BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
The most interesting line in Tony Blair’s Bloomberg speech last Friday was nothing to do with the bolted horse of Brexit. Nor his sly attempts to fuse his stalling concept of globalism with closer connectivity brought about by technology. Nor was it anything to do with the Labour Party he used to lead about whose current (lack of) management he was derisive. The most important thing Blair said was that Britain had an opportunity – more than other countries – to develop an outcome for the future which would end benignly and that, for the first time in his lifetime, he was not sure whether a benign outcome was feasible at all.
Although Blair did not mention the phrase directly in his speech, it was extremist Islamism that he was referring to.
If Remainers are genuinely that worried about their kids’ futures, Blair was touching on an area they might actually, usefully, focus their worries on.
This is the first time a mainstream British politician has been so specific about a likely violent upcoming battle here in Britain and Europe without actually mentioning the term Islamism (normally referred to as extremist Islamism to be polite and fair to those British Muslims who are Islamists – politically active in the name of Islam – without being as politically repugnant as Hizb ut Tahrir or as extreme as Isis).
Blair, more than most mainstream politicians, gets the rise of extreme Islamism. He is bright and briefed enough to understand that the waves of mostly Muslim refugees which pour across Europe and returning Isis fighters – against the backcloth of an aggressive Islamism available free of charge on YouTube for any European kid to be persuaded and brainwashed by – will result, over many years and multiple waves, in one of three possibilities. Either violent defeat of secular Western Europe as its lands are overrun by Islamists, violent defeat of extreme Islamism by mass expulsions, or defeat of extreme Islamism by benign assimilation. And Blair sees Britain in prime position to somehow still conjure the latter result – Britain has a relatively large Muslim population (most of whom are not political in the slightest and not extreme) and Britain has the levels of all-round education, enlightenment and wealth necessary to somehow bring about assimilation in a benign way.
Blair knows how painful the reality of extreme Islamist ideology is right now across Europe and he deserves credit for referring, albeit obliquely, to it. He’s not swayed by the MSM dumbing down of the clash of civilisations going on right now on the streets of Paris or Brussels. He knows that the fringes of Europe in places such as Serbia, where warring is not such a distant tendency, and Hungary, where a nationalist leader runs the show, are not far off kicking Muslims out now. Blair will have been told about the sickening murders of elderly Italians by Muslim migrants which were hushed up and the true numbers of sex crimes perpetrated by Muslim immigrants across Europe from Stockholm to Athens to Cologne. No doubt Blair would have been privy of late to memos about the growing numbers of French citizens, known in echoes of the Algerian War as the Armée Secrète, who have given up on their political classes and France’s flawed security apparatus and are privately stocking weapons caches across France in preparation for violent expulsion of Muslims from their lands.
Tony Blair is voter repellent these days but he’s well worth listening to on Islamism.
If a benign outcome is to be achieved in Britain – while other lands in the rest of Europe are already primed for violent expulsions – then Islam needs to be delicately separated from politics (at least from extreme Islamism) across Britain now. That’s a massive task which could be undone mid-process by a couple of Charlie Hebdos. Achieving a benign outcome of assimilation would involve asking all charities with the word Islam in their objects to reapply for charity status, banning and freezing the funds of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tablighi Jamaat and Hizb ut Tahrir, closing many mosques and certain schools, weeding out all the aggressive Islamists (even the less obvious entryists) and, in effect, telling Britain’s Muslims what they can and can’t interpret from the Koran. The uproar – from the Islamists, ordinary Muslims and do-gooding liberals – will merely lead to an increase of extreme Islamists.
Personally, I see Blair’s hopes as idealistic. Primarily, because the Islamist extremists we face are not ones with whom negotiation is feasible. The cleverest of them also play a very long game. The Saudis, who are the source of many of the extreme Islamist problems the West faces, also happen to show the West how an exodus is possible; expelling 40,000 Pakistani migrant workers peacefully in the span of just four months, citing terrorism concerns.
Since an outcome that is not benign is most likely, Britain’s all-round education, enlightenment and wealth should already be focused on expediting as benign an exodus as is possible from Britain and Europe for all extremist Islamists. That will involve a deal with a destination country and a recall of a significant number of British Passports. In effect, sorry but we the state cannot protect you from the masses, so drastically shape up or ship out.
Blair would do better helping Britain and Europe face up to the extremist Islamist issue rather than wasting his time chasing down bolted horses. After the errors of Iraq – and since he’s now a forgivable Catholic – he should see this noble task as his penance.