Dean Godson wrote in The Times Online The latest attempt to erode extremism is doomed to fail. A parallel Islamic society, not assimilation, will result
If the Brits put up with this, they will be committing suicideI don't know what effect some of the Muslim “moderates” have on the Islamist “radicals” — but, as the Duke of Wellington might have said, by G-d they frighten me. The unerring instinct of the Government in picking many of the wrong partners within the Muslim community finds its apotheosis in the recent report of the Home Office task force, Preventing Extremism Together, which was assembled after the July bombings in London.
As might have been expected from a panel on which the most reactionary strains of Islam, such as Wahhabism and Salafism, were highly over-represented — as well as one member who believes that there is a plot between Freemasons and Jews to run the world — the bulk of the panel came up with, well, some pretty reactionary conclusions. Meanwhile, the concerns of the majority of British Muslims, including theological moderates such as the main Sufi orders, were underplayed. So what, then, does the Home Office mean by the much hallowed-word “moderate”? It is now apparent that “moderate” does not necessarily mean liberal or progressive. In this context, a moderate is opposed to the use of violence in the United Kingdom — although there was no unanimity on the panel about its employment abroad where Muslims are “oppressed”. In other words, such “moderation” is often methodological, rather than ideological.
The tone of the report has much in common with that of dark “Green” constitutional Irish nationalists during the IRA’s campaign: help us or those nasty Provisionals will take over. But the relationship between moderates and extremists can be symbiotic as well as competitive.
Islamist violence has thus provided a wonderful, unexpected opportunity for these moderates to demand more power and money from the State. This will leave them and their favoured co-religionists as the main intermediaries between the state and the Muslim community.
The mood music of the document is one of breathtaking arrogance. The panel makes it quite clear that it is not for Islamists alone to make adjustments after 7/7: rather, it is a two-way process in which the needs of two million-plus Muslims weigh equally in the balance with those of all 60 million non-Muslims. British identity will have to evolve into a much looser concept to accommodate them.
Or they can just send them back to the country they came from.The events of 7/7 appear, in their view, to be as much the fault of the Government as the bombers themselves: there is a strong flavour of “it woz Iraq and deprivation and unemployment and Islamophobia wot made ’em do it, guv”. To prevent a repeat, they seem to imply, there should effectively be a Muslim veto over counter-terrorist legislation and foreign policy.
That would be absolutely stupid.Their long-term solution for the ills of society? More of their kind of political Islam. More Islam in the national curriculum, including GCSEs in Islamic studies; more Islamist rapid rebuttal units — that is, propaganda. And what are two of the most important ways of empowering Muslim women? Give them more Islamic education and Arabic lessons. Since a large majority of them are South Asian, the only reason they would need Arabic is for more Koranic instruction. As such, the report endorses a key aim of some radical elements — the “Arabisation” of British Muslims.
The effect of all of this will be to create a parallel society. The natural tendency of most minority groups is to assimilate into the majority culture after several generations. The recommendations in this report would arrest that evolution by pumping taxpayers’ money into a British Leyland-style rescue package, circa 1975, for reactionary Islamist institutions. Thus, one of the key proposals that the Government views favourably is the idea of “co-locating” community centres in mosques — thus forcing secular Britons of Muslim origin into the hands of the clerics if they are to obtain civic amenities.