Sunday, March 15, 2009

Britons who HATE Britain: The Muslim extremists hell-bent on segregation rather than integration

And the British government subsidizes them!

This was the scene that greeted homecoming soldiers in Luton this week. Behind it is a community where integration has abjectly failed, breeding a small but rabid band of poisonous fanatics. The call to morning prayers begins at dawn: 'Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar' (Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest). The voice echoes across the rooftops from an amplifier on a minaret at Luton Central Mosque. Outside, men in beards and tunics are arriving. They slip off their shoes, douse their faces in water, then kneel with foreheads meeting the carpet. So it was yesterday, Friday - the most sacred day of the week for Muslims.

The mosque, with its distinctive golden dome dominating the skyline, is the most visible symbol of Islamic life in the town. It was also one of seven Muslim centres in Luton chosen to receive Home Office funding last year for a project called 'Preventing Violent Extremism'. So far, 200,000 pounds has been handed out via grants from the council. Another 400,000 has been set aside to capture the 'hearts and minds' of young Muslims. In the wake of the scenes which greeted soldiers taking part in a supposedly morale-boosting homecoming parade in Luton this week, some might wonder whether this is money that has been well spent. Members of 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment faced jeering protesters waving placards saying 'Butchers of Basra'. It seems that some hearts and minds have not been captured.

One in five of Luton's 200,000 population is Muslim. But in the Bury Park district, where Luton Central Mosque is situated, the figure is much higher. Indeed, the original indigenous white population has all but disappeared from these back-to-back terraces near the Kenilworth Road football stadium. Bury Park has effectively become a town within a town, with its own madrasah (faith school), Islamic primary school and high street, where the local butcher has been replaced by the halal store and the corner shop by a Muslim grocery. Boutiques now sell Day-Glo saris and other traditional Asian clothes. So far, so familiar in modern Britain - but there is another side to life here.

While the majority of Muslims are peace-loving, industrious people, it would be wrong to deny that there are deeply disturbing tensions in the area. When a Mecca Bingo Hall opened in the heart of Bury Park, its windows were smashed. The neon Mecca sign, some Muslims claimed, was an insult to their religion because it associated the name of their holiest city with gambling. Adverts and billboards featuring women deemed to be showing too much flesh have been defaced. An evangelical church was daubed with graffiti.

Over the past 18 months or so, around 30 non-Muslim homes in the area have also been attacked. One white couple in their 80s had bricks - and, on one occasion, a lump of concrete - hurled through their front window. A West Indian woman in her 70s was watching television when a metal beer keg crashed through her bay window. The culprits have never been caught. Rightly or wrongly, the victims of these incidents are in no doubt that they were targeted by a small group of religious extremists who want non-Muslims out of Bury Park.

Sadly, the process of integration, which began back in the 1970s when thousands of families from the Indian sub-continent came to Luton to work at the Vauxhall car factory, has turned into segregation in all but name. Multi-culturalism in Bury Park now seems to mean a Muslim from Pakistan living side-by-side with a Muslim from Bangladesh, not white living next to black and brown. Multi-culturalism also, presumably, means allowing a group of young men the freedom to hand out inflammatory leaflets in the street - entitled 'Return of the Khilafah' - just 24 hours after they had launched that ugly protest against the Anglian Regiment returning home from Iraq. A Khilafah, for those who may be unfamiliar with the term, is an Islamic state created by Jihad, or holy war. Osama Bin Laden is the standard-bearer for these beliefs.

The Luton extremists - part of a network, it should be stressed, that is only 35 strong - may not have made the headlines before this week, but they have been waging their own local Jihad for a number of years. At the Luton Central Mosque, one respected Muslim leader - who asked not to be named - told me this week that the group were the Islamic world's equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan.

Recently, Holocaust memorial ceremonies attended by many moderate Muslims were among the events the extremist group tried to disrupt. Almost all of the fanatics, according to the Muslim leader at the mosque, are on the dole or claiming benefits of some kind. 'They wouldn't have the time to stir up so much trouble if they worked,' he said. So the state is supporting them even as they plot to overthrow it.

A number of the extremists attend a mosque in Bury Park and, at one time or another, their group has gone under different names: One Nation, Muslims Against British Atrocities, The Saviour Sect (anyone who does not follow their path is 'damned') and now Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah. This latest is said to have succeeded the Luton branch of Al-Muhajiroun, the banned organisation led by 'preacher of hate' Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, who is now in exile in Lebanon.

Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah (ASWJ) operates mainly through an invitation- only internet forum set up in 2006. Sheikh Bakri Mohammed is a regular contributor, along with Anjem Choudry, who this week taunted the grieving families of three Royal Anglian Regiment members killed in a friendly fire incident and who yesterday said he wants to see an Islamic flag 'flying over Downing Street'. One journalist who penetrated ASWJ found recordings of Osama Bin Laden on the website.

Luton, according to a leaked intelligence report, remains a focus of concern for anti-terror police and continues to be a 'magnet' for extremists, alongside Beeston in Leeds, Birmingham and parts of London. One of the first signs of the impact of extremist ideology being propagated in Luton came in 2001, when two British Muslim men from the town were killed fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Six years later, it emerged that one of the militants convicted of plotting to use a fertiliser bomb to blow up the Bluewater shopping centre in Essex came from the town. And in a further chilling twist, the ringleader of that gang was revealed to have met the leader of the 7/7 London bombers four times. (The London gang congregated at Luton station before heading to King's Cross.)

One of the organisations which is now getting government money to combat the militant threat in Luton is the Islamic Cultural Society, based in Luton Central Mosque in Bury Park. The 25,000 it received last year is helping to fund two full-time teachers whose job it is to engage and educate potentially disaffected young Muslim men. The unemployment rate in the town is more than 8 per cent, but significantly among the Asian population it is estimated to be as high as 25 per cent. Again, the great majority of these unemployed people are peace-loving, but, as we have already said, there are tensions....

More here


Comments by a Brit living in the USA

'Americans are so stupid!" states the teenage daughter of good friends visiting us last year in Washington DC from the UK. I have just finished telling her about a silly little misunderstanding of language that had taken place at our local supermarket (where, needing to buy butter, I had finally had to resort to doing a charade of milking a cow and buttering toast, with the assistant at the shop suddenly exclaiming, "Oh, you want buh-der!)

I study our young friend, wondering how a 17-year-old brain can already be so automatically programmed to espouse such views. As an expat living in Washington, I am extremely used to spending (ill-afforded!) intellectual currency on defending Americans but, even so, the reaction of this lovely young girl has me releasing a large sigh of disappointment and thinking: "Oh no, not you too."

Expats living Stateside, often try to stave off verbal attacks on America by listing the many examples of American achievement and scientific discovery that we should all feel grateful about. We become a pastiche of John Cleese's character in Monty Python's Life of Brian. He asks, "Well, what have the Romans ever given us then, eh?", only for people to start shouting out a list which leaves him saying: "Well, alright, apart from the aqueduct, sanitation, roads, irrigation, medicine, education, public baths, public order and wine - what have the Romans ever given us, eh?"

One could easily substitute the word 'Americans' for 'Romans' and list a plethora of wonderful American inventions; the first ever powered human flight, animation, the bra, oral contraception, the assembly line, personal and laptop computers, carbon dating, celluloid, blood banks and a multitude of other amazing contributions. But, as in the film, the Romans would still be hated - loathed all the more for their brilliance of ingenuity. Is it, then, a type of jealousy that makes Europeans so detest Americans?

I do realize that it may seem naive, verging on downright neglectful, to blame the dislike of Americans on jealousy. What of globalisation? What of the hypocrisy of Guant namo? What of Iraq? What of the non-ratification of the Kyoto Accord? There seems to be a veritable moral smorgasbord of distaste for us Europeans to choose from but are we balanced in our views?

To try to better understand the European dislike of Americans, I asked the BBC's North America Editor, Justin Webb, to shed a little insight. Justin has lived in the USA with his wife and children since 2002 and has written a book, Have a Nice Day, on the subject of anti-Americanism. Having spent the past seven years travelling the country, as well as producing a documentary for Radio 4 about anti-Americanism, he has had plenty of opportunities to examine the American psyche, at a collective and individual level.

Justin begins his book by depicting a scene from his childhood, when he would accompany his mother (who was both a Quaker and a pacifist) to Saturday protest meetings in the Abbey churchyard in his home city of Bath. He describes his mother and her fellow band of protester friends as 'genteel and sensibly shod' but, a few years later, he was left wondering why this group of 'good people' only pointed an accusatory group finger at the USA. Why, for example, did their protests against nuclear weapons, concentrate solely on American warheads and not Soviet missiles?

Justin said: "These seemed to me to be more than attacks on the things America did. They were part of a general attitude towards America and the world, an ideology whose central tenet was that 'the Yanks are to blame'.

"In spite of ourselves, and in spite of all the evidence, we keep expecting Americans to come to their senses and have a National Health Service, or a ban on keeping pistols under suburban pillows, or affection for public transport. But, guys, they won't!

"On occasions European dislike of America comes close to racism. It is a deeply felt prejudice. Why else would English friends with impeccable anti-racist credentials ask of our children (who have grown up in the US), 'How will you get rid of their accents?' They assume, without ever questioning why, that we would want to."

What then, I ask him, of the future of anti-Americanism? Am I being too Doris Day-like, too Pollyanna-ish, to believe that the dawn of the Obama years, and a week in which he welcomed Gordon Brown to Washington, will eradicate the worst of the stereo-typing and scapegoating?

In his view, Obama will help but only up to a point: "European anti-Americanism has only a limited amount to do with who is in power here," he says, "it is also a function of our disappointment with ourselves, our jealousy at the success that America has been, and our seduction by the American Way; all of this comes together to make us hate ourselves for loving America. The relationship is complex - too complex for Obama to resolve."

Although I cannot believe that the all-pervasive European anti-Americanism of the past will entirely dissolve with this new administration, the Doris Day in me would like to hope that the changes we see in the White House will effect change in our judgments towards everyday, Americans.

While the hands of Congressmen and women are still recovering from the many standing ovations they gave Prime Minister Gordon Brown on his trip to Washington, his words, "There is no old Europe, no new Europe. There is only your friend Europe", are still ringing in our ears. If, as Gordon Brown states, this is the "most pro-American European leadership in living memory", hope springs eternal for this expat that Europeans will let us all have a nice new day.


Recession-Proof Diversity

By Heather Mac Donald

The college diversity racket is immune to economic downturns. Harvard University has announced its latest diversity dean for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Any rational budget analyst would mark this deanship for the ax, since it overlaps with the senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity--and with the cochairpersonships of the Standing Committee on Women. Yet it would appear that no financial meltdown, no matter how great, can shake academia's manic and irrational pursuit of a creature as imaginary as a unicorn: an even remotely qualified faculty made up of proportional numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and women.

Back in 2005, then-president Larry Summers inflated Harvard's already bloated diversity bureaucracy in penance for suggesting, in the spirit of open academic debate, that the distribution of high-end math skills in men and women could at least partly explain male dominance in the hard sciences. That recklessly truthful comment ultimately cost Summers his presidency, but not before he bootlessly tried to placate the diversity machine by creating a diversity sinecure--the senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity--and committing $50 million to a fanatical search for a racially and sexually proportional faculty.

Now, Harvard president Drew Gilpin Faust and dean Michael D. Smith have appointed sociology and African-American studies professor Michele Lamont the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' diversity dean. Lamont--an "expert on the dynamics of social exclusion in France and the United States," the Harvard Crimson says--will also chair yet another new diversity committee. But please don't confuse the diversity dean for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences with the senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity. They are not the same, though how they differ is a mystery beyond ordinary human ken. The diversity provost just published a report comparing the percentage of minority and female professors at Harvard and other universities; the new diversity dean will use this latest report to browbeat departments for their lack of diversity, which the diversity provost does as well.

Not daunted by the superfluity of her role, Lamont plans to "research what other universities are doing on the diversity front," the Crimson reports, something that the senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity also does. The answer, no matter who's asking, is simple. For the last 30 years, Harvard and its peers have pledged repeatedly to find the Holy Grail of perfect diversity. They have remained deliberately blind to the fact that the critical precondition to attaining diversity--a sufficient number of qualified minority Ph.D.s across the academy and of female Ph.D.s in the hard sciences--is not in place. They have desperately searched the horizon for a miraculous, undiscovered trove of qualified "diversity" candidates, and lowered hiring standards when they have failed to discover it. And, of course, they have obsessively produced comparative diversity studies for years, as if running the numbers would magically produce candidates who don't exist.

If ever there were a time to reconsider this futile quest, now would be it. Harvard lost at least $8 billion from its endowment--or 22 percent--between the end of June and early December. The university has put a freeze on faculty salaries, searches, and promotions. In a November 10 letter to the Harvard community, President Faust called for "greater financial discipline" and said that "tradeoffs and hard choices" could no longer be put off. Well, getting rid of Harvard's duplicative diversity apparatus wouldn't even be a "hard choice." When one is cutting budgets, the most obvious items to target are those that don't accomplish anything. The diversity racket fits that description to a tee.

Lamont is already up to speed in the three essential qualifications of a diversity bureaucrat: pretending that the sinecure requires special expertise, repeating the same tired bromides that have been endlessly regurgitated for years, and ignoring reality. "I'm basically using my knowledge to advise [Dean Smith] and to educate the Faculty," she told the Crimson. And in what arcane science will she be "educating" the faculty? In the agonizingly trite and wholly unjustified assertion that "diversity and excellence are not opposites--they're additive."

On the reality front, the fact that faculty searches and promotions have been frozen would seem to preclude "diversity" hires and promotions. Not to a diversity dean, however. Lamont says that she sees "opportunity" in the financial crisis. Departments will be able to focus more on diversity issues, Lamont said, according to the Crimson. Believing that departments can make diversity hires during a hiring freeze is no more irrational than believing that a department can achieve racial proportionality when the number of black and Hispanic Ph.D.s in substantive fields barely registers.

Lamont's expertise in the "dynamics of social exclusion" will no doubt sharpen her eyes to the exceedingly subtle ways that Harvard excludes blacks and minorities. Someone without the special insights of a diversity dean might find such a claim of exclusion inconsistent with Harvard's having poured millions of dollars into finding and promoting minorities and women. Too bad Harvard can't direct just as much energy to scoping out waste. Somewhere within that massive university, vital scholarship and scientific research takes place. While such research may be jeopardized by the current financial crisis, it's all the more at risk from Harvard's foolish conformity to diversity nonsense.


Australia: His Eminence Cardinal Pell believes West now scared of criticising Islam

The West has become scared to criticise Islam and accepts death threats by Muslim extremists as normal, Cardinal George Pell has suggested in a speech in England. The outspoken Catholic Archbishop of Sydney said laws intended to promote tolerance were being used to stifle debate, which was "fermenting intolerance under the surface". In the March 6 speech at Oxford University, he also attacked a global campaign of "bullying and intimidation" by secular groups trying to drive Christians from public debate and stop churches providing schools, hospitals and welfare.

"Many in the West have grown used to practising self-censorship when it comes to Islam, just as we seem to accept that ex-Muslims who criticise Islam and extremism, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, require round-the-clock police protection," he said. "You can be persecuted for hate speech if you discuss violence in Islam, but there is little fear of a hate-speech prosecution for Muslim demonstrators with placards reading 'Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas'."

He said the expense and time of defending frivolous hate-speech allegations and the anxiety from "being enmeshed in a legal process straight out of Kafka" stifled robust discussion. "No one in the West today would suggest that criticism of Christianity should be outlawed," he said. "The secular and religious intolerance of our day needs to be confronted regularly and publicly."

Some secularists wanted a one-way street, and sought to drive Christianity not only from the public square but from providing education, health care and welfare to the wider community. "Modern liberalism has strong totalitarian tendencies," he said.

Cardinal Pell said a Californian referendum that rejected same-sex marriage had been a focus for demonstrations, violence, vandalism and intimidation of Christians. He said "this prolonged campaign of payback and bullying" would have received much more attention if same-sex marriage supporters had been the victims. It was strange how some of the most permissive groups easily became repressive despite their rhetoric about diversity and tolerance, he said. "Opposition to same-sex marriage is a form of homophobia and therefore bad, but Christianophobic blacklisting and intimidation is passed over in silence," he said.

Cardinal Pell said discrimination laws had been used to redefine marriage and the family. Children could now have three, four or five parents, relegating the idea of a child being brought up by his natural mother and father to nothing more than a majority preference. He said last year's Victorian law decriminalising abortion made a mockery of conscientious objection, which had been attacked as merely a way for doctors and nurses to impose their morality on their patients. Cardinal Pell said Christians urgently needed to deepen public understanding about religious freedom.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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