"If we know anything," former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, once observed "we know that weakness is provocative." Mired in political correctness, Britain's "elites" apparently prefer to think of displays of weakness as "outreach."
Britain's "elites" seem not to notice Islamism, but prefer to believe that if those protesting against Islamism could be silenced, the problem of radical Islam would disappear. It was this mindset that saw parliament introducing a religious hate speech law, aimed at silencing criticism of Islam and Islamism, in the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings. Britain's establishment, in other words, has busied itself clearing a very large space in which the Islamists can operate.
Last month, the British coalition government unveiled The Strategic Defense and Security Review [pdf]. The defense budget will be slashed by 8% over the next four years. Britain's flagship HMS Ark Royal, Harrier jump jets, replacement Nimrod spy planes will be axed, as will 42,000 jobs in the armed forces and the Ministry of Defense .
The cuts are so severe that top military officers are said to be considering threatening resignation if the budget cuts go ahead as planned. US Secretary if Stare Hillary Clinton has also aired the US administration's concern over the size of the cuts.
The scrapping of the flagship aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal must surely have caused top navy brass to reflect on the decommissioning of the HMS Intrepid in 1982: only four months after decommissioning had begun, Argentina invaded the British territory of the Falklands Islands. In the ensuing 74-day war, Britain lost more than 250 servicemen, before reclaiming the territory.
Prior to the outbreak of conflict, it was almost universally believed that Britain could not defeat the Argentine forces. The HMS Intrepid had to be hurriedly brought back into commission, and sent to the Falklands to defend the islands.
Since British companies began oil exploration off the islands early in the year, Argentina has once again made clear its intention to bring them under Argentine sovereignty.
There is also the Spanish and British dispute over the British territory of Gibraltar.
Both are potentially serious situations, even if they do not rank very highly in the concerns of the British public. To them, unsurprisingly, terrorism is considered "a Tier One risk," if not the major threat to British security.
In the words of the Strategic Defense and Security Review: "The most significant terrorist threat to the UK and its interests overseas comes from the Al Qaeda senior leadership based in the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and their affiliates and supporters."
The risk sounds reassuringly far away.
It was, of course, intended to.
The sense that terrorism is a distant threat, however, is not only created by invoking the hinterlands of Afghanistan and Pakistan and "Al Qaeda senior leadership," but by the complete absence of an acknowledgment of the ideology behind the threat. Nowhere in the report is Islamism, or political Islam, mentioned.
Much of Europe is now openly, if reluctantly, acknowledging the problems wrought by political multiculturalism, not least of all how it has facilitated the rise of Islamic radicalism in European states.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said that multiculturalism has "utterly failed." However, Britain's "elite" – the government, media, and various protest groups – still insist on turning a blind eye to the new fascism. Rather than face down those calling for the destruction of Western civilization, their knee-jerk reaction appears to be to appease them.
Those who do speak up against Islamism are smeared. Some prominent anti-Islamist spokespeople claim also to have been threatened with arrest. With Britain's establishment afraid to mention Islamism, Islam's extremist radical adherents seem to have it easy in comparison to anti-Islamists.
Imagine what the group of Islamist radicals, calling itself Muslims Against Crusades, must have thought a few days ago. In Britain (as in Canada, New Zealand, and some other countries) it is a tradition to wear a poppy on November 11, to commemorate "Poppy Day," or what the Americans call "Armistice Day." The emblem comes from the poem In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918) of the Canadian army, when Flanders had been the site of continual warfare during World War I, and Lt. McCrae had invoked the poppies that grew wild in its fields to suggest the scale of the fatalities there. The poppy, with its red petals, and black center, is also reminiscent of a wound by a gunshot, and, as such, is worn with a certain mixture of pride and humility.
About 50 members of Muslims Against Crusades [MAC] turned up in central London carrying the black flag of Islam and banners reading "Islam will dominate," "democracy go to Hell," and "Allah is our protector; you have no protector." They had come to burn a large poppy, a couple of feet square, and to disrupt the two minutes of silence for Britain's fallen soldiers.
The members of MAC began by shouting "Allahu Akbar," and continued to chant "British soldiers burn in Hell" throughout the two minutes. Over a loudspeaker, the leader of the organized mob gibed: "your dead are in fire, and our dead are in paradise." The group later posted a video of their disturbance.
Muslims Against Crusades appears to be the latest manifestation of al-Muhajiroun, an organization that has operated under various names – most recently as Islam4UK, headed by Anjem Choudary. It was officially banned in January, although Choudary was interviewed on the BBC Daily Politics show [video] the next day to discuss the ban, free speech, and his interest in transforming the UK into a state under Islamic sharia law. Since the emergence of MAC, Choudary has been careful not to be seen as its leader, making only the occasional cameo appearance, such as at a protest at the US embassy on 9/11, 2010, where MAC burned a US flag [video].
Al-Muhajiroun has been linked to one in seven terror-related convictions [pdf]; and MAC hardly disguises its militant Islamist agenda. Only a few months ago, the organization held a demonstration in central London, in which it called for Islamic sharia law to replace democracy in Britain [video] – "Whether you like it or not," as one of their placards read.
The day after Poppy Day, apparently a Conservative Party councilor, Gareth Compton, in Birmingham was arrested for posting on Twitter what he later described as an "ill-conceived attempt at humor," asking for a Muslim journalist to be stoned: "Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing really." If his "humor" is anything to go by, the councilor is crass, reckless, and stupid, and should, at the very least, be reprimanded by his party; but did his "tweet" sink to the level of a crime?
By contrast, after their demonstration of hatred for British troops, Britain, democracy, and so on, the police escorted members of MAC to the nearest public transport, apparently to ensure their safety. While escorted, the Islamists continued to wave their black flags and banners, apparently without complaint from the police.
The job of the police is to keep the peace and to protect the right of free speech, even of an organization such as MAC. No doubt protecting it leaves many officers with a bad taste in their mouths. The problem is not guaranteeing Islamists the same right to free speech as everyone else. The problem is that everyone else, and most especially those who demonstrate against Islamism, do not -- in flagrant examples of selective application of the law, and violations of equality under the law -- appear to be afforded the same level of protection.
When MAC agitates for sharia law, it is literally agitating for stoning, for the punishment of amputating the hand of thieves, and for the killing of himosexuals, and si forth. If the Caliphate they dream of were ever to be established, this group would be capable of stoning a female Muslim to death.
Arresting a dim-witted Conservative councilor, but not members of MAC, sends a message that can only embolden the UK's unsurprisingly ever-bolder Islamist contingent.
Since his organization was banned, Choudary has ramped up his rhetoric. He has been in contact with the militant Islamist group Revolution Muslim, based in New York; he told Reuters in September that the US was about ten years behind the UK in terms of Islamization, but that he believed that US-based groups were "on the verge of something big;" and he told CNN recently [video] that there are two camps in the world, one headed by president Obama, and the other headed by Osama bin Laden. "I am in the camp of the Muslims," Choudary proclaimed. "At the current time that is headed by Sheikh Osama bin Laden." Choudary insists that he is a peaceful admirer of al-Qaeda, although he cannot say the same for all of the young men he comes into contact with.
Choudary is happy to speak to them, and to represent bin Laden's "camp" in the UK. He is advertized as a speaker at the International Islamic Revival conference to be held in London on November 27. Other listed speakers include, among other oarticipants, Abdullah el-Faisal (accused of inspiring the Christmas day bomber), Omar Bakri Muhammad (probably via video link. Bakri Muhammad was recently sentenced in absentia in the Lebanon on terrorism charges), and Abu Izzadeen (recently released from prison in the UK, where he had been sentenced for terrorist fund raising).
With the British authorities arresting those protesting against Islamism – the ideology of promoting installing a Muslim Caliphate under sharia law, with or without terrorism, in Britain, the US, and around the globe – perhaps they might look at this group with a s little more seriousness. The government acknowledges that terrorism is a "Tier One" threat to the UK. Yet, the general, cultural surrender to political correctness, and to the raising of the black flag of Islam, gives the impression that the nation's "elites" have raised the white one.
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