Saturday, 26 October 2013

Panorama's "White Fright": a warning to Britain

I only just came across (via an interesting discussion at Harry's Place) the above video of BBC's Panorama program of 2009, "White Fright", an investigation into the Islamisation of Blackburn, the separation of the white and Muslim Asian communities.  It ends with the stark statement: "What is happening in Blackburn, is a warning to the rest of Britain".
It's a warning, it seems, that is being ignored by Britain's politicians, who find it -- as the presenter Jeremy Vine says at the beginning -- a difficult subject to discuss.
Some points to watch out for:
Part One:
The opening scenes of a march by "British citizens in a British town... who have something to celebrate".  It's Muhammad's birthday, and they're all Muslims.  But note the screaming guy with the loudspeaker.  Whatever it is he's saying, it doesn't sound or look the least friendly.  Hardly "celebratory", one might say, more threatening in tone, and no wonder the few white folk along the march route are threatened by it.  "A lot of friggin' rubbish" says the woman...
Contrast that march with the St. George's day march a few weeks later... "genteel".
The segregation between White British and Muslim Asians "graphically reveals a problem facing the whole of the UK" (6:10)
Part Two:
The veil is a "symbol of separation": Jack Straw, [then] Leader of the House of Commons (2:50).
Jaffer Hussein, a pleasant young man, and Muslim, tried walking through a Muslim area with his school friend Jasmine Cox. (4.50).  They both felt threatened, and mostly by the younger Muslims.  This is a truly scary bit.
Part Three:
The purchase of property is nearly all one way, white to Muslim Asian.  An agent says that in 28 years he'd never sold a property from a Muslim Asian to a white family. (2.50).
Henry Brett: the UK will end up with white British cities and Muslim Asian cities. (4.40).
Pastor Chris Chivers: the separation in Blackburn was greater than when he'd served in Apartheid era South Africa. (5.50). A while later the good churchman blames the segregation on white Britons deciding to leave: they should stay in the areas becoming Muslim Asian, enriching their lives rather than feeling "diminished" by the new culture.  Right.  So he wants these folk to enjoy the "enrichment" of pubs closing -- the quintessential gathering place for Britons for generations -- to enjoy the enrichment of neighbours openly contemptuous of their culture, the enrichment of "celebratory" marches led by spittle-flecked screaming men, the enrichment of black-sheathed bagged women ghosting by. That sort of "enrichment"?  And if they don't like that "enrichment" and leave, they're "racist"?
Some of the "it'll-be-all-right-in-the-end" crowd may say this is just the normal teething problems that all immigrant communities have faced.  That adjusting one's own culture to that of Muslim Asians will in any case be enriching.  But that's just not true, is it?
 For one thing, the increasing expression of separatist Muslim attitudes and antipathy to British culture come most from the younger, not the older British-born Muslims (as Jaffer Hussein notes).  And the record of Muslim Asians' integration into British culture is quite different from that of all the other groups of immigrants.  In Australia, I've seen the waves of immigration from Italy, Greece, Vietnam, China, Korea.  We have our "Little Italys", our "Vietnamattas", our "Korea Towns" and "China Towns". These groups have all brought and maintained their foods, festivals and cultures.  But they have also enthusiastically engaged with the host culture. No-one feels afraid to enter a Little Italy, a China Town, a Vietnam Town. Quite the opposite: they are a destination for all. That can't be said of the Muslim Asian areas of British towns: by the admission of Muslims like Jaffer Hussein themselves, they are scary and threatening place for the non-Muslim.
And how can it be "enriching" to have British towns close down their pubs ("a lovely place to go on a nice day like this" as the old fellow says in Part Three), to close down the faces of women in veils, to close down the "genteel" enjoyment of life, to close down fun? And to have it all one way, and to be increasing to boot?