A bishop caused uproar last week by exposing ghettos of Islamist extremism. But Muslims everywhere are cutting themselves off from society in other, equally dangerous ways
Perhaps it had to be someone like Michael Nazir-Ali, the first Asian bishop in the Church of England, who would break with convention and finally point out the elephant in the room.
His comments last week about the growing stranglehold of Muslim extremists in some communities revived debate about the future of multiculturalism and provoked a flurry of condemnation. Members of all three political parties immediately clamoured to dismiss him. "I don't recognise the description that he's talked about – no-go areas and people feeling intimidated," said Hazel Blears, the communities secretary.
A quick call to her Labour colleague John Reid, the former home secretary, would almost certainly have helped her to identify at least one of those places. Just over a year ago Reid was heckled by the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen in Leytonstone, east London, during a speech on extremism, appropriately. "How dare you come to a Muslim area," Izzadeen screamed.
Obviously, Izzadeen is not speaking on behalf of all Muslims.
However, the extremists - who are known for their violence - intimidate moderates into silence; so, we don't hear so much from more civilized elements in the Islamic community. Meanwhile, the extremists try to coerce those elements into being more radical.
Plus, as the extremist influence in the community increases, subjugation of women - already an issue in the Islamic world - increases, as well.
That picture is mirrored outside London. One of our country's biggest and most deprived Muslim areas is Small Heath, in Birmingham, where Dr Tahir Abbas, director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture, was raised. With a dominant Asian monoculture, low social achievement and high unemployment, Small Heath is precisely the kind of insular and disengaged urban ghetto Nazir-Ali was talking about.
Reflecting on his experiences there, Abbas is critical of his peers who don't stray beyond their area. "They haven't seen rural Devon, a stately home or Windsor Castle," he says. That refusal to engage with anything beyond the community is suffocating young Muslims by divorcing them almost entirely from Britain's cultural heritage and mainstream life.
The only engagement with "Britain's cultural heritage and mainstream life" comes when, under the influence of the Saudi-funded Wahhabi extremists in the mosques, young Muslim men wage some form of jihad to abolish native British culture. The United Kingdom is, after all, located in the House of War.
And their feelings of separation have been further reinforced by the advent of digital broadcasting, which has swelled the number of foreign language television stations in Britain, creating digital ghettos. Islamist movements such as Hizb ut-Tahrir (of which I was once a senior member) have been quick to spot the opportunities this affords them. In 2004 the group launched a campaign aimed at undermining President Pervez Musharraf by broadcasting adverts on Asian satellite channels, calling on the Pakistani community in Britain to "stop Busharraf".
Manzoor Moghal, chairman of the Leicester-based Muslim Forum, is unequivocal about the dangers such Islamification poses. "We have a cultural and social apartheid which fundamentalists thrive off," he says.
Basically, the extremists are trying to enslave everyone. They try to intellectually enslave their fellow Muslims, and get them to be the vehicle by which the infidels are enslaved. Added to that, in the extremist Muslim world, men enslave women, who are treated like cattle.
For this to be successful, the prospective slaves must be deceived, and an important component of the deception is the dehumanization of the infidels and of the takfir.
The point was underscored last summer when Kafeel Ahmed, whom I once knew, was arrested after a Jeep laden with explosives crashed into Glasgow airport. I think Ahmed was first radicalised in Cambridge, where I saw his views become increasingly intolerant, even though the city has a negligible Muslim population. After being exposed to the Islamist culture of separation and confrontation there, he didn't need to be living in an actual ghetto. He was already sectioning himself off, by giving up his non-Muslim friends and eventually socialising only with those who shared his world-view.
The "ghetto of the mind" perhaps?
Intellectual enslavement, brought to you by the Religion of Peace.
It raises a compelling point that Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have largely tried to ignore: while the moral ambiguity of multiculturalism means Britain no longer knows what it stands for, our enemies are not just growing ever surer of themselves but are also winning the debate.
If ever there has been an important point made regarding the ideological war that the infidel world faces, it is this: the Islamic conquest that these extremists seek to bring to us would be infinitely more difficult if the infidel world were not so beaten down by fellow infidels who find nothing good to say about it.
As societies, we in the West have lost our sense of direction, and now, as if in a medieval fairy-tale, having been wandering in the depths of a dark forest, we find ourselves face-to-face with a big, bad wolf.
For almost three decades now, the witless promotion of cultural relativism under successive governments means that our national identity can simply be reduced to the theme of a courtroom sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus – anything goes. Measuring the extent to which this ambiguity has affected perceptions within Britain's already insular Muslim communities, Abbas told me he surveyed schoolchildren in Small Heath by asking them how many Muslims they thought lived in Britain.
"We had answers around 30m to 50m," he says, with more than a hint of despondency in his voice (the true figure is 1.6m).
Moghal blames the mosques for this, saying: "They promote a conscious rejection of western values." He has a point. In many places the prevailing attitude is that sporting a flowing Arab robe symbolises your religiosity while your piety is linked to the length of your beard.
To compare and contrast, I offer an excerpt from The Gina Khan Interview - Part One January 9, 2008, which is the continuation from what we have looked at of this interview in Part 1 and Part 2:
Q: And your parents?
Mum had herself been a victim of polygamy before meeting my father and had been forced to abandon her studies to get married at 15. My mum was educated at a British school in Pakistan; she wasted no time in integrating and making herself familiar with the rules and regulations of Britain when she arrived. She spent most of her life trying to perfect her English or trying (and usually failing) to pass her driving test! She ran a business and took care of her family.
Dad was 30 odd years older than Mum. He was illiterate and could only sign his name, but he learnt English to get by. In fact I recall one of Dad's regular visitors in the 70s was his 'gaffer'. Like many immigrants, Dad had come years earlier than Mum and worked in a factory. Every Thursday the 'gaffer' would come in his white rover and every Thursday I would wonder what they had to talk about because Dad's English embarrassed me even as a child.
We ran shops and we all had to contribute, whether it was behind the counter or stacking shelves. In the early 80s, when I was about 9, we moved to Ward End, at a time when we were the first Asian family who had bought a business on Washwood heath road. I grew up with friends who were English, Jamaican, Greek, Indian, Sikh, and Chinese. We integrated into the wider community.
My parents had friends who were non Muslims, who came into our homes, shared our food, and shared our culture with us. I didn't know any different except when mum would teach me about Allah. On the one hand the Christian God in school was a loving God but our God was to be feared. Though now I believe religion was used to control us in our version of Muslim society.
Q: To control you?
Muslim women were not allowed the freedom of love then and they're not now. Arranged marriages are the norm, yet I remember many of Dad's friends who had English wives, who hadn't been subjected to conversion. Muslim men have freedom, choices. I learnt that young - Muslim women don't. We're controlled from birth to grave.
Women were taught to be submissive and listen to our elders, slave around to the whims of older brothers. My parents were 'modern' Muslim, we didn't cover our heads, and in fact my mum didn't either - unless we were praying or reading the Quran.
Keep in mind that this description is of a family that was certainly not extremist, but rather relatively well-integrated. Yet, there were significant differences between the culture of Ms. Khan's family and that of British society around her. Of special note: "Women were taught to be submissive and ... slave around to the whims of older brothers."
Despite these differences in culture, this family would be branded takfir by the extremists.
Continuing now with Muslim Britain is becoming one big no-go area:
Muslim groups have already reacted with predictable intemperance to the bishop's comments. "Mr Nazir-Ali is promoting hatred towards Muslims and should resign," said Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, while Ajmal Masroor of the Islamic Society of Britain said the church should "take serious action".
Adherents of the Religion of Peace "have already reacted with predictable intemperance to the bishop's comments."
Their anger vindicates him entirely and in many respects demonstrates that Nazir-Ali's observations not only are valid, but don't go far enough. The Glasgow bombings proved that the kinds of no-go area extremists are creating don’t always have to be physical locations.
Muslim attitudes are now so hyper-sensitive that anyone who dares to criticise Islam or Muslims has to think twice – and then some more – before doing so. Publishing a simple cartoon is enough to provoke a serious diplomatic crisis, the ransacking of embassies, mass global protest and at least several deaths.
Of course, none of this is news to readers who have been following the counterjihad blogs for any length of time. In particular, The Gates of Vienna typically has excellent material addressing this.
But it's not just non-Muslims for whom extremists reserve their hatred. After I wrote about the way British Islamists celebrated Benazir Bhutto's assassination last month, a number of threats quickly appeared on the internet. "If I meet him I'm going to paste him in his face," wrote Abu Junayd from Slough on a chat forum. Another commentator said I should "suffer severe punishments in this life and the hereafter".
As I mentioned in this post and as we addressed extensively in Part 2, there is that concept of takfir; the author mentions it now as we review the last part of Muslim Britain is becoming one big no-go area:
Their attitude springs from the Takfiri mind-set, which, in its most extreme forms, underwrites Al-Qaeda's philosophy by suggesting that anyone who disagrees with Islamism (the extreme, politicised form of Islam) is a legitimate target for attack.
As if to emphasise the point, a statement released on a known Al-Qaeda forum last week specifically called for attacks on moderate Muslims in Britain. Citing the opinions of Muhammad Ibn Alb al-Wahhab, whose followers are known as Wahhabis, it branded moderates as "aides of the crusaders".
Seven years after the Cantle report first revealed the extent to which Britain's different communities are living apart together, it's still impossible to engage politicians seriously about the future of multiculturalism.
After being heckled by Izzadeen in Leytonstone for "daring" to visit a Muslim area, the home secretary told him: "There is no part of this country that any of us is excluded from." The knee-jerk reaction to the bishop's comments suggests we're still a long way from realising that vision.
With all due respect to the decent people in the Muslim community, including the author of the article we reviewed, Shiraz Maher, and Gina Khan, whose interview we continue reviewing in this series, there is a problem with Islam.
I think those who are referred to as "moderate Muslims" would disagree with that statement, and it is not my intent to debate that matter in this post.
The point I would like to emphasize is that to the extremists, we all - infidels and takfir alike - need to recognize that we have a common enemy, and we need to work together to defeat that enemy.
Considering the concept of al-taqqiya, infidels are wise to question the sincerity of so-called "moderate Muslims"; it is unwise to accept Islamist front-groups like CAIR at face-value.
However, infidels would be equally foolish to deny the existence of and alienate moderate Muslims, because in doing so, they leave such people nowhere else to turn, and drive some of them into the hands of the extremists; indeed, infidel ideologues who claim that there can be no such thing as moderate Muslims - by whatever term is used to refer to them - are in principle every bit as bad as the extremist Muslims who form their opposite numbers.
Stay tuned to Stop Islamic Conquest as Pride of Lions continues.