry much older men in Pakistan, Bangladesh or India. There were also veiled suggestions that female genital mutilation was being carried out in the UK or that girls were being sent abroad to have this vile thing done to them beyond the reach of UK justice. But the major issue was that of forced marriage and the apparent indifference of the authorities who were reluctant to interfere in case they were deemed to be racist.
In 1999, the UK had what I believed to be its first trial for honour killing. In May of that year, Shakeela Naz and her son Shazad were sentenced to life imprisonment at Nottingham Crown court for the murder of nineteen year old Ruksana Naz, who had been married at 15 by arrangement to an older man and who had hardly seen him since. This did not prevent her from bearing him two children and she was seven months pregnant with the child of her lover when she was murdered. Her mother and brother believed that her actions had insulted the honour of the family and, when Ruksana refused to submit to an abortion, her relatives had no doubt that this gave them the right to commit murder. An appeal that the verdict was unsafe was dismissed by the High Court in March 2000.
It was also in May 1999 that the stark realities surrounding forced marriage within the Pakistani community were officially recognised when Anne Cryer, then MP for Keighley, Yorkshire, introduced her constituent Zena Briggs (not her real name) to the Immigration and Home Office Minister Mike O’Brien. Zena had refused to go through with a marriage arranged by her family to a first cousin in Pakistan. Her family forced her into hiding as they first sent private detectives then bounty hunters and finally hit men after her. Zena had a contract out on her life and she and her English husband Jack had been living in fear for the previous six years. Around this time, one of the UK daily newspapers ran a similar story about a young woman in Bradford they called Yasmin Darr (also not her real name) It is possible that Zena and Yasmin were one and the same person. Whatever the truth might be, there was no doubt that Zena’s family believed that they had the right to murder both her and Jack in order to restore their honour, and that is the root of the multicultural lie. Like so many of their fellow countrymen and women, Zena’s family had been allowed to conduct themselves in Britain as though they were still living in their villages in Pakistan, where tribal, Islamic law prevails, women are no more than commodities and human life has little value. This state of affairs has been made worse by the complete refusal of a section of the Pakistani community to integrate with their hosts who they regard as degenerate, decadent and inferior.
Without question, the incidence of forced marriage abroad increased significantly since the abolition of the “Primary Purpose Rule” in 1998. Under this rule, foreign nationals had to prove they were marrying for the right reasons and not just as a pretext by which to gain entry to the UK. Soon after it was elected, the Blair Government caved in to pressure from various leftist, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi lobbies who claimed that this rule discriminated against arranged marriages and was therefore “racist”(groan) Since then, immigration officials have been unable to question the validity of a marriage, and the production of a marriage certificate is now enough to guarantee the holder the right to enter the UK.
In 1996, the British High Commission in Islamabad issued 1,960 visas to Pakistani-born potential husbands heading for the UK. In February 1998, after the abolition of the “Primary Purpose Rule” this number had risen to 5,080. A research document produced by Bradford City Council claimed that 57% of all marriages within its Asian community involved a spouse — more often than not, a husband — born and domiciled in Pakistan.
Philip Bamforth, a former Bradford Police officer who was employed in the 1990s by the West Yorkshire Police Race Relations Department, said that he dealt with 300 runaway Asian girls in 1998, most of whom were fleeing from a forced marriage or were trying to escape from a husband who had been forced upon them. He said he had dealt with over a thousand cases in the previous three years and the number was increasing. However, he suspected that he only heard of about 1% of the real number. He also expressed concern at the increase in the number of professional bounty hunters who were being paid a high premium to return fugitive wives or daughters to their Asian families. In other cases, Bamforth had to rescue young Pakistani women who had been imprisoned in their homes. Many of them were illiterate and had never been allowed outside since landing at Manchester airport. In the winter of 1998, he released a woman from a flat in Bradford where she had been kept prisoner by her drug-abusing husband ever since she had been brought to the UK from Pakistan. The woman had no knowledge of English and, said Bamforth, “We had to teach her how to use money, how to use telephones, even how to take the bus.”
In December 2001, “Our Voice,” a women’s group based in Bradford, advocated the reintroduction of the Primary Purpose Rule because of the increase in the incidence of forced marriage since its abolition. Anne Cryer had opposed this view in 1999, as she believed that the Primary Purpose Rule was offensive to those Asians who genuinely participated in arranged marriages abroad. However, she did feel that protective measures were necessary to prevent the Muslim community indulging in what she called “ the cruel practice of making their girls go back to Pakistan to marry first cousins or those to whom their family owe a favour.” Ominously, she warned at the time that civil unrest could occur if this practice were to continue. Her chilling prediction came true two years later, although forced marriage was not officially listed among the causes. The Blair government eventually brought in a mealy-mouthed response to this issue, but failed to criminalise what was clearly a criminal act.
Just before Christmas 2000, I heard the story of Narina Anwar, a British-born teenager of Pakistani origin and her two sisters who had been duped into visiting relatives in Pakistan only to find that all three of them were expected to marry local men, even her youngest sister who was only fourteen years old at the time. Their passports had been taken from them by their relatives, who threatened to kill them if they refused to go through with the marriages or tried to escape. Narina described her intended husband as “unsuitable.” The last time I heard a prospective Pakistani husband described in this manner, he turned out to be a malodorous, hairy-faced illiterate, who spoke no English and had never ventured further than forty miles from his village in any direction for the whole of his life up until then. Faced with being dragooned into marriage to such a man, the three sisters felt that they had no option but to escape, regardless of the death threats they knew to be genuine. They finally reached the British High Commission in Lahore, where flights home were arranged for them and they were taken into local authority care on arrival. The British High Commission had stated that in the year 2000, they had intervened in 70 cases where British-born girls were being forced to marry Pakistani men. Narina Anwar was last heard of working as a volunteer counsellor in a community liaison unit set up jointly by the Home and Foreign Offices to work on behalf of victims of forced marriage abroad.
In 1990s Pakistan, the forced marriage of British Asian girls to Pakistani men was a generally acknowledged route by which the latter could gain unfettered access to the UK. The abolition of the Primary Purpose Rule has removed a formidable obstacle to the success of this deception. Clearly, any action by the British Government to prohibit the practice of forced marriages abroad would go some way towards closing this particular loophole in our immigration laws. Predictably, there are some Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians who resent what they see as the “interference” of the British Government which, they feel, has no right to “stick its nose into” family matters, culture or traditions. They see Government initiatives to counteract forced marriage as unwarranted interference, telling Asians how to live their lives. Such attitudes present a significant barrier to integration and the achievement of a genuine multicultural society, as they demonstrate quite clearly a complete absence of any comprehension of the workings of the liberal democracy by which the UK is governed. There are laws in our country against such denials of human rights and we must all observe them without exception. [I can’t believe I wrote that back then. — P] There is another serious issue here, too. Asian families, particularly those from Pakistan, might claim that their culture and religion entitle them to force their daughters to marry abroad and, in our civilised society that is hard enough for us to accept. But when that marriage brings with it the uncontested right of the husband to enter and remain in Great Britain, then the families concerned are clearly granting a concession that was never theirs to offer.
In 2001 , I came upon a newspaper report that highlighted once again the human casualties of the east-west divide in the UK today. On 15 June 2001, one Munir Hussain, a 51-year-old Muslim from Walthamstow, East London pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his 23-year-old daughter Shanaz, because she went to the local pub. Mr. Hussain, described as a strictly religious man, wound rope around his daughter’s neck and throttled her to death. He then wrapped her body in plastic bags and put it in the boot of his car before driving to the police station and confessing to her murder. He pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was ordered to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.
On 20th October, 2003, two men who had murdered a bride on her wedding day were sentenced to life imprisonment in Birmingham. Rafaqat Hussein of Camberley, Surrey, had pleaded guilty to stabbing his cousin Sahjda Bibi 22 times in an honour killing, while his cousin Tafarak Hussain drove the getaway car. Apparently, the pair had decided to murder the young woman because she had decided to marry a divorced man. In sentencing the killers, the Judge, Mr. Justice Wakerley, told them “Those who live here in our multi-cultural and multi-racial, tolerant society must accept our laws.”
Good luck with that.
I started to write these notes in 1998 when people were still talking about bogus asylum seekers rather than serial benefit claimants, jihadis and child molesters. As everyone knows now, things in the UK have become much, much worse with Islamic inspired violence on our streets, Muslim Patrols to enforce Sharia Law in East London, vast numbers of under aged white girls being groomed for sex by Pakistani men while in some areas, there appear to be mosques on every street corner. Things are much the same across Europe.
Everybody knows that the problem is the unholy alliance between Islam and the left. I cannot predict any positive outcome to this, only that it will not end well.
Peter is an English expatriate who now lives in Thailand.
|2014||Sep||19||Why I Left England’s Mean and Unpleasant Land|
|Oct||5||Pakistan I: The Blasphemy Laws|
|6||Pakistan II: The Hudood Ordinances