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It’s easy to lapse into false optimism about Muslim immigration, especially if one views things solely through ones own generational lens. Most commonly, it’s only when viewed from ‘below’ as it were, that things enter their statistical context.

I was riding an almost empty bus from Wimbledon to Fulham the other afternoon, when the clock struck 3:30pm, and the vehicle hummed to a stop outside a local secondary school.

The doors slid open, and within seconds, the Western World seemed to disappear.

Gone was England, its green fields and marble arches, and to replace it, a rowdy band of Somalians and Pakistanis. I couldn’t count, but the swarm of conquisotors must have been 20 to 25 strong. A deafening pet-shop chorus quickly filled the air around me.

The school itself, I noted, looked to be from the Blair-era; i.e. a type of modernized state school with the deliberate ambience of a college. Any thought that the school was strictly Islamic was undermined by a number of native students wearing the same uniform. This only served to make it even more depressing. 

As I sat there for the remainder of the journey, surrounded by a forest of prayer caps and headscarves, I felt like some sort of gap-year missionary, flown in to demonstrate house-building or agriculture to the poor of Mogadishu. Few of the children communicated with each other in English, and those who did, only managed the bastardised slang of urban ghettos.

Still, the figures on these matters, with which I am usually so well acquainted, ought to have dulled any surprise I felt. London’s natural demographic growth (i.e that which is not attributable to fresh immigration) is greatest in those areas dominated by Muslims. Tower Hamlets, Brent and Haringey all have ballooning populations, and since this incident occurred in the leafy opulence of West-London, there must also be hives of conquest closer to home.

Demography, the study of these changes in population, is a miserable science. It’s made all the worse for its definitude. One can’t argue with it, debate it, mitigate it, or challenge it. The movements within demography can be as soundly predicted as any other calculus. That swarm, – that loud, semi-literate band of youth previously described – is the future of London. There is no way around it. Barring their mass generational suicide, that lucky collection will inherit the priceless city of Edward Gibbon (‘Decline and Fall’ – the greatest ever application of the English language – was written around the same area).

How very ironic. How very sad.