Tim Dieppe reviews Among the Mosques, by Ed Husain (Bloomsbury, 2021) and comments on the rise of Islamic monoculture in the UK.
Author, commentator, and former Islamist Ed Husain has written a disturbing account of life among Britain’s Muslim communities. He raises serious questions about where the doctrine of multiculturalism has led us, and what the future may hold.
The fastest growing community
As Husain, points out, Muslims are the fastest growing community in Britain. While the population of the UK grew by 10.9% between 2001 and 2016, the Muslim population doubled to 3.2 million, and is projected to reach 13 million by 2050. Husain is a Muslim himself, and points out that, “The problem is not that the Muslim population is increasing: the question is what type of Islam is on the rise in British mosques” (p.4, emphasis his).
Husain travelled to ten towns across the UK to assess what the Muslim communities are like. The book’s chapters recount what he saw and found in his visits to the following towns and cities: Dewsbury, Manchester, Blackburn, Bradford, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and finally London. In each case he visited the leading mosque and sometimes one or two other mosques. He asks questions and describes his observations and feelings. The book reads like a travel log, with a conclusion at the end.
The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury
First up is Dewsbury, the European central office of the largest Muslim organisation in the world – Tableeghi Jamaat. Tableeghi Jamaat is a hard-line Deobandi movement, and today more than half of Britain’s Mosques are Deobandi. The London tube bomber from 2005 came from Dewsbury, as did Britain’s youngest ISIS suicide bomber, and also Britain’s youngest convicted terrorist.
The main mosque in Dewsbury holds up to 4,000 worshippers – and this is just men. Women are not allowed in the mosque. The women he sees on the streets are all dressed in black, wearing Islamic face coverings. Husain argues that such uniformity of clothing is not seen in Turkey, Syria or Egypt. There are no major retail outlets on the high street, not even a McDonalds. Predictably, Husain finds hard-line literature on the role of women in the Islamic bookshop.
Having previously read the highly recommended book, The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury: A Requiem, by local born and bred newspaper editor Danny Lockwood, I was aware of the seismic cultural shift in this town over the last few decades. It appears that Husain was not. Lockwood says there are no longer any licensed restaurants or clubs in Dewsbury. Saville Town is 99% Muslim with its own particular property bubble. There is a serious drug problem too, with 98% of the drug dealers being Muslim (Lockwood p.141-42).
As Husain travels to other towns, they begin to merge into one in the reader’s mind. Fundamentalist literature (of the kind banned in Saudi Arabia) appears to be on sale in virtually every Islamic bookshop he finds. Several mosques do not allow women inside, but some segregate the women. In Blackburn he finds it common knowledge that Whalley Range (Blackburn) is a no-go area for whites. When he drives up and down the high street there, he doesn’t see a single white face.
Husain finds evidence of sharia courts and of women having Islamic marriages that are not recognised in UK law and which therefore offer them no protection if there is a divorce, or their husband engages in polygamy. I have written about this problem before. Husain says that some men have second wives and families abroad. In London he witnesses self-flagellation and finds there are videos of this taking place in multiple towns across Britain.
Multiculturalism has enabled monoculturalism
In some areas, Husain laments that “multiculturalism has now enabled monoculturalism.” I have written before about multiculturalism – an ideology that is opposed to objective moral values, and therefore anti-Christian. Husain is right to point to its disturbing and paradoxical fruit. In his conclusion he notes that there is a growing communalism amongst Muslims in the UK whereby they identify primarily as Muslim and then in an increasingly political manner. He also notes the alarming “spread of caliphism as a social and political aspiration, on the grounds that Britain is flawed and failing” (p.288).
Where are we heading?
“What will happen when Birmingham or Bradford have a Muslim majority and organised caliphists hold the balance of power? Does the city begin by banning alcohol sales, using council funds to remove statues offensive to monotheism, enforcing new school uniforms for girls that exclude short skirts, banning nightclubs and gay bars, or making Fridays a local holiday for communal prayers?
“Caliphism and clericalism are sequestering an entire community away from meaningful contact with mainstream Britain. The cordon sanitaire around many minds will become solidified unless we change course.” (p.289)
Husain concludes by suggesting that we should celebrate six defining traits of British culture. These are: Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Gender Equality, Openness, Uniqueness, and Racial Parity. Husain notes: “These six qualities are also the outcomes of a Protestant Christian ethic that has moulded today’s Brits” (p.298). He is right about this, but without the Christian foundation from which they were built, these qualities are already crumbling around us. The doctrine of multiculturalism entails an abandonment of these values since no one culture can be seen as any better than another.
The parable of Batley
Events at Batley Grammar School took place after this book was written. The teacher who showed a cartoon of Muhammad in a lesson about blasphemy remains in hiding to this day. This must be the most powerful lesson ever taught by the school. Everyone now knows that we have a de facto Islamic blasphemy law in effect. Break it and you end up in hiding. Even worse, there was a conspiracy of silence about this by all the mainstream candidates in the recent by-election. None of them spoke up in support of the teacher. They don’t want to risk offending the Muslim voters.
What’s happened in Batley is a parable for the nation. As the Muslim population grows, so does its political influence. Before long, all the mainstream politicians will be desperate to win Muslim votes and will therefore avoid saying anything critical of Islamic practices or culture. Unless there is a dramatic shift, we are on the road to an Islamic Britain. Only a revival of Christianity can turn us off that track and take us to a better future.