BY SAM WHITE
Here’s the sand, now draw a line. Where do you want to put it?
After 9/11, or the Madrid train bombings? Or should we focus domestically, on 7/7?
We were shaken profoundly by the murder of Lee Rigby, but still no line.
Over the channel but close to home there was Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan, Nice, Berlin, and Stockholm, but the sand remained undisturbed.
Westminster sickened us, and candles were burned, but we carried on as normal, as the liberal consensus always decrees.
And then Manchester. The deliberate targeting of children and teenagers, at a pop concert, with a nailbomb. Burning nails driven through children’s shattered bodies.
Can we draw the line now?
Can we draw the line when not doing so means neglecting to defend our own children? Or are we so weak, in a state of such abject submission, that we can’t protect the most innocent, vulnerable people in our families?
In our community.
Because the most vulnerable people are the ones being buried, or in pieces. After years of horror and abuse, are we going to guard against the enemy, or shall we guard instead against ‘islamophobia’. Shall we look after our own families, or shall we look after the feelings of the politically correct Guardian strata?
If we’re going to make a stand, then first we must redefine the parameters of debate. The conversation around Islam has been shaped entirely by the left, and the borders they’ve drawn are so narrow as to make effective discourse impossible. So let’s reject their pointless regulations. They can no longer be permitted to police the debate.
There were voices from the left in the aftermath of the Manchester attack who were more outraged by things being said on Twitter than by the massacre of children in a British city centre. These people are deeply confused, so let’s clear things up for them: getting angry because a brainwashed psychopath has committed mass murder is normal. Talking about the ideology that drove him is normal. Searching for solutions is normal. To have been galvanised, frustrated, and furious all at the same time was normal.
The people driving this public conversation are not the bad guys. The terrorists are the bad guys.
Have you got that, do-gooders? Don’t attack people for condemning atrocity, and searching for ways to stop it recurring. Don’t sneer, high and mighty, because people demand real justice, rather than your contradiction-ridden, power grasping social justice.
If we can speak freely, then all options are on the table, and it’s perfectly acceptable to explore outlying ideas. Ideas that may not be enacted, but which it’s valuable to articulate because that’s how discussion works. You go too far in one direction, get pulled back, improve your thinking, try again.
If it’s fine for head-in-the-sand Marxists to suggest open borders, the dissolution of the nation state, and cheerful side-by-side co-existence with a murderous Caliphate, then it’s equally fine for others to suggest, for example, a total ban on immigration from majority Muslim countries.
It’s OK because we understand free speech, and these ideas are simply part of the reasoning process. They’re too extreme to be enacted, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial to consider exactly why they wouldn’t work. That process of back-and-forth leads to a sharper, more refined understanding of what would work, and for what reasons.
Hurt feelings, linguistic transgression, micro-aggressions, and all the other incoherent, intangible nonsense that the social justice left obsesses creepily over should be rejected. It’s a waste of time, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and hinders progress.
So what changes can we make in our approach to Islamic extremism?
Ideologically, we must abandon all ideas of cultural relativism. We follow the rule of law, and Britain is a secular country. No group of people, no matter their ethnicity or number, receives special favour on cultural, theological, or any other grounds.
More concretely, the problems of known extremists, and of British born jihadis returning from armed conflict in the Middle East must be addressed. Colonel Richard Kemp, a former member of Cobra—the government’s emergency response committee—wrote about this from a position of expertise yesterday:
“All non-British citizens involved in extremism must be deported – that includes those preaching, financing, supporting or preparing for terrorism. Dual citizens must be stripped of British citizenship and deported.
Those who leave the UK to murder, rape and torture with the Islamic State or other jihadist groups must not be allowed to return. They are the most dangerous – blooded in battle and trained in sophisticated acts of mass violence.”
“Internment must be seriously considered for British citizens who cannot be deported or prosecuted yet intelligence shows are involved in terrorism.
These are draconian measures and they may well infringe the human rights of terrorists. But better that than to leave them free to violently deprive innocent British men, women and children of their lives.”
Are these appropriate measures? As Colonel Kemp states, they appear draconian. But they’re on the table now, to be taken apart and assessed.
Another area of concern is the influence of Wahhabi/Salafi mosques, funded by Saudi and Qatari money, radicalising through extremism. In an article from 2015, Iain Dale argued convincingly that they should’ve been banned from receiving foreign funding. He includes a disturbing quote from Islamic studies expert Dr Denis MacEoin, in which he describes “a huge amount of “malignant literature” inside as many as a quarter of Britain’s mosques”, allegedly all Saudi linked:
“Among the more choice recommendations in leaflets, DVDs and journals were statements that homosexuals should be burnt, stoned or thrown from mountains or tall buildings (and then stoned where they fell just to be on the safe side). Those who changed their religion or committed adultery should experience a similar fate. Almost half of the literature was written in English, suggesting it is targeted at younger British Muslims who do not speak Arabic or Urdu. The material, which was openly available in many of the mosques, including the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, which has been visited by Prince Charles, also encourages British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims. There is, of course, nothing new in such reports. Investigative journalists have over the years uncovered all manner of material emanating from Muslim extremists in various parts of Britain. Earlier this year an undercover reporter for Channel 4 filmed preachers and obtained DVDs and books inside mosques which were filled with hate-filled invective against Christians and Jews. They condemned democracy and called for jihad. They presented women as intellectually congenitally deficient and in need of beating when they transgressed Islamic dress codes. They said that children over the age of 10 should be hit if they did not pray. Again the main mosque chosen for exposure was influenced and funded from Saudi Arabia.”
That makes for chilling reading, and shows exactly what we’re dealing with. There can be no place for any of it in a modern, open society, just as there’s no place for violence.
Which leads to another message I’d like to offer the apologist left: don’t ever tell us that Islamist terror is something we must learn to live with. Don’t dismissively opine that it’s normal.
The view from the left seems to be that it’s a price worth paying, but a price worth paying for what? To maintain a failed, left-wing ideology that most people don’t subscribe to? And what exactly do we get in return for bowing in reluctant consent, a pat on the head from the BBC? A cheap seat at the back of the unrocked (but leaking) multi-culti boat? I can pass on those, thanks.
Immediately after a terror attack, something strange happens if you start making forceful statements condemning Islamism. You might say it must be kicked out, punished, and defeated. Despite not being abnormal reactions to news of a mass killing, there are elements of the left who’ll turn on you for saying such things.
To clarify that, you run the risk of being viciously criticised for expressing anger at child murderers. That’s right: for expressing anger at child murderers.
But the terror situation is getting worse, the attacks more frequent, and the methods more barbaric and stomach churning. After a pop concert for teenagers, what might be the next target? Do you think it likely that someone in the UK is planning an attack on a primary school, right now? How far along in their preparations might they be? Is whoever made the nail bomb in Manchester gathering materials for his next hideous device now, and how many children could it kill and maim?
The left appear incapable of processing such thoughts, their memories seemingly clear of the most recent attack by the time the next one comes along. They’re desperate to move on, perform the candlelight vigil, change the story. But let’s not go along with that anymore. The myopia the left displays is, literally, fatal. And it’s fatal to all of us.
We have to take a more pragmatic approach. Paradoxically, in order to preserve the tolerance that’s at the core of our liberalism, we’re going to have assume an intolerant attitude. Not too much, just enough to keep our precious, hard-won values intact. Intolerant enough to remain tolerant. Because the alternative is that we co-habit with homicidal authoritarianism, an option which would have unthinkably dire long term consequences, and which must be avoided at all costs.
Austria just banned the face veil in public, following France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Bulgaria. Since 2009, Switzerland has restricted the construction of minarets on mosques. The latter seems a minor decision, but both are indicative of public feeling.
When policy institute Chatham House did a survey earlier this year across ten European countries, they found that on average 55% of respondents agreed with the statement, “all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped”. And only 20%, on average, disagreed with the statement. In the UK, the figures were 47% and 23% respectively.
This isn’t to say that enacting an immigration policy to reflect this data would be either desirable or viable, but rather to show that the idea of taking much more robust action—on immigration, citizenship, extremist mosques, burkas—is not a fringe opinion.
Open borders are particularly unpopular, and mass immigration has breached consensually acceptable limits. Excessive displays of religious faith make people uncomfortable, and clash with our non-negotiable secular standards. When the religion threatening our values is sexist, homophobic, and has links with violent extremism, why should anyone be happy with its more zealous adherents flaunting their devotion? Britain has evolved past theological deference, and if the liberal left expects us to go backwards in order to appease Islam — a foreign faith to which Britain has no affiliation— then they’re simply deluded.
The will for change is out there. The vast majority of people understand the issues and what’s at stake. Either mainstream politicians start acting on the realities of what we’re facing, or their semblance of control will come apart at the seams.