UK Muslims have low employment rate
By Prasun Sonwalkar
Britain'sMuslims have been almost entirely bypassed by recent economic growth and suffer a worse employment rate than Pakistan, according to British Government figures.
In a sign of the social malaise in British communities, which has been linked to extremist Islam, only 17.4 per cent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi homes are ?working households??by far the lowest figure for any ethnic group.
The figures are likely to fuel fears that Labour'smulticultura-list approach has allowed Muslim Britons to exist in isolated pockets of worklessness and poverty?leading to the social isolation that makes them easy prey for recruiting extremists.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its audit of British workless households?with a breakdown showing stark contrast not only between whites and non-whites but groups from the subcontinent also.
Among Indians?overwhelmingly Sikh and Hindu?only 10 per cent are in welfare-dependent ?workless households?. This is a far healthier ratio than the 15.8 per cent for whites or the 16.6 per cent national UK average.
But Pakistanis and Bangladeshi households, which are almost all Muslim, 31.7 per cent of households are judged ?workless? with the majority (50.6 per cent) a mixture between working and non-working adults.
A 2002 Home Office study found that only 26 per cent of Pakistanis in the UK speak fluent English?presenting a substantial bar to integration and employment prospects. A 2004 American census showed 68 per cent of Pakistanis fluent in English.
The 747,000 Pakistanis in the UK have the worst unemployment rates in Britain at 14.6 per cent?a figure that is greatly higher than the 8.6 per cent rate in Pakistan.
Popular doctor of Indian origin dies
Dr Dip Sengupta, who treated thousands of patients during a 31-year stint at Eastfield Surgery, has died in Scarborough Hospital. He was 69.
Dr Sengupta, who lived in Newby, was working until six days before his death.
A colleague at the Eastfield Surgery, Dr Phil Hughes said: ?He was very committed to general practice and to the community. It is a huge blow to us and the patients absolutely loved him.
?You had to work with him to know what a clever doctor he was. We are really going to miss him.?
Born and educated in Calcutta in India, Dr Sengupta trained as a brain surgeon after he moved to England.
He was a surgical registrar when he first came to the East Coast to work at Scarborough Hospital where he met his future wife Margaret, who was training to become a nurse.
Dr Sengupta left to work in various other hospitals before returning as a GP at Eastfield.
The practice had been founded in 1954 by the late Dr Eustace Evans who ran it for a short time from his home in Lingholm Crescent before starting the Eastway Surgery.
Dr Evans ran it single-handedly before inviting Dr Sengupta to join him.
Dr Sengupta'sson, Neil, said: ?He was working until a week last Friday and was taken ill over the weekend. He went into hospital on Monday and died in intensive care on Thursday.
?He had a huge heart operation in 1996 and recently had some breathing difficulties, but despite his age he had no intention of retiring until next year.
?He was a big cricket fan and held various senior posts with the St John Ambulance brigade, but being a GP was really his life.
?His real name was Dipankar, but everyone knew him as Dip.?
His wife died in 1992. As well as his son, who is a chartered accountant, Dr Sengupta also leaves behind daughter Lisa.
Crime against Asians up after 7/7 bombings
Crimes motivated by religious hatred have rocketed by nearly 600 per cent in London since the July 7 bombings. They include verbal and physical attacks and criminal damage to property.
Scotland Yard figures showed there were 269 such incidents reported since the suicide bombings compared to only 40 in the same three-and-a-half week period last year.
In the immediate three-day aftermath of the attacks there were 68 faith-hate crimes in the capital. There were none in the same period 12 months ago.
Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said: ?There is no doubt that incidents impacting on the Muslim community have increased.?
Most of the incidents were low-level abuse or minor assaults but they had a great ?emotional impact? on communities, he said.
The figures emerged as Home Office minister Hazel Blears held the first in a series of meetings with representatives of Britain'sMuslim community.
Those meetings come amid increasing concerns that young Muslims are being targeted by police in stop-and-search operations. But Ms Blears pledged that Muslims would not be discriminated against.
?The counter-terrorism powers are not targeting any community in particular but are targeting terrorists,? she said.
Across London the jittery atmosphere was highlighted when the engine of a bus caught fire near King'sCross last fortnight.
Police sealed off Gray'sInn Road and part of Pentonville Road and passengers, fearing a terrorist attack, flung themselves out of a top-deck window.
(The writer is a UK-based journalist and can be contacted on [email protected])