This was an outrageous attack and the whole of the Asian community has condemned it
Local councillor Abdul Jabbar
Police figures show a record number of racist attacks in the area – out of 572 reported cases last year, 60% of the victims were white – and detectives are investigating a total of three racially-motivated incidents during last weekend.Last week an Asian youth told a BBC investigations team that “no-go zones” for white people were being created because police were failing to respond to attacks on their communities.
Ruth Fairhurst, assistant director of policy at Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council, said a zero-tolerance approach would be adopted by both council officials and police.
She denied there were “no-go areas” for whites in Oldham and said there was a spirit of co-existence amongst the majority of the community and it was a small minority of youths who were giving the district a very bad name.
She said much of the violence was caused by poverty, social disadvantage and a high percentage of young males in the area – problems currently being looked into by the council and the police.
A police spokeswoman also dismissed the notion of “no-go zones” but said: “We are investigating a number of racist attacks which took place over the weekend in the Oldham and Chadderton areas.
“On Saturday a 76-year-old local man was walking along an access road when he was approached by an Asian male who demanded to know his address.
“The aggrieved refused and was then pushed by the offender and received facial injuries.”
Local councillor Abdul Jabbar said: “This was an outrageous attack and the whole of the Asian community has condemned it.
“It’s a very small minority of people who are doing this and we condemn it totally and I don’t think it’s got any place in a civilised society in the 21st Century.”
Mr Jabbar said the high number of white victims was very concerning but he stressed many Asian people who had been victims of racial attacks had failed to report their injuries due to language barriers and lack of confidence.
Mr Chamberlain, who took part in World War Two’s D-Day landings and served on minesweepers during his time with the Royal Navy, is due to undergo surgery on several fractured facial bones this week.
Since the attack the British Nationalist Party [ There's no such party. I think the BBC means the British National Party, which has been called that since it formed in 1982. You'd think the BBC would know the names of British political parties, wouldn't you? More hard-hitting investigative journalism, as usual . . . ] has indicated it will now be putting forward candidates in the forthcoming election for both wards in Oldham rather than just one as previously planned.
Police are also investigating an attack on an Asian taxi driver’s car by a white passenger in Fitton Hill on Saturday and the stabbing of 15-year-old Asad Zulfuquar who was set upon by 11 white males on Saturday. [ Oh, here we go. It's a story about a white victim, so the BBC sees fit to remind us about Asian victims. Do they remind us about white victims when it's an Asian victim? No, they don't. ]
A 15-year-old from Werneth has been charged with affray and assault and will appear at Oldham Magistrates Court on Friday.
Jim Williams: No justification for attacks
More than 180 of the racial incidents were violent and the vast majority of those were attacks by Asian youths – usually in gangs of anything from six to 20 – on lone white males.This year has seen the stabbing of a 20-year-old man in a subway, a 16-year-old boy whose face was stamped on after he was knocked over and the attack by three Asian youths on Mr Chamberlain as he walked to his home after watching a local amateur rugby league match.
In a belated response to the problem, a multi-agency team has been set up to look at ways of improving the lot of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. [ We just heard that the majority of victims are white, but they want to help the Asian community. Where's the multi-agency team to look at ways of helping the white English community? You know, the actual victims . . . ]
Education, employment, social services, leisure facilities and improved living conditions are on the team’s agenda.
But it will all take a long time. Too long for local white residents, who feel under attack.
The attack on Walter Chamberlain was racist
Areas of Oldham occupied by the Asian communities are considered to be no-go areas by many Oldham residents although, contrary to recent publicity, there are not – and never have been – “whites keep out” signs in any parts of the town.Significantly, though, a recent anti-racist march, organised in response to a report that the National Front was planning a rally in Oldham, was advised to keep out of the Bangladeshi community by local leaders.
The reasons extended for the racial violence have been many and varied.
They range from poverty and unemployment, which leaves so many young Asian men with no prospects and narrow horizons, to a claim that the attacks are belated revenge for “Paki-bashing” inflicted on their families several generations ago.
More likely, however, is the view that these conflicts are territorial, that the youngsters in the Asian communities do not have their white peers’ possessions and have only the territory where they live to defend.
[ Racist Muslim colonisers terrorise native white people, but somehow we're supposed to feel sorry for them. Like it's actually our fault. We're the one's being attacked in our own country, we don't owe them anything, they chose to come here! ]
It is criminally thuggish behaviour and looking for excuses or reasons to justify the level of violent attacks experienced in Oldham recently would be a very dangerous road to tread
And defend it from any white intrusion they certainly do.At its core, however, it is criminally thuggish behaviour and looking for excuses or reasons to justify the level of violent attacks experienced in Oldham recently would be a very dangerous road to tread.
The violence is inspired and perpetrated by a tiny minority of Oldham’s largely peace-loving Asian communities and is, in the short term, a matter of policing rather than social policy.
Remedies to social problems are essential, of course, but before those remedies can be put in place the violence has to be brought to an end.
Pensioner Walter Chamberlain recovering in hospital after being kicked in the face and dragged to the floor in an attack by Asian youths at Westwood, Oldham. The attack, which is thought to be racially motivated, came just days after a report recognised the growing ‘reverse racism’ trend in Oldham.
Photo: Bill Batchelor/Manchester Evening News
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