Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Melanie Phillips on Islamism in Britain

Melanie Phillips believes that Islamic fascism has taken root in England:
The British political and security establishment, meanwhile, still fails to understand that it is not enough to thwart terrorist plots and disrupt terrorist cells but it must also combat the ideology of lies, hatred and paranoia driving certain Muslims to these terrible acts. Not only do they fail to do so, but they have even recruited jihadists into the very heart of government as advisers.

The mantra justifying this appeasement of extremism is that the vast majority of Britain’s Muslims are ‘moderate.’ True, the vast majority oppose terrorism. But Britain has now effectively defined as a moderate someone who does not support mass murder — and even then, only in Britain.

Where are the Muslim public figures condemning those in their community who support suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq? Or those who blame Israel and the Jews for all the ills of the world? Or who claim that the west is a giant conspiracy to destroy Islam?

You won’t hear such condemnations from the head of the Muslim Council of Britain — an organisation which venerates Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, who endorses suicide bomb attacks in Israel and Iraq — who has said his aim is to get Britain to adopt Islamic values.

Nor from Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the U.K. and Ireland, who has said he wants public holidays to mark Muslim festivals and Islamic laws to cover family affairs which would apply only to Muslims — a demand which astoundingly the Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly said she would consider. Are these really moderate attitudes?

The unpalatable fact is that there is actually a continuum of Islamic extremism in Britain. While probably only a small number on this continuum will ever be involved in violence, too many others subscribe to odious beliefs and ideas which maintain the sea of hatred and bigotry in which terrorism swims.

The key belief that sustains this continuum and fuels the global jihad is the paranoid falsehood that the West is engaged in a conspiracy to destroy Islam — and that the puppet masters of the West are the Jews.

The centrality of anti-Jewish hatred to the threat to Britain and the West makes Britain’s animus against Israel — and gross inversion of Israel’s 50-year fight to defend itself from extinction — not merely a regrettable prejudice but an act of cultural suicide.

Israel’s many enemies in the U.K. will doubtless be highly satisfied with the United Nations resolution to end the Lebanon war. But by emasculating Israel, this resolution has further empowered Iran and boosted the global jihad against themselves.

Israel’s inept prosecution of the war in Lebanon and the resulting ceasefire are not merely a potential disaster for Israel. Al Qaeda and — even more importantly — Iran will now scent not just Jewish blood but, in the apparent weakness of this key salient in the defence of the West, an opportunity to redouble their efforts to strike directly at Britain and America. For Israel’s fight is the world’s fight. Lose Israel, and the world is lost.

By the time Britain finally works out just who are its allies and who are its enemies, it may well be too late.