Acton’s not white anymore, moans Salisbury Reviewer

Picture of Muslim-owned shops in Acton, west London, from the Telegraph. Two shops are clearly visible, one closed down, both with clearly visible Arabic lettering; rest are out of focus.‘I feel like a stranger where I live’ - Telegraph

This article appeared in today’s Telegraph and I had the ‘pleasure’ of seeing the print edition which has several stock images which are not in the online version. They include a picture of women in veils at an al-Muhajiroun demonstration, and a still from one of those “Muslim vigilante” videos that were shot in east London (Acton is in west London). The article is full of the familiar moans about how a “working-class area” has become full of unfriendly immigrants who cover up to their eyeballs and do not speak to white people or even serve them in shops. I cannot directly challenge the veracity of some of Kelly’s accusations against local shopkeepers, except to say that I doubt it. There are some claims that can be factually challenged, as well as the author’s bias exposed.

The claim that areas of Britain’s cities, notably London, have become ethnic ghettoes from which white residents are “fleeing” — so-called white flight — is a familiar one and has been made by Melanie Phillips, various BNP figures including Charlotte Lewis, who stood in local elections in a council seat where she was not entitled to stand in 2008, and a BBC documentary from a few years ago, and probably many others. The claims are usually made about parts of old mill towns in northern England, Leicester, inner west London and Tower Hamlets in east London; this is the first time I have heard such claims made about Acton. Acton is the eastern part of the borough of Ealing, and is close to the major retailing areas of Hammersmith, Chiswick, Ealing and Westfield at Shepherds’ Bush, as well as the Park Royal industrial area, so there is a lot of work nearby which is not especially well-paid. This may well be why there is a high immigrant population in those areas; as she says, it includes eastern European immigrants as well as Somalis and other Muslims. There is a fairly low percentage of British Asians in that part of London; they tend to live further west, in places like West Ealing, Southall and Hayes.

Kelly says she comes from a Staffordshire village and that she tries to keep up her old village traditions by talking to people on the street and in the market, just as they do “back home”. Assuming she is telling the truth, the problem is that this is not urban white British custom either, so her neighbours might be somewhat surprised to see a strange lady speak to them when others do not. The same probably goes for the male and female Muslim neighbours, but the male ones do not, as a rule, strike up conversations about nothings with strange women, including Muslim women. The same argument was made by Melanie Phillips while arguing against the niqaab in her book Londonistan, but anyone who has lived in London for any length of time knows that people in London do not speak to strangers in public places, niqaab or no niqaab. It’s not that common to get into conversations with people on the bus, or through sitting next to them in the park, or through any other chance encounter in a public place. People talk to those they know.

The pictures attached to the piece give all kinds of inflammatory messages. The use of the “veiled women at an al-Muhajiroun demo” picture, although probably not Kelly’s choice, is misleading as the demonstration was probably not in Acton and the women in it are probably not from Acton (the location, and origin of the participants, is probably Luton, which is not even in London). The majority of women who wear niqaab have nothing to do with the tiny outfit which keeps changing its name as it keeps getting banned, although most of us still call it al-Muhajiroun, and are not always associated with isolationist and highly conservative groups although a large proportion may be. Even so, the majority of Muslim women in Acton wear the standard head covering, not the niqaab, which is the same with Muslim women almost everywhere in the UK.

Another image is of Muslim shops and restaurants, and Kelly claims that the Muslim-owned curtain shop refused to put up curtains for her. Whether this is true or not, it may well be because the shop merely sells curtains or curtain material, and other people are around to fit them or put them up. Maybe most people measure and put up their own — it can be done. Even the fish and chip shop is halaal, she moans … boo hoo … but in fact, all fish is halaal. The only difference is that the other meat products they sell are as well, which is important because if you cook fish in the same oil as non-halaal chicken, the fish is contaminated and thus no longer halaal (the same is true of vegetables or anything else which is halaal by slaughter, or does not need slaughtering). The image gives the message that shops with foreign names or lettering (Arabic as in this case) give the impression of foreign-ness or “colonisation”, and I would have some sympathy if the complaint was about any use of foreign lettering on public signs without translation such that most people cannot read it, but the people who complain about it when the writing is Arabic do not complain about Hindi lettering in Neasden, Chinese in Chinatown or Korean lettering down here in south-west London — it’s only when it’s Muslims doing it that it’s a problem. (The image used in that picture only showed two shops clearly, one of them clearly closed down; the rest of the view was too fuzzy to read anything.)

The reference to the “Muslim vigilantes” incidents in east London also a represents a common tactic of bigots, regardless of who the target is: the presentation of isolated, extreme incidents as if they were typical or part of a trend involving a great many people. I have my own doubts about the authenticity of these videos; I fail to see why a “Muslim patrol” would bother videoing their activities and placing them on YouTube, rather than just going out and doing the patrols. One of the incidents allegedly happened in Commercial Street, which is inaccurately claimed to be part of a heavily Muslim area; in fact, although there may be a number of Muslim-owned clothing wholesalers on that street, it is right on the border between Spitalfields, an area popular with City workers and others who come to shop in the converted Market, and the mixed Muslim-Hindu Bengali community around Brick Lane. The area commonly regarded as the “Muslim area” is around the Whitechapel and Commercial roads, further south. It is much less than the whole of Tower Hamlets, which also includes the Docklands, the still very white Isle of Dogs and the more mixed Bethnal Green. Many local Muslim leaders have given sermons warning against this type of activity, so if it is going on at all, it is a tiny number of people, probably the same type who court negative publicity with their offensive demonstrations, i.e. al-Muhajiroun. There are also a number of areas in many cities and towns where drinking alcohol in the street is banned by order of the local council, and it is also banned on public transport in London. Clearly, Muslims are not the only people with a distaste for public drinking or drunkenness.

The author has an agenda: she is a consulting editor on the Salisbury Review, a quarterly journal of the right-wing fringe of the Tory party, formerly edited by Roger Scruton, which received its biggest membership boost by printing an extended grumble by Ray Honeyford, a Bradford head-teacher, about “multi racial zealots” taking over the British education system (which contained several paragraphs about how Pakistan was the heroin capital of the world and could “not cope with democracy”, when it had existed less than 40 years). White attacks on multiculturalism and ethnic areas only ever considers the refusal of “immigrants” to integrate; they never consider that immigrant communities want to live near where their shops and places of worship are, and they cluster for safety in numbers against violent racists (American interference in Pakistan was never considered as a possible reason for that country’s lack of democracy either; it had to just be down to their culture). If you are uncomfortable in an “Asian area” of any city, consider how comfortable any Asian or Black person feels when in many an English village or small town. You call Whitechapel, Acton, Highfields or Manningham “ghettoes”, but you have the rest of the country for yours.

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  • Muhammed Aslam

    Not sure what you are trying to defend here, as a Muslim, I can tell you muslims on the whole are rude, obnoxious cretins who dont possess any manners. It makes me sick and embarassed, they cant say please, thank you, excuse me or anything remotely civilised, not just to non-muslims but to anyone. They disgust me and you need to stop trying to white wash the reality. They spend hours swooning over the sunnah and the Prophet (saw) and Huqooq ul Insaan and then they go into the real world and vomit over anyone and everyone. They make me sick, but what makes me sick is the apologists like this blogger who think by denying the facts and moaning that everyone is so unfair to muslims, it will some how make the problem go away. Muslims are the lowest performers in schools, high number in prisons, highest unemployed, highest divorce rates go and compare the census stats with Hindus and Sikhs who are immigrants with same challenges and you will see what I mean, But this blogger like other brain washed muslims stuck in their cult like groupie mentality cant bring himself to ask muslims why they are so despised by the wider community and if that is not directly related to them behaving like feral pigs.

  • NK

    I have to say I agree with you Muhammed Aslam… I am an expat in Saudi Arabia and it is even more depressing over here with regards to basic manners.

  • Umar Bin Baz

    Mr NK, if you don’t like Saudi Arabia, you can always leave! Save your tax-free income for some good old English ethics - Like many White Western expats, who don’t even try to learn arabic but demand people speak English, learn the customs and culture of people because they are too busy drinking whisky, but worse look down on people, thinking they are God’s Gift to humanity.

    As for Muhammed Aslam, just as there are many ignorant and bad mannered Muslims, the same can be said for our non-Muslim friends. try visiting Spain and see what the locals think of ‘Jonny English’. Not all Sikh and Hindu are what you described, likewise, there are many successful Muslims.

  • http://twitter.com/byTJBowes T J Bowes

    I know Acton and actually it’s quite mixed. There’s a mix of shops - some Muslim-owned grocers and fast-food outlets - but also big chains and local independents. Acton actually has a large Japanese expat community, as well as a post-WW2 Polish community - and the shops reflect both.

    The Muslim population of Acton is actually quite small - but I know “Muslim” has become shorthand for any non-white ethnic group. An elderly friend we know in Acton was once subjected to anti-Muslim abuse even though she is an Armenian Christian.

    I have been in a variety of shops in Acton - the proprietors of which have been Sikh, Iraqi Muslims, Turkish Muslims and Pakistani Muslims - and have always found them very friendly. Perhaps I’m just lucky.

  • Muhammed Aslam

    Umar Bin Baz

    Dont try peddling that old excuse, it might wash in the mind of your hippie leftie, i doesnt wash with me because I am Muslim. Muslims as A WHOLE are overwhelmingly degenerate and foul. You cant travel to any country without the rancidness of corruption overwhelming you and if you are a woman sexual harassment following you. Muslims in the UK have got the highest rates in prison and lowest rates in education, yet they are a minority group, they have the highest divorce rate, go an compare with their Hindu and Sikh counterparts. I have moved into nice areas, no sooner do muslims move in the place gets trashed and becomes disgusting hell hole with gardens concreted, fences smashed, cars parked everywhere and anywhere, rubbish litter everywhere, and drugs being bought and sold. Muslims need to take their head out of their rear ends and start waking up and doing something to challenge the chimps that are ruining it for all of us, and dont expect anything from the Imams they are leading the charge in stupidty.

  • Muhammed Aslam

    Umar Bin Baz

    Funny that you dont want to hear people tell you muslims are bad mannered morons and instead tell people to get out of Saudi, isnt that racist? Like the BNP, you know if a Muslim says any thing they say if you dont like it get out of Britain.

    You are taking the same position, all because you are offended that anyone should request muslims stop behaving like pigs. Have you been to Saudi? You will know that Saudis treat anyone who is non- Saudi (with exception of white people) as sub-human animals, but apparently its part of the wahabite code of conduct handed out to the muslim world that no one must question the saudis.

  • Uthmān

    Excellent post, as far as I’m concerned. Two minor things (not related to the main thrust of the piece):

    1. Is there a consensus over the view that fish cooked in the same oil as non-halal chicken becomes haraam? I believe Yasir Qadhi is of the view that this only applies to food cooked in the same oil as pork meat, since it is only pork that is najs, while chicken (for example) is haraam but not najs.

    2. Sadly, the Muslim patrols video(s) are indeed genuine. Somebody wrote on an acquaintance’s Facebook post about it that they know one of the people in the first video.

  • Muhammed Aslam

    @disqus_jDOJSJBs74:disqus Oh and another thing Saudis and arabs generally imitate Europeans more than anyone so if you go to Muslim countries best wear western clothes to fit in with Muslim dress sense. As for alcohol??? again a westerner going to the Muslim world(especially) should consider drinking alcohol if he doesnt already to fit in with the custom of drinking there amongst the middle and eilte classes, and dont get me started on gambling, homosexuality and prostitution, go and google where united nations of prostitution is, and here is a clue it isnt London or Paris!

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Seriously? I’m Muslim (you know a REAL Muslim, not some white racist trying to anonymously defame Islam or the Ummah over the internet) and I disagree strongly with your comments. Here in the States, Muslims tend to be better educated than the general public, earn slightly higher incomes, and have a much higher rate of both high school diplomas and college degrees. Both us and the Hindus have much lower divorce rates, though of course in Islam there has never been any stigma attached to divorce.

    Fact is, the anti-Muslim prejudice pretty much all goes back to racism, xenophobia and outright hatred for Islam itself, which has existed in Western literature and intellectual culture for far longer than many people would be willing to realize. That we neither want nor need to conform to the Euro-American Protestant ideal is especially galling to them. Doubly so considering our aforementioned success in so many fields. Us and our Hindu and Sikh brothers, as well as our Christian immigrant brothers from Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and the Celtic fringe have much in common.

    Now, have ever met rude Muslims? Sure. I’ve known some of my Muslim brothers and sisters I couldn’t stand, felt uncomfortable around, or just plain didn’t like. We’re human beings. We’re all individuals. That’s just human nature. Of course, considering that we’re a minority over here, there aren’t nearly so many of us to annoy one another either. I could likely name far more white people who annoy me on a daily basis, along with some blacks, and a couple Latinos too. I’d imagine that holds true in London too. It ain’t a race thing.

    Oh, and as for the feral pig thing? Nah, I’m all wild boar baby! Fierce, proud and wild. You know that the wild boar was a symbol of the ancient Egyptian god Set and the Persian god Verethragna. In Hinduism, Vishnu took the form of a boar to slay Hiranyaksha. It was a symbol of bravery in the ancient world, and hunting it was a privileged reserved for nobility. It’s part of our heritage. So yeah, I proudly wear that honorific :-D

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    I still call bollocks on your statistics. Your comments sound waaay more like some bigoted white supremacist from the BNP or EDL than those of a fellow Muslim. I’ve been to many countries, and yeah, there is corruption in some Muslim countries. Also corruption, poverty and sexual harassment in many non-Muslim countries. Ever been to Mexico? Beautiful country, but some very real problems. Ditto for much of Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. All largely non-Muslim areas.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Then feel free to leave.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    Arabs imitate Europeans? You are right, to a point. But only in as much as that European culture has been imposed upon so much of the rest of the world. In Egypt, men who wear the galabiyya are viewed with suspicion. I’d daresay there are still more of us wearing traditional clothing than most other countries, but its almost always associated with rural peasants, not the upper middle classes who slavishly emulate all things foreign.

    Alcohol? Yeah, all countries have some form of local alcohol, but it is legally banned in some Muslim majority countries. Not all by any stretch. In fact, in some countries like the Maldives, alcohol sales are restricted to Western tourists. As for the rest… well yeah, prostitution is pretty much practiced in every country. Legally or illegally. Personally I’ve been of the attitude of legalizing prostitution, and here in my own country it IS legal in the state of Nevada. Nothing wrong with that. Besides, I thought you western liberals were all in favor of homosexuality? Or do you not have tolerance for foreign homosexuals?

  • AlKhalil

    Why would he leave? Why would he go back to the West and flip burgers or sweep floors for a living when he is living like a king in SA, making a salary of a US President, living in a villa with guards, provided with pools, golf fields and other sporting clubs, having maids and cooks to service his needs, a car with driver, his kids sent to private schools, and special stores for western foods and clothing to make him feel at home? But like a baby, he must complain in order to justify himself and give a perception of self-value.

  • http://twitter.com/Julaybib Yakoub Islam

    Poole, who did the first major piece of research on Islamophobia in the British press, argued that the media’s anti-Muslim discourses functioned to serve British foreign policy interests. Check the timing of this piece. QED.

  • http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/ Matthew Smith

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

    As far as I know it’s the traditional view in most madhhabs - at least one and probably more of the four, but I couldn’t imagine it isn’t a consensus. Animals that are dead, and died without slaughtering, are najis, and if you put something that is najis into a quantity of liquid that isn’t massive (i.e. less than, I think, about 218 litres, or two qullats) then the entire liquid becomes najis as is anything in it. Chicken obviously contains fat, which is haraam if it comes from an unslaughtered chicken, and that will leak out and contaminate the oil used to cook it.

  • http://twitter.com/Syed_Ikhlaas Syed Ikhlaas

    You are what the great Malcolm X described “a house negro”. You clearly suffer from major inferiority complex not realising that most of these corruption in the third world/Muslim countries was caused by colonial rape.

  • muhammed aslam

    looks like you spend too much time getting brain washed by your fat over weight delusional imam, let me take your calling bollocks and raise you a straight flush:

    do non-muslims have the concept of hijab and lowering gaze? no. Why do muslim move and live in non-muslim countries and not the other way around??

    **muslim prison population*

    Is 13% and muslims are 2%-3% of population and make up 13% of prison population

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/07/young-prisoners-muslim

    sexual harassment why are angelic muslim men worse than pigs in muslim country?

    68% of pakistani women and girls sexual harrassed http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-146638-68pc-women-in-country-subjected-to-sexual-harassment-HRW

    Corruption

    look at how lovely and red your muslim countries are run by muslim men and clerics

    http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results

    Did you feel that? That was reality smacking your bearded face like a train,

    and im not white and im not a non-muslim!

  • muhammed aslam

    seriously stop talking shit.

  • muhammed aslam

    Its seems that the blog owner is censoring my posts. and deleted my lengthy response, may the statistical facts I posted were ‘against adab akhi’ and yet your use of the word bollocks is hmc certified.

  • http://www.blogistan.co.uk/blog/ Matthew Smith

    Sorry but I’ve allowed through several of your abusive comments, and enough is enough. It says in my “Policies” page, which you can find in the links above, that personal insults are not acceptable and I will delete them.

  • Nicholas

    Yakoub’s first post gets this right. But other than that, the journo has a surreal concept of Staffordshire village life. Most of the criticisms in the article and comments also apply to the self-identified natives. Especially concreted gardens!

  • muhammed asalam

    mr. smith you look pretty silly claiming that you deleted my post because it included a person insult, firstly that was not true, it was an assertion that the user above was brain washed by stupid imams, however, if you read the poster who i responded to you let his insult directed at me slide where he accuses me of being a nazi. Nice example of nepotism, the same method used to govern the muslim community around the world, nepotism. the real reason you deleted my post is i posted statistical facts proving my points and because like most muslims you want to whine about islamphobia instead of taking responsibility for our failings!

  • muhammed aslam

    perhaps if you spent less time listening to the nonsense your imam is feeding you and looked at the facts you might not be talking rubbish, here let me help you:

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CD4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fepages.wordpress.com%2F2011%2F05%2F13%2Fhindus-have-highest-educational-level-lowest-divorce-rate-in-america%2F&ei=wSkNUfm7GpCV0QXSwYGICQ&usg=AFQjCNFqPBJibsHzlRd_769aEB9nBENAbg&bvm=bv.41867550,d.d2k

    muslims are under performing morons who spend their entire existences whining about islamphobia when they cant wipe their own noses! Check the link quick before the blog owner deletes it, facts violate his policy! it feels like i am in Saudi with all this censorship!

  • Muhammed Aslam

    i have noticed yet another statistical link i posted has been deleted by the blog owner in a poor attempt to divert attention away from the facts and so he can focus on having a group hug/ whine session with muslims complain about how evil non-muslims are and mr, ikhlaas, colonialism ended decades ago and perhaps you would like to explain how that links with current corruption and sexual harassment levels in muslim countrie, and also why are you living and benefiting from a former colonialist country if you are a tuff field negro???

  • Muhammed Aslam

    Mr. smith do statistical facts exposing the wretchedness and corruption of muslims and inparticular the Imams disturb you? Do you think this is saudi arabia that you can shut people up with brute force or censorship? Would you rather like the other posters on here blame colonialism for everything? Including muslims selling drugs, muslim divorce rates, muslim education faliure, muslim prison population, muslim backwardness, muslim violence, muslims savagery, muslim hypocrisy? Shall we just get back to blaming the ‘kufar’? Why do non-muslims get disturbed by muslim areas? the same reason i do, they trash the area, lower its standards and beauty and they cant be bother to learn English (even after they have been in the country for 5 decades) Just what is it that we should all be delighted with? Its also hypocritical the same muslims who whine that ‘islamophobes’ are objecting to their muslim ghettos are being unfair and intolerant, are the same people whine about western culture in the muslim world. mcdonalds, kfc in mecca……..boo hoo! how outrageous. Consider this, muslims wear their foreign clothing in uK in freedom if a westerner did the same (especially women in muslim countries) they would be either sexual harassed, spat on or have acid thrown in their face. And conservative muslim would say, well if she comes to a muslim country she should cover up! you hypocrites, who dont you allow the same tolerance you demand of non-muslims in the west towards you??

  • muhammed aslam

    Its also pretty damn hilarious to suggest that colonialism is the reason why Muslims are so backward, since the Hindus dont seem to be hindered by it in the slightest, go and see my link above that demonstrates hindus are the highest performers in the USA and if you want to talk about India, we can do that too, While india has a space programme, yes you read that right a freakin space programme, its neighbour Pakistan is virtually a failed state, with the rightly guided inheritors of the prophets aka the Ulema, urging their followers to blow up their fellow countrymen. Have you ever heard a Hindu priest do that? Even though Hinduism is one of the most diverse mixture of gods and beliefs on the planet, you would think they would have more conflict, right? But not its the raving lunatic muslim priests who are derailing any hope of an Islamic civilization emerging in any part of the muslim world.

    Muslims dont argue with my i will kick your ass with stats and a mirror! Grow up and demand some freaking changing from your community and your leaders, create and demand so goddamn standards and stop being little bitches blaming non-muslims for everything like you are dependent on hand out and recognition from them!

    grow a pair!

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  • raffa

    Greedy Muslims are the majority of London… ESPECIALLY ACTON

  • BallsStreet

    I agree with Kelly: Acton and London in general has lost itself in ghettos. I live in Acton and some of the shops that have been opened are awful. Some of the people are just as trampy. A lot more people just hanging around in the day doing nothing. So glad for the refuge of churchfield road and the park. Please bring back the antipodeans.

  • BallsStreet

    Some of the Muslims I know are v moderate, integrated and intellectual. They are westernised and they grew up in places like France, Mauritius. They appreciate Britain.

    Unfortunately they don’t live in Acton. It is the trashy Muslims that live in Acton who have replaced the drunk trashy but much more friendly antipodeans. Acton - the only place you’d get a mosque (sneaked through planning permission as a community centre) built next to an Irish pub. Incidentally the same Mosque where a male terrorist suspect escaped his curfew dressed in a women’s burqa. Now is that the start of an Irish joke….there was an Englishman, a Scotsman, a Welshman and an Irishman, as well as a Islamic fundamentalist man dressed in a woman’s burqa..

  • vermilion J

    British people have a perfect right to ‘moan’ about how they have been pushed out of their own capital city, the greatest repository of history and culture in the country. And why the hell shouldn’t they? Your article is a miserable p.c. load of tripe. The arrogance of foreigners who come over, take over, and then make contemptuous remarks against the people whose families have lived here for centuries. F off!

  • vermilion J

    How about please bring back the English people? You know, in the capital city of England?

  • vermilion J

    Are there any shop proprietors in Acton who are actually from THIS country?