Matthew Acton, News of the World (London)
Unemployed scrounger Mohammed Salim is getting the state to pay for him, his wife and their ELEVEN kids—because he can’t be bothered to go to work.
He quit his £27,000 job teaching maths and science three years ago and is BETTER OFF claiming £29,096 a year in benefits.
And he has much more time to devote to his Islamic political party—which ATTACKS the British government, even though this country gives his family their food, clothes and house for free.
Mohammed is also busy planning his TWELFTH baby with wife Noreen, 35, but has no plans to get a job.
He grinned: “For many years I worked in Derby as a teacher, earning £27,000 a year, and Noreen would be at home with the kids.
“I would come home at weekends. Then I moved back to work in Manchester and took a pay cut to £24,000. It was a load of c***.
“I was teaching at a college and I’d be up at 5.30am with the kids then have to go to work.
“I just couldn’t be a***d with sitting in traffic. I’d be sat in traffic for hours and I felt like I’d done a day’s work by the time I got there, I was so stressed.”
“It’s nice to be at home with the kids and for Noreen to have a hand.”
That’s a luxury most hard-working taxpayers who struggle to support their families can only dream about.
The family we’re all supporting live in a comfy five-bedroom house on a quiet street in Rochdale, Gtr Manchester. They get £19,000 a year Jobseeker’s Allowance, £6,600 Child Benefit, £2,496 free school meals and £1,000 Council Tax Relief.
They have a minibus to swan around in, two TVs and a computer, plus a garden full of brightly-coloured toys. Noreen has never worked since marrying Mohammed—who is her cousin—when she was 16.
She said: “I spend all day clearing up after the children. As soon as you pick up one pile of crisps or mop up drink, there’s another.”
As she sits on the sofa nursing their latest addition—an as yet unnamed two-week-old girl—Mohammed explains: “I can’t stand condoms.
“I used a condom once. It was awful. Never again, it’s nothing like the real thing. It’s up to God whether we have any more kids.”
He chortles: “It says in the Bible and the Koran to go forth and multiply, and that’s what we’ll do. It’s Noreen, she finds me irresistible!
“I see my children as God’s blessing, as a gift from God. Some people out there pay to have children, through IVF or surrogacy. I feel so lucky that I can have as many as I want.
“I want to carry on my family name and for my children and grandchildren to remember me.”
The couple’s ten other children are Muhammad Aves, 16, Sarah Zenib Bibi, 15, Maryam Hajra Bibi, 13, Muhammad Bilal, 11, Muhammad Haider Ali, nine, Halimn Sadia Bibi, eight, Umayah Habiba Hadia Bibi, seven, Saadiqah Fatima Bibi, five, Muhammad Ibrahim Amter, three, and Muhammad Imam Ismail, 18 months.
But Mohammed worries about how he will send them to university—because it is not free.
He said: “I think it’s important for them to enjoy themselves and I make sure they have a good education.
“I don’t know how we’d afford to send them to university.
“It’s a shame really, because when I went it was free but you have to pay now. But it’s in God’s hands.”
Mohammed moved to Britain from Pakistan in 1966, when he was eight. He went on to university and qualified as a teacher. He then taught computer studies, maths and science at primary and high schools and a higher education college in Manchester and Derbyshire until three years ago.
Soon afterwards he stood as a candidate in the Rochdale constituency in the 2005 General Election, using an anti-war message.
But he only got 361 votes—less then one per cent of the total cast. Mohammed said: “It goes to show that we are not living in a democracy, because a democracy is supposed to reflect the opinions and the interests of the majority.
“The so-called democratic process has let down the Rochdale people, just as it let down the people of the entire country when the Blair government went to war in Iraq.”
Previously, Mohammed staged a hunger strike in protest at the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses—which some Muslims claimed was blasphemous.
He said: “The hunger strike was successful in that people saw I was prepared to make a sacrifice for what I believed in.”
Now he spends his time running his political party, Islam Zinda Badd, whose name means ‘Long Live Islam’.
He said: “I set it up to protest about the war in Iraq and the NHS, and we want to show that all Muslims are not terrorists.
“We use the Koran for guidance. We are not radical.
We believe that we should look after each other, especially children and the elderly, and that wealth should be shared.
“That is what is great about Britain. In Pakistan the government does not look after you like in England. The government here is so supportive.
“It will help people out of work and it has a good welfare state. Islam teaches sharing of wealth. The people who put money in might complain, but the people who can earn need to look after those who can’t. The only people I object to are people who abuse the system.”
We know just what you mean, Mohammed.
And he has no plans to go back to Pakistan despite his party’s anger at British policy. He said: “I did want to move back at one point but now it is so unstable—and I don’t think we would be able to have the quality of life we have here.”
A neighbour in Mohammed’s street said he was disgusted by the Salim family’s cushy lifestyle.
The married dad of four—who did not want to be named—said: “I only earn £15,000 a year in a factory and my wife is a part-time cleaner. We would be better off chucking in our jobs and claiming benefits like him down the road.
“But we want to work because it gives you a sense of worth and purpose.
“He used to be a teacher and it sickens me that a man with such a good brain can just give it up and have everything paid for by the state. It shouldn’t be allowed.
“Why on earth is the state subsidising him to sit at home doing nothing when he could be teaching kids, paying taxes and contributing to society.
“There is something very wrong with a society that allows this to happen. The benefits system needs changing.”