Dail Mail, 8 July 2008
Three years after the London Tube and bus bombings, it is alarming beyond measure to record that Britain is even now sleepwalking into Islamisation. Some people will think this is mere hyperbole. However, that’s the problem. Britain still doesn’t grasp that it is facing a pincer attack from both terrorismÂ andÂ cultural infiltration and usurpation.
The former is understood; the latter is generally not acknowledged or is even denied, and those who call attention to it are pilloried as either ‘ Islamophobes’ or alarmists who have taken up residence on Planet Paranoia.
Certainly, the police and security service have been foiling plot after plot and are bringing to court a steady stream of Islamist radicals â€“an improvement without doubt from three years ago. And so, particularly within the British elite, people think that things are broadly under control.
They fail to realise that the attempt to take over our culture is even more deadly to this society than terrorism. They are simply blind to the ruthless way in which the Islamists are exploiting our chronic muddle of well-meaning tolerance and political correctness (backed up by the threat of more violence) to put Islam on a special â€” indeed, unique â€” footing within Britain.
As a result, the steady Islamisation of British public life is either being ignored or even tacitly encouraged by a political, security and judicial establishment that is failing to identify the stealthy and mind-bending game that is being played.
The official counter-radicalisation programme illustrates the problem. The Government wants to tackle radicalisation within Britain’s Muslim community by winning hearts and minds within that community. Its strategy is based on isolating the extremists and encouraging the moderates.
The problem, however, is that it doesn’t understand what Muslim extremism is. Believing that Islamic terrorism is motivated by an ideology which has ‘hijacked’ and distorted Islam, it will not acknowledge the extremism within mainstream Islam itself.
The reason so many older British Muslims are traditionally moderate is that they were brought up in the Asian subcontinent under a tamed form of Islam, deriving from centuries of colonial rule, which glossed over much of the teaching of the religion.
The Government believes that Islamic radicalism can be countered by teaching authentic Islam to Muslims. But since Islamic radicalism is based upon those very authentic religious precepts, this will undoubtedly have the effect of radicalising people who otherwise would never have thought in this way.
The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) was set up to put into effect the Government’s aim of ensuring moderation in the mosques. This was always unlikely, given that members of Islamist groupings were on the steering committee. Although MINAB’s chairman, Manazir Ahsan, presents himself as a reformer, he is the director of the Islamic Foundation, which follows the writings of Maulana Maududi â€” who preached an end to the sovereignty and supremacy of unbelievers who should be made to live in a state of subordination to Islam.
Similarly, Dr Ataullah Siddiqui, the Government’s chief adviser on Islamic Studies, is a senior member of the Islamic Foundation. A report he wrote for the Government last year, Islam at Universities in England, which was publicly welcomed by the Prime Minister, urged that among other special privileges for Muslims, they should be allowed to teach Islamic subjects in British universities and that non-Muslims should be banned from doing so.
In any event, the universities are steadily being Islamised, with academic objectivity in the teaching of Islam and Middle East studies being set aside in favour of indoctrination and propaganda.
A report by Professor Anthony Glees due to be published in the autumn will argue that extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centres linked to British universities and backed by multimillion-pound donations from Saudi Arabia and Muslim organisations.
He says: ‘Britain’s universities will have to generate two national cultures: one non-Muslim and largely secular, the other Muslim. We will have two identities, two sets of allegiance and two legal and political systems. This must, by the Government’s own logic, hugely increase the risk of terrorism.’
Even more terrifying is the increasing Islamisation of the police. It has been reported that up to eight police officers and civilian staff working in the Metropolitan Police and other forces are suspected of links to extremist groups, including Al Qaeda, with some even believed to have attended terror training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan. One suspected jihadist officer working in the South East has been allowed to keep his job despite being caught circulating internet images of beheadings and roadside bombings in Iraq.
No less disturbing is the fact that the police are intentionally bringing Islamists into the force in the utterly misguided belief (shared by many in the security service) that they can help counter Islamic radicalism.
Commander Robert Lambert, who until this year ran the Metropolitan Police Muslim Contact Unit, observed that terrorism could not be fought by contact with moderate Muslims but through partnerships with Salafists (Sunni extremists who believe in Islamic supremacy over the secular state) â€” one of whom was actually an officer in his own police department.
Commander Lambert believed that this would enable the police to understand the way extremists thought before they committed any acts of terror.
But it surely goes without saying that an officer who is committed to the overthrow of the West, and its replacement by an Islamic society poses a security risk of the first order. For a police counter-terrorism specialist to be promoting this situation beggars belief.
Deeply alarmed sources have furthermore told me that, in the overriding concern by police forces to hire more ethnic minority officers, they have junked vetting criteria â€” particularly when it comes to hiring Police Community Support Officers, who after two years can become fully fledged police officers with no further vetting required. The result, say these sources, is that the security of police operations is potentially compromised.
Moreover, there have been disturbing examples of the police protecting Islamic extremism. In 2007, the Channel Four Dispatches programme uncovered evidence of incitement to murder of homosexuals, the killing of British soldiers and hatred of ‘unbelievers’ going on below the official radar in ostensibly respectable British mosques.
But instead of prosecuting such fanatics, the West Midlands Police first tried to prosecute the programme makers and then accused them of selective editing and distortion and undermining community cohesion â€” a libel for which the police and the Crown Prosecution Service were subsequently forced to apologise.
A report by the Centre for Social Cohesion on honour killings and similar violence revealed that several women’s groups, particularly in the Midlands and northern England, say they are often reluctant to go to the police with women who have run away from home to escape violence, because they cannot trust Asian police officers not to betray the girls to their abusing families.
In February, Christian evangelists Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham were handing out Bible extracts in Alum Rock, Birmingham. They were stopped by a Muslim Police Community Support Officer, threatened with arrest if they carried on preaching in ‘a Muslim area’, and warned that they might get beaten up if they came back.
What on earth is happening when, in the heart of England, a British police support officer, employed by the British state to enforce the law of England, aggressively prevents Christians from preaching the established faith of England on the grounds that this is now a ‘hate crime’?
When the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, warned that Britain was developing Muslim nogo areas, he was denounced as Islamophobic.
The Establishment queued up to say they didn’t recognise the Britain he was describing. But British public life is progressively being Islamised, with Muslim radicals in areas with large concentrations of Muslims increasingly intimidating non-Muslims.
After a vicar in East London, Canon Michael Ainsworth, was beaten up by three Muslims in his own churchyard in March, it was revealed that there had been many attacks on churches in the area by such youths, who on one occasion shouted: ‘This should not be a church, this should be a mosque.’
Yet last month, one of the youths in the Ainsworth attack walked free after a judge accepted his claim that the attack was not religiously motivated.
Sharia law is steadily encroaching into British institutions. Last week, Lord Phillips, the most senior judge in England and Wales, said it could play a role in some parts of the legal system. This followed comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury who declared that Muslim families should be able to choose between English and Islamic law in marital and family issues.
But the fact is that Britain is already developing a parallel sharia jurisdiction in such matters, with a blind eye being turned to such practices as forced marriage, cousin marriage, female genital mutilation and polygamy; indeed, welfare benefits are now given to the multiple wives of Muslim men.
Meanwhile, the courts still appear to be bending over backwards to appease Muslim radicalism. Last month, a judge freed from prison Abu Qatada, the most important Al Qaeda operative in Europe and the lynchpin of numerous European terror attacks, who was being held pending deportation to Jordan to stand trial.
His release on bail â€” into a kind of house arrest â€” followed an Appeal Court ruling that he could not be deported to Jordan because any prosecution there might have been obtained as a result of a witness being tortured â€” a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Why do the British authorities appear to go out of their way to thwart efforts to fight and defeat jihadi terror? While Islamists are being appeased, the Christian church is being discriminated against. The Bishop of Rochester said that the decline of Christian values was destroying Britishness and had created a ‘moral vacuum’ which radical Islam was filling
In reply to this cri de coeur from a civilisation under siege, Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, maintained it was right that more money and effort was spent on Islam than Christianity because of the threat from extremism and homegrown terrorism.
But Islamism will be repulsed only if Britain once again regains the confidence of its own culture, heritage and traditions. And these are based on Christianity.
Ms Blears’s lamentable comment graphically illustrates the problem. While the ordinary people of Britain are increasingly aghast at the way their country is being transformed by Islamism, the political, judicial, security and intellectual elites are busy denying the nature of the danger and making it far, far worse through a combination of extreme ignorance, arrogance and sheer funk.
The Islamists launched their jihad against the West because they perceived it was so weak and confused it would not possess the wherewithal to defend itself. When it comes to Britain, they never spoke a truer word.
This is an abridged version of a new foreword to an updated edition of ‘Londonistan‘
by Melanie Phillips, published in the UK by Gibson Square.