In the wake of the savage beheading of American journalist James Foley at the hands of an alleged ISIS militant of British descent, we were immediately reminded of a 2006 book, “Londonistan,” whose lessons seem to have been sorely neglected.
Melanie Phillips, a prolific and sharp-tongued columnist for the Times of London, journalist, author and broadcaster of which TheBlaze Books has written before, wrote “Londonistan” to document the growing (and largely homegrown) threat by jihadists to Great Britain, the nation’s inability to comprehend it, foolish attempts to appease and whitewash it, and fatal consequences were the Brits to not change course.
With reportedly thousands of Europeans having joined ISIS ranks alone, not to mention those Americans who have joined various other jihadist movements throughout Arabia, our relations with the Muslim Brotherhood for example in Egypt prior to Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, arming of various jihadists, and ignorance (or worse), intentional censorship, and even inability to say the phrase “radical Islam” itself, the conclusion to her 2006 book is as significant today if not more so than the day it was written.
Here is part of Melanie Phillips’ strikingly prescient conclusion to “Londonistan” [emphasis ours]:
Britain is in denial. Having allowed the country to turn into a global hub of the Islamic jihad without apparently giving it a second thought, the British establishment is still failing even now— despite the wake-up calls of both 9/ 11 and the London bomb attacks of 2005— to acknowledge what it is actually facing and take the appropriate action. Instead, it is deep into a policy of appeasement of the phenomenon that threatens it, throwing sops to both radical Islamism and the Muslim community in a panicstricken attempt to curry favour and buy off the chances of any further attacks. This disastrous policy ignores the first law of terrorism, which is that it preys on weakness. The only way to defeat it is through strength— the strength of a response based on absolute consistency and moral integrity, which arises in turn from the strength of belief in the values that are being defended. By choosing instead the path of least resistance, Britain is advertising its fundamental weakness and is thus not only greatly enhancing the danger to itself but also enfeebling the alliance in the defence of the West.
Author: Melanie Phillips
Britain has a long and inglorious history of appeasing terrorism, thus bringing true the aphorism, in which its ruling class so cynically believes, that ‘terrorism works.’ Now, however, this dubious national trait has been cemented even more firmly into the national psyche by the governing doctrine of multiculturalism, which has made it all but impossible even to acknowledge that this terrorism is a problem rooted within the religion of a particular minority community. The fervent embrace of ‘victim culture’ means instead that this minority has to be treated on its own assessment as a victim of the majority and its grievances attended to on the grounds that it is these grievances that are the cause of terrorism. At the same time, however, this minority disavows any connection with terrorism and vilifies anyone who dares suggest the contrary. Thus Britain is being forced to act on the basis that if it does not do so it will be attacked— by people who claim that terrorism runs totally counter to the values of their religion, but then demand that the grievances of members of that religion are addressed as the price of averting further attacks. This deeply manipulative and mind-twisting behaviour is the equivalent of holding a gun to Britain’s head while denying that this is being done, and threatening to run out of town anyone who points it out.
The intersection of an aggressive religious fanaticism with the multicultural ideology of victimhood has created a state of paralysis across British institutions. The refusal to admit the religious character of the threat means that Britain not only is failing to take the action it should be taking but, worse still, is providing Islamist ideologues with an even more powerful platform from which to disseminate the anti-Western views that have so inflamed a section of Britain’s Muslims. The refusal to acknowledge that this is principally a war of religious ideology, and that dangerous ideas that can kill are spread across a continuum of religious thought which acts as a recruiting sergeant for violence, is the most egregious failure by the British political and security establishment. The deeply rooted British belief that violence always arises from rational grievances, and the resulting inability to comprehend the cultural dynamics of religious fanaticism, have furthermore created a widespread climate of irrationality and prejudice in which the principal victims of the war against the West, America and Israel, are demonised instead as its cause.
“[R]efusal to acknowledge that this is…a war of religious ideology, is the most egregious failure”
This mindset and the corresponding terror of being thought ‘Islamophobic’ have prevented the British from acknowledging the eruption of Islamist violence not just in Britain but around the Western world. The British media either ignore it— as with disturbances in Sweden or Belgium—or, when they do report it, insist that Islam has nothing to do with it. When Muslim riots engulfed France in November 2005, the reaction of most of the British (and European) media was that they were caused by the poverty, unemployment and discrimination endured by the alienated youths who torched the country from Normandy to Toulouse. One writer suggested that those who saw Islamism on the march in France were merely exponents of a particularly virulent form of conservative thinking, expressed variously around the world through Russian racism, demagogic Hindu nationalism, Gallic exceptionalism, U.S. Christian fundamentalism and Muslim fundamentalism, which were all marching shoulder to shoulder in an attempt to stop the clock of history.
Yet the vast majority of the French rioters were Muslims; the rioters screamed ‘Allahu akhbar’ talked about jihad and expressed admiration for Osama bin Laden; and, more pertinently still, the French government asked Muslim imams to calm the unrest, which they did ‘in the name of Allah’ and issued a fatwa telling the rioters that such behaviour went against the religion. Yet despite all this evidence, British commentators insisted that Islam was irrelevant.
…One of the reasons why people shy away from acknowledging the religious aspect of this problem is, first, the very proper respect that should be afforded to people’s beliefs and, second, the equally proper fear of demonising an entire community. There is indeed a risk of such a discussion exposing innocent Muslims to attack. But there is a greater risk to the whole community if the roots of the problem are censored and never dealt with. The key issue is the inability to grasp that just because a problem has a religious character, this does not mean that all members of that religion suffer from that problem. There is a distinction to be drawn between Muslims and Islamists. Islamism is the politicised interpretation of the religion that aims to Islamise societies. Many Muslims in Britain and elsewhere would not subscribe to this ideology. But it is the dominant strain throughout the Muslim world, and so far there has been no serious challenge to it— not least because those who do speak out against it run the risk of being killed. Because it is so dominant, backed by powerful Muslim states and even more crucially by Islamic religious authorities, it constantly spreads its extremist messages of religious fanaticism and political sedition. That is why the development of the Muslim Brotherhood infrastructure in Britain was so calamitous.
…The charge that pointing out the religious nature of this extremism is an act of bigotry against Muslims is deployed to shut down a vital debate that urgently needs to be held, not least within the Muslim community itself. The claim is a form of crude intimidation, and the fact that Britain is so cowed by it in itself shows how far it has already travelled down this dangerous path.
…Britain is currently locked into such a spiral of decadence, self-loathing and sentimentality that it is incapable of seeing that it is setting itself up for cultural immolation. In the short term, this is likely to lead to the increasing marginalisation of British Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and other minorities caught in a pincer movement between radical Islamists on the one hand and, on the other, a craven establishment that is pandering to Islamist extremism. So much for the multicultural nirvana.
Britain is currently at a crossroads. With Islamist terrorism having erupted in London and still worse atrocities feared to be in the offing, the government has even now only tightened up a few procedures. If there were to be more attacks, it is possible that it would finally be forced to take a more tough-minded approach . But to date, Londonistan still flourishes. Yes, a few more extremists have been locked up. Yes, a few thinkers have now questioned the wisdom of multiculturalism. But the push for Islamisation continues, British Muslims are still being recruited for the jihad, and the country’s elites are still in the grip of the nation-busting, universalist mindset that has hollowed out Britain’s values and paralysed it in the face of the assault by Islamism . A liberal society is in danger of being destroyed by its own ideals.
The emergence of Londonistan should be of the greatest concern to the free world.
Phillips took to her Facebook wall and had this to say regarding James Foley’s beheading and its relation to “Londonistan”:
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