From Elsewhere: More wise words form Nick Cohen

The writer Nick Cohen

In this thought provoking piece by the Centre-Left writer Nick Cohen and published in the latest Standpoint Magazine, the writer blames the Left for bringing problems upon themselves. Mr Cohen said that the results of decades of appeasement, by the Left, of radical Islam in schools, universities and local and national administration, has forced to the UK government to bring in legislation, and act in ways, that goes against liberal values. Mr Cohen said that because the Liberal/Left has done nothing concrete to counter Islamic radicalism then they have helped to bring about our current problems with the jihadi threat.

Mr Cohen said:

The state intervenes when the principles of a liberal society collapse. Usually it blunders in. Invariably it destroys basic freedoms. No one except the most blinkered supporters of authoritarian government can predict with confidence that its “crackdowns” and “emergency measures” will make our lives better or safer. But there you are. When supposedly good and responsible people fail to police themselves, the government will summon the real police to do the job for them.

For years, a dizzying gulf has stretched between the principles most good and responsible liberals say they hold — beliefs in reasoned argument, democracy, and equal rights for women, gays and people of all colours and creeds — and their practical failure to oppose radical Islam. A few of us tried to persuade them to mean what they say and behave accordingly. Some of us have stayed on the Left. Others have given up on what looks an irredeemably compromised movement and attacked liberal-left orthodoxy from the right. I will not pretend that any of us have had a great deal of success.

In the past I have also tried to argue, from within a leftist context, against Islamic radicalism and pointing out the doublespeak of those who say they are for tolerance of LGBT people or equal gender rights, but who fail to criticise Islam. I also can’t say that I had much success either. However, the more I got called ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ ‘xenophobe’, ‘extremist’, or a ‘bigot’ by Leftists for stating that the historical gains of Liberal/ Leftism, such as women’s equality, gay rights and religious tolerance, the more the Left drove me away. Mr Cohen is much braver than I am. He has stayed on the Left, whereas I found that I had more opportunities to have a free debate about the issue of Islamic radicalism, unhindered by shouting thugs, among conservatives, rather than among the Leftists. I decided that banging my head against the Leftist wall on this issue was as pointless as trying to nail jelly to a wall.

Mr Cohen also details the utter denial by the Left of the problems that have been created by radical Islam and exacerbated by failing to do anything about it. Note the outrageous lie attributed to an unnamed Leftist source that the Birmingham Trojan Horse scandal was the result of a Tory plot, Mr Cohen said:

The schools can seem a self-enclosed system. Meet an educationalist and he or she will be on the Left nine times out of ten. Yet when fanatics from the Islamist religious Right took over Birmingham schools, the teaching unions, Labour councillors and the liberal press did everything they could to cover up a plan to impose a reactionary education on British children. Unions did not defend secular teachers when hard-line governors forced them out. Supposed leftists did not worry that governors were making a “sustained and coordinated” effort “to force the segregationist attitudes and practices of a hard-line and politicised strain of Sunni Islam” on British boys and girls, as Birmingham City Council’s inquiry put it. Right until the moment when they could no longer deny the truth, they claimed the scandal was an Islamophobic plot, manufactured by Conservatives trying to exploit racial tensions.

I had to sit up with a start when I saw the ‘tory plot’ line in this piece as one particular Leftist used it on me when I questioned their support for the rebuilding fund for the Muswell Hill Mosque as there was documentary evidence that could point to this non accidental fire being lit by someone much closer to the mosque than has been supposed. They just angrily shouted, ‘that’s all a Tory plot by Islamophobic Tory councillors’. They didn’t ask what documentary evidence I’d seen, nor ask me my sources, they just clicked straight into knee-jerk denial. In the end the Bravanese lot managed to get the local council to stump up for a new building and better facilities. The local authority will probably have to cut services to everyone in order to pay for the result of this fire.

Mr Cohen then spoke about the crackdown on Islamic radicalism in schools and how it is effecting them, even to the extent where schools are being encouraged to police pupil’s Facebook activities. Then he added:

Much the same is about to happen to charities. Journalists have investigated Islamic “charities” funnelling money to terrorist groups many times. The “third sector” has never treated their reports seriously and asked why the supporters and enablers of violence should have tax relief. In its little world, one did not raise such matters. Once again, and almost from nowhere, official patience has snapped. The Charity Commission is demanding new powers and describes Islamic extremism as “potentially the most deadly” problem it faces. The freedom of the great and the good to do good works is about to be constrained because they were neither great nor good enough to fight the vicious men in their midst — or even acknowledge their existence.

The new restrictions on schools and charities are as nothing when set against the astonishingly authoritarian attack on civil liberties that is heading towards us. Theresa May is proposing to threaten schools and universities with legal action if they fail to address child radicalisation or ban extremists from preaching on campus,  to relocate terror suspects around the country, and prevent insurers from funding ransom payments to terrorist groups.

The government has said it wants to go further and impose “Extremism Disruption Orders” once it can secure a parliamentary majority. They would allow judges to ban people deemed extremists from broadcasting, protesting or even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter without official permission. George Osborne says he wants to “eliminate extremism in all its forms”. The police will not just arrest those who call for murder, as they have always done, but people who “spread hate but do not break laws”.

True liberals always held that people should be free to speak their minds as long as they did not incite violence. Now the Home Office wants laws that will force us to be nice citizens, who never say anything the thin-skinned might consider “hateful” or “inappropriate”. Secularists fear that atheists will be locked up for being beastly about religion. Christians fear that evangelicals will be jailed for being beastly about gays. We will live in a country where we cannot utter a controversial opinion.

Outrageous! Grotesque! Intolerable! I can condemn the government all day and all night. But I can see why it is calling in the cops.

I also can see why the Government is ‘calling in the cops’. The situation regarding the threat from Jihad and Islamic radicalism is appalling and could easily transmute into a danger that is existential for Britons. As Mr Cohen points out, the reason why we are having such restrictions imposed on us is because the liberal/left establishment did not do anything to hinder Islamic radicalism. Many teachers, civil servants and others of the great and good, said nothing when Islamic hate preachers called for the deaths of Jews and Gays or demanded the right to oppress women. They could have spoken up, they could have done the right thing, they could have been true to the beliefs of generations of liberal/leftists and said ‘stop’ to Islamic radicalism, but they did not. Many of such people kept their mouths shut about the problems for fear of being called ‘racists’. However, there were others who truly, but mistakenly in my view, believe that by talking and being nice to those who wish to kill us those who threaten us and hate our liberal societies will be then be dissuaded from killing us. Such fools as these have allowed radical Islam to grow and poison whatever institution it touches.

Mr Cohen also touches on this issue in this section of the article:

Teachers, musicians, comedians, authors and liberal-left intellectuals and politicians ignore the Islamist far-Right. They are frightened of accusations of racism. They think the cause of liberal Muslims hopeless, and not worth arguing for. As a result, the young men who end up killing, enslaving, raping and dying in Syria and Iraq — and maybe soon in Britain too — have not grown up hearing arguments against extremism. British culture has presented them with racism on the one hand and silence on the other. A potentially violent young man attracted to neo-Nazi extremism will take a cultural battering. But when it comes to the equally fascistic doctrines of radical Islam, fair-weather feminists and pseudo-leftists don’t want to argue. Hope not Hate and part-time anti-fascists will protest only if extremism topples over into violence, by which time the battle of ideas has been lost and the time for protest gone.

Liberal England in its decadence is more likely to turn on the enemies of repellent religion than the creed itself. 

This is correct, the Left, who should have been relied on to protect, ex-Muslims and liberal Muslims, have thrown them, along with the gays and the women, under the bus. We do indeed have the disgusting situation in this country where Islamic hate mongers and liars can move freely through the Establishment, but those who speak out against the problems with Islam or demonstrate against it, or point out its incompatibilities with free societies, are excluded, demonised or victimised by the State. For example, a person has been banned from all football grounds in the UK for ripping up a Koran during a football match. There is the sneaking suspicion that if she had ripped up a Bible or a Tanakh then she should not have been punished so harshly.

This is a fabulous article, tinged with sadness from Mr Cohen about what the Left has become. I can’t say I agree with all his opinions in this piece and I can’t accept his lumping in of UKIP with fascist nationalist parties and ‘priapic males’ but that is a minor point when compared to his comprehensive exposure of the cowardice of the Liberal/Left when faced with Islamism and Jihadism.

It’s well worth reading the whole article or even better, popping down to WH Smiths to purchase a copy of Standpoint magazine. It is an organ carrying intelligent writing from both the political Left and the political right and deserves support. You can find the full Nick Cohen article here:

I’ll conclude by saying that the evil that men do often outlasts them and it will take many years to undo the problems with the evil of Islam that the Liberal/Left, have by their foolish policies, allowed to metastases on our islands. If we, the ordinary people, end up having to fight these bastard jihadists to protect our very existence, then we will be fighting them because the liberal/left did not.

5 Comments on "From Elsewhere: More wise words form Nick Cohen"

  1. Brilliant article from Cohen. Wish there were more like him on the left.

  2. Vincent Bate | December 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm |

    The Leftwing doesn’t want to address these issues because Leftists can never admit to being wrong. If the Leftwing is wrong on this, then what else is it wrong about? So goes the logic. To question in some cases decades of religiously held beliefs is anathema to many on the left, they’d rather utterly destroy every remaining vestige of what’s left of the native population and culture of Britain, and particularly England.

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