[Above: Inside Housing, not featured on Have I Got News For You? Image left: Lara Oyedele. Right: a house.]
EDL Extra comments on the Inside Housing article, 'Breaking down barriers', by Lara Oyedele, 4.3.2011. (Comments are in red.)
On 5 February the English Defence League decided to march on Luton and voice their displeasure at the local Muslim community. On the same day, our prime minister was in Munich telling the world that multiculturalism in Britain had failed.
I doubt it was intentional but the timing was certainly unfortunate. Nevertheless, his comments invigorated racist factions of Britain’s far-right. [The EDL’s not ‘racist’, I’m afraid. It may be convenient, politically, to label the EDL ‘racist’; but it’s not. It may make things simple to do so. But things ain’t simple in the real world - unless you're a Marxist or a Leftist of another kind.]
BME National member housing associations with predominantly Muslim tenants have told me of their concerns and fears. Some tenants are frightened the speech will provoke a backlash from those emboldened by the prime minister’s words. [What sort of a ‘backlash’ will that be? That people will speak out, and rightly so, against housing associations who deal exclusively with particularly religious groups – such as Muslims? And that such associations give Muslims certain housing and other privileges that non-Muslims (especially whites) don’t get in Luton and elsewhere?]
David Cameron made some accurate observations. But instead of being the rallying call he envisaged, he has focused the spotlight on an already stigmatised community. [Perhaps some communities deserve to be ‘stigmatised’. Or at least there may be good reasons for criticism, if not for stigmatisation.] He has also undermined much of the admirable work housing associations have done to encourage and empower Muslim communities to integrate with British society. [How, exactly, have they done that - when this article points to separatism, not integration, for Muslims?] The prime minister’s failure to acknowledge the connection between segregated communities and poor housing was particularly disheartening. [Muslims, nearly always, self-segregate because their religion demands it. This has nothing to do with bad housing. In fact, Muslims rarely live on rundown council estates and in council properties. One of the reasons for this is the Muslim ‘extended family’ – council houses are just too small for many Muslim families.] On the one hand, he’s asking for organisations, like housing associations, to engage more effectively with immigrant communities. On the other, his government is drastically cutting back on the crucial funding needed for them to progress with their schemes. [Again, what sorts of ‘schemes’ are we talking about here? Schemes which privilege minorities and treat them like incapable children?]
I’m sure Mr Cameron needs no reminding that one of the main reasons the riots in Bradford, Burnley and Oldham erupted in 2001 was that the ‘segregated’ - like the non-BME community - were living in deprived neighbourhoods with bad housing. [Self-segregated areas! And also the self-destroyed areas in Bradford, Keighley, Burnley and Oldham? No one forces Muslims to tip their rubbish on the streets. No one forces young Muslims not to take kuffar jobs. No one forces Muslims to turn inner-city areas into little Pakistani villages which only spend care and time on their mosques and on no other buildings.] Fortunately, here in London and the south east, we haven’t seen scenes like that for decades. But poor social housing is still a major concern for those working with the region’s immigrant and refugee communities. And despite the financial problems facing the sector, BME housing associations are proudly continuing with their invaluable work. [Again, only a Marxist, or a person who doesn’t realise s/he has been fed Marxist dogmas and clichés, would blame everything, from a lack of Muslim integration to Muslims burning down Bradford, on ‘economic deprivation’. That is a materialist analysis which disallows people the freedom of choice to do the right thing. Again, Muslims are being treated as children by the Great and the Good Left. It seems that Muslims are more prone to socioeconomic determinism than middle class whites in Islington – the very people who offer us these Marxist theories about these things – and all things - in the first place.]
There are many excellent examples of community cohesion in our region. [‘Community Cohesion’!! I’ve never heard that phrase before. It’s got a nice ring to it. Pity it’s vacuous.] North London Muslim Housing Association organises mixed after-school clubs and youth groups. Bangla Housing Association in east London hosts classes to improve tenants’ English and, with other landlords, arranges days out where residents can meet their neighbours. [The very fact that these housing associations are prefixed by ‘Muslim’ and ‘Bangla’ shows us that these groups are working against integration and towards self-imposed Islamic apartheid.
Neither is this exclusive to associations with mainly Muslim tenants. Arhag Housing Association has helped refugees from all over the world with education and job skills training. This equips them with the tools to make a positive, constructive contribution towards British society.
The prime minister mentioned his keenness to work with organisations that share his ambitions. If he took a step back, Mr Cameron would realise that - much like his big society concept - people have been working hard towards such initiatives for years. [So why have these housing associations, in Luton and elsewhere, as well as the interfaithers, as well as the ‘community outreach teams’, as well as the ‘community empowerment schemes’, as well as the ‘Community Cohesion and Diversity initiatives’, solved virtually nothing when it comes to self-imposed Muslim apartheid in our towns and cities? Is it because they are mainly feather-bedded jobsworth enterprises, and sly caring-capitalist scams, for the Leftist Great and Good?]
Lara Oyedele is the chair of BME National and chief executive of Odu-Dua Housing Association