Like most of you, I was horrified by the events of last Friday – The massacre of tourists in Tunisia, the bombing of the Shia Mosque in Kuwait and the beheading of a worker at a chemical plant in France. It would appear that the Islamic State promise to paint the Holy month of Ramadan with blood was no idle boast as countries around the world were hit by grim acts of terror.
Yesterday morning, David Cameron gave a press conference where he once again sent out a defiant message that the free countries of the world will not give in to these acts of barbarism and that the terrorists will never win. Unfortunately, whilst our Prime Minister thinks he talks a good game, both his actions and part of his speech show just why this growing threat shows no signs of going away in the near future.
Tough on the causes of extremism?
Both David Cameron and Home Secretary Teresa May have said that they will crack down hard on the preachers of hate. However, what they say and what they do are two entirely different things.
Ms May is looking to put new powers on the statute book to combat ‘hate speech’, but my own experience shows that the Police are failing to enforce the existing laws which would be adequate to deal with the problem. Over the last few years, I have attended the Al Quds day parade in London to peacefully protest against the promotion of a hard line extremist ideology that is not only allowed to give vent on our streets but sees the radicalisation of youngsters in full view of the Police escort that it receives. (The picture above shows veiled women displaying the flags of the proscribed terrorist organisation Hezbollah outside the US Embassy at last years event)
Amongst the laws broken are the Public Order Act, Terrorism Act and Race Relations Act with anti-Semitic chanting, calls of death to the west and banners proclaiming that ‘we are all Hizbollah’. I have witnessed speakers calling the US President an ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘Coconut’, calls for Israel to be eradicated and Tony Blair’s sister-in-law saying that ‘no Jew should have a peaceful nights sleep in their bed’. I have presented both photographic and video evidence to not only Police Officers on the day but also to The Home Office – Below is the reply I received from Minister Mike Penning MP to the number of letters I have sent
Notice a lot of talk of ‘Freedom of Speech’, the fundamentals of which I agree with. However, he also states that this should be ‘within the law’ and ignores the fact that every year that law is broken on this march. Moreover, when I express my freedom of speech to try and dispute the rhetoric of the extremists I have been issued with dispersal orders and threatened with arrest. Indeed, any criticism of extremism on the streets of London tends to be cracked down on by the Metropolitan Police – Note the arrest under section 5 of the public order act of Paul Weston, the leader of Liberty GB, for quoting passages from Churchill’s book ‘The River War’ that were critical of Islam.
Whilst I have no truck with the views or aims of Mr Weston’s organisation, what is the difference between his freedom of speech and that of the Islamists who are blatantly breaking the law? Indeed, it was recently reported that the odious Britain First leader Paul Golding had been banned from the streets of Luton for expressing extremist views, yet the hate preachers can carry on unmolested.
Extremist ideologies need to be tackled at both ends of the spectrum, but the Cameron Government is quite happy to use the law to crack down on the ‘far right’ but seems terrified to apply the same zeal to the Islamist extremists who are threatening our way of life.
The Al Quds Parade is once again going ahead on Friday 10th July this year, organised by the IHRC (Islamic Human Rights Commission) and sponsored by The Iranian Government, ending with speeches outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square. The government are fully aware by my actions of what will be seen, yet once again they will do nothing to stop the propagation of an extreme ideology and the exposure of young children to the Islamist narrative (Below)
It is also of concern that this event has been addressed in previous years by a number of high level politicians, including Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn MP, surrounded by imagery of terrorist organisations. Our local Hayes & Harlington MP, John McDonnell, is a prominent supporter of Mr Corbyn and recently called for people in our area to donate to the Islamist ‘Charity’ Interpal on his website – Here is what Stand for Peace have to say about them
How can our Government claim to be confronting the Islamist ideology when prominent MP’s are asking their constituents to donate to an organisation that has been filmed by the BBC Panorama programme not only propagating anti Semitic hatred but teaching 5 year olds how to put on and use explosive suicide vests? Indeed, Mr McDonnell organised a march through Hayes Town last year that bystanders told me resembled something they had seen on old newsreels of Berlin in the 1930’s.
‘Multiculturalism’ – The division of our country
Politicians from the old establishment parties have been happy to promote the idea of ‘Multiculturalism’ over the course of the last twenty years, a creed that states that all cultures deserve equal respect. We live in a democracy where many different races and religions are present, which is no bad thing – However, how can we have a coherent and united country where we are not all subject to the same laws and a unifying sense of belonging?
The bending of our society to this notion has led to division, with different communities separating themselves from the mainstream and viewing themselves as outside of a united national identity. The opening of our borders to increased numbers of migrants has changed the face of England, with the integration of the seventies and eighties replaced with separate communities being set up within the whole due to sheer numbers – If you have a ready made community from your homeland to come to then why do you need to interact with the larger society as a whole or even learn English as a unifying language?
Mohamed Ali, Chairman of the British Somali Association in Hayes, has been in the local press stating that, “Mentally, a lot of Somali’s are still in Somalia and they consider themselves different and you can’t move forward that way – We need to start integrating”. Yet the prevalent political will in the area remains to treat communities differently, with special dispensation given to minorities to set up their own ‘cultural centres’ with public money. Our Civic Hall at the top of Pump Lane was a community asset that all could use, but has now been turned in to the ‘Hayes Islamic Centre’ for one section of society, much to the annoyance of a number of people from all backgrounds that I spoke with during the recent election campaign. This drives resentment, cementing divisions where none need exist. Such divisions can lead to alienation and produce a fertile ground for extremists to plant their message – A message that has seen a number of people from our area travelling to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State such as Ismail Jabbar, a former pupil at Harlington Community School and Uxbridge College who attended the centre according to The Daily Mail and had encouraged others to travel with him.
(John McDonnell MP’s response to the suggestion that those fighting for ISIS should be barred from returning to the UK was to table a question to The Home Secretary asking if British Citizens fighting for the IDF in Gaza would be barred, ignoring the fact that it is Islamist extremists who pose a threat to our security – This also ignores the fact that IS have killed more Muslims in the last year than Israel, a state recognised by the UN, has done in the last thirty)
The dangers of these balkanised communities are well documented – Former extremist Ed Husain relates in his book ‘The Islamist’ how his radicalisation was formed when his family left a mixed community and relocated to a predominantly Bangladeshi community in the East End which left him feeling isolated and as such vulnerable to the recruiters of the group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (An organisation which is banned throughout Europe, yet is allowed to carry on its activities in the UK by the very government which claims to want to crack down on extremism)
There is also a new Mosque almost completed on Southall Broadway and on the front is an inscription stating that women are to enter via the side entrance only – The segregation of the sexes. In a tolerant, multi-faith society and one where our politicians are constantly bleating about gender equality, how is this right?
Labour’s Harriet Harman MP is regularly in the media promoting gender equality, yet her own party ran a fundraiser in Birmingham just before the general election where the sexes were segregated for ‘cultural’ reasons – Her husband, Jack Dromey, was one of the speakers! Her response? That it is ‘Better that the meeting is segregated than there are no women at all’.
We have a proud tradition of women’s rights in this country and there are laws about discrimination based on gender, yet for ‘cultural reasons’ our politicians ignore this blatant sexism for fear of upsetting ‘minorities’.
The Government has also turned a blind eye to the creation of over 85 Sharia Courts in the UK – Courts that treat the testimony of women as less than that of a man, condone violence towards wives and do not recognise marital rape. Such ideals should be challenged in a 21st Century democracy but, once again, the government do nothing. It is also only very recently that they have started to discuss the barbaric practice of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) in this country, with thousands of young girls annually subjected to this barbaric ‘cultural’ custom. In Hillingdon, local Gazette reporter Will Ackerman had a piece published on 11th February that drew attention to hundreds of girls in our area being at risk of FGM, yet no prosecutions have been forthcoming.
It is interesting to note that Politicians and media commentators were almost unanimous in their condemnation of British student Eleanor Hawkins, who was arrested and put on trial in Malaysia recently for exposing herself at the top of a mountain, stating that she should have been aware of the laws and culture in the country that she was visiting. These same Politicians and media commentators are notably silent on visitors to this country ignoring our laws and culture and pursuing their own agendas.
Such actions only perpetuate the splits in our society and feed the recruiters of radicalisation.
Is the West responsible for the rise of Islamism?
One of the dangerous narratives put out about the rise of Islamism is that we are totally responsible for it in the West and that we are now reaping what we sow.
I rang in to Ian Payne’s LBC show yesterday afternoon where he was tabling a discussion where he put the point of view that the celebration of Armed Forces Day was provocative in view of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, I only got a part of my answer across but it was good to hear a majority of the callers in line with my view, namely that Armed Forces Day is a celebration of the men and women who serve our country and should not be confused with the wars they have been involved in on the orders of their political masters.
Whilst it is obvious that our intervention in the second Iraq war, the bombing of Libya and the supply of weapons to rebel forces opposed to President Assad in Syria have not helped matters, it is a dangerous fallacy to think that we have created the Islamist monster.
I pointed out to Mr Payne that prior to those wars, the Islamists had flown aircraft in to the Twin towers on 9/11 and had attacked the American Navy vessel USS Cole previously to that. It is also of note that the two conflicts prior to 9/11 had seen UN forces in action to stop the genocide of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia and NATO forces operate alongside Arab Muslim states to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War. If 9/11 was a response to US Foreign policy rather than an attack on our western way of life then those perpetrating it must have had a pretty confused agenda.
The part I was not able to put across was that, if we had created the monster via those wars, then why were the likes of Abu Hamza, Omar Bakri Mohammed and Anjem Choudary preaching their Islamist ideology in the 1990’s in England, well before the ill advised adventures of the Blair and Bush years?
The roots of Islamism were established long before its rapid expansion in the 21st Century via scholars such as Qutb, Mawdudi and Nabhani, who saw the religion of Islam as a means to control and subjugate nations on the way to a global caliphate – Basically, to subvert a religion and use it to exercise ultimate power over the people for your own political ends. Destabilisation in the Middle East has allowed Islamists to exert their authority with a ready stream of finance from individuals within the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar who fund extremist mosques and Madrassas and, to an extent, weapons.
Whilst Western Foreign policy in these areas has been woeful in my opinion, it has exacerbated rather than created the problem. Our governments have also been remiss in cracking down on the sources of funding for extremist centres in this country.
Religion of Peace?
In order to confront IS and the growing tide of Islamist sympathy, you have to attack the ideology rather than responding with force after the fact, by which time it is too late to help the innocent victims. Once again, however, Cameron in his speech yesterday showed that not only are his government failing to do that but they also refuse to acknowledge the real problem by using the constant platitude of ‘Religion of Peace’ in any message conveyed after one of these atrocities, distancing the terrorists from the scriptures that inspire them.
Whilst most Muslims wish to conduct their lives in peace, there are a growing minority that are using the religious texts to justify their vicious war against democracy, quoting individual surahs and the hadiths as justification for their crimes. Cameron’s refusal to accept that the roots of this problem lie in a distorted interpretation of the religion means that the cause of the disease cannot be addressed by progressive Muslim speakers and communities and the chance to confront it is lost.
This is what prominent anti-extremist Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of the Quilliam thinktank and himself a former Islamist, refers to as ‘The Voldemort Effect’ – A refusal to name the problem. The following link from the JR Benjamin blog outlines exactly what Maajid is talking of and shows that not only our Prime Minister but also President Obama are missing vital opportunities to confront and defeat the ideology that the violence is stemming from
Maajid also brilliantly pointed out on the BBC that stating that Jihadist terror has nothing to do with Islam is like saying that The Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with Catholicism. This constant burying of heads in sand by our leaders and the repeated use of the platitude ‘religion of peace’ will only be counter productive whilst we can see with our own eyes what is happening in the world.
Douglas Murray (Above, pictured at an event in London) has also pointed out that no Religion can be described as a ‘Religion of Peace’, but that Islam carries a particular burden due to the numerous violent verses carried within the Quran. His dissection of the problem was recently printed in The Spectator and can be viewed via the following link
Islamists are a tiny minority
Whilst it is true that most Muslims are peaceful, the constantly trotted out maxim that we are only facing a ‘few hundred’ extremists in the UK is downright dangerous. Whilst those willing to bear arms in the name of ‘Jihad’ is relatively small, those supporting the Islamist line is a significant minority.
After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a BBC/Comres poll established that 27% of UK Muslims had sympathy for the motives behind the attack.
Asked if acts of violence against those who publish images of the Prophet Muhammad can “never be justified”, 68% agreed that such violence was never justifiable.
But 24% disagreed with the statement, while the rest replied “don’t know” or refused to answer.
A previous ICM poll for The Daily Telegraph in 2006 stated that nearly 40% of British Muslims supported the imposition of Sharia Law, with a Muslim Council of Britain poll backing these findings – Alarming when we consider the Sharia attitude towards women, apostates and homosexuals
The following video featuring Brigitte Gabriel puts this in to perspective
What Can be Done?
If David Cameron truly wants to stop the rise of Islamist extremism worldwide then he first needs to address the ideology behind it in the UK.
In my opinion, the following needs to be enacted as soon as possible –
1 – The ditching of the ‘Multicultural’ doctrine, with a unifying monoculture and Western values promoted. We should celebrate those things that bind us together as citizens of the UK
2 – Rigid enforcement of existing laws to stop the spread of extremism – Free speech needs to be protected but those inciting religious and racial hatred as an abuse of free speech need to be held to account. If a radical preacher is booked to give a speech at a mosque or on a University campus, then a speaker must be booked to simultaneously give the other side of the argument at the meeting. Those persistently breaching the law to be banned from holding meetings altogether.
3 – One law for all – All UK citizens need to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. There is no place for alternative and retrograde legal systems in this country.
4 – Proper border controls – Numbers have to come down to allow proper integration rather than segregated communities in our cities. Our border force needs to be properly manned to weed out illegals who IS are claiming are being funnelled through the Mediterranean to facilitate terrorist atrocities.
5 – Engagement with the wider Muslim community – Progressive Muslims need to be supported and encouraged to come forward with information that could be vital to tackling extremism. Defeating the ideology is easier from within than from outside in a similar way that the Police worked with football supporters and groups in the eighties and nineties to defeat the scourge of hooliganism. Further interaction needs to take place with organisations such as Quilliam to identify the best ways of driving this.
6 – Proper support for our Security Services – Rather than blaming them for the radicalisation of those attempting to join IS, it is time to give them the tools to do the job and then back them. Political Correctness must not be allowed to get in the way of the security of the public as a whole.
7 – Monitor Foreign Funding of Extremism – Large amounts of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding extremist preaching at Madrassas and mosques. This needs to be cracked down on
Only when the disease is treated at the source will the symptoms start to disappear. David Cameron and Theresa May need to start walking the walk rather than talking the talk – Military action alone will not defeat Islamism, you can’t kill an ideology with weapons especially when that ideology regards death in battle as the ultimate honour.
The opinions above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or policy of The UK Independence Party (UKIP)