Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LA Muslims Look to Create Islamic Enclave

Los Angeles Muslims are looking to do what Muslims are doing across the country are doing, setting up their own enclaves. They are looking to officially set up an Islamic enclave within the Koreatown section of LA, which they want called "Little Bangladesh". The Muslim in charge of this project has said, "Maybe people should try to share a little bit". Does he mean how Muslims "share" with non-Muslims in Islamic countries? Of course they have no concern for the Koreans in the area and sooner or later we are going to have our own Chechnyas across America.

US Little Bangladesh Seeks Recognition
IslamOnline.net & Newspapers

CAIRO — At the heart of the city of Los Angeles, a campaign is underway to carve up "Little Bangladesh", a neighborhood to create cultural destination to thousands of migrants who flew from the Muslim Southeast Asian nation to the metropolitan city over decades.

"Most people don't know who we are, they know us as Indians," Mohammad Islam, a an owner of a restaurant offering traditional Bandladeshi food, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, April 1.

Islam's store is in Koreatown, a gritty neighborhood that has long been a haven for Korean immigrants.

Now, the 26-year-old restaurant owner and other Bangladeshis in the area want to establish a special district in Koreatown and name it "Little Bangladesh" for their own homeland.

Proponents already filed a petition with the city to designate an area in the bustling enclave as "Little Bangladesh."

They contend that the popluar downtown nieghborhood's name does not reflect all its inhabitants.

Immigrants from Bangladesh have been moving to Los Angeles, where roughly 40 percent of residents were born abroad, since at least the 1960s, driven by poverty and natural disasters.

For many of them, Koreatown is the first port of call due to the neighborhood's low rent, cultural familiarity and business opportunities.

Although the 2000 census counted just 157 Bangladeshis in Koreatown, a survey conducted five years later suggested a population of 6,000 to 8,000.

Since then, the Bangladeshi American community says that its numbers have swelled to more than 10,000.

The US Census Bureau's American Community Survey puts the number of Bangladeshis in Los Angeles County at 3,000. Consulate officials say the figure is actually closer to 50,000.


Angry Korean residents, on the other hand, say they worked hard to promote the district as a Korean cultural destination and economic hub.

"It means power," Margaret Ko, who moved to Los Angeles from Korea more than 30 years ago, said.

"There's so much in a name," Grace Yoo, executive director of the Korean American Coalition's Los Angeles chapter, agrees.

"This is where I get food I'm familiar with. It's where I come for ingredients that aren't available elsewhere. It's where I've been meeting up with my friends for decades.

"It's a piece of your own history. For someone else to come in and say sorry that's not it, really causes people to get heated."


"The issue here is how do we achieve the acknowledgment [Bangladeshi Americans] are seeking without having to shut anyone out," City Councilman Ed Reyes, whose district includes Koreatown, told the Times.

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