Monday 20 January 2020

Our leaders are scared to admit the ugly truth about extremism

Grief: Police officers lay flowers near the scene of the London Bridge terrorist attacks this week
Grief: Police officers lay flowers near the scene of the London Bridge terrorist attacks this week
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

When the news emerged that one of the London Bridge terrorists had lived in and married in Dublin and may also have had extensive contacts with other extremists in this country, were you shocked? Flummoxed? Stunned?

Well, if you felt any of the above emotions, then you just haven't been paying attention.

There was a time when London was known as 'Londonistan', such was the proliferation of hate preachers.

There was an unspoken deal between the police, politicians and so called 'community leaders' such as Omar Bakri Mohammed, the head of the now banned al-Muhajiroun, who were able to operate with impunity as long as they didn't launch any attacks on British soil.

This so called 'covenant of security' was a policy which drove the various intelligence agencies of other nations to distraction - the French, particularly were rightly furious that people who called for violent jihad on French soil were left alone by the UK authorities.

That covenant was broken in spectacular fashion with the 7/7 London bombings, and following a crackdown by security forces, many of them relocated here.

So why would anyone be surprised that Ireland is now known as a convenient backdoor for terrorists?

We've a national ostrich tendency to stick our head in the sands and delude ourselves into thinking that we should be the only country in the Western world which will remain immune from the cancer of Muslim extremism, despite the fact that Isil has explicitly included this country in a list of its 'enemies'.

The Government estimates there are at least 30 people from this country who are either currently fighting in Syria or have returned from there. Other sources, however, privately reckon the number is probably double that.

So who should we blame? Do we blame Israel? American foreign policy? Facebook and social media? All of the above? None of the above? Let's get a few things straight once and for all - despite the reliably hapless Nóirín O'Sullivan parroting the great lie of our time that this has nothing to do with Islam, it has everything to do with Islam.

The current issue of the Isil magazine, Rumiyah, boasts about the Manchester attack, claiming it a victory over a "shameful" American singer who spreads "immorality and filth".

They then go on to boast that: "The enemies of Islam did their best to put on a brave and defiant face", before warning that Isil will control "multiple other regions around the world, regions where no one would have expected that the mujahideen would take control and establish the rule of Allah."

I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty definitively Islamic to me.

Even when the establishment grudgingly concedes that maybe, just maybe, there might be a religious element to this barbarism, it insists on using the latest cliché, that this is a "perversion of Islam".

It's not a perversion of Islam, it's a version of Islam.

In much the same way that everyone's favourite homophobes, the Westboro Baptist Church aren't a perversion of Christianity, merely a different version, Isil scholars can find plenty of Quranic edits to support their actions.

In fact, they go out of their way to point out that they're the only true Muslims and moderates are merely apostates. So please, can people stop repeating the demonstrably false gibberish that this has nothing to do with religion?

Of course, the easy answer to the question of terrorism is to point the finger at US foreign policy in the Middle East.

But what did US foreign policy have to do with the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff? Or Theo Van Gogh? Pim Fortuyn? Or what about Lars Vilks, the Swedish cartoonist who has been living under police protection for the last decade?

Funny enough, a plot to murder Vilks was uncovered in... Ireland, and seven people were arrested in 2010.

Let's go back to Salman Rushdie in 1989 and The Satanic Verses. That had nothing to with foreign policy and everything to do with the savage intolerance of hardline Muslims and their medieval belief that it's acceptable to kill someone because they drew a cartoon or wrote a book.

Then, showing just how desperate some people are to avoid the truth, we're told that Facebook is turning a generation of young Muslims into jihadis.

It's easy for Theresa May to point the finger at Facebook, because it saves her having to point out the obvious awkward truth - Islam and the West are simply incompatible.

This fatuous concentration on social media is merely the latest distraction tactic deployed by an establishment which would rather waste time running after electronic ghosts than confronting the unpalatable truth.

All governments hate social media because they can't control the electronic frontier. They may claim they only want to curb extremist material, but you only have to look at the case this week of the German pensioner who was fined €1,000 for sharing a joke on Facebook to see that any new legislation tackling online extremism will be used to police what everyone says, not just terrorists and their sympathisers.

Does anyone still think this is only because of foreign policy or Facebook?

Well, try drawing a picture of Mohammed and see how long you last...

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