The PJ Tatler

From Britishness to 'Vibrant Diversity' to Burkas In the Blink of an Eye

The Daily Mail has a controversial and frightening story about what happened to a mill town in northern England that flipped from British to Pakistani Muslim — and into a terror recruiting station — almost overnight:

Jean Wood is determined to spend the rest of her days in Savile Town, a small enclave of terraced streets in the once proud Yorkshire wool town of Dewsbury. This is where she grew up, went to the grammar school and got married at the nearby handsome parish church nearly half a century ago.

A widow of 75, she likes to visit her grandchildren and tend the flower-filled garden of her detached house on a steep road leading down to the area’s community recreation ground, where the cricket club was once the boast of Savile Town.

Few of her friends or relatives live in this part of town any more. Jean is one of only 48 white Britons who have stayed on, while all the other 4,033 Savile Town residents, according to the latest 2011 census, are of Pakistani or Indian heritage.

One might point out here that, by definition, all Britons are white, and that remained true even after the Anglo-Saxon conquest of England. It is only recently that what was a racial and ethnic designation now merely applies to which passport one holds, and that “Asians” (the British euphemism for Arab and subcontinental Muslims) are now as “British” as the real British — in much the same manner that Bruce Jenner, a man in a dress, is every bit as feminine as a “real” woman.

Their forebears were enticed here as cheap paid labour for back-breaking jobs in the wool mills in the late 1950s. Hard-working, they were soon buying up the terraced houses, building their own mosques and opening corner shops selling burkas, prayer mats and perfumes containing no alcohol, in line with the strict teachings of the Islamic holy book the Koran.‘The change happened so quickly,’ says Jean today. ‘One day it seemed it was all whites, and then it was all Asians.’

Jean remembers when the first Asian family moved into Savile Town, on a road named South Street where she was brought up. Her father worked for the Yorkshire Electricity Board, her mother was a housewife and she was in her teens. ‘‘We peered at them and they peered back,’ she says now, as she serves a cup of tea in her sitting room. ‘We had never seen anything like them and they probably felt just the same about us. There was no prejudice, just curiosity.’

Not to mention exciting new restaurants!

Yet feelings between the two communities have changed dramatically for the worse in the years since. Across the world Dewsbury was always famous for manufacturing wool products – it was said the town provided the coats for British soldiers’ backs and the blankets under which they slept too.

Today, it has gained another kind of terrifying notoriety. First, the leader of the gang of four bombers who attacked London on July 7, 2005, came from here.When Mohammad Sidique Khan bade farewell to his pregnant wife on the morning he led his fellow attackers to the capital to claim 52 innocent lives in explosions on Tube trains and a bus, it was from a council house in a quiet cul-de-sac not far from Jean’s house. Next came Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist, Hammaad Munshi. He was arrested in 2006 when he was 16 while walking home from the local comprehensive carrying two bags of ball bearings – a key component of a suicide vest. Police later found a guide to explosives and notes on martyrdom in his bedroom.

In April it emerged that Munshi’s younger brother Hassan, 17, had secretly travelled to the badlands of Islamic State. He went with his neighbour Talha Asmal, also aged 17, a fanatical recruit who this weekend was revealed to have become Britain’s youngest ever suicide bomber in Iraq. Talha was part of a four-strong team of IS assassins who killed at least 11 people in two separate explosions near the city of Baiji. He and Hassan took a Thomas Cook holiday flight to Dalaman, a resort in Turkey, at the beginning of the Easter holidays and journeyed for miles before crossing into areas controlled by IS.

What England refuses to admit is that these people are not “refugees,” they’re colonists, come to transform British society into an outpost of the worldwide ummah:

The area has several private madrassas – Islamic schools where young boys (and some girls) learn the Koran by heart. Today only two pubs remain out of the nine that once dotted the streets. The others have either been demolished or turned into mosques. Towering over the street where Jean Wood was raised is the giant Markazi mosque. It was built in the 1980s with Saudi Arabian money on a piece of land where the local bowling green club stood and locals used to tend their allotments.

Now it is the European headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat, a global Islamic missionary movement with an austere, ultra-conservative religious creed nurturing the belief that British values pose a threat to Muslims. One of Tablighi Jamaat’s leading advocates, the scholar Ebrahim Rangooni, has proclaimed that the movement’s purpose is to rescue Muslims ‘from the culture and civilisation of the Jews, the Christians and other enemies of Islam.’

He tells the faithful to ‘save your progeny from the education of the British school or college in the same way as you would save them from a lion or wolf’.

Read the whole thing, if you have the stomach for it. And don’t miss the comments. Wow.