The strange reluctance to defend liberal principles

Over antisemitism and Islamist extremism, the government still has its head in the sand

Last weekend, there was a particularly shocking antisemitic incident at a demonstration near the Israel embassy in London.

A masked youth was filmed telling a Muslim crowd: “We’ll find some Jews here ... We want the Zionists, we want their blood!” Minutes earlier, a YouTuber called Mohammed Hijab had whipped up the mob against the “terrorist apartheid state of Israel” by declaring: “We love death.” 

The Times reported

Hijab, a former trainee history teacher, told the group through a megaphone: “The truth of the matter is that we are with the brothers and sisters of Palestine and we will get our vengeance in this dunya [world] or the akhirah [hereafter] ... we will get our justice.”

Surrounded by chants of allahu akbar, Hijab continued: “The difference between us [Muslims] and them [Jews] is this ... We believe that life begins with death. We don’t care about death. We love death, and if you think that our people in Palestine or across the Arab and Muslim world will let go of the struggle and our sacred places, like Al Aqsa [mosque in Jerusalem], you are grossly mistaken.”

The Metropolitan Police are now said to be hunting the masked youth who called for Jewish blood. But police officers who had been within earshot of his ranting had stood by and done absolutely nothing while he incited the murder of Jews.

Why was this? Probably for the same reason that the police did nothing over many years when several thousand young white girls in northern British towns were raped, pimped and serially sexually abused by gangs of Pakistani-heritage Muslim men. 

The police are quick to feel the collars of Christians publicly preaching Biblical passages against homosexuality. But they are not moved to similar action, apparently, when Muslim men scream for the blood of Jews on a London street.

The reason is that the police are terrified of being thought racist or Islamophobic. So Muslim Jew-baiting and incitement to murder Jews get a free pass.

It’s not just the British police. As the former government adviser Nick Timothy wrote in the Telegraph

Schools have reported huge spikes in antisemitic abuse of pupils. In Leicester, gangs of college students were filmed stamping on tables and chanting “Allahu akbar!” The intimidation of Jewish pupils and teachers grew so severe that the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson wrote to schools warning that while pupils are allowed to express political views, antisemitic language and threats must not be tolerated.

In response to the Williamson letter, Miqdaad Versi, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, complained that the Government was being “one-sided”. The letter, of course, was not about events in Israel, but the harassment of British Jews. In suggesting there might be two sides to racism, Versi revealed more than he intended about why the Government refuses to engage with the MCB.

And yet they and other organisations such as Mend, a controversial campaigning group accused of increasing hostility by the Board of Jewish Deputies, are treated by many MPs, local councils and other parts of the public sector as unproblematic and representative community bodies. But by engaging with them, the state is contributing to the sectarianism and hatred it should be doing its utmost to prevent.

In other words, the British authorities have descended into what Professor Richard Landes has termed “proleptic dhimmitude” —  which means anticipatory surrender to Islamic conquest and subjugation. 

As Landes explains, “dhimmi” status under Muslim sharia law entails a set of rules establishing the legal superiority of Muslims by visibly degrading “infidels”. These have no standing in court (either as a witness, or to bring charges), must walk in the gutter, ride donkeys not horses, avert their eyes, and above all never insult Muslims or Islam (blasphemy). And the claim of “Islamophobia” is a weapon used to silence any attempt to criticise such Islamic precepts or acknowledge Islamist aggression and its roots in Nazism and Jew-hatred as well as theological sources. Landes writes:  

The dhimmi pact is a form of “protection money,” it “protects” infidels from Muslim violence and dispossession. At the time of its creation, jihadi warriors slaughtered idol worshippers, and spared the “people of the book” as long as they self-abased. Dhimmitude has functioned historically as an enormous, apartheid, shame-honour edifice in which honourable Muslims may debase infidels without retaliation, and stigmatised infidels must not criticise Muslims, lest Muslims take offence and strike at them with impunity.

To this day, people who read the TimesWashington Post, Le Monde, Guardian, watch BBC, CNN or France24, have no idea how often Muslim preachers openly express enthusiasm for exterminating Jews as a prelude to world conquest, along with their great admiration for Hitler and pious hopes to finish his task for him, a sentiment shared by the occasional Arab journalist working for Western news media. So instead of even considering the possibility that religiously-inspired genocidal Jew-hatred, unlike anything since the Nazis, was the prime motivator for this perduring conflict, Western audiences heard about Palestinians as frustrated resisters of Israeli colonialism. Thus, imperialist terrorists, laundered by the rules of proleptic dhimmitude, appear in the dispatches from 21st century western information professionals as anti-imperial freedom fighters.

…But the real threat, the pervasive, daily threat, is actually a proxy one. Caliphators [jihadis aiming to conquer the non-Islamic world] need not strike constantly to make the consequences of disobedience clear. They have the dhimmi leaders do the work: most of western compliance with Caliphator demands is enforced not by jihadis, but by proleptic dhimmi leaders, who aggressively dismiss criticism of Islam as racist and deplorable.

Now, however, alarm at the evil that’s been unleashed on the streets of Britain and other western countries is breaking cover in the British establishment. The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said that what had particularly horrified him about the Muslim convoy which travelled through Jewish areas of London flying Palestinian flags and with occupants screaming through a megaphone: “F*** the Jews, rape their daughters” and “Go back to Poland,” was that 

it seemed like the people who were involved felt like they were able to act with impunity.

Asked whether Britain was experiencing a resurgence of the sort of Islamist extremism highlighted by David Cameron more than a decade ago, Jenrick told the Telegraph:  

I think we have to be alive to that, because some of the themes we've seen in recent weeks are more than just casual antisemitism, or people who don't understand what antisemitism is, and drift into it by accident.  I think there were signs of something more pernicious – of extremism. And that makes my desire to root out extremism even stronger. I want to ensure that councils that schools, charities, and organisations in every part of the country, understand their responsibility to tackle extremism ... and together, root this out.

Well, good luck with that one. For successive British governments have buried their heads in the sand about this for decades.

In 2006, I published my book Londonistan which detailed the ways in which the British establishment was surrendering to the Islamisation of Britain. At the time, the astounding thing was that al Qaeda had been able to turn London into its principal global hub. Fifteen years later, London has become the global hub for Hamas.  In the Spectator Australia, Jake Wallis Simons writes

For years, Whitehall has looked the other way while NGOs allegedly linked to Hamas raise millions of pounds a year, which (according to Israeli intelligence) is funnelled into the terror group’s coffers. In other words, these are British pounds raining down on the heads of Israeli civilians in the form of lethal rockets. And nothing is being done about it.  …The difference between Hamas and Isis does not lie in their intentions and theology so much as their tactics. Isis carries out staged beheadings; Hamas ties people to the back of motorbikes and drags them through the streets. Both lust after a vision of a caliphate. But while Isis goes blasting through the front door, trampling international law and conquering territory, Hamas straps on its suicide belt and rings on the doorbell of democracy. That is the way of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ parent organisation. The theory is simple: by the time you realise what is happening, you’re living in an Islamist state.

The Muslim Brotherhood has had limited success in infiltrating political systems in the Middle East. According to intelligence sources, in recent years it has quietly turned to softer targets in Europe, pushing on the open door that is official tolerance of its ‘political wing’. In Britain and across the continent, analysts say, we are seeing parallel social systems developing that run on Muslim Brotherhood lines. Do British policymakers really believe that giving the group’s ‘political wing’ free rein on our soil has no impact on terrorism, both over there and over here?

Sir John Jenkins, the former British ambassador to Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, has written in the Telegraph that the government has failed to tackle the antisemitism now erupting throughout the west, which he says constitutes an alliance between Islamists and the left. Observing that Islamism — the jihadi thinking that emerged in the early decades of the 20th century once the shackles of empire were removed — is “constitutively antisemitic” for a complex of reasons, he writes: 

But there is something darker involved, reflecting the way in which Islamism emerged from the same milieu as much modern European counter-enlightenment discourse, including German ethno-nationalism, French anti-semitism and Italian fascism – mapped onto existing anti-western prejudices.

Paradoxically, it is this stew of intellectual influences that explains the otherwise strange alliance between elements of the British Left and Islamists. Adapted by 20th century European theorists, it also helped shape what has become known as Critical Theory. This — like Islamism — has developed a view of the modern west as deranged and destructively rational. Imperialism and colonialism are seen as exclusively western crimes. And behind all this lies the original sin of Whiteness.

This is why the apostles of Critical Race Theory like to categorise Jews as White. Doing so enables them to frame Jews not as the victims of 1000 years of European persecution but as the heirs of European colonial aggression. Islamists wholeheartedly agree. For them, Muslims are the victims; Israel the enduring symbol of Western – and White – hostility towards them.

This discourse is no longer confined to Islamist circles. But it lies behind the claims Islamists make to represent and defend Muslims collectively.

Successive governments have been weak in challenging this, often in the name of some abstract idea of social cohesion but also because of a simple failure to understand. That may be why the police often seem so reluctant to check what looks like Islamist incitement while they busy themselves with arresting peaceful Christian preachers, pursuing thought crime on social media and claiming that normal press reporting makes matters worse.

This isn’t about Islam, it’s about Islamism, and the allies Islamists have found on the Left. It’s about the toxic cult of critical theory, which has captured much of progressive opinion. And it is about the strange reluctance of successive UK governments to defend liberal principles. In the end, that is the real threat. 

You don’t have to agree with everything this denizen of Britain’s “camel corps” writes to acknowledge much truth in what he is saying. Particularly his last two sentences. 

What price the professed horror over antisemitism and Islamist extremism if government and establishment figures continue to refuse to speak up about the scale and nature of Muslim antisemitism? If they refuse to condemn the blood libels against Israel which are fuelling the attacks on Jews, and refuse to tell people instead the truth about the legality of Israel’s actions and its unrivalled care to avoid the loss of civilian life in war? If they continue to refuse to proscribe Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain? If they continue to refuse to condemn the sinister deployment of the “Islamophobia” weapon to silence criticism of the Islamic world?

Merely to ask these questions is to know the answer. And it’s not a comforting one.

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