They are your normal Yorkshire children, those pupils in Dewsbury. Or rather they would be, if they weren’t pupils of the Islamic Tarbiyah Academy.
As it is, they are taught that adopting British customs is forbidden, as is reading magazines, watching TV, following sports celebrities, women going to work or going anywhere without being covered up head to toe. In fact, most things they see around them in England are evil, especially the Jews.
Oh yes, the Jews. Mufti Zubair Dudha, the Academy’s founder, head and inspiration, knows all about that wicked tribe.
He knows, and publishes leaflets to that effect, that Jews are engaged in a global conspiracy to take over the world. The arguments and the language in which they are expressed sound like an echo of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the anti-Semitic forgery concocted by the Russian police in 1903.
Incidentally, this immortal work still adorns the bookshop windows in all Arabic countries, including such 'moderate' ones as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. For some inquisitive minds this may bring into question the nature and indeed existence of Muslim moderation.
To be fair to him, Mufti ‘Zip-a-Dee’ Dudha may borrow but he doesn’t plagiarise. In one of his leaflets he generously gives credit where credit is due by citing The Protocols chapter and verse, while modestly withholding the information of the work’s provenance.
Old Zip-a-Dee, it has to be said with some chagrin, doesn’t possess a highly developed sense of irony. If he did, he wouldn’t follow his exposition of a vile, global Jewish conspiracy by writing that Muslims should be ready “to expend… even life” to organise the world “according to Allah’s just order”.
Zip-a-Dee belongs to the orthodox Deobandi sect, and the temptation is strong to believe that the sect is the loony fringe of Islam, in no way representative of what our political leaders insist on calling a ‘religion of peace’.
The temptation weakens somewhat when one realises that the sect controls half of all UK mosques and madrasas, and it’s not as if religious and cultural tolerance were big on the curricula in the other half.
Zip-a-Dee’s seeds fall on fertile soil, sprouting into a number of firsts Dewsbury can proudly claim. The town was home to Britain’s youngest suicide bomber, the youngest convicted terrorist, and one of the 7/7 bombers. I wonder if those youngsters had matriculated at Zip-a-Dee’s Academy.
A visiting Martian, unfamiliar with the political, cultural and social subtexts may well shrug his twitching antennas and ask “Why not shut this evil place down? Along with all others like it? Are you people bent on suicide, or what?”
But we are earthlings, not aliens from other planets. We know that shutting even one of those diabolical places would create squawking the likes of which we haven’t heard for a long time.
We’d be reminded of the virtue of religious tolerance. Unimpeachable parallels would be drawn between the closing down of Zip-a-Dee’s Academy and the Nuremberg Laws, if not directly the Auschwitz gas chambers. Multiculturalism would be hailed as the ultimate and absolute good. The government would be made to admit its mistake, reopen that hatchery of hatred and reaffirm its unwavering commitment to diversity.
So, to answer the questions provocatively posed by our hypothetical Martian, no, we can’t close such places down. And yes, we are bent on suicide. So go back where you came from – while the going is good.