Ignorant bigot smackdown: special Londonistan edition

Based on no evidence whatsoever, a gaggle of gibbering lunatics (mostly in the US, as one might expect) has created a new myth that antisemitism is rife in the UK and that Jews will be attacked wherever they go.

This is rubbish. Despite the Lebanon crisis, only 92 antisemitic incidents – ranging from grafitti to verbal abuse in the street – were reported in July 2006. The number is certain to fall in August, now that Lebanon is largely forgotten in the public eye. 92 antisemitic incidents is 92 too many, but suggesting that this represents anything other than a minor nuisance is staring-eyed gibbering paranoia.

The most brilliantly ignorant-bordering-on-insane article I’ve seen recently is Thank The Beeb For Jew Hatred by James Lewis. Yes, that’s its actual title. The opinions are gloriously bonkers, and the facts are quite spectacularly incorrect. I’ll stick to the latter for the time being… 

London has two million Pakistanis, who have been taught to hate Jews all of their lives, while Jewish votes are now scattered among electoral districts…

As of the 2001 census, London had 142,749 Pakistanis (by ethnic group, not by birth), compared to 149,789 Jews. In case you’re slightly less ignorant than Mr Lewis and were wondering about non-Pakistani Muslims, out of London’s entire population of 7,172,091 people, 607,083 claim to be Muslim. This may have changed slightly since 2001 – although the biggest demographic change in London since then is the influx of white Christian workers from eastern Europe, so I doubt it.

In terms of “scattering” versus clustering, 149,789 of England and Wales’s 255,927 Jews live in London (59%), compared to 142,749 of England and Wales’s 714,826 Pakistanis (20%). This doesn’t provide obvious support for Mr Lewis’s point.

Friday sermons at Finsbury Park Mosque and elsewhere stir up sadistic mobs in exactly the way they have always done in Arabia and Pakistan. What do you expect, after importing two million brainwashed Pakistanis? They have just moved Peshawar to Finsbury.  

Mr Lewis would seem to be a few years behind the time here: the Finsbury Park mosque was turned from an extremist mosque to a normal mosque after it was raided by the police in 2003. Unless he’s suggesting that all normal mosques are extremist hate-mongers, in which case why bother mentioning the Finsbury Park mosque at all? It’s also worth noting that the mosque is predominantly attended by north Africans.

He’s also drastically wrong on geography and demography. Finsbury has one of the smallest minority populations in inner London, being 76% white compared to 71% for the city as a whole. I’m not sure why Mr Lewis is comparing an area 3.7 miles’ drive from the mosque to Peshawa, though.

Let’s assume, charitably, that he’s an idiot and therefore doesn’t understand that Finsbury and Finsbury Park are completely different areas. It’s not easy to get stats for Finsbury Park as a community, because the area is split between the boroughs of Islington, Hackney and Harringey – but you can get data for the local government ward that contains the mosque itself.

This shows the area’s largest minority group is “Other White”, followed by “Irish”, “Black African”, “Black Caribbean”, “Mixed”, “Bangladeshi”, “Chinese”, “Indian”, “Other Ethnic Group”, “Other Black”, “Other Asian”, and “Pakistani”. Yup, Pakistanis are the smallest ethnic group in the area.

For such a gloriously wrong-premised article, I feel Mr Lewis deserves some kind of prize. Suggestions are welcome.

6 thoughts on “Ignorant bigot smackdown: special Londonistan edition

  1. Simonk says:

    There is a Jewish primary school not far from my flat where a significant minority of the children are Muslims, mostly of Pakistani descent. I wonder why their parents would be so keen to send the kids to this school if they were teaching them from birth to ‘hate Jews’.

  2. I don’t agree with the guy, but a quick comment on figures.

    Wikipedia puts London’s “urban area” population at 8.5 million and the “metro area” at 12-14 million. I suppose that one could assume that the further out from the centre, the cheaoer it gets to live and that the proportion of Pakistanis or Muslims might get higher the further out that you go (given that they tend to be poorer)?

    Just a thought…

    DK

  3. Simon says:

    DK – there are less than 2 million Muslims in the entire UK, and their main population centres in London are the inner suburbs of Tower Hamlets and Newham, of whose Muslim population a large proportion are not Pakistani but Bangladeshi in origin. The ‘metro area’ as defined by Wikipedia would include large swathes of the south-east, which is on average more affluent and even more expensive to live in than London, and which has a far smaller Muslim population. So whichever way you look at it, Lewis’s claim is still egregiously false.

  4. Brian Barder says:

    I note that the website used by Mr Lewis for his thoughts (hilariously named ‘The American Thinker’) has no provision for comments or reactions, and thus isn’t even a blog. Just as well for Mr Lewis!

  5. dave heasman says:

    In case anyone’s interested, the “other white” in Finsbury Park is probably largely Cypriot.

  6. dearieme says:

    Since we have completely lost control of immigration, how does anyone know how many muslims are here?

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