“It is perhaps pointless to look back at the shamefully irresponsible immigration policies that have brought so many European countries to this explosive point…. However, we might at least recognise the problem. As usual a great many people are deliberately avoiding it, in particular by editing the word Muslim out of their debates, as if Islam had nothing to do with the dangerous mood sweeping Europe. Poverty and rejection have played a significant part, but there is an unmistakable sense in which the riots are Muslim, consciously so.
“Muslims vary and their beliefs vary. But the response of some Muslims to frustration – whether or not the fault of westerners – has been to retreat into more extreme forms of Islam and into the arms of fundamentalists. Yet although we know this, and despite the Salman Rushdie affair, despite the bombs and assassinations that led up to 9/11, despite the recent atrocities, we seem unwilling to recognise that what this can mean is deliberate separatism – apartheid. Islam in the European ghetto can mean an unwillingness to integrate at all, a desire to practise the faith with as little interference from the geographical host country as possible.”
Minette Marin in the Sunday Times, 13 November 2005
I mean, these foreigners, they come over here and insist on living in areas with the worst housing and, try as you might, you can’t dissuade them from taking low-paid jobs or remaining unemployed, which ensures that they can’t move out of those areas. For some unknown reason, some of them even see the need for the sort of defensive solidarity that results from living together with fellow members of their own oppressed minority community. And they even insist on the right to follow their religious beliefs free from state interference. Clearly the existence of ghettos is entirely the responsibility of the people who live in them and has nothing whatsoever to do with the racism of the “host” society.