What Does It Mean to be Asian?

What Does It Mean to be Asian?

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The Oxford English dictionary describes the usage of the word ‘Asian’ as follows:

“In Britain Asian is generally used to refer to people who come from (or whose parents came from) India, Pakistan, or elsewhere in South Asia”.

If the British press are anything to go by, this country is plagued by attacks committed by ‘Asians’. Some commentators have claimed that by identifying the perpetrators as Asians, the press are being racist. But, at first glance at least, they are merely reporting the facts – if they didn’t reveal the extent of ‘Asian crime’, then how could we possibly look into identifying the causes that make crimes committed by this subsection of the population so common?

But, of course, there is a problem. Asia is big; taking up, as it does, 30% of the surface of the globe, and with a population of approximately 3,879,000,000. Can we really trace criminal behaviour back to the cultural attitudes of so massive and diverse a place? What more do we really learn about crime (and about the possible ways of combating it) by identifying the perpetrators as Asian? Not a lot.

So why do they do it? Well, there’s still the defence that it’s merely descriptive. As the dictionary example illustrates, the usage of the term Asian has narrowed in this country so that it generally refers to those of Indian or Pakistani heritage. But this is still a huge number of people and, crucially, it refers to a huge number of different cultures and beliefs. Ethnicity can only ever be used to understand the causes of crime if there is a clear link between someone’s ethnic background and the culture that they grow up in, the beliefs that they have, and the situation that they find themselves in – all potential causes for an increased crime rate. If ethnicity is not shown to be linked to these things, then linking it to crime is most certainly racist, because it amounts to saying little more than ‘people of this ethnicity are criminals’, without looking into why there may be this correlation.

The question then becomes, ‘are there shared cultural practices, beliefs or common circumstances that could help to explain this supposed pandemic of Asian crime?’ As we’ve seen from the recent riots, where the vast majority of the perpetrators appear to have been black and from poorer neighbourhoods, supposing that ‘Asian crime’ is a problem because Asian communities are uniquely disadvantaged would appear to be nonsense. As for culture, how many different cultures exist in South Asia? And how many different ways are there of defining these different cultures? There are ancient tribal cultures, there is the caste system, there are cultures specific to the countries of the region – specifically India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – and there are religions – namely Hinduism, Sikhism, and Islam.

All these factors can affect behaviour, but given the current context (the perpetrators of certain crimes – specifically acts of terrorism – continually themselves pointing to Islam as their inspiration and supposed justification), would it not be incredibly naive and irresponsible not to at least consider the possibility of their being a link between ‘Asian’ crime and an ideology that we know to be used as a justification for some of the most serious of these crimes? Is it not even feasible that radical Islam could help to explain why the press find it so easy to report on crimes committed by ‘Asians’?

Let’s hit the nail on the head. Asian crime is a lie. It doesn’t exist. Not only does the ethnicity of the perpetrators mean little to nothing (and suggesting otherwise would certainly be racist), but there are very good reasons for supposing than very often when the media say Asian, they really mean Muslim.

We do not mean to demonise Muslims; instead we wish to fairly and evenly consider why there is a problem with Muslim crime, and why the media are so loathe to report it. In fact, hiding the correlation between Islam and certain types of crime behind a largely meaningless correlation between ‘Asians’ and these crimes is far more likely to breed resentment and misunderstanding than actually shining a light on the true root of the problem. While there are undoubtedly many culture and circumstantial factors that do affect crime statistics, it is our contention that radical Islam is a major contributing factor and has, at yet, been woefully under-considered.

Consider the ‘no go zones’, ‘Sharia control zones’, or would-be ‘Islamic areas’ reported in the press – do these indicate a problem with the Asian community (however defined) or with the Muslim community? It is clearly the latter. Tower Hamlets, Bury Park in Luton – both examples where radical Islam has a stranglehold. Where is this true of radical Hinduism or radical Sikhism? Nowhere – because these things do not exist. As Tommy has said at our demonstrations, there is no problem with Sikh youth, and there is no problem with Hindu youth, and yet these people are unfairly grouped together under the word ‘Asian’. No one would claim that all members of the Muslim community are a threat to this country – most are decent people, and some even support the EDL – but the Muslim community as a whole does need to address a wide range of problems. It is not enough to point to a handful of ‘radicals’ because Islam in Britain has far more deep-rooted flaws. As we’ve said before, Islam needs to change. But it’s hardly going to do that if the media portray the problem as being not about religion but about ethnicity, and if they continue to tar all ‘Asian’ communities with the same brush.

The importance of identifying Islam as a major contributing factor is demonstrated by the arrests for child-grooming that have recently swept across the country. We’ve heard claims before that we cannot be so confident that the perpetrators are Muslims, and that it’s ‘racist’ to contend that they are. Unfortunately we do not make the facts. Since 1997, 56 men have been found guilty of rape, child abduction, indecent assault and sex with a child. 50 of those were Muslims. And yet in this article, where this statistic is reported, the headline still refers to an ‘Asian sex gang’. If we’re to prevent these terrible crimes from occurring then we need to be honest about who is committing them and which ideologies they ascribe to. This article really should have referred to a ‘Muslim sex gang’ – that would be the truth, and that would have helped us to understand why the crimes were committed.

For example, we’ve explained before how the example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed (that all Muslims are supposed to follow) sets an incredibly dangerous precedent. Combine this with the hostility that is too often to be found in British Mosques and which is spread by radicals that the government has as yet failed to confront, and you reach the ghastly conclusion that many Muslim men see little wrong with applying the example of the prophet (sex with young children) to those who they regard as ‘dirty kuffar’ (non-Muslims, not worthy of the same rights as Muslims under the Sharia – Islamic Law).

This is only a quick sketch of this dangerous part of radical Islamic ideology, but if any of this is new to the reader then it just demonstrates how little the media and politicians have been willing to discuss the very real threat that radical Islam poses not just to our country and its people, but to the Muslim community as well. How can the Muslim community be expected to deal with these problems when the wider community is largely ignorant of them?

Referring to these criminals as Asians may well be technically correct, but it’s also Politically Correct. And that is a large part of the problem, because anyone who deviates from ‘the official line’ can expect to be the victim of the most vile abuse, be it screams of ‘Nazi’ or ‘Racist’, or having to face the prospect of being diagnosed with the deadly (and seemingly contagious) ‘Islamophobia’.

The examples of Politically Correct journalism are plentiful, but this example stands out. A young girl of 15 was the victim of a sexual assault in St Albans, and her attacker is described as follows:

“He has short, dark hair and was wearing traditional white Asian clothing with a traditional white raised Asian hat and a very strong Asian accent.”

Traditional white Asian clothing? A traditional white raised Asian hat? A very strong Asian accent? The suspect even had a large “bushy beard”, making it difficult for it to be any less obvious that he was a practicing Muslim. So why are the press so afraid of using the word? Perhaps we’re leveling criticism at the wrong people. Perhaps this is less a case of Politically Correct journalism as it is lazy journalism. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if the description given was one prepared by the police, and that the journalist simply hasn’t joined the dots. We can almost understanding the police not wanting to immediately leap to the conclusion that their suspect was a Muslim, given that nowadays they’re likely to be too terrified of being accused of racism to actually give an accurate report of the situation on the ground.

And for this we have to blame the Government. Given the rioting that has erupted nationwide we can but hope that lessons will be learned, and that the police will soon regain the confidence they need to actually deal with crime. But there are still serious flaws in the way that the Government views the threat posed by radical Islam. Only recently, the Government struggled to deport a radical preacher with a record of raising funds for terrorists, inciting violence against Jews, and claiming that homosexuality would cause the collapse of society and must be stopped. Perhaps even more shockingly, this was a man who Labour MPs were not only due to share a platform with, but were happy to defend.

It would seem that even some MPs are shockingly ignorant about radical Islam or that they believe, erroneously, that the best way to tackle it is to engage with its supporters whilst keeping the public in the dark about the scale of the problem. How else can we explain the obsession with referring to ‘Asian’ crime?

Official figures show that the ratio of Muslims to non-Muslims in prison is more than four times higher than those of the population at large –  not ‘Asian‘, but Muslim. But when the Government reports crime statistics it very often includes non-Muslim Asians under the category of ‘Asian crime’. Thus, the Chinese community in particular faces the unfair stigma of being associated with crimes that they did not commit. This country has a growing Sikh population which also fears the same type of misrepresentation. Sikhs form another community that, along with the Muslim community, is distinguished by its particular religious beliefs and customs. But there have never been any problems with Sikh integration in this country. This is not simply a matter of numbers, for Sikhs have shown an impressive willingness to integrate, to accept the laws of the land, and to confront and defeat any form of extremism.

Sikhs, Hindus, and all manner of smaller religious groups have their own identities of which they are immeasurably proud – as too do Muslims. Combining all of these distinct communities into one catch-all term would be insulting even if one of these groups was not responsible for crimes that give all of ‘the Asian community’ a bad name. These distinct communities deserve to be treated as such. Referring only to ‘Asians’ is not only grossly unfair, but risks creating artificial divisions where none have existed previously.

Where divisions do exist, and where there are clear problems affecting a specific community, it is important that policy-makers recognise which shared cultural practices, beliefs and common circumstances make a community distinct, as well as determining where they need to accommodate and where they need to criticise and aid reform.

The overwhelmingly well-educated, prosperous and well-integrated Indian community has very different needs to the comparatively provincial, poor, and insular Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. Add to that a growing assertiveness by British Hindus and Sikhs and the term ‘Asian’ is clearly inadequate to describe the realities.

Sarfraz Manzoor, writer and presenter of the BBC’s ‘Don’t call me Asian’ illustrates exactly that point:

“No longer can we say the interests of Sikhs and Hindus are the same as those of all British Asians. The government, will, at some point have to formulate more specific and targeted legislation, not just for all Asians but for specific strands within.”

This is typical of the response from these non-Muslim Asian communities. They do believe that they’re being mistreated, but they don’t shout about it at every opportunity – they don’t take to the streets and burn flags, they don’t threaten to kill journalists, and they don’t stab MPs – instead, they contribute to the debate.

But the Government and the media so often pay them no heed, instead spending most of their efforts telling us to remember that most Muslims are decent people. This sends out completely the wrong message. The people of Britain do not need to be patronised. Despite what some politicians may claim, Britain is still a very tolerant society, and accepting that Islam in Britain is deeply flawed and needs to change would not result in the victimisation of Britain’s Muslims. On the other hand, claiming that Islam has a unique claim to being ‘the religion of peace’, demonising anyone who might claim otherwise, and ignoring the legitimate concerns of ordinary people is exactly the sort of thing that will breed resentment.

Luckily, this disastrous approach has not led to widespread attacks on Muslims. Instead it has led to the birth of the world’s largest street protest movement. A movement that is committed to peaceful protest, anti-extremism, anti-racist, anti-fascism, and support for our democratic institutions.

We campaign against radical Islam, not all Muslims.

But it would be foolish to believe that radicalism exists only in the heads of a few crazed zealots. Radicalism is a problem, a problem that uniquely affects the Muslim Community. And there should be no stigma attached to simply identifying that fact.

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22 comments

  1. 130770CK5

    Just a couple of small points:- Only good muslims become terrorists. Even the moderate muslims will become good muslims in time, it’s the nature of the beast! We must not make any excuses for them.

    With regard to the description of a ‘person’ wearing traditional Asian clothes etc, we must remember that under current PC labelling, we are all the same. Just take a look at your passport, what does it say in there about your nationality? It says British Citizen, this is not a nationality, but the Asian/muslim has the same words in their British passport. It’s sick! Why can we not be described by out actual identity? I am English, not British Citizen, it’s an insult! By the same token they should be described as they are, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, West Indian etc, what’s wrong with that? It’s no wonder the press get away with their inaccurate reporting!

    For those of you getting to know me will understand that I will put my country and my people first every time! This is not to the exclusion of anybody for any reason, but a perfectly natural desire to protect my own culture, my loved ones, my country! To the immigrant communities I say welcome, but remember where you are and which set of rules you need to live by!

    1. lisa jones

      Well sais totally agree! Why are we being forced in to accepting this life with all this being taken over and out breed, it is being allowed and no cap on the birth rate I think no one should be allowed to have more than 2 children we are only an Island it does bear thinking about what will happen in the end to the UK. If we carry on like this! Is anyone in power seeing this no houses for them no jobd and yet still it goes on unchecked it will be like Hong Kong on every street. These are the things that need to be addressed! What does anyone else think? It is so alarming the birth rate.

  2. shawn aguilera

    It always sounds weird to me when the term ‘Asian’ is used for Indian, Pakistani or Sikh. In the U.S. when we say ‘Asian’ we’re referring to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Philipino, etc. and not referring to Indian or Pakistani which we use to refer to them specifically. And actually we usually use ‘from India’ or ‘East Indian’ because if you just say Indian, most people think you’re referring to American Indians (Native Americans) as that is still the most common term they are called. When I first heard ‘Asian’ being used in the British Press to describe muslims, I thought about what bullshit thing to do to all the other people of Asian heritage as to lump them with muslim extremist, thugs and criminals. You’re exactly right, the other Asians don’t threaten and demand so I guess they’re not at the top of the PC protected totem-pole.

    1. pauline pujol

      Hello Shawn and Members:

      How dare the British Press group all Asians into one ethnicity. In the States Asians are classified as persons from China, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodians, etc. and persons from Pakistan are stated as Pakistaniis. The British are so frightened of the Muslim community that they disrespect and do an extreme disservice to true Asian ethnic groups. What craven cowards the media are and pawns of the spineless Coalition Government that ‘quiver in their knickers’ everytime they must address a Muslim not an Asian problem in their community.

  3. lionsingh

    Excellent article.I was born here and am English with a British passport. I come from an Indian Sikh heritage which I am proud of..Before anyone asks..yes I loved and supported Englands whitewash of India at cricket ;-). hey KP is South African heritage.

    But I hate the term “Asian” as it is too inclusive to be meaningless …… basically it means not the white folk nor the blacks…the other ones not in our definition. I dont mind being called from Indian heritage though when I have been to India I am referred to as a Desi or pakora (brown outside white inside).

    Moreover, with the 3 wars between India and Pakistan since independence and the Islamic tyranny and invasion of India before (that Sikhs fought against for 200 years and defeated)… the most insulting thing is to be referred to as a “P@ki”.

    If you look at the contribution Indian heritage peoples have made to this country, the success they have achieved in business and academia to those of Islamic origin….you will see a wide gap. The crime figures speak for themselves !!!!! If islamacists and muslims define themself by their so-called religion…the media should as well !!!!

    It is as my mother says “They give us all a bad name” !!!!!!!

    The EDL should be commended that it realised the differences from its very inception.

    … a patriot

    1. mani

      This makes me laugh. Yeah you are Sikh and not a Pakistani but do you really think White people care? Most are too ignorant and thick to see a difference bottom line is if you’re Brown you are a ‘Paki’!!!!!!!

  4. johnnay

    Do you guys think being in this group shows the power of the british land? the people in this group shows no moral and educational background at all and you guys are saying “all muslims are assholes or possibly extremist” if you EDL people did have any educational background or even bother to do some extreme researching you might find the moral aspect of muslims in this society. showing racism doesn’t show power in the UK im afraid, it just shows how much of a loser you guys really are? especially vast majority of the people in this group doesn’t have any very basic standard education at all such as GCSE standards. I have a master from LSE even though i don’t study any religious courses i still have a very very basic understanding of the moral aspect.

    It is highly obvious that the EDL are highly racist group no question asked and they are pure chavs causing troubles and racial abuse to individuals (from what i have visually seen on this website and pictures). p.s for British sake please go back to school and study hard at least get a C grade at GCSE then progress yourself to achieve a higher education level because your guys are just an individual epic fail to your home country esp to those who are whitewashed! p.s learn from a chinese and not from a racial chav with low educational background. thats how we chinese people grow from studying from grammer schools/ private, boarding schools to high unis such as Birmingham uni, LSE and become bankers, lawyers, dentist…..

    1. lisa jones

      One question are you a Muslim? You are very arrogant! Who cares what education the members have, it does not take education to know when something very wrong is threatening their Country! It takes common sense and you dont seem to have a degree in that! EDL are not rascist and well you know it. You silly person…………

  5. Nuno

    After the first world war Germany was torn and oppressed (Treaty of Versailles). This resulted in the holocaust and a huge war. Jews had taken over the businesses and generaly took the employment and thus the wages. I think Adolf Hitler was wrong to seek purification of the earth as he called it. We are all equal but some take more then others. I would give my opinion on a solution but i rather ask you for the answer. It is your country. Yes the NHS requested for the Caribeans and Indians to come over to the Uk but a challenge anyone to purchase groceries in london but not from an Indian owned shop. The high possitions like doctors, lawyers, etc. In short if you analise the situation in the UK you will find it is probably worst then Germany after the Treaty of Versailles or before world war II. The Riots show this clearly. It may well have begun with the death of Mark Duggan. However it was clear by the events and comments from looters that it took a bigger motive to bring people out of they’re homes. Poverty. Ironically alot ofthe shops destroyed were indeed owned by Indian and Asians alike. It was not to get some trainners it was to destroy the “corner shop”. I dought the looters were after some milk and bread. My question is after going to Germany dictating how do you propose to fix this problem?

  6. SB

    It’s an absolute lie that the Prophet Muhammad advocated sex with children, nor does Islam permit sex with children.
    You cannot base your points on facts that do not exist.
    The prophet was married, he had 11 wives. In the Bible it is mentioned that Prophet Abraham had 2 wives, and Prophet Solomon had 1000 wives/concubines. Marrying more than one wife has never been an issue in the three Abrahamic faiths if you study the scriptures.
    In Prophet Muhammad’s time around 1450 years ago, it was the norm for girls who had attained the age of puberty (and are therefore considered a woman because they are now mature enough to have babies) to marry men 30, 40 years older than them. We in todays society who have a whole different set of cultural rules cannot look at another society from another place or time and say what was acceptable or not. You have to realise the context in which things happen. So that was the normal practice in Arabia, 1450 years ago, amongst people of all religions. Bear in mind that in that part of the hotter world, girls attain puberty at a younger age than girls over here in the West. The Prophet Muhammad married Ayesha while she was young (what we today deem young, but in reality her body was sexually mature enough to develop a child and people in her society would have classed her a woman and not a girl how we would today) but he MARRIED HER and they grew old together and she was married to him and loved by him till the day he died. There is a massive difference between that, and say going around and just having sex with lots of little random girls. The social norms of marriage in that day/age/culture is not the same as the peadophilia we see today.

  7. SB

    Oh I forgot to mention that the Prophets 10 wives were older mature women, either widows or divorcees. It was only one wife that was significantly younger, yet socially considered mature enough to be of a marriable age. But it is because of this one wife that you claim him to be a paedophile. You cannot claim that a man who preferred to marry older women by choice to be a paedophile. If he was a paedophile, he would have married 10 underage girls instead of 10 old women!

  8. Mo Jo

    Like most of your lies.. debunking your argument is so easy. But this one is particularly funny.

    You claim that “Official figures show that the ratio of Muslims to non-Muslims in prison is more than four times higher than those of the population at large – not ‘Asian‘, but Muslim.”

    And your source for the “official figures” above is this website http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2009/02/how_many_muslims_are_there_in_prisons.html

    Another Islamophobic, racist, and ignorant blog. And the source for THEIR figures is this story from UPI: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/02/06/Too_many_Muslims_in_high-security_prison/UPI-97161233982241/

    “The number of Muslim inmates at a maximum-security prison in eastern England doubled between 2006 and 2008, officials say.
    There were 73 Muslims held at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire in 2006, and 140 two years later, The Telegraph reported. That was about one-third of the inmate population.”

    So, what the story says, you idiots, is that AT THIS SPECIFIC PRISON, the percentage of Muslims is too high. In fact, the ORIGINAL article concludes with saying “”This is easily the highest percentage of Muslim prisoners in any British jail.” Which means that you really really really really fu*ed up mate.

    Get an education!

    Note: I already took screen shots of this article, your source, and the original. So, DON’T you dare and change anything! This is priceless!

  9. lisa jones

    SB YOU EXCUSE HIM BECAUSE HE ONLY HAD SEX WITH THE ONE. GET A LIFE!!!!!
    DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE SO MANY 9YR OLD GIRLS TOO RATE AS A PEDIO?
    CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT THAT WAS LIKE FOR A LITTLE GIRL OF 9YRS WITH 55YR OLD MAN.
    SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE YES IN AN ISLAM STATE OF PERVERSITY. AT LEAST IN THE WEST DO IT WE DON’T ENDORSE IT AS OK, THEY LOOK FOR AND ARREST THEM!
    AND YOU GET A NICE JAIL SENTENCE. SO JOG ON!

  10. Bedford Forrest Carter

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The left-wing media world have achieved their goal with label-words. Racist . . . any Anglo-Saxon that desires to preserve his or her Race. If you are white, then you must be a Racist; your parents and grandparents and all of those before them must have practiced Racism, if you’re white today. The left-wing consider that God is racist, for creating the seperate races to begin with, and also segregated Race on different lands.

    The left-wing have the people trembling with fear, to be called a Racist . . . a Label Word.
    You can Love your Race without Hating another Race. The left-wing think by mongrelizing the Anglo-Saxon Race will bring about utopia and peace . . . not so. Look closely at some mongrelized nation on this globe, and show me peace and utopia.
    This is the reason that the left-wing endeavor to promote breeding out the Anglo-Saxon . . . for it is a fact that Christianity is the dominate religion of the Anglo-Saxon. The left-wing assault on the Anglo-Saxon is an assault on Truth, and therefore, an assault on God.

    Our Fear and Faith should be with God . . . not with Government and left-wing media.
    Sometimes, the Truth sets us apart from Social-Acceptance of this material world. The Truth may hurt some so much, they turn away from it, and try to justify doing so.
    IT’S NOT WHO WE ARE . . . IT’S WHAT WE ARE . . . and this is all we’ll take with us when our souls depart this Earth.

  11. mani

    THANK YOU. I read the Daily Mail and I am so sick and tired of the word ‘Asian’ being used for every person with brown skin. It makes no sense to me at all. You have rightly identified recently that the perpetrators have been Muslim so why not just refer to them as Muslim? its so annoying seriously.. I am Indian and I don’t fall into the religious sects you have mentioned because I am an Indian Christian which makes up about 2.3% of India’s population.
    Its about time the media stops getting scared of being politically correct and get more specific with these individuals.

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