By Ismail Salami
Unfortunately, Britain is gradually plunging into the depths of moral deterioration and social decadence day in and day out as it refuses to make concrete efforts to curb the escalating trend of racism and hate crimes.
A recent egregious instance of racism in Britain is the brutal murder of an Iranian man named Bijan Ebrahimi at the hands of a group of extremist thugs who beat him unconscious and set fire to his body in Brislington, Bristol while he was still alive. Bijan was a disabled Iranian national who was wrongly labeled as a pedophile by neighbors “after photographing youths he suspected of vandalizing his treasured hanging baskets.”
“Whatever the cause of it, there were a number of neighbors who were hostile to Mr Ebrahimi and alleged he was a pedophile,” the prosecutor said. “There is in fact no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.”
Although Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Nick Gargan has recently owned to a “collective failure” on the part of statutory agencies and others to protect vigilante murder victim Bijan Ebrahimi, there is barely any ground for justifying their failures.
Lee James, 24, pleaded guilty to murder and was given a minimum sentence of 18 years. Norley pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and was given four years. That is the kind of justice meted out to a pair of killers in Britain.
It is reported that after murdering Ebrahimi and burning his body, James told his girlfriend: “We sorted him out. We took care of things.”
James told police he had kicked Ebrahimi “like a football… I had so much anger in me”.
Bijan Ebrahimi who moved to the UK in 2001 made several calls to police in the 48 hours before his murder, but “those calls were not responded to”.
Bijan’s sister Manizhah Moores recalls her brother as “a kind man whose main interests at home were caring for his stray cat and for his flower baskets. Unfortunately he was also subjected to horrendous bullying by bad people on a daily basis. Call it racism, call it prejudice – it doesn’t really matter what you call it, the things our brother was subjected to were barbaric. They included setting his home on fire when he lived in West Town Lane [an area of Brislington, Bristol], causing our beloved, softly-spoken brother to slip further and further into depression.”
Bijan is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, a tragic sense of racism and hatred is permeating through the very fabric of the British society, eating it away like a kind of canker.
Racism, which in fact an abject form of dehumanization, has a rather long history in Britain and there are groups and organizations who capitalize on racism and other forms of discrimination as a means to achieve their diabolical goals and paint an untrue picture of a race or religion.
One of the most notorious racist and hate groups in Britain is English Defense League AKA EDL which has been sowing seeds of hatred across the country against the Muslim community in particular by launching physical attacks on the Muslims and their Islamic centers. A former EDL leader, Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley Lennon) used to be a member of the fascist British National Party known as BNP. Interesting, the BNP has worked in league with EDL and other racist groups in Britain and made concrete steps towards seeking to stamp out all vestiges of Islamic culture within the British society.
Their shared agenda includes the following tenets:
1) They are implacably opposed to the Labour/Tory regimes’ mass immigration policies which, “if left unchecked, will see Britain and most of Europe colonized by Islam within a few decades.” 2) They believe that “Islam is by its very nature incompatible with modern secular western democracy.” So, they deem fit to antagonize it in all forms and by all means. 3) They believe that the burka and the building of further mosques in Britain should be banned. 4) They demand that Islamic immigration be halted and reversed. 5) They are diligent in promoting Islamophobia in Britain.
Unfortunately, racism is on the rise in Britain and the authorities are terribly remiss in taking responsible measures in order to stymie the violence springing therefrom. According to a BBC report, only between 2007 and 2011, nearly 88,000 racist incidents were recorded in Britain’s schools. Data from 90 areas shows “87,915 cases of racist bullying, which can include name calling and physical abuse. Birmingham recorded the highest number of incidents at 5,752, followed by Leeds with 4,690. Carmarthenshire had the lowest number with just 5 cases.”
With racism being institutionalized across the country, there is little hope for the burgeoning of multiculturalism, hybridity and the possibility of a reliable future for immigrants and the like.
The Bijans of our time are the victims of blind prejudice and loathsome ignorance of those who consciously choose to relegate some people to the category of subhumans and put themselves instead on a pedestal of supremacy.
- Dr. Ismail Salami is the author of ‘Iran, Cradle of Civilization’. He writes extensively on the US and Middle East issues and his articles have been translated into a number of languages.