- Jan 14, 2016
An "English" town where even the ice cream lady wears a burka
Coming soon to an Irish town near you....
There are almost no white residents to be found in Savile Town. Astonishingly, a detailed breakdown of the last census of 2011 recorded that only 48 of the 4,033 people living here were white British.
This would not surprise the blonde Lorraine Matthews, looking out at the ladies in burkas from her window. She is a 53-year-old dentist's receptionist, one of the handful of white Britons left in Savile Town's grid of terrace streets. Almost all the other residents, according to that census, have Pakistani or Indian backgrounds.
Their forebears were enticed to Savile Town as cheap labour for back-breaking jobs in the woollen mills which had made Dewsbury a renowned textile town.
Soon the new arrivals had built the mosque which is designed to accommodate 4,000 worshippers. Today, a Sharia court nearby — criticised in a House of Lords report for discriminating against women in divorce and matrimonial disputes — does brisk business espousing the strict Islamic justice code.
Even the lady selling ice creams from a van during the summer wears a burka, and the mobile butcher going round the streets offers only halal goat, lamb and ostrich.
Stand in Savile Town, as I have, and you will see scores of boys in Islamic robes walking to and from lessons at the mosque's madrasah school, where for hours at a time they rote-learn the Koran by heart.
And, distressingly, every girl I saw — even those of six and seven playing in the park — was wrapped up in a hijab and shoulder-to-toe-gown lest a man glimpse her flesh.
Eight of the nine pubs in the area have shut because there are hardly any local customers who drink alcohol. The hair salon, once giving stern perms to Yorkshire ladies, closed down long ago, the Western grocery and clothes shops, too.