A response to Owen Jones’s ‘Why Corbyn is right about terrorism’
OK Owen, before I begin, I should provide full disclosure and admit that in an overwhelming number of cases I find your political views Ill conceived, offensive and often amounting to dangerous fantasies that risk destroying the great values underpinning our society. This generally isn’t helped by my finding you personally incredibly irritating. Nonetheless, I will aim to put my personal biases to one side and attempt to comment on your points as clearly as I can.
In your piece published on the 26th May 2017, you, quite reasonably, indicated that foreign policy may have added weight to the cause of those who, through an evil interpretation of Islamic scripture, sought to destroy the lives of those living in the west. As someone who vehemently opposed the Iraq invasion, never bought the lies that were used as its justification and could see no connection between Saddam and Bin Laden to make it a pressing matter at that time, I believe it almost inevitable that western forays into Iraq and later Afghanistan provided much needed justification to those seeking to wage jihad and served as a recruitment tool in attracting mainly young men in pursuing that cause.
It is however worth noting that the 9/11 attacks occurred before any such invasions took place, which strongly suggests that the ideology and aims were already in place and the Wests predictable reaction was simply a calculated plan by al Qaeda for gaining recruits. To that end, of course, it was successful and more recent events in Libya and Syria have served to fan the flames. But, without contradicting those experts you quote, I do think we should be careful not to re-write history, or rearrange key dates to suit a particular narrative. It’s also important to note that, however misguided we viewed them, then or now, much of our involvement was brought about through deliberate provocation or at the behest of others.
It is further worth noting that ISIS themselves have greatly played down the impact of the Wests actions and understandably so. It added to their ranks and enabled their message to reach a wider audience. That message was a call to create a global caliphate. Anything else was incidental. It is that message that they openly state they will pursue through the exploitation of the migration crisis.
It’s neither conjecture nor hyperbole to suggest that ISIS operatives, people who hate our values, our democracy, our tolerance and freedoms are infiltrating the tens of thousands of so-called refugees and attempting to enter ours and other western nations. To advocate, as so many do amongst the liberal left, that we should fling open our borders even further, whilst recognising that, in doing so, they introduce such terror and barbarism to our very doorsteps, is nothing short of dangerous lunacy. To further insult the people whose lives have been put in danger through such blithe disregard by suggesting they are racist, bigots or Islamaphobes shows a contempt bordering on hatred of people undeserving of such dreadful treatment.
But this is exactly the treatment being meted out to anyone voicing those concerns. In your piece, you state the following:
“The problem is debating this is intentionally made difficult by the prosecutors and cheerleaders of the war on terror. They simply smear anyone who does as apologists for terrorism. And in doing so they shut down a critique of policies which are leaving us considerably less safe”.
Ironic that you should criticise a tactic used incessantly by politicians and globalists for shutting down any kind of rationale debate on concerns of the dangers they are inflicting on ordinary people. I could quite simply reword your paragraph as follows:
The problem is debating this is intentionally made difficult by the prosecutors and cheerleaders of unfettered immigration. They simply smear anyone who does as Islamaphobes. And in doing so they shut down a critique of policies which are leaving us considerably less safe.
Hand in hand with this silencing of criticism is an increasingly worrying tendency of attempting to normalise atrocities. In comments that should have been followed by his immediate resignation, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, suggested that terror attacks were part and parcel of living in a major city. It seems to push a narrative that such events should be considered a minor inconvenience, like having having your train cancelled or the coffee machine not working. Would his views have been met with a shrug of indifference if he’d suggested that racist and homophobic attacks were part and parcel of city life? Of course not. There would have been, quite rightly, howls of protest and I’d suggest that you, Owen, would have been at the front of those marching on Central Hall.
The simple fact is we can never get used to these attacks. We can never settle for hashtags and candles as a suitable response to acts so barbarous they cannot be comprehended by anyone of sound mind. Do you ever wonder how a young arab boy can be photographed beaming at a camera whilst holding a severed head? Or why child abuse victims often themselves become abusers? Because they’ve become used to it, desensitised to it. The moment we become ‘used’ to seeing innocent children being killed and maimed at a pop concert and, after issuing a few empty platitudes, carry on as normal, then we’ve lost. Humanity has lost. Civilisation has lost. We become like those Iranians, happily chatting to our friends on the street as the bodies hang from cranes above our heads.
And an entirely disingenuous claim being made by those trying to sweep such acts under the carpet is the inevitable accusation of blaming it on all Muslims. I firmly believe that those using this line know only too well that, in the overwhelming majority of cases, that it is false to do so. But in order to achieve a complete silencing of all debate, they must firstly overstate their argument and then be seen to defend those they falsely identify as victims as a result of that argument.
Time after time, high profile critics of Islamic extremism and multiculturalism have been at pains to point out that their criticism is aimed not at ALL Muslims, but rather those that harbour extremist views or do not share the values of our people. Time and time again these views are ignored or airbrushed out of any counter argument. They are deemed inconvenient and that enables them to be ignored and any subsequent points dismissed as bigotry or Islamaphobia.
This desire by liberals to only use the words Islam and Muslims in connection with the word ‘peace’, without ever recognising that there are issues that need to be seriously addressed within Muslim communities, serves only to increase suspicion amongst an ever anxious public. Amongst the questions they ask are: If these people are not Muslims, why do they talk of sharia law and the Koran? If these people do not represent Islam, why weren’t they dragged through the streets to the nearest police station by the community from where they came from? Why have there been so many cases of mosques and Imam’s being found to have spread hatred and religious intolerance? Why are the numbers of radicalised Muslims increasing?
People are, quite understandably, curious to know why speaking about Islam or Muslims in anything less than glowing terms appears to have become taboo, especially when no such anonymity would be given to other races and religions. In response to the Rotherham sex abuse scandal, most major news outlets opted to call the men involved Asian, no doubt much to the consternation of Indians, Chinese, Japanese etc. You went a step further and simply blamed men:
“Sickening stuff from Rotherham. Unless we believe and support children when they come forward, men will keep getting away with raping girls”
If this scandal had involved alt-right or neo-fascists using and abusing immigrant girls, would you have been so keen to hide their political leanings? Despite them being far more a minority that Muslims in this country.
This I suppose brings me to the subject of multiculturalism. I consider myself to be fairly well educated. Any deficit in my knowledge or understanding I look to supplement through speaking with others more knowledgeable on any given subject. But on this topic, I have never made sense of it’s aims, nor have I ever heard a rationale explanation regarding why any country would consider it desirable. Multiracial has been shown to work in many countries, when centred around a shared set of laws and values. But multiculturalism appears to promote coexistence of wildly opposing values and does, I believe, begin from a fatally flawed premise, namely that all cultures are equal.
This is palpably untrue and I’m sure most could think of cultures and customs existing in certain other countries that no sane person would ever wish to see brought to their own. The treatment of women and minorities, torture, genocide, slavery. Regressive and often barbaric practices and many associated with people from those countries liberals wish to see imported by their tens and hundreds of thousands.
In a 2016 survey of British Muslims, 52% thought homosexuality should be made illegal (versus 5% of the general population). 22% indicated no inclination to integrate into British life. 47% felt it inappropriate for a gay person to become a teacher (versus 14%). 4% sympathised with suicide bombings, 23% supported introduction of sharia law. 39% believed wives should always obey their husbands, whilst 21% supported stoning for adultery.
As more and more arrive from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, these percentages will only rise. Are we really happy to accept open doors, coupled with a multiculturalist policy that supports people’s rights to maintain such attitudes. Are we happy for people holding such views to be allowed to brainwash our youth into a similar mindset?
Following the Orlando nightclub shooting, you now famously walked off the Sky set, because you felt the homophobic element was not being stressed enough. Yet you’re advocating the unfettered arrival of huge numbers of people who wear their homophobia as a badge of honour and whose views on how you should be treated extend well beyond name calling.
In the earlier section, you referred to Sweden having suffered from terrorism, despite not being part of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. Conversely, Poland and Japan did commit ground troops to those offensives, yet have suffered no terrorist attacks. Could it be their hard line on Islamic immigration has saved the lives of some of its citizens? I’m certainly not suggesting stopping immigration or us helping with (genuine) refugees. But surely to goodness it must be controlled, we must know exactly who is entering and it must be to the abandonment of a hideously failed multiculturalism policy that has only served to put our lives in very real danger.
And to an extent, I am expecting Muslims to step up to the plate. They broadly boast of having 1.6 million adherents and suggest 99% are peace loving. Given such overwhelming odds, do date they’ve been remarkably poor at riding themselves of their cancer. But I’m also asking them to take sides. Not between their faith or country, but between good and evil. I suppose my surprise over the years is to see the anger and violence a cartoon can induce, whereas scum denigrating their religion and turning them into pariahs seems to have minimal impact.
I hoping to see a much harder line being taken by both government and the people. We’ve tried hashtags, songs, vigils and standing together. Your graph of terrorist incidents show them not to be working. Indeed I suspect ISIS and others that hate us laugh themselves silly at the site of a busker singing ‘Imagine’ at another candlelit scene of carnage.
We’ve stayed in the ring, taking punch after punch without reply, but refusing to go down. But now’s the time to come out swinging or soon all we’ll hear is the referees countdown.