Pictured above: Gary Smith, a British teacher savagely beaten for teaching his students about Islam.
Champions of diversity and multiculturalism pride themselves on tolerance, yet paradoxically, in some cases they have to led to greater intolerance. This is seen in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, in which homophobic attacks, harassment of secular Muslims and anti-Semitic rhetoric are on the rise, driven by the growth of fundamentalist Islam. In a recent incident, a school teacher was savagely beaten for teaching about Islam in a comparative religions class. Of course, this is NOT to say that all Muslims are dangerous fundamentalists. Rather, this clearly this is indicative of the failure of British multiculturalism, which eschews the value of assimilation into the majority culture and unconditionally defines diversity as a social good.
Had the bureaucrats who determine England's selection of immigrants valued assimilation, they would have focused on the selection of individual Muslims who fit a profile (educated, secular, etc.) that indicated a high probability of rapid assimilation towards the values and norms of British society. And they would have sought to allow a number of Muslim immigrants that would be more conducive towards healthy assimilation. Or, if they dared breach the barriers of political correctness, they would have focused on admitting groups with a higher capacity of assimilation, such as Indian Hindus. Let's be honest, we have yet to see Hindu Immigrants blow up trains or planes. Secondly, the educational elites are to blame, because the multicultural curriculum that they propagate do little to encourage assimilation and address the bigotry, homophobia and antisemitism that are prevalent among segments of England's Muslim migrants. Nor have they promoted distinct British values and identity. And we even see that the police are reserved about even admitting the existence of such issues, in order to avoid being labelled "Islamaphobic." We know this to be true, because acts of intolerance committed by native born Brits elicits a strong official response.
The answer is not to exclude diverse populations from England, but rather to approach diversity and multiculturalism with a critical eye. Such an approach would honestly assess the values, norms and institutions that make England (and other western nations) places that are attractive to immigrants in the first place and seek to promote them among native born and newcomers alike. A daring and intellectually honest exploration of culture, would also ask what are the values and norms that have contributed to the endemic corruption, intolerance and poverty that make other countries (like Pakistan) places that so many people want to flee. It's essential to note that a critical approach to culture would draw a sharp distinction between individuals and cultures. In other words, prejudice against individuals would be staunchly opposed, while a rational critique of other cultures would not. Why? Because, while we can say with confidence that traditional Islamic Culture is hostile to freedom of speech, equal rights for non-Muslims and gay rights, we have absolutely no right to make assumptions about the values and conduct of an individual simply because he is a Muslim. A culturally confident England or United States would declare:
"we respect the right of the people of all cultures to live by their values, norms, traditions laws and institutions, but if you choose to do so, it only makes sense that you remain in your nation of origin. But, if you come to our nation, we insist that you respect and adopt our culture and way of life, they are fundamental aspects of the peace, prosperity and democracy that draw you and millions of others to our shores. Since we are a liberal society, we welcome your right to adhere to any tradition that does not contradict our own. Celebrating Ramadan and your rites of passage, enjoy your wonderful cuisine and music, but leave the intolerance, corruption and excessive statism in Pakistan. Being part of our nation and culture means that you must tolerate speech that you find offensive, rather than slash the throat of Theo Van Gogh or other critics of Islam. If you agree to this and are committed to economically and socially contributing to our great nation, we welcome you aboard. If not, we ask that you take at least one of our progressive multiculturalists with you, because we trust that a year in your nation will help them gain an appreciation for their own civilization."
Police 'covered up' violent campaign to turn London area 'Islamic'
Police have been accused of “covering up” a campaign of abuse, threats and violence aimed at “Islamicising” an area of London.
By Andrew Gilligan
12 Jun 2011
Victims say that officers in the borough of Tower Hamlets have ignored or downplayed outbreaks of hate crime, and suppressed evidence implicating Muslims in them, because they fear being accused of racism.
The claims come as four Tower Hamlets Muslims were jailed for at least 19 years for attacking a local white teacher who gave religious studies lessons to Muslim girls.
The Sunday Telegraph has uncovered more than a dozen other cases in Tower Hamlets where both Muslims and non-Muslims have been threatened or beaten for behaviour deemed to breach fundamentalist “Islamic norms.”
One victim, Mohammed Monzur Rahman, said he was left partially blind and with a dislocated shoulder after being attacked by a mob in Cannon Street Road, Shadwell, for smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last year.
“Two guys stopped me in the street and asked me why I was smoking,” he said. “I just carried on, and before I knew another dozen guys came and jumped me. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in hospital.”
“He reported it to the police and they just said they couldn’t track anyone down and there were no witnesses,” said Ansar Ahmed Ullah, a local anti-extremism campaigner who has advised Mr Rahman. “But there is CCTV in that street and it is lined with shops and people.”
Teachers in several local schools have told The Sunday Telegraph that they feel “under pressure” from local Muslim extremists, who have mounted campaigns through both parents and pupils – and, in one case, through another teacher - to enforce the compulsory wearing of the veil for Muslim girls. “It was totally orchestrated,” said one teacher. “The atmosphere became extremely unpleasant for a while, with constant verbal aggression from both the children and some parents against the head over this issue.”
One teacher at the Bigland Green primary school, Nicholas Kafouris, last year took the council to an employment tribunal, saying he was forced out of his job for complaining that Muslim pupils were engaging in racist and anti-Semitic bullying and saying they supported terrorism. Mr Kafouris lost his case, though the school did admit that insufficient action had been taken against the behaviour of some pupils. The number of assaults on teachers in Tower Hamlets resulting in exclusions has more than doubled from 190 in 2007/8 to 383 in 2008/9, the latest available year, though not all are necessarily race-related.
Tower Hamlets’ gay community has become a particular target of extremists. Homophobic crimes in the borough have risen by 80 per cent since 2007/8, and by 21 per cent over the last year, a period when there was a slight drop in London as a whole.
Last year, a mob of 30 young Muslims stormed a local gay pub, the George and Dragon, beating and abusing patrons. Many customers of the pub told The Sunday Telegraph that they have been attacked and harassed by local Muslim youths. In 2008 a 20-year-old student, Oli Hemsley, was left permanently paralysed after an attack by a group of young Muslims outside the pub. Only one of his assailants has been caught and jailed.
Even during meetings of the local council, prominent supporters of Tower Hamlets’ controversial directly-elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman – dropped by the Labour Party for his links to Islamic fundamentalism - have persistently targeted gay councillors with homophobic abuse and intimidation from the public gallery.
The Labour leader, Josh Peck, was attacked with animal noises and cries of “Unnatural acts! Unnatural acts!” when he rose to speak. The Conservative leader, Peter Golds, was repeatedly heckled as “Mrs Golds” and a “poofter”.
Mr Golds said: “If that happened in a football stadium, arrests would have taken place. I have complained, twice, to the police, and have heard nothing. A Labour colleague waited three hours at the police station before being told that nothing would be done. The police are afraid of being accused of Islamophobia. Another Labour councillor said that the Met is now the reverse of what it must have been like in the 1970s, with a complete lack of interest when white people make complaints of harassment and hatred.”
In February this year, dozens of stickers appeared across Tower Hamlets quoting the Koran, declaring the borough a “gay-free zone” and stating that “verily Allah is severe in punishment.”
The Sunday Telegraph has learned that during a routine stop-and-search at the time police found a young Muslim man with a number of the stickers in his possession. He was released without charge on the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service. Police also had CCTV images of a second unidentified Muslim youth posting the stickers at a local railway station, but refused to release the pictures for several weeks.
Peter Tatchell, the gay human rights campaigner, said: “The police said no-one was allowed to talk publicly about this because they didn’t want to upset the Muslim community. We’ve made very clear the difference between the Muslim community as a whole and these particular fundamentalists, and the fact that the police wouldn’t publicly say what they knew was an absolute disgrace.”
When the CCTV footage was finally released, in early April, the culprit was quickly identified as 18-year-old Mohammed Hasnath, who last week pleaded guilty to a public order offence and was fined £100. Jack Gilbert, of the Rainbow Hamlets gay group, said a more serious charge should have been brought. “The vast majority of the community saw the material as threatening, but the police were not willing to accept it as threatening,” he said.
Hasnath’s “interests” on his Facebook page include Khalid Yasin, a hate preacher who describes Jews as “filth” and teaches that homosexuals must be killed. Yasin has spoken at least four times since 2007 at the East London Mosque, Tower Hamlets’ most prominent Muslim institution. Although the mosque claims to be against extremism, discrimination, and violence, it has hosted dozens of hate, extremist or terrorist preachers and also hosted a “Spot The Fag” contest.
In the same week that it issued a press release condemning the anti-gay stickers, the mosque was also due to host a “gala dinner” with Uthman Lateef, a homophobic hate preacher.
The mosque is controlled by a fundamentalist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe, which says that it is dedicated to changing the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam.”
The IFE’s community affairs co-ordinator, Azad Ali, is chairman of the Muslim Safety Forum, an organisation officially recognised by the Met as its “principal [liaison] body in relation to Muslim community safety.” Mr Golds said: “This relationship may explain the police’s feebleness.” The IFE also has close links to the Tower Hamlets mayor, Mr Rahman.
There is no suggestion that any mosque official has been personally involved in any act of violence or intimidation. However, in an email obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, one IFE activist, Abu Talha, used the name of the group to threaten a local Muslim woman who ran a dating agency.
“I am asking you kindly to stop these activities as it goes against the teachings of Islam,” he wrote. “Let me remind you that I have a huge network of brothers and sisters who would be willing to help me take this further…If by tomorrow you haven’t changed your mind … then the campaign will begin.” The dating agency has now closed and the woman has left the area.
Mr Ahmed Ullah said: “There has been a gradual increase in these kinds of attacks, that’s for sure.” A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “When any allegation of crime is made to us, we investigate appropriately. We will always take action against hate crime in accordance with, and within the confines of, the law.”