Monday, October 24, 2005


Chaos In Birmingham - 2 Dead In "Asian Vs Black" Rioting

I have delayed reporting on this for a couple of days now for the simple reason that there has been extreme media censoriship in any details that have been released. Tonight will be the third day of possible riots and the third day of our government trying to play down/ignore the seriousness of this situation. In short, a 14 year old girl was rumoured to have been raped by a gang of nearly 20 Muslim men (who most papers are simply labelling as "Asian"). After accusations were thrown back and forward, gangs of Muslim men, who claim they were protecting Muslim owned shops/ Mosques, and gangs of black men (who also claimed to be protecting shops, community centres) clashed on the streets of Birmingham, first on saturday night, then again last night. A group of black men were set upon by 3 car loads of Muslim men and stabbed, one man later died in hospital from his wounds. Another man was also shot to death, but details are still hazy (or so we're told)
The facts being released are still limited, and the racial and religous basis of this conflict is still being for the most part ignored. My view? Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away :

Guardian Article

It began as a whisper, an inflammatory rumour that gained horror and currency each time it was told. It was said that after being caught shoplifting, a girl of 13 or 14 had pleaded for leniency, but had been raped by between three and 25 Pakistani men in a suburban beauty store.

During the disturbances, shops were attacked, cars set on fire and hundreds of police in riot gear were confronted with bricks and bottles. Four people were stabbed, including a 23-year-old black man who later died in hospital. A police officer was shot in the leg with a ball-bearing gun, one of 12 gunshot incidents.

Assistant Chief Constable David Shaw, from West Midlands police, described the violence as "entirely unacceptable". His officers said between 30 and 50 people were responsible for 80 offences in 75 minutes of clashes, which began when, according to police, "outsiders" tried to barge into a church during a briefing meeting for the African-Caribbean community.

They disclosed that last week, when disquiet among the African-Caribbean community was at its height, a woman in her 30s also claimed that she had been indecently assaulted four months ago at a "similar premises". Five men have since been arrested and bailed in connection with that allegation.

In the aftermath of the weekend's violence, one activist yesterday claimed that Handsworth was "on the cusp of a race war", an allegation quickly dismissed by most. But questions are being asked about the state of relations between Birmingham's African-Caribbeans and Pakistanis and why so much violence erupted on the basis of an unsupported allegation.

A British-born Pakistani Muslim who runs a decorating shop on Lozells Road, said the violence could have been worse. "In Aston, which is about half a mile away, around 300 Asian lads were ready to come to Lozells, but the police stopped them from coming down here."

He said the violence was terrifying. "We just saw black youths running up and down the road, smashing things up and kicking things over. You can smash up as many shops as you like and people will put up with it, but when you start attacking a mosque, people aren't going to tolerate that.

"There are about 300 Muslims waiting for orders, but the imam stopped them from doing anything."


Reuters Article

A man stabbed to death during weekend rioting in Birmingham had been set upon by up to 11 men, police said on Monday.

Isiah Young-Sam, 23, was attacked in the Lozells area of the city on Saturday as he walked home with his younger brother Zephaniah and two friends from an afternoon at the cinema.

The murder victim, who worked for Birmingham City Council, died from a single stab wound to the chest and his friend was stabbed in the back during the attack.

Early on Monday, a teenager was shot dead in Birmingham close to the scene of weekend rioting, but police said it was unclear whether the killing was related to the disturbances.

The 18-year old youth suffered fatal gunshot wounds shortly after midnight in the Newtown area, about a mile from where the worst of the weekend violence had occurred.

Police said there had been "sporadic incidents of disorder" overnight, but they had been on a much smaller scale than on Saturday night when up to 50 youths rampaged through the area and several men were stabbed, including Young-Sam.

The Saturday night violence broke out after a public meeting to address community concerns over an alleged sex attack on a teenage girl.

Police said they were aware of rape allegations, but that no victim had come forward, making any investigation difficult.

Rumours had been growing as to what may have happened, despite attempts by members of the local Black and Asian community to reassure people.

A peaceful demonstration was organised and passed off without incident but later in the evening gangs of youths wielding baseball bats were reported to have run amok in the Lozells area.

Houses and businesses were attacked and cars set alight, prompting shock among most residents of the area which is largely multi-racial.

Over 30 people were injured, including a police officer who was shot in the thigh with a ball-bearing gun.
What worries me the most is the ease at which an Imam was able to gather up 300 Muslim men and order them around like his own private militia.


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