No-go area

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"No-go area" (or "no-go zone") is an area in a town barricaded off to civil authorities by a force such as a paramilitary, or barred to certain individuals or groups.[1] It has been used to refer to regions or places that are off-limits to everyone but a particular group, or which some people feel at risk visiting, for whatever reason. It has also been used to refer to areas where ruling authorities have lost control and are unable to enforce sovereignty.[citation needed]


The term "no-go area" has a military origin and was first used in the context of the Bush War in Rhodesia.[citation needed] The war was fought in the 1960s and 1970s between the army of the predominantly white minority Rhodesian government and communist-backed black nationalist groups.

The initial military strategy of the government was to seal the borders to prevent assistance to the guerrillas from other countries. However with the end of Portuguese colonial rule in Angola and Mozambique, and especially the arrival of some 500,000 Cuban armed forces and tens of thousands of Soviet troops[citation needed], this became untenable and the white minority government adopted an alternative strategy ("mobile counter offensive"). This involved defending only key economic areas, transport links ("vital asset ground"), and the white civilian population. The government lost control of the rest of the country to the guerilla forces, but carried out counter-guerilla operations including "free-fire attacks" in the so-called "no-go areas,"[2] where white civilians were advised not to go.

Northern Ireland[edit]

Between 1969 and 1972, the term was used officially[citation needed] in Northern Ireland to describe barricaded areas in Belfast and Derry, which the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the British Army were prevented from entering by militant residents. The areas' existence was a challenge to the authority of the British government in Northern Ireland. The British Army demolished the barricades and re-established control in Operation Motorman on 31 July 1972.[3][4] Throughout many areas (notably the Bogside in Derry, the Falls Road and Ardoyne in Belfast amongst others), whilst the official status was removed, the status of a no-go area remained in operation, with police and military personnel only entering in certain circumstances, usually a combatant role or house raids. Day-to-day policing within these areas was generally controlled by paramilitary organizations (usually the Irish Republican Army). Irish Catholics remained apprehensive of the replacement Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) throughout the 2000s; Sinn Féin (the largest Irish nationalist political party in Northern Ireland) had originally refused to endorse the PSNI until the Patten Report's recommendations were implemented in full. However, as part of the St Andrews Agreement Sinn Féin announced its acceptance of the PSNI at a special Ard Fheis on the issue of policing on 28 January 2007.[citation needed]

Florida, USA[edit]

In April 2011 after the murder of two British tourists in Sarasota, Florida, local police said the two victims were shot dead in a residential neighbourhood seen as a "no-go" area for tourists.[5]

South Africa[edit]

Similar to Rhodesia, the term was used chiefly in the context of black emancipation movements.[citation needed] However, the South African Defence Force was larger than the Rhodesian by orders of magnitude and backed by a white population of millions. As a result, there were few areas which were termed no-go in the sense of the military. Instead, the term was used to describe areas were white civilians should not go without the peril of their lives and police only went when in heavy convoy.[citation needed]

Allegations about Europe[edit]

In January 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo shooting, various commentators (hosts and guests) on Fox News claimed that the areas termed "sensitive urban zones" in France are Muslim "no-go zones".[6][7] Fox was criticized for these comments and they later retracted and apologized "for inaccurate comments about Muslims in Europe."[8] The mayor of Paris said she intended to sue Fox for broadcasting the statements.[9]

The Washington Post reported that CNN reported about "No-go zones" on January 9, 2015 (CNN host Chris Cuomo); on "751 ‘no-go zones’ in France" on the same date on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° show. CNN continued reporting on no-go zones on January 10.[10] CNN was criticized for these comments.[11] CNN's Anderson Cooper later apologised on screen for having critiziced others while it itself numerous times reported about no-go zones in Europe.[12][13] The American Spectator reported that the term has been used previously by The New York Times, Newsweek, and The New Republic.[14]

Also in January 2015, echoing the Fox claims, American Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a speech in London, England, that Muslim immigrants were seeking "to colonize Western countries, because setting up your own enclave and demanding recognition of a no-go zone are exactly that." When he was asked for evidence of "no-go zones," Jindal pointed to an article in the Daily Mail which said "killings, sexual abuse of minors and female genital mutilation are believed to go unreported to local police in some areas" in England.[15][16] When later asked by CNN to provide specific examples, he declined.[17] Governor Jindal's office issued on January 20 a press release .[18]

Authors in The Atlantic and Business Week magazines, Media Matters for America organization, and have criticized use of the term "no-go zone" regarding 21st century events in Europe, calling it a "myth" or falsehood.[19][20][21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Definition of no-go area, Collins English Dictionary (online), retrieved 2015-01-22 
  2. ^ Moorcraft, Paul L.; McLaughlin, Peter (2008), The Rhodesian War: A Military History (2010 reprint ed.), Stackpole Books, p. 38, ISBN 9780811707251  note - first printed in South Africa in 1982 by Sygma Books and Collins Vaal
  3. ^ "IRA left Derry 'before Operation Motorman'". BBC News. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "HISTORY – OPERATION MOTORMAN". The Museum of Free Derry. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "BBC News - Florida: 'Easy to stray into a bad area'". BBC News. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  6. ^ Rajeev Syal (January 13, 2015). "Nigel Farage tells Fox News there are no-go zones for non-Muslims in France". The Guardian. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  7. ^ Eugene Volokh (January 19, 2015). "Fox News retracts allegations of "no-go zones" for non-Muslims in England and France". Washington Post. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  8. ^ Brian Stelter (January 18, 2015). "Fox News apologizes 4 times for inaccurate comments about Muslims in Europe". CNN Money. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  9. ^ Gregory Wallace; Brian Stelter (January 20, 2015), Paris mayor: We intend to sue Fox News, CNN Money 
  10. ^ "CNN, too, trafficked in ‘no-go zone’ chatter". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "CNN again hammers Fox News over ‘no-go zones,’ with a touch of hypocrisy". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Lisa de Moraes. "CNN’s Anderson Cooper Apologizes On Air For “No-Go Zone” Remarks - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "CNN’s Anderson Cooper acknowledges mistake on ‘no-go zones’". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Aaron Goldstein (January 28, 2015), "Islam in Europe now a no-go subject: "No-go zones" have turned into a you don’t want to go their topic", American Spectator 
  15. ^ "Murders and rapes going unreported in no-go zones for police". Mail Online. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Philip Elliott (January 19, 2015). "Jindal: Muslim establish 'no-go zones' outside civic control". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. Retrieved January 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ "US governor denounces so-called Muslim 'no-go zones' in London speech". Daily Telegraph. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: REPORTS OF “NO-GO” ZONES IN EUROPE", Press release (Office of the Governor of Louisiana), January 20, 2015 
  19. ^ Grahamjan, David A. (January 20, 2015), "Why the Muslim 'No-Go-Zone' Myth Won't Die", The Atlantic 
  20. ^ Carol Matlack (January 14, 2015), "Debunking the Myth of Muslim-Only Zones in Major European Cities", Business Week 
  21. ^ Karen Finney (January 26, 2015), "The No-Go Zone Myth Comes To America", Media Matters blog (Media Matters for America) 
  22. ^ "Caliph-ain't",, January 18, 2015, A number of localities in the United States, France, and Britain are considered Muslim "no-go zones" (operating under Sharia Law) where local laws are not applicable. FALSE 

Further reading[edit]