IT WAS just like the good-old, bad-old days on Wednesday in Dewsbury. National newspaper and broadcast journalists were like day-trippers, falling over one another like visitors to Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach who couldn’t quite remember the place.
I doubt many of them had ever been to either place before – Dewsbury or Blackpool.
“Oh, this is Mohammed Siddique Khan’s council house … how far is it from the famous mosque where the failed-EDL bombers worshipped after missing their chance to blow-up Dewsbury town centre?”
“Shannon Matthews lived where…?”
“Is this Crow Nest Park where the police said there was a ‘racist’ murder of an Asian youth, but it turned out to be other drugged-up Asian youths?”
“Can you show us Devil’s Dyke in Earlsheaton where that publicity-seeking police detective said a gang had tried to murder a little boy in the style of Jamie Bulger, but it turned out being no such thing…?”
“Is this really the Shariah Court where Baroness Sayeeda Warsi was granted an Islamic divorce by the grandfather of the famous Dewsbury terrorists…?”
Afraid so folks.
BBC Radio 5 Live struck news gold, managing to arrange a scheduled visit to look at the marginal General Election seat of Dewsbury and Mirfield on the same day news broke that Dewsbury’s habit for breeding young people with terrorist tendencies was back in headlines.
The Munshis and their friends won’t like that reference – and especially spokesman-in-chief, former MP Shahid Malik.
Malik considers any price worth paying for a moment in the spotlight.
One terrorist in the family is dubious but perhaps unfortunate. Two? That’s the start of a particularly bad habit.
And to double my time in the confessional box the next time I need to seek spiritual redemption, but what is that ******** Malik doing stirring up his shinola in this town yet again?
The people have spoken Malik – exactly five years ago, as if you could ever forget: They do not want you as their MP.
They want nothing more of your dodgy friends, your questionable finances and your trouble-causing.
A few months ago those Dewsbury people spoke again, following Shahid Malik’s furtive late-night door-knocks around Scout Hill and Ravensthorpe.
The Labour party members of Dewsbury West told him and his fellow Burnley stooge Paul Moore that their services weren’t required, thanks.
They stuck with a local bloke and a good public servant in Coun Darren O’Donovan, despite the questionable efforts of Malik’s political spawn, Coun Karen Rowling, to stab her ward colleague in the back.
The message from Dewsbury is clear, Mr Malik. It couldn’t be clearer: Sod off, and take your trouble somewhere else.
BUT BACK to the whiter-than-white Sheikh Yakub Munshi, Sharia court supremo and grandfather of not one, but two terrorist youths. How on earth does this man get the free ride that he does?
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Dewsbury’s Labour candidate Paula Sheriff are pictured with two of the local Labour party’s prize turnips: Coun Karen Rowling (far left), plus Labour activist and generally troubled individual Abdul Hai Munshi on the far right.
The same Abdul Hai, former Labour council candidate, who is the son of the fundamentalist Islamist cleric.
It’s the same Abdul Hai who persuaded then-MP Shahid Malik to use his influence to bring the full weight of the law down on former Tory councillor Khizar Iqbal’s shoulders for assaulting him while canvassing in Savile Town.
There was just one little problem with that story of Abdul Hai’s, which played out during a subsequent High Court trial. You see the police had CCTV of the incident. And it was Munshi who started the trouble all along.
Well slap my thigh and call me Rosie! How unlucky can one family get? Where will it all end?
That’s a question which I suspect would be beyond Abdul Hai, but it is one which should be put to his father, Sheikh Yakub.
Where will it end, Mr Munshi? And what exactly are you preaching to these young men?
I QUICKLY became sick and tired, listening to the hours of platitudes from Radio 5 Live and everyone else having their six-pennorth on Wednesday, talking about “the overwhelming moderate majority of Muslims”.
Really? Where? Show us the evidence.
Even the BBC concluded that Dewsbury is a community torn in two, with segregation an absolute reality.
But the inevitable conclusion – again – was that one community wasn’t trying hard enough to integrate. There’s no prize for guessing whose door those failings lie at.
‘We’ (whoever ‘we’ are) aren’t doing enough to love our neighbours, to get ‘our’ message of peace across.
Sorry. It’s time for Muslims to pee or get off the pot.
Who says Yakub Munshi is a tolerant man? A believer in ‘love thy neighbour’?
Where’s the evidence.
Malik was in his element shedding his vicarious poured crocodile tears for the Munshis. Cat got their tongue?
I wouldn’t believe Malik if he told me they’re predicting a sunny day in the Sahara, so I’m really not inclined to believe him on a subject of this gravity.
Sheikh Yakub Munshi is the man, lest we forget, credited at the time with being the religious mentor of Aishah Azmi, the school assistant who refused to remove her veil and sued Kirklees Council. She lost, but Munshi never proclaimed on the matter.
He says very little, mostly because – in public at least – he claims to have no English.
For a brilliant mind, that’s a lousy ability to pick up the local lingo isn’t it Yakub? After all these decades enjoying the British way of life? Not a word of English?
Is it more a statement of intent? An act of provocation?
Is it that you never deny the atrocities carried out in your religion’s name because, actually, you agree with them?
Were you happy to have your glove puppet Malik lie on your behalf so that you didn’t have to?
Do you secretly support your latest grandson’s jihad? No?
Well then say so man!
Enlighten us about what you tell those grandchildren Yakub – through an interpreter if you must.
If not the discredited Shahid Malik, then through one of your many articulate friends. But however you do it, tell us something.
Tell us about evenings round the Munshi dinner table. I think it’s safe to assume that the conversation doesn’t revolve around the plotlines of Emmerdale or Corrie.
Do the girls giggle about what’s happening with Zayne from One Direction?
Oh, that’s right – the girls aren’t there, unless they are serving food. They’re with the women in the back of the house, preparing the food, maintaining their subservient place.
So what did you talk to the grandkids about, Yakub? When you bounced them on your knee as a proud grandad, did you tell them about the feats of great Indian and Pakistani cricketers? There’s no shortage of those. Yorkshire County Cricket Club once played little more than a good six-hit from your front door.
Did you regale them with inspiring stories of that great Indian lawyer and politician, Mahatma Gandhi, the man who laid the pavestones of minority freedom for men like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela?
After all, Gandhi himself was Gujarati – like most of your friends in Savile Town, families from Bharuch and Surat who run most of Savile Town’s affairs, from the political to the religious to the business.
Sadly, I suspect not. Gandhi was the wrong religion.
BUT IF you really care about saving other families from this horror, if you really are a man of peace Mr Munshi, then stand up and say so.
Tell the world not that your family are ‘devastated’ – because we’re sick and tired of hearing those meaningless, breast-beating platitudes, always when it’s too late – but tell the world that those young men are wrong.
Tell the world that you do not actively seek an Islamic caliphate.
Tell the world that you believe in tolerance, peace, love and the democratic freedoms that Britain has given you.
Tell the young Muslim scholars who flock from around the world to learn at your knee that Christian and Muslim can and should live respectfully beside each other.
I am not a religious scholar but I am a father, I am a Christian, and I have Muslim friends who I know despair of this global madness; who would love nothing more than for a man of your standing to make a telling intervention.
I am asking you the easiest question one father could ask of another. Profess peace and respect among all men, of all creeds.
Is that so difficult, Mr Munshi?