Globe, United Kingdom

No-go areas: Islamic and British ultra-national extremism

Afraid of appearing racist, police are reluctant to admit the existence of off-limit zones for non-Muslims, leaving the public unaware of the severity of pro-Sharia and anti-Muslim radicalisation in the UK.

 

Yi ZOU

 

After the London Bridge attack, an internet user wrote on Twitter “In France and England there are neighbourhoods that are ‘no-go zones’. Even the police are scared to enter”. This led to numerous ridicules by the UK public, with comments such as “any high street when charity chuggers are on the prowl”, “my bathroom whilst I’m having a bath” and “would you like to see my holiday photos?” followed by the hashtag #BritishNoGoAreas going viral.

Stressing the views made on the internet, The Independent commented “thing is, no one who actually lives in the UK seems to know where these ‘no-go zones’ are”. According to The Huffington Post, “we’re clear that there are no ‘no-go zones’ in London”. Jack Griffith, a spokesperson for the Press Bureau of the Metropolitan Police Service agreed with this, saying to The Prisma “I can tell you that there are no such ‘no-go areas’ in London”.

It seems that the mainstream opinion is delivering a message that since it is politically incorrect to be Islamophobic, radicalised Islamic areas should not actually exist. In an attempt to avoid sharing the opinion expressed by the far-right (such as those of Australian senator, Pauline Hanson, for example), they turn a blind eye to what is currently happening.

A Metropolitan police officer told LBC “There has been a time when it’s been advised not to wear half-blues or uniform to and from work. … there are areas which you wouldn’t go into as a pair of cops in a car because of the fear of having things thrown at you when you’re driving through certain estates”.

Similarly, The Daily Express published several police officers’ words showing their fear and concern when entering some parts of the UK where Sharia law is widely practiced.

For example, in East London, some Islamic extremists harass women and homosexuals by preaching Sharia law with vulgar expletives (see CNN).

Recently, Raheem Kassam, a political activist and editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London (a far-right news outlet), published the book No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You. He listed a large number of radicalised places all over the world, including some in Britain.

In an interview with Gad Saad, a Lebanese-Canadian evolutionary behavioural scientist, Kassam shared his personal experience in Tower Hamlet where he saw some graffiti saying that the Taliban are here and to leave the area if he is not voting for labour party.

According to Fox News, he once commented that the governments’ demand for cheap migrant labour, corporations sponsoring leftist groups that deny the existence of no-go zones and the political leader’s lack of invested interest in the future of the country as a result of having no children are all reasons allowing such zones to develop.

Addressing the issue of no-go zones, he stated that most media and journalists may not even acknowledge radicalisation, instead preferring to think “…These things cannot possibly be happening. These places cannot possibly exist. These are the fantasies of Islamophobic right-wingers seeking to target and abuse Muslim communities out of sheer bigotry’. None of that is true”. Despite his political stance, Kassam can be right in the existence of no-go zones, a topic that many are too afraid to touch.

To avoid the question of no-go zones is to not only ignore the existence of Islamic extremists but also that of the Christian patrol extremists, such as, for example, the morbidly patriotic militant organisation Britain First, which has caused many hate crimes (see below).

Vice News covered an intense conflict between this group and the Sharia patrol in East London. It essentially epitomises the current tension between the force of Islamophobia and radicalised Muslims in the UK.

While Anjem Choudary – Britain’s most notorious Islamist hate preacher as referred to by The Telegraph – is inspiring hundreds of jihadists and has been related to at least 15 main terror attacks according to The Daily Mail, Paul Golding, the leader of Britain First, is promoting Islamophobic racism by spreading offensive and anti-Muslim speech, abusing women who wear hijab and threatening to commit murder.

Jonathan Vernon-Smith, a radio presenter for BBC, conducted an interview with Jayda Fransen, the acting leader of the group and a colleague of Golding, strongly opposing her opinion on no-go zones and accusing her of being racist.

Indeed, this group is far-right, Islamophobic and racist, but it seems that the media is against them purely for the sake of it in order to condemn their twisted and xenophobic ideology.

As Kassam claimed in his new book, “none of us should blindly trust the premise of Islamophobia because the term stems from what is basically a blasphemy law”.

Their ideology can be filled with hatred but the points they make are not always wrong.

Appealing to stop Islamophobia should not be based on ignoring radicalism. As The Huffington Post once commented, being critical of Islam is not racism.

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