Previous installments: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
A Consideration of Muslim Crime in the UK
and the Response of the British Authorities
By Pike Bishop
VII. Some Pre-Emptive Responses to Predicted Objections
Given that many of the reflexive objections to this dossier and its contents are largely predictable in advance, we endeavour here to try to clear some of them up, so that people of good faith who genuinely wish to engage with the position herein need not waste their time with them.
Are We Stigmatising Muslims?
‘Stigmatisation’ is one of the accusations most frequently hurled at those who presume to draw attention to the undesirable characteristics of ideologically protected groups. Like many such charges, however, it has no real meaning. If we were to accuse the Orthodox Jewish community of the UK of being disproportionately represented amongst the ranks of armed robbers, would we be accused of stigmatising them? Obviously not. We would be accused, and deservedly so, of outright fabrication and slander, but not of stigmatisation. When a false claim is made about a group, the counterclaim of ‘stigmatisation’ serves no useful purpose, as defenders of the group in question can respond far more effectively by pointing out that the claim is false.
Once this simple point has been understood, it can be seen fairly clearly that the charge of ‘stigmatisation’ is only meaningful when directed at true claims. It will therefore only be made in response to true claims, and is, in essence, an implicit admission of their accuracy. If one points out that Muslims in the UK tend far more strongly to terrorism, sedition, and subversion than any other group, then one is making a claim which very few people acquainted with the facts could possibly deny. In response, many will accuse the claimant of ‘stigmatising’ Muslims. Despite their apparent belief that they are thereby saying something substantive and thought-provoking, they are in fact only saying that a) one’s claims are true, but that b) it is simply not cricket to point out such unpleasant truths. For my part, we are content to be correct, and will let loftier intellects concern themselves with what is, and what is not, cricket.
Note that the accusation that we are ‘fostering hatred’ would be essentially analogous to the claim that we are engaging in stigmatisation. The rebuttal is therefore simply a slight variation on the above theme.
Surely There Is No Such Thing as ‘Islam’?
It is often argued, when attention is drawn to unpleasant aspects of the way in which Muslims behave, whether in the UK or anywhere else, that there is no such thing as Islam. It is meaningless to try to generalize about Islam. There are many Islams. Why, there are as many Islams as there are Muslims.
We must not essentialise Islam, clever people tell us. Furthermore, there is huge ethnic, cultural, and linguistic variation amongst the Muslims in the UK, and throughout Western Europe in general. Surely it is meaningless to speak of Muslims as being one thing rather than another, and inflammatory to do so on a subject as controversial as crime?
If Islam and crime have nothing to do with each other, then we should not expect to observe any patterns, any regularities, when we look at crime through the prism of Islam. To rephrase, looking at crime from the perspective of Islam should impose no more order on the underlying data than doing so from the perspective of any other arbitrarily selected and irrelevant parameter.
Let us make the point with an example. If we were to trawl through every Crown Court conviction in the UK in the last twenty years, looking for a pattern between the first letter of the surname of the convicted and the type of offence they had been convicted of, what would we expect to discover? That all murderers had surnames beginning with the letter ‘G’ and all rapists surnames beginning with the letter ‘M’? Surely not. We expect, for reasons too obvious to need explaining, there to be no relationship at all between these two parameters.
But what if we did find a relationship? What if all murderers really did have surnames beginning with the letter ‘G’, and all rapists surnames beginning with the letter ‘M’? If we checked and double-checked our research and were confident of our results, then we would have discovered something very significant, and something that could not possibly be a coincidence. Even if we did not understand the relationship we had discovered, would it not be remiss to fail to draw attention to it and demand that it be studied? Objecting that we were ‘essentialising’ the letters of the alphabet would be neither here nor there. Regularities do not emerge at random from otherwise unordered data.
So it is with Islam. If it is observed that taking Islam as a parameter of interest allows patterns to be observed in crime rates and types throughout Western Europe, with its hundreds of millions of people and many millions of Muslims, and if it can further be established that Islam is not a proxy for some other variable such as poverty (more on this below), then Islam as a risk factor for crime must be taken seriously, even if the nature of the relationship between the two is not yet clear. Occam’s Razor is not easily blunted, least of all by the delicate sensibilities of multiculturalists.
The pioneering work and immense political courage of Nicolai Sennels in Denmark are already leading the way in unraveling the role that Islam plays in causing its adherents to perpetrate criminal acts. Do British psychologists and criminologists have a contribution to make in this regard? Or does putting quotation marks around the word crime (excuse us, ‘crime’) already consume all their intellectual energies?
Just a Tiny Minority?
Inevitably, when disproportionate criminality on the part of an immigrant group is observed and stubbornly refuses to be explained away by the self-appointed defenders of that group, the claim will eventually emerge that the perpetrators of the crime in the group in question are a ‘tiny minority’ of the whole, and that the ‘vast majority’ of the members of the group are law-abiding citizens. The woeful predictability and peculiarly seductive nature of this claim make it particularly important to unpack.
The tiny minority defence essentially makes four assertions:
|1.||That a given problem caused by a given ethnic/religious group in a given society is only committed by a ‘tiny minority’ of that group.|
|2.||That the problem, though unpleasant, is therefore essentially manageable, at least in principle.|
|3.||That it is unfair to blame the problematic group as a whole, as the vast majority of the members of that group are not engaging in the unfortunate behaviour in question.|
|4.||That whether one blames the group as a whole or not, it is unfair to take any type of action against it as a whole, as such collective action/punishment will affect many innocent people.|
The basic problem with this fallacious reasoning lies in the implicit assumption that, in a healthy and functional society, anything other than the very tiniest minority could be committing serious crime. Even in the most crime-ridden societies on Earth, serious crime is always committed by tiny minorities of the population. Let us consider why this should be so.
During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, there were approximately 3,500 sectarian killings of all sorts, including the killings of civilians (Catholic and Protestant), British soldiers, IRA members, and members of Loyalist paramilitaries. This is an average of about 121 per year for the 29 years of the conflict. If we take the mean population of Northern Ireland as being about 1.25 million throughout these years, then we have what is, for our purposes, an average sectarian murder rate (not an official murder rate) of 9.68 per 100,000 per annum (the UK murder rate in recent years has been approximately 1.2 per 100,000 per annum). Performing a similar analysis for Sri Lanka during its 27-year civil war (90,000 killings, 27 years, assuming an average population of 18 million people throughout the period), yields a sectarian murder rate of 18.52 per 100,000 per annum, nearly double that for the Troubles.
Now let us look at Jamaica.20 According to Wikipedia, Jamaica’s murder rate in 2009 was 58 per 100,000 per annum, a figure slightly higher than that obtained by adding the sectarian murder rates for Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka above and doubling them. This is not the result of a civil war. It is not an aberration, or a blip, or something that can be rectified by banging the side of the TV set. It is, for reasons the authors of this dossier will not pretend to understand, just how Jamaica happens to be. Now let us assume that, in any given year, a) every person who is murdered is murdered by a single person (which will artificially reduce the number of murderers) and that b) no murderer murders more than one victim, (which will artificially increase the number of murderers). This means that there are 58 people per 100,000 engaged in the act of murder in any given year, or 0.058% of the entire population. We have now established that only a tiny minority of Jamaica’s population is engaged in lethal violence in any given year, and the same would doubtless be true for every other serious crime as well.
But what of it? Who feels emboldened with respect to taking a late-evening stroll through a Kingston slum simply through the application of the tiny minority defence to Jamaica? The problem here is that, although that fraction of the population of Jamaica engaged in lethal violence in any given year is indeed a tiny minority, it is by no means tiny enough. A country can, to be blunt, fall to pieces well, well before those committing serious crime become anything more than a tiny minority. Should the South African authorities be unconcerned about the sky-high murder rate in their country simply because only a tiny minority commits murder in any given year?21
Only a tiny minority commits murder in any given year in Japan. But that tiny minority is approximately two orders of magnitude smaller than its counterpart in Jamaica. Hence some of the massive, qualitative differences between these two countries. And exactly the same analysis can be applied to different groups within the same country, rendering the tiny minority defence meaningless when the criminality of a specific group is being examined. One must understand crime for what it is, not through applying arbitrary and ill-considered numerical standards to it.
Are We Forgetting Poverty?
Arguably the most predictable and reflexive of all ‘rebuttals’ to the claim that Muslims are somehow predisposed to engage in criminal behaviour is that which makes reference to poverty. Are not Muslims disproportionately likely to live in poverty? Surely it is obvious that differences in crime rates between different populations are essentially functions of poverty?
Alas, things are not so simple. Though poverty is often treated as if it were some sort of magic wand which could explain away all sorts of social ills, this is certainly not true with respect to crime. There are two problems with this claim. The first is that it is far from obvious that there is a particularly strong positive correlation between crime and poverty at all if we are making between-group comparisons. The second is that such a positive correlation, even if it were to exist, would, in and of itself, establish nothing one way or the other about the existence or nature of a causal relationship between the two variables.
The first point can be made sufficiently well by reference to the incarceration rates of different ethnic groups in the UK. The incarceration rates of the white British population are higher than those for the Chinese, the Hindus, or the Sikhs in the UK. Yet both British Chinese and British Indians have higher poverty rates than white British people, which means they are more law-abiding despite being poorer. Similarly, black Britons appear to have higher incarceration rates than Pakistanis or Bangladeshis (both overwhelmingly Muslim groups), despite lower poverty rates.
The second point is a more subtle one. To say that differences in crime rates are due (or largely due) to differences in income is to say that, if we control for income between two different groups, the differences in crime rates would disappear (or be significantly attenuated) because differences in income cause differences in crime rates. But this is much more problematic than it seems.
Let us imagine that we compare Muslims and non-Muslims in the same income brackets and find that differences in crime rates between them are seen to shrink to nearly zero. Can we then assume that poverty is the most important causal factor underlying the crime rate differentials, and that the ‘Muslim’ crime problem is actually a poverty problem? The answer is no, and the reason is the age-old logical fallacy of confusing correlation with causation.22 To say that controlling for poverty reduces crime rate differentials is, in effect, to say that poverty and crime correlate with each other. But this is no more evidence that poverty causes crime than that crime causes poverty, which could equally well be true. Similarly, it could be true that crime and poverty are both caused by some as-yet-unconsidered variable, with neither actually causing the other at all.
To rephrase, even if crime and poverty are correlated, it is not clear why that should be. Perhaps the poor commit crime because they cannot afford to buy what they want, and are angry with the world (A and B correlate, A causes B). Perhaps the criminal are poor because their criminal and dysfunctional behaviour has disrupted their educational and professional development, and they cannot find gainful, remunerative employment (A and B correlate, B causes A). Perhaps there is a suite of psychological characteristics (impulsiveness, lack of ability to delay gratification, lack of self-discipline, low intelligence) that tends to cause crime and poverty (A and B correlate, but are both caused by a third factor, C, which correlates with both). Perhaps all these things are true to some extent, creating a much more complex and analytically difficult situation.
These questions on the subject of causality in the social sciences are not unanswerable, at least not in principle. But no consideration of the Muslim crime problem can expect to shed any light on it, or even begin to properly address it, as long as it is obstructed by the confused and confusing folk criminology that plagues so much discussion in modern political discourse.
Quite apart from the above considerations, it should be fairly obvious that crimes such as trying to blow up ten airliners simultaneously, plotting to poison British water supplies, blowing up trains, threatening to kill people for writing novels and drawing cartoons, stabbing people and throwing acid over them for sullying the family ‘honour’, cutting pieces of the sexual organs out of one’s own daughters, and beating up journalists investigating electoral fraud are not caused by poverty. Does anyone doubt this? Could anyone doubt this?
Are We Forgetting Age Profile Differences Between Muslims and Others?
Different groups within the same country often have different age distributions, and crime rates can vary as a function of age. As such, a crime rate differential between two different ethnic/religious groups can, in principle, be at least partly a function of that age difference.
If, for example, we discovered that vandalism rates were higher for the Muslim community in the UK, but also that vandalism was more common amongst the young, we would then be faced with the question of whether or not the crime rate differential was partly a function of age differences. This question could be investigated by comparing the crime rates between similar age groups drawn from the Muslim community and the rest of the country. We could discover, on so doing, that part of the variation in the crime rate disappeared as a consequence, that all of it disappeared, or even that, controlling for age, Muslims were less likely than others to commit vandalism. Alternatively, we might discover that the effect of controlling for age depended on the age group in question. All these questions are empirical questions, and therefore cannot be answered from first principles.
It should be noted that the causality problems that arise with respect to poverty do not arise here, as it is possible only for variation in age to cause variation in crime rates, not for variation in crime rates to cause variation in age. Accordingly, this is in general a far more legitimate objection to a superficial interpretation of crime rate differentials than that based on poverty, whether in this context or any other. Nonetheless, large crime differentials are exceedingly unlikely to be explained away in this fashion, though they may be somewhat attenuated. Until criminologists attack these questions rigorously, the most that those who would take issue with our arguments can say is that controlling for age could reduce some crime rate differentials between Muslims and non-Muslims to some extent. Given that Muslims in general exhibit the characteristics that disproportionately criminal groups always do (poor educational and professional achievement, heavy reliance on public assistance, etc., which cannot be explained away as age effects), we find it unlikely that crime rate or incarceration rate differentials are likely to be exposed as being age effects to any significant extent. And we are certainly not likely to discover that, for example, the Muslim tendency to plan acts of terrorism is a consequence of them being younger than other populations.
Are We Being Xenophobic?
The word xenophobia is frequently flung at those in the UK who object to any aspect of the behaviour of any group of foreign origin, implying as it does that the objections in question are less than genuine, and are actually motivated by nothing other than an animus towards the group in question. However, unless there are grounds for believing that no behaviour of any immigrant group can be legitimately objected to (which seems unlikely, to put it mildly), the burden of proof is surely on the accusers in this regard.
A question for those who believe that those who focus on Muslim crime do so only because they are xenophobes who simply dislike those of foreign origin: why do these xenophobes not focus their attention on the Chinese as well? Is it simply that they have not yet found some reasonably plausible pretext upon which to attack the Chinese and present them as a threat? Or could it be because the Chinese do not cause any particular problems? Could it be because the Chinese seem to be disproportionately likely not to commit crime, particularly violent crime, sexual crime, and property crime? Might that not have something to do with it? Might it not be that the significant ethnic and cultural differences that exist between the Chinese and other groups in the UK are simply not of any particular significance or interest to those concerned about Muslim crime, much less grounds for hostility? And might this not be rather difficult to reconcile with the claim that these people are merely an assembly of xenophobes and racists?
In conclusion, we feel that it is legitimate to make the following observations:
|1.||It is generally true that Muslims in the UK are substantially more criminal than the UK population as a whole, irrespective of national background, or what generation of immigrant they are (first, second, etc.).|
|2.||This trend is a robust one, and can be seen in similar form throughout Western Europe. Indeed, a glance at the Muslim crime problem in countries such as France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden makes it clear that the UK, disturbingly, and despite its many problems in this regard, has a much less severe problem with Muslim crime than many of its European neighbours.|
|3.||Certain non-Muslim immigrant groups in the UK are more law-abiding than the white British population, as is demonstrated by their lower incarceration rates and the prevailing perceptions of their law-abidingness. That this should be so, despite their higher poverty rates and the integration-related difficulties they no doubt experience, makes it very clear that the Muslim crime problem is not an ‘immigrant’ problem, a ‘race’ problem, a ‘poverty’ problem, or a ‘social exclusion’ problem.|
|4.||It seems, therefore, to be a reasonable conclusion that there is something about Islam itself that, statistically speaking, induces people whose attitudes and behaviours derive from it to engage in criminal, aggressive, and violent behaviour more often than would otherwise be the case. Indeed, there is a gradually emerging body of evidence from modern criminologists and psychologists to suggest that this is so.|
|5.||These Islam-induced behavioural discrepancies are not insignificant, and can be very large indeed. We in the UK are fortunate in that they appear to be, as yet, relatively small (though still large in an absolute sense). However, we do not consider this to be a reason for complacency, much less a reason not to attend resolutely to this troubling state of affairs sooner rather than later.|
|6.||Given the serious Muslim crime problem that we already face, the rapid rate of growth of the UK Muslim community, the general lack of integration of the UK Muslim community, and the existence of strong separatist, supremacist, and subversive tendencies within that community, we feel that the possibility of a serious breakdown of civil order in heavily Muslim areas is a distinct possibility in the years to come. Note that we do not argue that such a breakdown is inevitable. We simply point out that allowing an ever-greater fraction of the population of the UK to consist of a disproportionately criminal, hostile, estranged, and self-estranging religious group (whatever divisions and fissures might exist within the group itself) cannot be accepted as being simply ‘inevitable,’ and therefore to be endured irrespective of the consequences.|
On the basis of the foregoing, we make the following requests.
|1.||We ask that the Home Secretary make clear what sort of balance the police are required to maintain between law enforcement and maintaining public order. We also ask whether this balance is the same for all ethnic and religious groups in the UK, and, if it is not, why not. Answers to the effect that it ‘depends on the circumstances’ will be considered invalid.|
|2.||We ask that the Home Secretary create an independent task force to study the relationship between Islam and crime, with said task force taking into account evidence not only from the UK, but from across Western European countries with similar experiences of Muslim immigration.|
|3.||We ask that the Home Secretary calculate the total annual costs imposed on the British state (i.e. the publicly-borne costs) and people (i.e. the privately-borne costs) as a consequence of Muslim crime. These costs are to include both the direct costs of this crime (physical harm, property damage, etc.), and the indirect costs (expenditures on and by the police, prisons, and security services, productivity costs imposed by anti-terrorism measures, etc.).|
|4.||We ask that the Home Secretary introduce much more finely-grained data-collection methods in all areas that bear on the Muslim crime problem, so as to enable analysts to enhance their understanding of the situation.|
|5.||We ask that the Immigration Secretary clarify whether or not the Muslim crime problem has any influence on immigration policy vis-à-vis Muslims. If it does not, we ask the Immigration Secretary to explain exactly how he has concluded that the Muslim crime problem is so trivial, and will continue to be so trivial, as to be unworthy of being reflected in the relevant aspects of immigration law and policy (such as those pertaining to family reunification immigration, one of the major sources of growth for the UK Muslim community).|
|6.||We ask that the Home Secretary take any and all measures to ensure that foreign criminals, Muslim or otherwise, are permanently deported from the UK upon completion of their sentences. We also ask that new legislation be introduced to permit particularly violent and/or serious criminals of foreign origin to be stripped of their British citizenship as and when possible, so as to facilitate their deportation to their countries of origin.|
|7.||We ask that the Home Secretary consult with the police as to the likely long-term implications of having ever-larger, disproportionately criminal Muslim populations in the UK. The results of this consultation should be made available to the British public as and when they are ready.|
|8.||We ask that the Home Secretary create an independent task force to conduct an in-depth study of forced child prostitution (‘pimping’) in the UK, with a particular emphasis on the situation in the north of England vis-à-vis the criminal activities of the Pakistani population there. We also ask that this task force investigate the relevant police forces to ascertain whether or not they have been engaged in gross professional malfeasance with respect to their responsibilities in this regard.|
|9.||We ask that the Home Secretary conduct a full public inquiry into the likely long-term ramifications of allowing the Muslim population of the UK to continue to be able to import tens of thousands of spouses every year from its various countries of origin, thereby increasing its rate of growth to the current alarming and unsustainable level.|
|10.||We ask the Home Secretary whether he agrees:|
If the Home Secretary disagrees with any or all of these statements, we ask that he make the nature of and reasons for his disagreement clear, the better to allow the British people to understand the British state’s interpretation of the social contract that binds them.
|20||We do not mean to pick on Jamaica here, but, according to Wikipedia, it had one of the world’s highest murder rates for 2009. This makes it a good example of the point we are trying to make.|
|21||This should not be taken as a suggestion that South Africa has fallen, or is falling, apart. We simply mention it here as an example of a country with a murder rate sufficiently high as to cast a shadow over the future, perhaps even the viability, of the country.|
|22||Perhaps the most seductive and ubiquitous of all logical fallacies, the ‘correlation-equals-causation’ fallacy crops up here in a slightly unorthodox form, which no doubt accounts for the blind spot otherwise intelligent and educated people have in this regard.|