- by Melanie Phillips, 18th October 2010 (from the Spectator)
Angela Merkel has got the point. Multiculturalism has failed, she states flatly, as she surveys western Europe going down under the tide of radical Islam. Rather than liberal society creating the utopia of harmonious cultural pluralism, it is being swallowed whole by the giant predator whose voracious mouth it encourages, in the spirit of tolerance, to open ever wider in the unshakeable belief of western liberals that the jaws about to snap shut around their necks are actually stretched wide in a smile.
All over mainland Europe, a few shoes are belatedly – maybe too late -- starting to drop.
France and Belgium have banned the burqa and other countries are debating doing the same.
Switzerland has banned minarets.
Denmark has imposed ferocious limits on immigration.
In the Netherlands the prosecution in the case against the Dutch politician Geert Wilders for allegedly inciting religious hatred -- through his criticism of Islamic hatred -- has thrown in the towel and asked the judges to acquit him of all charges. See here for an authoritative analysis of the significance of this.
And so what of dear old Blighty, the country which in 1940 stood alone against the threat to democratic life and liberty and the values of western liberalism? Is the shoe of reality starting to drop in the UK too?
A report by Quilliam about City University, central London, states that a hard-line Islamist ideology is being promoted through the leadership of the university’s student Islamic Society, leading to increased religious tensions on campus and to the intimidation and harassment of staff, students and members of minority groups by extremists and increasing the risks of students turning to terrorism.
Ahmadi Muslims in south London have been targeted by Islamists in a hate campaign, and a Muslim woman in Bradford has died after being set on fire (via JihadWatch, and also here), underlining the fact that Muslims are themselves front-line victims of Islamic jihadis and sharia law.
And in the Sunday Telegraph, Andrew Gilligan continues to chronicle the remorseless takeover of an entire London borough, Tower Hamlets, by the radicals of the Islamic Forum of Europe using intimidation, infiltration and corruption:
According to one of its own leaflets, the IFE – based at the hardline East London Mosque in Tower Hamlets – wants to change the ‘very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed … from ignorance to Islam.’ The group is accused by one of the area’s Labour MPs, Jim Fitzpatrick, of infiltrating and ‘corrupting’ his party in a way similar to the Militant Tendency in the 1980s.
The response of other newspapers to what’s going on in Tower Hamlets? As far as I can make out, deafening silence. And what is the response of the rest of the British thinking classes to this and countless other signs of increasing Islamisation and Islamic radicalisation in Britain?
The hitherto resolutely counter-counter-cultural think-tank Civitas, which in the past has produced some outstanding social and cultural analysis, has just published a set of essays on Women, Islam and Western Liberalism in which one author, Alveena Malik, states that the full-face Islamic veil, or niqab, should be regarded
‘...as part of a modern British way of life.’
She continued: ‘The wearing of religious symbols, including the full veil, should be a fundamental human right of an individual in both the public and private sphere. The real test for religious symbols in the public sphere should always be: “Does the wearing of a symbol (such as the kirpan, turban, yarmulke, crucifix and the veil) hinder a citizen’s ability to perform their public civic duties?”’ Britain is in a ‘unique’ position to embrace such a public display of faith because of the role the church plays in the affairs of the state and its ‘multicultural diversity’.
To be fair, the Civitas pamphlet contains other views which profoundly disagree with this. Even so, the idea that advocating as ‘part of the British way of life’ the niqab, which presents such an obvious danger to security as well as intimidating non-radical Muslim women, inciting religious subversion by serving as a symbolic call to arms against western values and destroying the equality inherent in human interaction by virtue of the simple act that we can all see each other’s faces – the idea that this is, as Civitas appears to suggest, a contribution towards liberal diversity, is simply grotesque.
And here’s the thing: the Telegraph also tells us:
Mrs Malik was appointed by last government to a panel of faith advisers for the Department for Communities. She has overseen British Council guidance on ‘intercultural dialogue’.
It looks horribly like, seventy years on, Britain is now once again alone -- this time, though, not standing but grovelling on its knees before those bent upon the extinction of freedom.