The worst of Worcester

Worcester“Think of Worcester and a vision of a pretty cathedral, rolling hills and the famous Malvern natural springs would probably come to the mind of Guardian readers…. The truth is, if you are British Pakistani or Pakistan-born male, there are few less desirable places to live in Britain than Worcester.

“Why? The following brutal attacks have occurred on Pakistani taxi drivers in recent times: • A driver was doused with petrol and set on fire. • Another was left with psychological problems after being smashed over the head with a metal bar. • Another was almost choked to death with his seatbelt. • Another was stabbed and left for dead. • In yet another incident, a driver suffered severe facial injuries after being lured by his passengers into a quiet cul-de-sac….

“Some of the community I spoke to blame the British National Party for ratcheting-up racial tensions through leaflets that complain migrant workers take up jobs previously held by ‘British’ students. Others warn of the Islamification of Britain and appeal for an end to new mosques in the city. Pakistanis claim that the attacks follow terrorism-related stories that appear in the media; it gives white racists an excuse to relieve their frustration on innocent cab drivers. Only this summer a CS gas canister was thrown into Worcester Central Mosque.”

Nadeem Badshah at Comment is Free, 26 September 2007