Here in America, we are (rightly) unhappy about illegal immigrants who instantly sign up for all the welfare benefits they can get. Of course, they’d be stupid not to, because only a fool says no to free money. Also, I don’t think any of us doubt that the immigrants who come here, legal or illegal, mostly work and they work hard. After all, it’s the meat packing business and agribusiness who are most aggressive in encouraging immigration, legal or illegal, because these are the people who fill their factories and their fields.
Britain has the same thing: most immigrants work (in fact, they work more than the British themselves), but large numbers of them do sign up for the dole. In that, they’re just like American immigrants. What’s really interesting in Britain, though, and quite different from the situation here, is that the immigrants who make the greatest demands on welfare are Muslims:
Labour’s favourite thinktank yesterday named the migrant groups which are a drain on the taxpayer.
Immigrants from Somalia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran are most likely to be out of work and claiming state benefits, it said.
There tend to be high numbers of asylum seekers among those groups who have failed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Britain’s open economy, a study found.
It’s important to remember that the study does not say that all Muslims in Britain are on the dole. It does say, though, that, of all immigrants who arrived in the UK and get on the dole, it’s the Muslim immigrants who suck up welfare in disproportionate numbers.
Right about now, you’re shrugging your shoulders and asking, “so what?” Every country has its people who need, use, or abuse welfare, and in Britain its Muslims. To single them out sounds nothing more than homophobic. True, except for one weird unique wrinkle about Muslims when it comes to welfare in Western countries, something that’s summed up in a single word: jizya.
You don’t know what jizya is? Mark Steyn defines it:
The jizya is the poll tax paid by non-Muslims to their Muslim betters. One cause of the lack of economic innovation in the Islamic world is that they’ve always placed the main funding burden of society on infidels. This goes back to Mohammed’s day. If you take a bunch of warring Arab tribes and unite them as one umma under Allah, one drawback is that you close off a prime source of revenue — fighting each other and then stealing each other’s stuff. That’s why the Prophet, while hardly in a position to deny Islam to those who wished to sign up, was relatively relaxed about the presence of non-Muslim peoples within Muslim lands: they were a revenue stream. If one looks at the comparative dissemination patterns, Christianity spread by acquiring believers and then land; Islam spread by acquiring land and then believers. When Islam conquered infidel territory, it set in motion a massive transfer of wealth, enacting punitive taxation to transfer money from non-believers to Muslims — or from the productive part of the economy to the non-productive. It was, in its way, a prototype welfare society. When admirers talk up Islam and the great innovations and rich culture of its heyday, they forget that even at its height Muslims were never more than a minority of the Muslim world, and they were in large part living off the energy of others. That’s still a useful rule of thumb: if you take the least worst Muslim societies, the reason for the dynamism often lies with whichever group they share the turf with — the Chinese in Malaysia, for example.
(Mark Steyn, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, p. 164.)
Both Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within and Melanie Phillips’ Londonistan, make the point that welfare fraud is an Islamist speciality, not just to avoid work, but because the Islamists believe welfare paid for by the Christians around them is their due. That is, they differ from the usual welfare scammer who just wants free money. These are people who believe that they are using Europe’s and Britain’s own welfare systems to recreate the poll tax that non-Muslims are obligated to pay their Muslim superiors. For this reason, they never have a desire to get off welfare — something especially true given that welfare benefits are so generous, and fraud so endemic, that some of the more adept users are bringing in six figure incomes.
Hat tip: RD, UP Pompeii