No-Go Zones of the Mind

According to a report in the Daily Mail, there are more Muslim than Christian children in Birmingham, England’s second largest city. The same is true in a number of other large and mid-size cities—in Luton, Leicester, Bradford, and Slough. At least three boroughs in London have more Muslim than Christian children, including Tower Hamlets, which has an overall population of 273,000.

Most Americans, I daresay, don’t know about these significant demographic shifts in the UK. And it’s a good bet they don’t know about the 1400 child rape victims of Muslim gangs in the mid-size city of Rotherham. Nor is it likely that Americans are aware of “Operation Trojan Horse”—a plot by Muslim fundamentalists to Islamize as many as twenty-five of Birmingham’s schools.

It is likely, however, that a good many Americans are aware of a gaffe that occurred on a segment of Fox News in January when terrorism expert Steven Emerson mistakenly described Birmingham as a “totally Muslim” city where non-Muslims “don’t go.” Emerson apologized for his error, and Fox News apologized profusely. But it wasn’t good enough for the rest of the mainstream media, who quickly went to town on Emerson’s uncharacteristic mistake. They went further than that. The media took delight in ridiculing the assertion made in a series of Fox News segments that there are “no-go” zones in France and other European countries. Adding fuel to the fire, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, told CNN that she intended to sue Fox News for dishonoring the image of Paris.

No-go zones in Paris? According to CNN, it’s just another urban legend used to “perpetuate a fearful narrative about Muslims.” Except that it’s true. The no-go zones aren’t officially designated as such, and there is no law saying that non-Muslims can’t enter them, but they do exist and non-Muslims are well-advised to steer clear of most of them. Soeren Kern, who has done extensive research on the subject, defines no-go zones as “Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are de facto off-limits to non-Muslims due to a number of factors including the lawlessness, insecurity, or religious intimidation that often pervades these areas.”

 

The official designation is “sensitive urban zones.” A French government website lists 750 of these “Zones urbaines sensibles,” complete with satellite maps. Not all of these self-segregated areas are entirely Muslim or entirely off-limits to police and firemen, but many of them are highly dangerous and none of them is, as the media would have us believe, imaginary.

Kern has documented the no-go situation in Europe in a multi-part series for Gatestone Institute. Part One deals with France. In it, Kern quotes from dozens of French newspaper articles and television documentaries which focus on the zones and which often do use the term “no-go zones”—along with such other terms as “lawless zones,” “areas of lawlessness,” “battlefields,” and “lost territories.” He also cites a 120-page research paper that documents dozens of French neighborhoods “where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order.” In addition, Kern refers to a 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la Republique” (Suburbs of the Republic), which found that major Parisian suburbs are becoming “separate Islamic societies.”

Perhaps the mayor of Paris is unfamiliar with these areas. Or perhaps she is worried about what would happen to the tourism industry if the word got out. And it wouldn’t help the tourism business if it was widely known that about 40,000 cars are burned each year in France by Muslim youth, or that France has become a hotbed of Muslim anti-Semitism. It’s not widely reported that Jews have been leaving France in droves.

The American media hasn’t been able to avoid reporting the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo office or the killing of four Jews at a Kosher market shortly after. And there has been some reporting of a spate of deliberate hit-and-run killings committed by Muslim motorists, along with stories of attacks on French police by knife-wielding individuals of the “Allahu akbar” persuasion. Still, the media declines to connect the dots. The point is that such incidents are intimately connected to the existence of the supposedly imaginary no-go zones. The zones provide the environment which produces and supports the terrorists. As Kern puts it, “Muslim enclaves in European cities are also breeding grounds for Islamic radicalism and pose a significant threat to Western society.”

Just as dangerous as the brick and mortar no-go zones are the no-go zones of the Western mind—topics that the media and the insulated ruling class don’t dare to contemplate. The growing Islamization of Europe is one of those topics. And since the existence of sensitive urban zones confirms the Islamization process, their reality must be denied.

Among the other no-go thought crimes that the bien pensants have refused to contemplate were the possibility that jihad means anything other than an “interior spiritual struggle,” that the Arab Spring heralded anything other than the birth of democracy, and that the Caliphate might conceivably be re-established in the twenty-first century.

The media was wrong about those other “ridiculous” notions, and they are mistaken about no-go zones, as well. One could say they are dangerously mistaken. The failure of Muslims in Europe to become integrated into their host nations is no laughing matter.

Steve Emerson was mistaken about the number of Muslims in Birmingham, but it may turn out that he simply spoke too soon. Ludi Simpson, a Manchester University statistician, forecasts that within four years, native white Britons will be a minority in Birmingham—a decade earlier than the previous estimates. That prospect doesn’t seem to faze the Right Reverend David Urquhart, the Anglican bishop of Birmingham who said “I am delighted to live in a city of diverse faiths where all play their part.” That’s one way of looking at it. On the other hand, if present trends continue, the future of Birmingham may turn out to be much less diverse than the bishop can imagine.

William Kilpatrick

By

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

MENU