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If you read nothing else today…

Charles Moore is one of the finest essayists around, in my view, and hits the mark with one of the sanest, clearest and most honest appraisals of Islam and the United Kingdom I have read for ages.

Go and read the whole thing, like they say.

53 comments to If you read nothing else today…

  • Bernie

    Yes that is a great article. Here are two bits that really struck me;

    When did a British Muslim last go after a Muslim who advocates or practises violence with anything like the zeal with which so many went after Salman Rushdie?

    and the final paragraph

    We all love it when the British people shrug their shoulders and move stoically on in the face of attack. It is a powerful national myth, and a true one. But it contains within it a great danger – a self-fulfilling belief that there is nothing to be done to avert future disaster. That’s not the Blitz spirit – what made London’s suffering in 1941 worthwhile was that, in the end, we won.

  • Johnathan

    I have just, in order to read this, delayed setting off to a party. I am glad I did, for I will now be telling people at the party about it.

    Excellent.

    Thanks.

  • Ian

    I read it last night, linked from another forum. A fine piece.

    Charles Moore makes the admirable point that the practice of a religion can’t be divorced from its ideology, however the practice might have strayed from it. (Communism is an inoffensive thing in theory – not to me, I find it profoundly immoral – but when we speak of communism we speak of the evil it has wrought, not the fluffy bunny ideas we can read in a book.)

    So there *are* Islamist terrorists. Just as there are one or two Catholics who murder abortionists. And when we speak of Christianity we recognise the few vicious things done in its name today and the many vicious things done in its name in more fundamentalist times. But Christians have largely moved to a point where they’re not offended when someone brings up the Inquisition.

    Much has been made of the possible backlash against Muslims in this country, and it seems to have edged out news of the people murdered or injured in Thursday’s terrorist attacks. But Moore is right to suggest that Muslims can be as frightened of other Muslims.

    He asks “Why is not more stigma attached to the Muslims who are murdering other Muslims every day in Iraq and the Middle East?”

    I’d suggest it is the insularity (parochialism!) of the more vocal of them. Not the nice Muslim down the street, but the people who make a career of being Muslim. Reading the ummah.com forum makes me realise this. Several commenters *seriously* thought the French had been the bombers, because of the Olympic decision the day before. It beggars belief that anyone could be so naive as to think that Anglo-French relations could entertain such a possibility or that the bombing could have been done at 24hrs’ notice.

    Stifling the free exchange of ideas – through neo-blasphemy laws, through enforced cultural relativism or whatever, won’t help this. Efforts to shield Muslims from real or imagined slights simply have the effect of further cocooning them from the complexity of what is going on around them.

  • Ian

    A lot of people are going to be calling Islam the “religion of peace” over the next few days. As you can tell, that’s *really* going to wind me up…

  • Verity

    There is absolutely no reason the British (and other advanced European nations), with 2,000 years of steadily evolving civilisation behind them should tolerate this kind of behaviour by a bunch of Stone Age invaders and those like Brian Paddick who make a career out of defending them.

    In Britain, this business of “knowing who they are, but we’re keeping our eye on them” is nonsense. If we know who they are, they should be deported. As in, the police going to their bedsit or wherever the hell these people hole up (I know some of them live in middle class neighbourhoods and own their own homes) and saying, “Pack your things; you have a flight to catch. Everything you can pack in 10 minutes, you can take. Everything else, sadly, you leave here. At the airport, we will be taking a biometric photograph of your face before you leave, a thumb print and a sample of your DNA. You won’t be back.” It is criminal to our own people that the government does not perform its duty in this regard.

    Meanwhile, over the past few days, I have read absolutely uninflected letters from Muslims condemning these bombings. One wrote in demanding the return of the death penalty, saying he believed this would be a deterrent. It wouldn’t be a deterrent for suicide bombers, of course, but that’s OK as they would be dead anyway, but if Muslims are demanding the return of the death penalty for these terrorists, we must assume that they know their own people.

  • Jacob

    Until now, until 7/7, the Police didn’t deal seriously with the Muslim terrorism threat.

    Here are some things that should have been done after 9/11/2001, if not before:
    Infiltrate mosques and muslim militant groups with agents.
    Monitor hate sermons in the mosques and streets.
    Arrest and deport organizers and participants in militant muslim groups.
    Deport immams who incite to violence or praise terrorists.
    Deny entry to muslim extremists.
    Prosecute vigorously religious violent crimes within the moslem community (like beatings, “honor murders” or fatwas).

    None of these things were done, and they were easy to do. Instead: new “hate speach” laws were enacted, but only agains those who speak up against muslims.
    (I hope they won’t prosecute me for this comment).
    All suspects of participating in terrorist organizations, when arrested where promptly released by judges, or aquited. All muslim hate mongers from abroad were welcomed, and even given red carpet treatement.

    I’m almost tempted to parrot the lunatic lefties: “you have no one to blame but yourself” – no – the terrorists are to blame, but the Govenment is also guilty of criminal negligence, and a failing to understand the threat, even after it was made explicit on 9/11.

  • H. Bosch

    Actually, if you read nothing else today, read this.

    From the Sunday Times of London.

    Allawi: this is the start of civil war
    Hala Jaber, Amman

    IRAQ’S former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi has warned that his country is facing civil war and has predicted dire consequences for Europe and America as well as the Middle East if the crisis is not resolved.

    “The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq,” said Allawi, a long-time ally of Washington.

    Of course, the Great Brains of Samizdata will poo-poo his opinions, after all, being thousands of miles away and pontificating gives one greater knowlege and insight, than someone who is there and is intimately familiar with the way things actually are.

    Your tiny god, GWB, has no idea what to do, and his neo-con/Dominionist/Halliburton-hugging advisiors are feeding is ego with calls for “steely resolve” and stay the course.

  • Jacob

    If the great majority of muslims are indeed peaceful, they must help identify and weed out the extremists and criminal-minded. Like every citizen, they have the duty to inform on criminals, else they may be considered accomplices.
    If responsible muslims helped combatting terrorism – that would be a great help. Are they helping ?

  • 1327

    It isn’t just the Muslims who seem to turn a blind eye to terror when it done by one of their own. Many other religions seem to do this to a greater or lesser degree. It always annoyed me that when a terrorist was killed in Nothern Ireland then whatever his religion he was always given a nice church funeral with a quick paramilitary display in the churchyard. Surely any terrorist had broken (or was about to break) one of the 10 commandments in the religion he believed in so was going to hell therefore why on earth should the church allow him a church burial.

  • Verity

    What Jacob said.

    But why are the Brits not chivvying and bullying their MPs? I do not understand their passivity.

  • Jacob

    Maybe the British Government is even more guilty than I said above. Read this (via Hit&Run)
    from the New Statesman

  • Ian

    H. Bosch must be new round here to think that people round here worship the US President and are all entirely uncritical of the plan for Iraq. His comment has nothing to do with the post.

  • Ian

    Furthermore, being thousands of miles away, how are we to judge whether Mr Allawi is correct in his opinion?

  • Jacob

    “The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq,” said Allawi, a long-time ally of Washington.

    This is not true. The Americans have a vision: a peaceful and democratic Iraq. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but the vision is very clear. It’s the implementation that is problematic.

    Does Mr Allawi have a vision ? If so why didn’t he implement it when he was PM ?

    Do H. Bosch and his lefty friends have a vision ? Sure, it is this: “get the hell out of Iraq, let them slide into chaos and murder each other and their neighbors at will, and train and supply and send terrorists wherever they desire, invade what other countries they want, fire missiles where they like.”
    Very inspiring vision.

  • Jacob, this is an eye opener – thanks.

  • James

    “The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq,” said Allawi, a long-time ally of Washington.”

    Isn’t that the Iraqi people’s job? And aren’t you against the Imperialism of America “going about” in Iraq at all? Then how can you place any credibility in Allawi’s words either?

    Or like most lefties, would you rather we pulled the troops out and then protest on the streets alongside the rockstars for our Governments to send aid from “thousands of miles away” when the remaining Baathists see their chance and initiate a coup?

    So doleing out cash (sorry, protesting for someone else to dole out cash) from afar is morally superior to placing oneself in the line of fire between the Baathists and the everyday Iraqi.

    Roger. Got it.

    Only natural satellite, implement used in cricket, Sir.

  • GCooper

    I’m not Charles Moore’s greatest fan, but that was a good article, I agree.

    Equally good, though very different, was one by Henry Porter in today’s Sunday Telegraph. I can’t provide a link because I read the mashed-up tree version, but I imagine it will be available online to anyone who wants to read it.

    The key is in the sub-head:

    “In Edgware Road on Thursday, Henry Porter met a man in robes who blamed the bombings on a Bush conspiracy. He was treated with courtesy by the police. Should we be proud? Or anxious?”

    Though this statement would be deemed heresy by the likes of Thought Police spokesmen Paddick and Blair, and something even worse by the BBC, the time really has come for Moslems in the UK to drain the sea of self-delusional pyschosis in which these sharks swim.

    Like the IRA before them, Islamic terrorists could not operate in this country if blind eyes were not repeatedly turned by ‘their own people’.

  • H. Bosch

    As for Mr Allawi perhaps being more informed. Well, The man on the spot is presumed to know more than the rear echelon motherfuckers, if I may use a salty military term.

    GWB’s vison was WMDs everywhere, poison gas, biological weapons, nukes, et al, ready to be deployed against the US at a moment’s notice.

    So where ARE they? Where are they?

    It’s amazing. Criticize the revaled wisdom of Samizdata and GWB, and instantly, I’m some manner of lefty.

    Such powers of deduction exceed those of Sherlock Holmes himself.

    Oh, wait…

    Sherlock was NEVER so wrong as you lot.

    I’m a libertarian. And as such, I beleive that the illegal and unwarrented invasion of a soverign country is wrong. They were of absolutely NO threat to the US, it’s citzens or it’s security. Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

    Last throes, my ENTIRE ass!

  • Verity

    G Cooper – It’s not just “their own people” turning a blind eye in the UK who are to blame. I would like to hear an unequivocal statement from Blair, Brown, anti-charisma magnet Jack Straw, Tessa Jowell, who’s going to be running the Olympics, gawd ‘elp us – using the words “Muslim terrorists” or “Islamic terrorists”. Not just terrorists. I want to hear some blame.

    When the Luftwaffe came flying over Britain bearing bombs, did Winston Churchill refer to “a few rogue bombers of a largely friendly, highly advanced civilisation – the land of Beethoven, Goethe, Rilke, great scientists and astronomers”?

    If this is the War on Terror then they had better publicly name the enemy.

  • GCooper

    H. Bosch writes:

    “GWB’s vison was WMDs everywhere, poison gas, biological weapons, nukes, et al, ready to be deployed against the US at a moment’s notice.”

    You seem very keen on the word “arse” – perhaps that explains why you are so keen to make one of yourself.

    It wasn’t, as you seem to think, George Bush alone who though there were weapons of mass destruction. Almost the entire world’s governments thought the same. They just differed on what to do about it.

    But do go on inventing history to suit your own specious arguments. A good laugh never goes amiss in these troubled times.

  • Ian

    Idiots. You’re all barking up the wrong tree, all of you.

    It’ so obviously America that bombed London. Why can’t you see?.

    ;-)

  • Jacob

    Here is more about Britain’s attitude to muslim terrorists: (via NRO)

    This is just one of the infuriating details from a :New York Times story

    “Moroccan authorities, for example, are seeking the return of Mohammed el-Guerbozi, a battle-hardened veteran of Afghanistan who they say planned the May 2003 attacks in Casablanca, which killed 45 people. He has also been identified as a founder of the Moroccan Combatant Islamic Group, cited by the United Nations as a terrorist network connected to Al Qaeda. An operative in that group, Noureddine Nifa, told investigators that the organization had sleeper cells prepared to mount synchronized bombings in Britain, France, Italy, Belgium and Canada. In an interview last year, Gen. Hamidou Laanigri, Morocco’s chief of security, said Osama bin Laden authorized Mr. Guerbozi to open a training camp for Moroccans in Afghanistan in the beginning of 2001. Last December, Mr. Guerbozi was convicted in absentia in Morocco for his involvement in the Casablanca attacks and sentenced to 20 years.

    But the British government has no extradition treaty with Morocco and has refused to extradite Mr. Guerbozi, a father of six who lives in a rundown apartment in north London. British officials say there is not enough evidence to arrest him, General Laanigri said.”

  • Susan

    Charles Moore has written many hard-hitting editorials about Islam before this. No one listented to him except people who have already enlisted in his choir years ago, like myself.

    Will they listen now?

  • Verity

    While I’m on the subject, I thought Blair ran in the last election as an MP. A Parliamentary representative of a constituency. He ran as the leader of a political party, if I recall correctly.

    I don’t remember him running as a Mahatama and Spiritual Guru to the unwashed British masses. The people voted him in as a politician, not a British Dalai Lama. Who is he to treat his employers like pupils who may respond with political incorrectness if he tells them the truth? Who the hell is this loon?

    I want to hear the truth. Yes, yes, I know. But I’m sick of Blair’s arrogant “don’t tell the children” attitude.

    I could understand the truth plus a word of warning – such as – Don’t judge all Muslims by the actions of a few blah blah blah. Muslims who were born in this country have the same rights and duties of citizenship as you do blah blah blah. But this constant, intentional hiding of the truth from the voters, his employers, infuriates me.

    And, as G Cooper says, it is past time for these thousands of Muslims who are appalled by the violence (if they are; we haven’t yet heard it) to come out and say they’re appalled and to offer to cooperate with the government in identifying the bombers. It’s time for these sleazy mosques to invite observers in 24/7. Why are they getting more protection than the people who built this society? And it is not something for them to settle internally as though the mosques were septs of the British government.

    I am sick of Britain fighting this battle with one hand tied behind its back because The Little Father wants everyone to play nice.

    H Bosch – WMD were never the issue. It has always been, take over one country that is ripe to be taken over and introduce democracy as a beacon in the ME, and as a warning about how warmly democracy is welcomed to those arrogant creeps governing SA, Syria et al. Iraq qualified to be first on many grounds, one important one being that it was already a secular society so wasn’t as hidebound and fearful of a clap of thunder from the sky as most of its neighbours.

    Another country will be next. Maybe Syria. I don’t know.

    Always listen to what George Bush says because that is what he will do. You don’t have to read any runes. Mr Bush never said we would liberate Iraq on a Monday, reserve Tuesday for general celebrations and have an up and running democracy by the following Wednesday just before lunch.

    He said the WoT may take longer than our lifetimes, remember?

  • I’m a libertarian. And as such, I beleive that the illegal and unwarrented invasion of a soverign country is wrong.

    Libertarians don’t believe countries are sovereign.

  • Ian

    it is past time [...] to come out and say they’re appalled and to offer to cooperate with the government in identifying the bombers

    Indeed, Verity. They were all out for the Not In My Name marches, weren’t they?

  • Verity

    Hello, Susan. Glad to see you still in here punching, lady!

  • The Wobbly Guy

    But why are the Brits not chivvying and bullying their MPs? I do not understand their passivity.

    Isn’t this what I thought might happen? That the British would just sit back and not be roused to anger?

    Still, it’s too early to tell. Perhaps another month would reveal their true intentions. Hopefully not meekness and acceptance, or worse yet, self guilt.

    TWG

  • Stuart

    Hey Verity, ironically, the first Nazi bombs on London were dropped by accident, from a Heinkel III that was lost . The crew thought they were over the sea and jettisoned the load. I believe they were all transferred to the infantry for bombing London against orders! Churchill ordered a series of retaliatory RAF raids on Berlin and the ‘Blitz’ began…..
    More seriously, Blair & co seem to have a lot more to hide than they’d like us to know:

    http://www.danielpipes.org/article/2742

    British “Covenant of Security” with Islamists Ends

  • Ian

    The Sunday Times reports and makes available for download leaked dossier on Islamic extremism in Britain.

  • GCooper

    Ian writes:

    “They were all out for the Not In My Name marches, weren’t they?”

    Yes, they damned well were!

    And where are the fatwas inveighing against terrorists that they were so free with when Rushdie dared trample on their ever so delicate sensibilities?

    Where are the traffic-blocking marches in London, calling for the capture and trial of Islamic terrorists?

    All I ever see are the crow-robed imbeciles parading down Park Lane, or clustered in the Edgware Rd, demanding the impostition of their Stone Age sharia law in the UK.

    On a tangential issue, today BBC Radio 4 cancelled the second part of its adaptation of John Buchan’s excellent Greenmantle. It did it without warning and with no explanation. When prodded, the quisling corporation’s pathetic excuse was that it was deemed ‘insensitive’.

    The book is about German attempts to stir-up jihad in the Great War era.

    Insensitive to whom, though? You can bet it wasn’t the poor bastards still shaking in the aftermath of last Thursday.

    We have a war on two fronts here. One against the jihadis. The other against their fifth column.

  • Matt O'Halloran

    Come to that, where are all the pro-war demonstrators? I never seem to see a “solidarity with USA” manifestation in the capital city of the country which is its most material ally in sustaining the occupation of Iraq.

    We are always being told how many Britons still back the war, but they never seem to come out in the open. Too posh to march, or too busy drinking wine, modelling anti-communist T shirts and pulling faces for website photo galleries?

  • GCooper

    Matt O’Halloran raves:

    “We are always being told how many Britons still back the war, but they never seem to come out in the open. Too posh to march, or too busy drinking wine, modelling anti-communist T shirts and pulling faces for website photo galleries?”

    Mostly, we’re just too busy getting on with our lives, earning money to pay the taxes to help fight the war.

    And (though I hate to admit it) just voting back in the government that spends our money in that way.

    If you want to get picky, I don’t see many million mom marches on Washington in favour of the war, either.

  • Ian

    Indeed. As PJ O’Rourke says,

    “How come,” I asked Andy, “whenever something upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American flag?”

    “We have jobs,” said Andy.

  • Agent Smith

    British “Covenant of Security” with Islamists Ends

    The idea that there was an unwritten Covenant sounds a little simplistic, but there is probably a kernel of truth in it. This means that this government has been doubly incompetent in dealing with the terrorist menace. Their dangerous political correctness and appeasement to Islamic extremists has allowed the terrorists to grow strong and recruit with impunity in our country. If the article is correct, the reason the covenant has been broken is because of recent anti-terroriist laws. If the government was aware of such a covenant, why did it implement such laws? And why did it wait so long until the Islamic cancer was already malignant here before getting round to it?

    In fact, it’s even worse than that because a lot of the anti-terrorist related legislation is gesture politics and ineffective (eg ID cards). Indeed, the continuing tendency to polical correctness has emasculated the effect of any legislation that may have been useful. For example, there are still known and convicted terrorists openly living here due to the government not wanting to extradite them back to their own countries where they may face the death penalty. In other words, back to any of the countries in the middle east in the jihad front-line, plus the US.

    This also means that the claims that the terrorists hate our freedom is incorrect. They actually appreciate the freedoms we have here, even if their long-term goal is to destroy it once the whole world has become part of their Islamic Reich.

  • James

    Libertarians don’t believe countries are sovereign.

    We certainly don’t believe dictatorships are sovereign.

  • Jacob

    “Libertarians don’t believe countries are sovereign”

    We don’t beleive it’s illegal and immoral to topple a murderous lunatic tyrant. We don’t beleive it’s wrong, even if sometimes impractical.

    “Illegal and immoral ” – these are the very adjectives used by the lefties, by Kofi, Chirac, etc. Also by some who are libertarian on other issues such as Lew Rockwell or Ron Paul. Seems that on this issue they have been contaminated by leftist dementia.

    I mean: it’s ok to have doubts on the wisdom of the Iraq war, on the practicability and cost of the venture, but calling it “illegal and immoral” is weird.

  • I read this piece and was rather impressed with Moore’s analysis. I agree with a comment above that Muslims communities have a similar thing to omerta occuring in their midst. I was told by several people of various ethnicities including a moderate Muslim, when I ran a G.E. campaign in Southall, that everyone knew who the extremists were but no on was willing to turn them in to “non-Muslims”. They made it seem that it was far worse a crime to rat someone out to the Infidels than it was to commit acts of extremism. Until moderates break this cycle the Police will have trouble routing the evil out of R.o.P. communities.

    NB: Not long after this campaign in 92′ the editor of the leading newspaper recieved two shotgun blasts to the head.

  • Samsung

    News in!

    Tens of Thousands of Muslims March in London to Denounce Terrorist Attacks.

    …………Just kidding.

    You do know ofcourse that it is not hard to find passages in the Koran that seem to support the idea that Islam is a belligerent religion conducive to terrorism. The Koran not only promises “a disgraceful chastisement” (4.102) and “the fire of hell” (9.6) for “unbelievers,” it also urges Muslims not to “take the unbelievers for friends” (3.28).

    But there’s more… even worse, it commands Muslims to “fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness” (9.123). Elsewhere it says to “kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out. . . . Such is the recompense of the unbelievers” (2.191).

    To say that Islam is a “Religion of Peace” is simply a none-truth. To put it bluntly… it’s a lie.

    The killing is Islam… fundamentalist Islam, but still Islam never the less. Killing “Kuffars” is apparently a Koranic duty. They would NEVER be out marching for Peace. You know it. I know it and there was no march so everybody knows it.

    You didnt really think Moslems would be out marching for Peace, did you?

    When it is confirmed that this was the work of Islamist Fundamentalists, and it wll be, don’t expect a mass march through the streets of London by our Burka and Hijab clad friends, hugging and kissing the nearest Jew and waving their “peace” banners anytime soon.

    Hell will freaze over first.

  • Verity

    Samsung, my jaw dropped when I read your first sentence.

    Agent Smith says: “… there are still known and convicted terrorists openly living here due to the government not wanting to extradite them back to their own countries where they may face the death penalty.” So those terrorists are free to dish out the freelance death penalty to British citizens living in their own country. But if you send them back to their own country, they may executed! What do to? Tough call for ZaNu-Lab.

  • SG

    “those like Brian Paddick who make a career out of defending them”

    The police priority is not to preserve law and order but to cope with what they have to do already. Seeking to dampen down any potential “muslim backlash” is only because the police, overstretched by petty crime and traffic offences, simply couldn’t cope with several million people on the march who are angered by what has happened – and still threatens to happen again.

  • Susan

    Islamizing Britain

    From the CS Monitor.

    Excerpt:

    In Dalston market in north-east London on Thursday, “Abdullah,” a Muslim watch-mender and evangelist, was in a pugnacious mood.

    “We don’t need to fight. We are taking over!” he said. “We are here to bring civilization to the West. England does not belong to the English people, it belongs to God.”

    Are you listening English people? England doesn’t belong to you — it belongs to God (of course God can’t take title to England, he leaves that chore to his “chosen” people, the Muslims. Nice scam going there, eh?)

    For god’s sake, wake the hell up!

  • verity

    It’s Tony Bliar and ZaNu-Lab that need to understand the situation. This is not going to go away. How many bombs going off will it take to get Toni off the peace train? I would say maybe when a member of the cabinet’s a victim, but that would just be another opportunity for Tony to posture with that trembly jaw. He has tried to remove all sense of natural justice from the British people – but they’ve allowed it, it must be said.

  • GCooper

    Susan writes:

    “For god’s sake, wake the hell up!”

    Indeed, yes. But still the drip, drip, drip of multi-culti propaganda continues unabated, with the BBC going to quite extraordinary lengths to condition the public to its Guardian/Independent party-line.

    We all know the script by now: Islam is a religion of peace. Moslems were hurt, too. This had nothing to do with Islam. Blad, blah, blah.

    As was entirely predictable, a Martian arriving on Earth today could well be forgiven for thinking, if s/he listened to the BBC, that the real tragedy was the effects of this outrage on the poor, downtrodden British Moslems.

    Until that rat is shot, it will continue poisoning the British mindset with blatant, barefaced lies and distortions, tragically exerting a considerable influence on public opinion due to its near-monopoly position in the dissemination of news and comment.

  • GCooper

    My apologies for the illiteracy of my previous post. I’m in a hurry today and didn’t proof-read.

    I also wanted to add a footnote about R4’s decision to cancel John Buchan’s Greenmatnle on Sunday, which I was bellyaching about yesterday.

    I now gather, from the quisling corporation’s mealy-mouthed website, that the programme will not be broadcast any time soon (so tough luck anyone who listened to Part One) because they ‘can’t find a slot’. Maybe they’ll broadcast it next year.

    Now how fast do you think the Guardian-readers at R4 drama could clear the decks for a play about a Moslem tragically caught-up in the backlash to a terrorist outrage?

    I’m asking for bids starting at three tenths of a second…

  • Zathras

    I don’t have a lot to add to Moore’s piece as far as Muslims in Britain are concerned. However, with respect to the Muslims worldwide the West has some tools to use that we really haven’t yet.

    Nationalism, even chauvinism is one. Islamists take their cues as to theology and politics from the Arab world, often as not from Saudi Arabia. From the standpoint of political, economic and certainly cultural attainment, though, the predominantly Muslim countries of southeast Asia are far superior. Why should Muslims there regard Arab concerns and causes as more important than their own? Why should Muslims in Bogor or Kuala Lumpur take direction from some desert tribesman, instead of the other way round?

    Another tool is history, a feature in virtually every Islamist manifesto whether it comes from bin Laden or someone else. The history of Arabs with respect to black Africans makes the American Klan or the most racist British imperialists look like so many volunteers from the Red Cross. African Muslims are being slaughtered as I write this by Arab Muslims in Darfur, while Arab governments as well as our Islamist friends do nothing. What possible reason should any Muslim of African descent have for making common cause with Arabs who do not repudiate everything their people have done in Africa for about the last 1200 years?

    On the level of ideas the West will always be at a disadvantage if its only responses to every Islamist charge are “Oh, we are not” or “Oh, that’s not true” or even, “But we respect Islam!” War demands offense as well as defense, and attacks on our enemy’s alliances as well as earnest defenses of our own good intentions.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Zathras, may I recommend you read Roger Scruton’s recent short little gem, “The West and the Rest”. Many of his points are similar to Moore’s.

  • Richard

    I read the leaked dossier on Islamic Extremism in Britain that Ian mentions, in fact I downloaded it.
    As a person who grew up in an Islamic country (father in the British Military) I was astonished by its political correctness and the portrayal of mainline Islamic ideas as being “extremist”. One wonders who the government consults in order to publish such drivel, certainly not people who have a first hand knowledge of Islam.

    The reality is, while we are in the grip of politicians who wish to criminalize anyone who speaks the truth, we will never be able to get a realistic handle on the problem of Islamic terrorism, but will continue to blunder from one politically correct cess pit to the other.

    Of course, you have to remember that this is a government that is so arrogant, it derided diplomats with long experience in Arab lands warning against adventurism in Iraq, as has beens who didn’t know what they were talking about.

  • Without wanting to get into an absurd slapping fight over the war in Iraq, I did want to respond to this:

    ““The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq,” said Allawi”

    What he says is fair to a point. But it also misses the point. The US military is there to provide a military shield for the Iraqi government to carry out its vision and clear policy.

  • AndyMo

    By OG,

    You are all so ‘holier than thou’. Your ‘Christian’ God is so much better than the ‘Muslim’ God. What a load of ****.

    “But it is an important fact about Christianity in the past two or three centuries that it has conducted a great reinterpretation of these texts and of how the faithful should follow them.” (Mirth!!! – like that stopped them)

    I am afraid that regardless of religious doctrine or texts – humans the world over are little sh*ts. Christian, Muslim, Jew,Sun Worshippers are all as bad as each other. In fact in terms of innocents dead I think Christians could get first prize (N/S American indians/Colonial Africa).

    Moore quotes Muslim extremists – wow!! I can quote Christian Extremists : Fred Phelps: “GOD HATES FAGS”.

    (from the link: Islam:)
    “It wants all human society and politics to be governed by religious law: it draws no distinction between the secular and religious sphere (except to condemn the secular).”
    – And yet, I get a feeling from comments posted here – that the de-christianisation (spelling) of English society is something to be mourned – That removing Christianity from school and state is wrong – surely that is hypocrisy.

  • AndyMo

    (quote from link: )Brian Paddick. He also complained about attacks on “purely innocent members of the public”, thereby making one think that there might be other people (police? soldiers? politicians?), who are not purely innocent and should have been attacked instead.”

    For Arguments sake (note I am not advocating this is the case):
    Lets say the terrorists were not trying to destroy our way of life – but were trying to liberate Saudi Arabia from the evil yoke of their monarchy (which was supported by the US and UK) (just a scenario).

    Surely then attacks on soldiers/politicians would not be terrorist activities?? – but would be counted as war activities.

  • Ian

    AndyMo,

    I’m the only other person, part from you, who’s mentioned Christianity. Proportionately more Christians appear to denounce Phelps as a whackjob than Muslims do their own extremists. I may be wrong in this: no one has polled every Christian and Muslim in the world. This might not be all Christianity per se, some of it doubtless the fact that countries that were by majority Christian a hundred years ago tend to have more liberal attitudes to sex, despite official Church teaching.

    Similarly, Christians have largely given up killing infidels in the name of Christ. But there were plenty of guerilla-style Muslim beheadings in the name of Allah last week.

    You have some odd impressions. Libertarians would support the removal of any religious-instruction influence on state schools or any other parts of the state.

    Neither has anyone said the God of the Bible is better than the God of the Koran.

    The Koran is also a lot less fluffy than the Bible, which, as you will agree, still has its moments.

    On your second post, if I am to understand you, this would be equivalent to Brits blowing up Turks and Italians and Portuguese on the grounds that our authoritarian government is supported by the EU.

  • Unexamined in this discussion is the question of why Britain is getting these home-grown terrorists. The fact is that Britain has been accepting for asylum large numbers of all kinds of Islamic loonies who have prices on their heads and tolerating the incitement of sedition by imported clerics bought and paid for by Muslim governments. When you take in the modern equivalent of Nazis and don’t clamp down on their activities, you can expect to eventually pay the price.