Sikhs, Poles and Muslims guard their own community
11th August 2011: The immigrants have got together to fight the ongoing riots that have left London devastated. Infact across the country, ethnic communities have come out as the ‘heroes of the week’s riots’. The immigrants have infact shown that they love the country more than the natives.
Moreover, in the case of the three Muslim youths who were killed, as they protected their neighbourhood in Birmingham, they are martyrs. They have shown themselves to be not just as law-abiding as the Anglo-Saxons, but far more inspirational.
In Southall, west London, a group of turbaned Sikh men positioned themselves as guards outside their temples last Tuesday night. Some held swords, others hockey sticks as they challenged the looters to come near them. None dared.
Further in Whitechapel, rioters were hampered by 1,500 Muslim men – mostly Bengali, but also Somalis – emerging from the mosque after evening prayers.
In Ealing, Monika Gnoinska, a Pole who came here 20 years ago, and her daughter Agneska, 27, decided that they couldn’t stand by and watch these gangs destroy the country. Armed with brooms and dust-pans, they joined their eastern European neighbours in a collective onslaught operation.
Monika said the street was full and everyone was saying, “We work hard, and we’re grateful to Britain for what it’s done for us. We won’t allow any more nonsense.”
Turks in Dalston, Poles in Ealing, and Kurds in Haringey stationed themselves up to the thieving thugs at night, then spent the day helping repair the smash up.
For many Britons, who have always looked down on the newcomers, or ridiculed them for their values, this will come as a surprise – probably an uncomfortable one.
The rapidly increasing immigrant community has been misrepresented as anti-gay, anti-women, and dangerously intolerant.
The very notice of Polish Catholics, Punjabi Sikhs or Muslim Turks has filled open- minded hearts with fears of social division and of religion interfering into the public square.
Purists believe that the Muslim influx, in particular, threatens to destroy the already weak hold of the Judaeo-Christian traditions: George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, has warned the Government against taking in groups who fail to “understand our Christian heritage”.
The response to the riots is expected to modest these doubters. As a group of youths stood guard outside the mosque in Whitechapel, a Daily Telegraph reporter, asked if they had been moved to guard their own people. They shook their head and they wanted to protect their country, not just their community.
Their patriotism, which echoed that of the Poles in Ealing, was outstanding and especially in an area, where the British National Party and English Defence League brag a growing presence.
Coverage of the riots has constantly concentrated on the harm to the “community”. The mob has infact, shown total indifference for neighbours and local businesses.
Deli in Dalston, observed the destruction of her family-run shop and the frightening of her elderly father. Social ties of duty, respect, and trust – if they still existed – had gone up in smoke.
Yet in the tight-knit enclaves peopled by Kurds, Sikhs, Poles and others, a strong sense of community survived.
Over the past few days, immigrant communities have confronted the British way of life. They have dared their hosts to renew their own declining communities, to restore broken families, and to stick to a moral code. Can the natives measure up?