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Some more Barking 4 June 2006

Posted by TwentyTwoYards in Land of Hope and Glory....
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My prolonged exile from blogosphere during mid-May meant that I was not able to contribute to the comments left by Yusuf and Orchid on the BNP Election victory post – probably a bit late to develop meaningful discussion, but I will give it a try! Yusuf had said:

Last time I was in Barking there were (at least) two mosques very near Barking town centre, which points to a substantial Asian community, similar to that of nearby Ilford. Which suggests that the BNP vote may not have come from Barking at all – more likely anywhere the “white trash” you referred to live. Bear in mind also the hostility is less towards Asians (despite the gang’s use of anti-Muslim rhetoric up north) as to so-calledABCs (Albanians, Bosnians and Kosovans).

There is a substantial Asian community in Ilford, as you say, and at least one of the two Barking mosques caters mainly for that community. This is one of the larger mosques east of Whitechapel, if not the largest, and though it may be titled "Barking mosque", the congregation is predominantly from South Ilford; mainly Pakistani Muslims from the long streets leading off Ilford Lane. Also, most other Ilford mosques (and there are quite a few) are not Pakistani-led, and not Barelwi; this one is both, and thus a magnet for non-Gujrati and Barelwi-inclined Muslims in the whole area. Hence, I am not sure if the existence of these mosques implies that Barking has a large Muslim community; it is certainly verymulti-racial, but a lot of the ethnic minorities seem to be more recent arrivals and not the South Asian Muslims who make the bulk of Ilford's non-White community. It is these recent arrivals (Somalians, Kosovars, Albanians, et al ) who face the opprobrium of even other ethnic minorities, as you point out – surely the Pakistanis / Indians etc should know better!

I do agree though that the BNP vote in this Council came from the Dagenham areas in all probability; there are substantial parts of the Borough where hardly a single non-White face would be seen. Even in relatively up-market Upney etc, the population seems to be fairly homogeneous ethnically (based on my search for a house in these areas a few years ago – anecdotal evidence, and very unscientific, but does not seem too unreasonable).

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