Thursday, 12 June 2014

Time to stand up against extremism

"Since the moment protests erupted over Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, Britain's authorities have been caught off guard, It was a Conservative home secretary (Michael Howard) who disastrously encouraged British Muslims to organise as a community rather than as citizens, believing it best if government had a "go to group" for the Muslims in Britain. The result was to embed community differences and encourage radicals to to believe their horizon was closer than it ever should have seemed."

Douglas Murray in The Spectator 14th June 2014

Certainly the burning of the Satanic Verses was a major turning point for me politically. Until then I had really only thought of Islam as an "Arab" religion and not really given either it or the presence of a large Muslim community in this country much, if any thought. At the time a number of left wing activists proposed to publish a statement in The Guardian defending Rushdie's right to write freely. I duly sent off a contribution to sign the statement.

Then came a real surprise. Actually a shock. My money was returned with a covering letter telling everyone that they had decided not to publish a defence of Rushdie as it might be construed a "racist".

How defending Rushdie, himself from a (albeit liberal) Muslim background against other Muslims with different and somewhat atrocious views could be seen as "racist" was beyond me. I considered the notion absolute nonsense.

Fast forward to today and we see the results of the absolute failure of both the establishment and the majority of this countries "radicals" in dealing with the rise of a discriminatory. illiberal and undemocratic trend within not just the Muslim "community", but such ideas being enforced by stealth in our schools and our universities.

And yet whilst the cabinet fall out over how to (belatedly) deal with this problem, the remains of the far-left remain in complete denial of the danger of religious, in this case Islamist extremism.

Andrew Coates writes:

Socialist Worker has buried its collective head in the sand about the problems raised by the influence of conservative Islam in education.

Today we read,

"A Tory clampdown on schools in Birmingham has unleashed a torrent of racist filth.

The government ordered investigations after an anonymous letter alleged a Muslim “plot” to take over schools. Right wing newspapers devoted pages to personal attacks on Muslim teachers and governors."

The paper of the SWP claims that there is no evidence for any of the Ofstead charges against Oldknow Academy. Their proof? The Academy has issued...(a) statement stating that the report’s claims are false.

Meanwhile the fruits of our societies collective failure to deal with this problem is spelt out in The Times today (no link £) in its report on the deteriorating situation in Iraq:

Half a million people were driven from their homes in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city on Tuesday. Yesterday ISIS, a bloodthirsty Syria-based terrorist group which counts hundreds of British jihadists among its ranks, took hostages, freed prisoners and used twitter to boast of its' gains.

The question that our society has to ask is where exactly did these British jihadists get their ideas from? More to the point how can we stop the development of such violent men?

The Muslim communities (there is no "one" community, there are many different ones) need to consider what their preachers are teaching their youth. 

The jihadists are not welcomed by the people who live in Iraq (or Syria) as liberators. They are fleeing for their lives.

Something is seriously wrong.

Shouting "Islamophobia" at every criticism, every critic is covering for the extremists. It isn't helping anyone leastsof all the Muslims seeking refuge from the violence that these Islamists inflict on everywhere they go.

Time to face up to the fact there is a real problem and deal with it at it's roots.

That means real and secular education.

Respect works both ways.

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