UK: Muslims and 'Poles'

John Cornwell has an interesting article about no-go areas and Muslim influence in Britain. Following is a snippet, about the relationships between Muslims and the newer immigrants from Eastern Europe.


The interaction arising from mixed marriages and relationships (ethnic and religious), as well as the peculiar mix of proximate neighbours, already affects Muslim identity in Britain, just as diverse Muslim cultures have the power to influence the British majority culture. And Asian Muslims who have been in Britain for several generations are as anxious about the impact of the recent estimated half-million east European migrants as many long-term Brits.

Here's a typical story: "The Poles are causing the main community tensions," a young man from the Luton central mosque tells me. "They are undercutting hourly rates below the minimum wage, they drink and they abuse their women. They cram tenants into rented properties, and insult us in the streets by setting up their Polski pork-sausage stands."

Every migrant community is unique, dynamic, shaped not only by cultures of origin but by the proximity of more recent migrants (in Ilford I was told by the leader of Redbridge council that there are now 96 languages spoken in the borough). Muslims, in other words, share the same cultural and territorial vulnerabilities as anybody else. New arrivals from eastern Europe, usually labelled "Poles" by Muslims, whatever their nationality, are prepared, according to one Slough-based building contractor, to work for £2 an hour, whereas Asians, who know their rights under the minimum-wage legislation, refuse to work for less than £5 an hour.

The influence of the "Poles" is set to expand in unpredictable ways. I'm talking with a chief imam in a Midlands city, who wants himself and his mosque to be off the record. He takes me up into an office on the second floor, past a room labelled Fatwahs – which merely means sharia judgments. He talks about Islam being a proselytising religion, unlike Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism. For this reason, he says, Islam is set to expand rapidly in Britain. Then he drops a bombshell. "In the past two years, 16 Polish women have converted to Islam in my mosque."

When I ask to meet these women, he says it is impossible. So I take another route. The imams are mostly ruled by the mosque councils which pay their salaries; the real power in the community resides with the local ward councillors, who hold court in the front rooms of their homes. This is how I met a remarkable Muslim woman community worker, who also wished to remain anonymous.

"There are second-generation Muslim men in many communities who have been obliged to marry village women or cousins back home. These men may be prosperous and westernised, and want a different kind of relationship, with a younger woman perhaps. A typical Polish convert might have been a victim of domestic violence with her boyfriend. She might have worked as a cleaner for a Muslim man who finds her attractive and takes her as a mistress or even proposes marriage as a second wife. He then sets her up in a flat and perhaps pays for her to go to college. They begin to find Islam attractive."


Source: The Times (English)

See also: Yorkshire: Muslims attacking Eastern Europeans, UK: 'Extremism flourished as UK lost Christianity'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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