The Broken Mirror on the Muslim Boys

The Daily Mirror - AKA the Moron - today declared that a south London jail was “run by al-Qaeda”, citing the vicious antics of the razor gang known as the Muslim Boys. This gang attracted some attention in the Evening Standard a few months ago, when they ran their forced conversion racket against local black youths in Brixton. The Boys themselves, however, proved not really to be Muslim at all when they were asked whether they actually believed in Islam:

When I ask Winston whether he believes in Islam, he prevaricates. “Sort of,” he says. “I converted when I was in prison. I found it relaxing, we got better food. Now we all go to mosque together. If I refuse, they blow [shoot] me, innit. I pray twice a day: before I do crime, and after. I ask Allah for a blessing when I’m out on the street. Afterwards, I apologise to Allah for what I done.”

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So, given that this information is out there, why did the Daily Moron not do a bit of basic research before splashing the claim that they were al-Qa’ida all over their front page? If you are doing a bit of low-budget research for a blog entry and you don’t have access to Lexis/Nexis and don’t have time for a trip down to the British Library or its nearest equivalent, Google is your first port of call, so why not for tabloid reporters? Except that when you actually read the story, it transpires that there is actually no claim that the Boys are al-Qa’ida; just the usual spiel about fears of these thugs recruiting for terrorism. But if this were true, why do they only terrorise other men on their home patches in south London rather than take their guns and razors into the West End?

This whole article is a joke, or would be if it were not such a blatant travesty of the facts. The Boys, it says, “are London’s most feared gang”. Rubbish! They are actually an offshoot of a bigger Brixton gang, Poverty Driven Children. Have they never heard of the Turkish or Albanian gangs or the Chinese snakeheads, or the people who smuggle young Lithuanian women into brothels here? It depends who’s in fear, of course. The fact is that London’s gangland is nothing like as influential as it was in the days of the Krays and the rest of them, and even they only had a limited range which was nothing like all of London. There’s no Cosa Nostra or anything like that here. If the “Muslim Boys” really are the most feared gang in London, it’s because there’s not much competition.

And while there may be a problem with “extreme Muslims”, they should not be confused with this gang of criminals. The suspected terrorist detainees, who are not convicted criminals, are not housed with the general prison population. And I fail to see why there is any excuse for prison officers not to be monitoring what sermons are being preached in a prison chapel, and allowing “top members of al-Qaeda” to preach! Surely they can find a prison imam who speaks English. (And the “Muslim Boys” are of Jamaican origin, by the way.) In most mosques, the sermon is a stock sermon which is rattled off and takes a few minutes; the Friday prayer is often preceded by a lecture in English or Urdu, and this is the pattern prison chapels should be following on Fridays given that the majority of the inmates are English-speaking. And don’t forget that many prisoners do convert sincerely in jail and do not go on to become gangsters or terrorists. This article gives no clue that this ever happens. I actually looked at the two-page spread in the print version for a contribution from Shiv Malik, and stragely enough didn’t find one. What a stupid article from a debased newspaper.

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