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Thursday, February 7, 2013

UK: Muslim Patrols - Urban Britain’s Newest Street Gang

Urban Britain has long witnessed a seemingly endless series of gangs of street toughs jockeying for petty power, intimidating passersby, engaging in criminal activity or simply hanging out on the corner out of sheer boredom. 

From the Penny Mobs of Glasgow in the 18th century, to various Irish gangs across the country in the 19th century, to the racist white skinheads of the 20th century, the history of British gangs documents a colorful and ever-changing tale of violence, dispossession and ultimate assimilation.
Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, a new (but not entirely unexpected) phenomenon has emerged on Britain’s mean streets – the rise of radical Muslim youths determined to impose their views of public conduct and morality upon anyone who cross their paths.
These immigrants and their second- (and now third-) generation descendants have dramatically altered the ethnic landscape in the United Kingdom. Some, particularly Indian Hindus and Sikhs, have generally fared well economically, while others, like Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, have lagged.
From the latter groups, young men, alienated from what they view as a hostile and discriminatory outside society and trapped in poverty, have turned inward, focusing on the faith of their ancestors in order to establish their own separate identity.
These measures have sometimes taken on a violent countenance, emboldened by jihadist movements in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as by a view of Western Christian society as weak, corrupt, materialistic and doomed.
In recent weeks, British media have reported on so-called “Muslim Patrols” in parts of London in which Muslim youths harass, badger, bother and even physically assault anyone in their neighborhoods whom they believe are violating their extremist, fundamentalist version of Islam as embodied by Sharia law.

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