How many Pakistanis live in Great Britain

International - What can be done about the parallel world in Great Britain?

How do you deal with groups that are not sufficiently integrated into society, have completely different values ​​and possibly isolate themselves in a parallel society? This problem is well known in Great Britain. Last spring - not for the first time - there were shocking cases in which Pakistanis had molested young British women for a long time.

Out of laxity and for reasons of false political correctness, Great Britain has ignored the isolationist process and the resulting problems for years, says SRF correspondent Martin Alioth. At least the government seems to have recognized the problem. But concrete measures to break through the segregation of society are not in sight, said Alioth.

SRF News: Why have the UK government and authorities looked the other way for years and not named the brutal attacks by Pakistanis on young British women?

Martin Alioth: For reasons of misunderstood political correctness. At all costs one wanted to prevent the ethnic and religious affiliation of the perpetrators from being revealed. They did not want to make public that the overwhelming majority of the perpetrators were Pakistani or Kashmiri Muslim men and that the victims were young, white, often underage British women. That was not allowed to be spoken out of fear of racism allegations.

British Prime Minister David Cameron took up and denounced the issue of poorly integrated Pakistani communities at the party conference last October. How could this segregation, such isolated parallel societies come about at all?

This is probably due to completely natural, “innocent” mechanisms: the ancestors of today's Pakistani in Great Britain came to the north of England in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They found work in the textile factories and settled in their new home together. Quarters were even built especially for them. However, there is no sign of malevolence on any side: the immigrants were happy to live in their own settlements and quarters, the country was already so strange enough for them. And the locals had nothing against it either. Because nothing has changed in this structure in the past few decades, these parallel societies have been cemented.

The parallel societies have been cemented in the last few decades.

What is the background to the sexual assault by Pakistani young British women?

I think the incidents have a lot to do with values ​​in rural Kashmir. They have not been questioned, softened or refuted by British society or the school system. On the contrary: in the spirit of multiculturalism, which was universally accepted in England around ten years ago, in which everyone is allowed everything and parallel societies were even encouraged, nothing has changed in the values ​​of immigrants and their descendants. Unlike in comparable European countries, in which the integration and assimilation of foreign cultures were sometimes handled better.

A few years ago, several lawsuits began to deal with these cases of abuse of British girls. Is this enough? Wouldn't the problem also need to be dealt with in society?

It actually still needs it. Prime Minister Cameron pointed out some of these grievances in his October speech. He spoke of equal opportunities, racism, integration and named forced marriages and genital circumcision as examples. These are practices that only occur because of a different understanding of family or the role of women at all. Cameron promised to criminalize these abnormal practices and to enforce all-British standards for society. However, this again affects criminal law. However, I doubt whether a speech by the prime minister is enough to encourage society to change and harmonize its values. I could not name any measures that have since been taken to encourage such harmonization.

The interview was conducted by Eliane Leiser.

Martin Alioth

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The UK and Ireland correspondent for Radio SRF has lived in Ireland since 1984. He studied history and economics in Basel and Salzburg.

srf / snep; imhm

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