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Islam in Sheffield - Reply to commenter Bryony

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: Sheffield, England ... an Islamist colony in the making?

Submitted by John (United Kingdom), Apr 3, 2005 at 10:31

Bryony's message contained a number of incorrect statements that I feel compelled to respond to. I too live in Sheffield, and I did not recognise the city to which she referred.
From the top:

'...people who enter a new country must do so to work, to earn a living, be law abiding and willing to integrate with and respect the host community.'

I see no evidence that Muslims in Sheffield have not done this and are not continuing to do this. Has she not taken a taxi in Sheffield? Muslim drivers. Has she not seen the Universities? Muslim students (many of those at Hallam University are from Sheffield & continue to live at home). Has she not gone into any number of shops, stores & restaurants? Muslim workers. I see no evidence at all that these people treat people with any less respect than the average non-Muslim.

'Cities such as Sheffield [...] are becomingly more and more Islamic and our English culture, traditions and values are under threat.'

Absolutely untrue. In what ways has 'our culture' been changed? I do not doubt that the skyline in some areas of the city has been altered by the addition of the odd minaret, but are these buildings any worse than the chimneys of derelict factories or some of the pretty hideous buildings that have been built in Sheffield over the past 20 years or so? How have our laws been changed (other than to explicitly state a commitment to racial equality)? How has our religion been changed?

'Sheffield has changed irrevocably since Tony Blair and the Labour Party came to power in 1997. Socialist policies have allowed a significant increase in immigration from Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq, and Iran.'

Not only is this a classic post hoc fallacy (correlation is not the same as causation, dear) she also suggests that New Labour are socialist! Anyone with even passing knowledge of their policies knows that this is not the case. The increase in refugees is a result of war; only those in Afghanistan & Iraq are attributable to Blair. Further, Sheffield has hardly been touched by this. Working with the Refugee council in Sheffield I know that there are only a little over 1,600 asylum seekers in Sheffield at the moment. Hardly swamping.

'Native Sheffield people feel 'swamped' by all this immigration as we can see our city changing before our very eyes.'

I have lived here for 9 years, I therefore can't really be counted as a 'native'. However I have never heard anyone say anything like this. Ever. This is therefore another fallacy (ad populum, for those who like to spot these things).

'Sheffield is also experiencing worrying incidents of violent crime, gun crime, drug problems and sexual assaults. These are not all due to immigration, but it is reasonable to say that the entire fabric of society seems to be breaking down.'

This is just patently untrue. Sheffield has one of the lowest crime rates in the country - Sheffield University brags about it on their website in order to try to entice scared middle class students to apply. I imagine that Bryony may counter by saying that 'any case of crime is worrying'; this is perhaps true, particularly for the victim. But her implication is that Sheffield has *high* rates of crime & this is absolutely not the case.
Further, she is right to say that crime is not down to immigration - however this point is presented as a false concession to the main argument. Look at the crime figures published by the Office of National Statistics and you will see that you are far more likely to be a victim of crime if you are non-white British than White (unfortunately the breakdown does not show religion, but there is a large correlation between non-white and Muslim).

'Sheffield was built by the steel industry .... but its future may be just another globalised Islamist colony.'

This is just racist scare mongering to which there is simply no evidence. As to 'Long live Sheffield!', I agree with the sentiment. I just hope that the Sheffield of the future is not the regressive, reactionary and racist place that Bryony longs for.

all the best
John
Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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