This conflict has been 30 years in the making
Riots in 1985 first exposed the ethnic tensions in Birmingham's poorest areas. Since then, things have if anything got worse
Wednesday October 26, 2005
Loud, proud, and wrong on the basic facts: the Guardian in a nutshell.
Whatever may have been the origin of the rumour that led to the disturbances in Lozells last weekend, one thing cannot be denied. "Gang rape" is a barbaric form of sexual predation on women, irrespective of the ethnicity of perpetrators and victims. It causes alarm and revulsion in African-Caribbean communities when rapists and victims are from that same background, as is increasingly the case, but it doesn't trigger riots. The key issue in Lozells, therefore, is the conditions that have led to the racialisation of rape.
The answer lies in the strained relationship between the African and Asian communities in Handsworth-Lozells over the past three decades and the way Birmingham city council and government funding regimes have fuelled this hostility. When I worked in Birmingham for the Runnymede Trust in the early 70s and wrote a report titled Race in the Inner City, Handsworth was a very different place. The majority ethnic group was white English and the second-largest African-Caribbean. When the Birmingham Evening Mail wrote about "the angry suburbs", it was describing the reaction of young African-Caribbeans and their parents to the treatment they were receiving from state institutions, particularly the police, and from a hostile population that blamed them for pre-existing social ills. Business in the community was conducted mainly by white English and African-Caribbeans, and there was a large measure of social cohesion.
"Asian" means Muslim in Guardianspeak. The Guardian wishes their brothers in revolution would stick to the script, but the Muslim script is found in the Koran, Hadith, and Sira - not the discredited works of Karl Marx.
Marxists have been blind-sided, flummoxed, and gob-smacked by the resurgence of religious warfare. Their only option is to recast the conflict in their terminology. Pitiful really, spending one's entire life worshipping at the altar of "class warfare" and "racism" and the leader of the revolution turns out to be a Saudi who's richer than Midas and believes in Arab supremacy right down to his very core.
Rape is part of Islam, found in the hadith and approved by the Koran. Women and children of the kuffar are booty to be distributed among the jihad 'warriors.'