Where to start with Prime Minister David Cameron’s much previewed anti-extremism speech. Well how about we start with one big lie, his statement that ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ and go from there shall we?
I doubt I could ever find a bookie willing to take the wager that David Cameron would trot out what has become his catchphrase which is ‘Islam is a religion of peace’. It’s become as much a part of him as ‘Just like that’ became part of the image of the comedian Tommy Cooper. No bookie would take my wager, as it’s a dead cert that Cameron will utter the words ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ or some variant therof.
I managed to note down some of the ‘highlights’ of this speech. We of course got the ‘one nation’ guff and how Britain is a ‘successful multi-racial, multi-religious society’, which I might add we were well on the way to becoming, before the poison of Islam started flowing.
I can see endless problems with some of Cameron’s ideas. Some of these problems will be down to the non-cooperation of the Muslim community with counter extremism proposals. Some will be down to Islamic groups with unpleasant but ‘clean skin’ associates exploiting the government’s search for ‘moderate’ currents within Islam. The government might end up with a similar problem of Islamic extremist entry-ism that occurred during the Labour/Coalition years. Other problems in Cameron’s proposals may be down to the nature of the British state, the permanent government of the civil service and the quangos. Some of these, such as the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government have been heavily penetrated by the Left/Islamists for years and this will affect how they use these new powers. Because of this infiltration it is more than likely that Ofsted, local councils, schools and universities will still end up treating Islamic issues with kid gloves, whilst cracking down on those who may have contrary views about Islam.
Cameron vacillated in this speech, he never seemed to be one thing nor the other. He was lukewarm. He didn’t, at least in my opinion, draw a strong enough connection between Islam and Islamism/Jihad. They are far more intertwined than Mr Cameron may wish to think they are. This speech did not hit Islam back hard enough. It could have been much better so much more confident.
Some of his proposals also rely too much on the co-operation and goodwill of the Muslim communities in order for them to work. I’m uneasy about the idea that parents could have their child’s passport confiscated for a variety of reasons. If this is to be done then it should be done by a court, and not only at the say so of Muslim parents. These children may not heading off to join ISIS, but instead may be trying to escape from the grasp of an overbearing and abusive family. As I said before, the correct use of this power relies on the Muslim parent being honest and co-operative and I’m not sure that we can rely on this 100%.
Funding alternatives to Islamism, sounds like a very good idea and it could work, but who from the Muslim community is going to be involved in it? Who can be trusted? Who genuinely is a moderate non-expansionist Muslim and who isn’t? So many of these ‘community leaders’ who end up heading community cohesion quangos and other organisations are not exactly clean hands types and may have connections to unsavoury people and organisations. Who is going to pick the groups that the government is working with? If it’s the Muslim community then the government could end up with egg on their faces when another extremist posing as a moderate is discovered. This proposal may well be an exercise in hosing down the public and charity sectors with yet more taxpayer cash with no lasting benefit. I can see it now, every department of government, every quango, will have a ‘counterextremism’ tick box/duty that they have to fill in/administer, at vast extra public cost. I can also see ‘charities’ sponging millions in grants because they’ve managed to shoehorn the phrase ‘counter-extremism’ into their grant applications. I have no problem with the Government prioritising helping the Ahmadiyya Muslims instead of the Salifist fraggles, but good luck with getting the Salafist fraggles to accept that peaceful Ahmadiyya Islam is as valid a path for them as Orthodox Islam. Mr Cameron: You’ve got more chance of finding kosher certified prawns than having the majority of Britain’s Muslims suddenly finding that the peaceful currents of Islam are the way to go.
Cameron showed his weakness when he said that ‘we must not demonise certain groups’, well normally I’d agree with him on that, but what we have in the UK today is not the majority population unjustly demonising Muslims, but Muslims demonising themselves by their actions. As for his comment on how Muslims have contributed postively to the UK, my reply to that would be, yes, some have, but do we really need all these other Muslim loafers, many of whom hate every bit of Britain apart from the welfare cheque? Britain has absorbed many different people over the centuries, sometimes the absorbtion has not been easy but Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and others have come here, done well, and taught the rest of us stuff. These groups have brought positive gifts. What we have had from Islam is very often purely negative. It’s crime, terror, sedition, rape, lack of respect for others, authoritarianism, violence, agressiveness and supremacism. The followers of Islam have brought all the disgust of Britons for Islam down on their own heads and the heads of other Muslims. It’s not prejudice that is causing Muslims to be distrusted, it’s the actions of Muslims themselves. I feel that it is perfectly justified to demonise Islam, just as it is justified to demonise Nazism and Communism.
On the subject of UK values, I did feel that Cameron was somewhat equating the values of the London Metro-Left with the values of the nation as a whole. Whilst I personally support many liberal social values (women’s rights, tolerance of LGBT people etc), I recognise that not everybody holds similar views, and that my clique of friends who hold similar views, do not represent the whole country. Cameron didn’t think outside his clique, and his use of phrases that praise ‘diversity’ and which also used a very narrow list of values that Metropolitan Leftists approve of, to describe the whole nation, really did show a deep unawareness of the UK as a whole.
This was a speech that could have been better. It could have had less pleading to the Muslim community for co-operation, and it could have given less concern that the new provisions will be aimed at anyone and everyone, except the Islamist nutters. It may even have recognised that the problem is with Islam, and not only with Islamism, but it didn’t. This is the sort of speech I expected from Cameron, it really is, and that, I scarcely need to say, is not a compliment.
More on the speech from The Daily Telegraph
Also on there is an interesting survey which at present shows 92% of respondents believing that Muslims need to do more to tackle extremism.