Not all Muslim Somalis are violent thugs

Islamophobia Watch has not always seen eye to eye with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, but this article, from yesterday’s Evening Standard, is right on the button.

Not all Muslim Somalis are violent thugs

By Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Evening Standard, 21 December 2006

Yusuf Abdillh Jama and his brother Mustaf will, I hope, burn slowly in hell for slaughtering PC Sharon Beshenivsky, mother of two, who was called to duty during an armed robbery.

With other hard gangsters, the two were violent career criminals. Yusuf was convicted of murder and faces years of incarceration. The more villainous Mustaf escaped to Somalia. Speculation is spreading that he slipped away under a full veil using his sister’s passport. What evil lurks under some of these shrouds: you can see why criminals and terrorists would take up a garment that gives them absolute facial anonymity.

Yusuf and Mustaf are evil. They are also Muslim Somali refugees. A simple reminder: that doesn’t mean all Muslim Somali asylum seekers are violent thugs who should be banished. Yet I bet, as people read reports of this heinous crime and the court case, many will have thought exactly that.

With the many crises this year over asylum arrivals, ineligible or fake claimants, Immigration Service paralysis and Home Office ineptitude, public attitudes have hardened against migrants in general and asylum seekers in particular – including the deserving. Asylum seekers have never had it so bad. Many are destitute, others wrenched from the places they have settled in to be detained and processed. Their children are traumatised.

I take food and solace to some and come home drained and helpless. Inmates await deportation to countries where some will undoubtedly face torture or death. The fact that some of them lied to get refugee status doesn’t make them criminals.

It is almost impossible to understand the desperation driving these wandering humans. They hate the asylum criminal class, for they know, as I know, that every time such felons do their worst, the BNP cheers and, worse, decent Britons become less compassionate and trusting of those who have to seek refuge in this country.

English migrants in Spain would protest loudly if Spaniards were to malign the whole lot of them every time one of theirs committed a horrible crime. My Jewish friends were deeply offended when anti-Semites described Dame Shirley Porter and Robert Maxwell as “typical, fraudulent Jews”.

I remember my indignation on the Today programme when the sneering Lord Tebbit said crime had come to Britain with multiracial immigration. I suppose the Kray twins were clever Afghans who disguised their true origins.

There are some vile and vicious migrants in this country who should be deported after punishment. But to turn loathing for particular lawbreakers into collective blame is both unjust and unjustifiable.