Raheem Kassam, Breitbart London editor and frequent host of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily, talked with Alex Marlow about his new book, No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You, on Tuesday’s edition of the show.
Kassam said that writing the book involved “a lot of old-school stuff: planning and getting on buses in foreign countries, and talking to people in different languages and trying to get your head around something that wasn’t a massive established paper trail already.”
“Funnily enough, the Swedish government doesn’t want to release their rape statistics and crime statistics,” he explained. “It doesn’t suit them very well to do so. You’ve got to do a lot of pushing, a lot of pressuring, a lot of translating, a hell of a lot of digging.”
Kassam said his journey took him from cities like Molenbeek in Europe to the United States. For example, one passage in No Go Zones discusses his discoveries at the Arab-American Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
“These places are open to the public, and yet you never hear about quite exactly what’s going on there,” he said. “What I found going on at the Arab-American Museum in the United States in 2017 was U.S. corporations sponsoring anti-U.S. government and anti-Israeli propaganda for public consumption. This is supposed to be a museum, and actually, what they were doing was propagandizing. There’s a lot of unique reporting in the book.”
Marlow praised Kassam’s groundbreaking work in documenting the untold story of “ghettoization of immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, throughout the Western world right now.” He further noted that Kassam has been called a liar for uncovering evidence that large groups of immigrants are not assimilating to their Western host societies.
“When you dig into their response – and I’ve had some of this already – when you push back against them, you find out exactly where they’re coming from,” said Kassam. “They end up in a position of saying, ‘Well, why should they assimilate anyway?’ If you get all of the nonsense arguments out of the way, that these places don’t exist and so and so forth, they end up at this position that is really the argument that we’re having nowadays. The truth is that the left doesn’t want to preserve history. It doesn’t want to preserve identity.”
“Look at what we saw over the course of the last couple of weeks with the statues being pulled down,” he continued. “Yesterday, I think, even, another Confederate statue was pulled down somewhere else in America. It seems reminiscent of countries that have been liberated from tyrants, are now being played out in America, now being appropriated by the political left for their little childish tantrums.”
“They don’t actually want any history preserved. They don’t actually want any culture preserved. That’s the truth of the matter. They think that when you want to defend who you are as people, they think that is the new colonialism. They think that is the new way of projecting that you’re better than somebody, simply by being who you are and wanting to defend it. That’s where a lot of these flare-ups are beginning, that misunderstanding,” he said.
“When I get into these arguments with people over where these places are and what they truly mean, the thing I probably hear most is: ‘Oh, yeah, but you went there, so it can’t be a no-go zone,’” Kassam related.
“And I say to them, ‘Why don’t you go there and tell me how you felt? And I’ll tell you what, why don’t you take your little sister with you and tell me how she felt? And while you’re there, why don’t you see if there are any police around? Why don’t you see if there are any government workers around? Why don’t you see if any postal service is around? Why don’t you see if you can’t get there by public transport? Because some of these places you really, really cannot,’” he said.
“These are the arguments that we’re going to continue to have,” he predicted. “I’m just glad to put a marker down, quite frankly, because it’s been so up in the air on this issue for so long.”
Kassam recalled seeing video clips of journalists entering no-go zones with “big broadcast cameras – and getting beaten up, getting their property stolen, and all this sort of stuff.”
“This has become relatively routine when people go there, so you know that there are ways to avoid it. Now, if you’re writing a book, you don’t necessarily need to go in there with big television cameras. That was one of the things that kept me safe, quite frankly,” he revealed.
“I also dressed like nobody really sees me dress. You know me, Alex. I like to put on my sports coat and my pocket square and my Italian shoes. I did not do that when I went to these places. I wore rough, horrible jeans and a zip-up hoodie type of thing and a big long coat because it was the middle of winter,” he said.
“Just trying not to rattle people is very important as well,” Kassam noted. “I’m not there to cause trouble; I’m there to observe. Some people go into these places just looking for a fight because they want it on camera. My job was something different. My job was to actually observe people and see how they live their lives and make little observations, as well, that you wouldn’t make unless you were able to spend a significant amount of time on the ground.”
“One of the observations throughout the book is that a lot of these government housing projects and apartment buildings that these migrants live in en masse, they ghettoize it, I would say 90 percent had big satellite dishes on the outside, on their balconies. I looked into that, and it turns out that they have them because they don’t want to learn English. They’re watching television from their native home countries. You just don’t get to see those things, learn those things, by spending ten minutes there and then getting chased out,” he said.
Kassam said his appearance was another reason he was able to enter the no-go zones without difficulty. “I’m brown, so I got a little more leeway than you might get there, quite frankly, Alex,” he told Marlow.
One of the more infamous no-go zones visited by Kassam was in Malmo, Sweden, a city he described as “absolutely beautiful.”
“Downtown in Malmo is just so phenomenal,” he said. “It’s just an incredible, stark difference and devastating change you see when you actually start going into the suburbs there. People don’t need to go there as tourists, so they don’t see it. You wouldn’t leave the beautiful cobbled streets of downtown.”
“But you go out to somewhere like Haragon, for instance, which is, again, a government housing estate, and I’ll tell you what: even the locals there – there were these two girls that me and my guide there happened upon because we went there quite late at night, and it wasn’t very well lit, so we’re sort of stumbling around and trying to find our way. We stopped these two girls, and we said, ‘Where’s Haragon?’ They pointed us in a direction, and I think they said something like, ‘Oh, good luck there,’ and they sort of started laughing to themselves, unable to fathom why these two guys were going to Haragon in the middle of the night,” he recalled.
“I started getting scared, actually,” he admitted. “That was one of the moments when I got scared during the trip. I don’t get scared when I’m in the places. I get scared when I’m on my way to the places. I don’t know why that is. I suppose anticipation.”
“It was absolutely freezing cold, the place almost deserted,” Kassam said, resuming his account. “You could hear a little bit of Arab music coming from some of the apartment buildings. There were a couple of women in hijabs running around with their kids. It was so bitterly cold, iced over. I think it had recently snowed. But this place was – I mean, it did not look like Sweden in the slightest.”
“This could have been anywhere in North Africa,” he said. “This could have been somewhere in the Middle East. This is not what I thought of as Sweden. In fact, it didn’t look anything like the Sweden of a mile away in the downtown area. I just, frankly, couldn’t believe it, but I suppose it’s totally believable when you look at somewhere like Tower Hamlets in east London and compare that to Westminster in central London. It just broke my heart.”
Kassam said that he hated to offend listeners from Detroit, but he had a sobering experience when visiting the city and its suburbs.
“I start the chapter ‘Detroit Is Hell,’ and it really is in a lot of places,” he said. “I don’t mean that as a snobbish comment; I mean that for the residents. It’s hell as well. There are incredibly large swathes of the city that still haven’t recovered, that you still see massive, massive poverty and crime and ghettoization in all different senses too. That was really shocking to me because I had never seen that before, certainly not in the Western world, and it was incredible to see it in the United States, of all places.”
“And then you get out of Detroit proper, and you get into somewhere like Hamtramck,” he continued. “This is a 2.1 square mile town with an upper estimate of about 17 mosques in that 2.1 square miles, which is a lot of mosques. It’s a mosque every other street corner, every third street corner. This is somewhere where they play the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan, out on the streets quite freely. Even the New York Times did real reporting on this in 2004, before they gained their ‘fake news’ title.”
“Again, you talk to people locally, and this was a very Polish-American city originally. Talk to people locally, and they’ll tell you just how much has changed. I think one man who was from the Piast Institute, which is a local Polish-American think tank – it prides itself on being a community group – he told me that whenever he’s asked where the Poles went in Hamtramck, he said they didn’t. They died there. What he means is people just aging and not having enough children, or the children are moving away,” said Kassam.
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