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Rev Jules Gomes: The rise of the Muslim ghetto amounts to an alarming social revolution


Dame Louise Casey’s review into integration is not about integrating Indian Hindus or Punjabi Sikhs or Polish Catholics or Sri Lankan Buddhists or Chinese Taoists or Afro-Caribbean Anglicans or Jewish Haredi into British society. It has to include these nationalities and religions for the sake of political convenience. But once you see through the window dressing and strip down the padding, The Casey Review: A review into Opportunity and Integration, published yesterday is really about the failure to integrate Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

That is why East African Gujaratis with surnames like Patel or Desai, running your pharmacy or the convenience store are not griping about the review. That is why the BBC and the Guardian are not frantically running stories featuring a ‘black lives matter’ narrative of Nigerian Pentecostals from Kingsway International Christian Centre, London’s largest black church with over 10,000 black worshippers. After all, their services are in English, not in Hausa or Igbo!

In stark contrast, it is Bangladeshi and Pakistani Muslims who have the highest numbers with poor English language proficiency compared to Chinese, Asian, Arab, or African groups. Again, it is the Muslim population with the highest numbers of adults who cannot speak English well or at all, compared with Hindu and Christian immigrants, says the Casey report.

Indigenous Brits don’t have a problem with Indian worshippers banging drums, clinking cymbals and singing bhajans at Britain’s largest Hindu temple in Neasden. So why is there an ‘increase in community concerns and tensions’ when 2,000 mosques start mushrooming all over the country? The review mentions a street in North West England with ‘four mosques along a stretch of road less than a quarter of a mile long, each serving a slightly different Muslim community or offering prayers in different languages’ all built in a short period.

‘When we spoke to members of the white community in the area, they felt they were unable to express any concerns about the growth in the number of mosques because they would be accused of being racist and ignored by the authorities,’ Dame Casey candidly reports. Welcome to the real Britain not the leftist make-believe pie in the sky inter-faith utopia!

‘I wanted to consider what divides communities and gives rise to anxiety, prejudice, alienation and a sense of grievance…’ Casey writes. She certainly has opened a can of worms. No wonder the Muslim Council of Britain has lambasted the report as being championed ‘by those who pursue a divisive agenda and a hostile attitude towards Muslims.’

But there is good reason for concern, as demographically, the exponential growth of Muslims is the most significant—a staggering 72 per cent increase of 1.2 million people, making up the largest non-Christian religious population in the UK, compared to Hindus, Sikhs, Jews and Buddhists.

And these Muslims import brides from Pakistan. In one northern town ‘all except one of the Asian Councillors had married a wife from Pakistan.’ At the Bradford Royal Infirmary 80 per cent of babies of Pakistani ethnicity had at least one parent born outside the UK. This was creating a “first generation in every generation” in which ‘each new generation grows up with a foreign-born parent.’

Not surprisingly, this ghetto mentality results in segregation with parts of places like Blackburn, Birmingham, Burnley and Bradford having between 70 – 85 per cent of Muslim populations. The situation is so bleak that a non-faith state secondary school found that ‘pupils believed the population of Britain to be between 50 – 90  per cent Asian such had been their experience up to that point.’

I read through the 199 pages of the report, which became more distressing as it got to the section detailing genital mutilation, forced marriage, honour killing and about 30 to 85 Shariah courts in Britain ‘that have been supporting the values of extremists, condoning wife-beating, ignoring marital rape and allowing forced marriage’ with ‘100,000 sharia marriages in the UK, many of which are not recognised under UK laws and leave women without full legal rights upon divorce.’ Any feminists visiting Bradford or are they all partying in Islington?

After reading the report I remembered the story of Rip Van Winkle. I had fallen asleep during a dull maths class in school at the age of eight. My father punished me by making me read through Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle who sets off on a journey to the Catskill Mountains. On the way, he stops at an inn by the Hudson. At the front of the inn, there is a sign bearing the picture of George III, King of England. Rip falls asleep for 20 years. When he wakes up, everything has changed. His wife is dead, his daughter married, the sign at the front of the inn has been taken down, and another put in its place. This one bears the picture of another George: not George III, but George Washington, first president of the USA. The point of the story is not that Rip has slept for 20 years but that Rip has slept through a revolution!

Britain has been fast asleep through the most significant revolution in centuries. Dame Casey’s review is a wake up call. By George, it has come too late, I fear!

(Image: Dave Collier)

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‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes
‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes
The Rev’d Dr Jules Gomes, BA, BD, MTh, PhD (Cantab) is a journalist and academic.

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