Both Britain and America are afflicted by a mortal sickness.
Britain recently suffered three Islamist attacks in as many months, killing scores of people.
Earlier this week, a white man drove a van into Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London, injuring nine. One man who collapsed before the attack died at the scene.
Islamist attacks are habitually said to be either random acts of terrorism or the fault of the West. Muslims disclaim communal responsibility and talk instead about promoting harmony.
Yet after Finsbury Park the media, Muslims and political establishment rushed to denounce the real villains: those who had incited the perpetrator through their “Islamophobic” views.
Instead of communal harmony, hatred was unleashed – against those who campaign against Islamist extremism.
The attack was seized upon as supposed proof that the terrorist urge was a universal and culturally unspecific affliction, like influenza.
Thus the global Islamic jihad which has claimed tens of thousands of lives was equated with a minute number of retaliatory acts by a few fringe groups or truly random individuals.
Such lethal moral equivalence amounts to political depravity. This was also on display last Sunday when Muslims and their hard-left allies massed on the streets of London for the Iran-backed al-Quds Day rally.
Marching behind the flags of Hezbollah, people screamed anti-Jewish incitement.
They not only equated “Zionists” with ISIS but even insanely blamed such “Zionists” for the tragic fire which last week consumed an entire west London apartment block, apparently through a combination of accident and negligence.
The terrifying reality is that many on the Left connive at or even support such deranged incitement. There is an ugly revolutionary mood currently in the air in Britain which is causing many to shiver in alarm.
People around the world were shocked when the Labour Party did so well in Britain’s general election earlier this month, despite the extremist sympathies and hardleft views of its leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The disturbing reality is that millions of mainly young Brits don’t care that he calls Hezbollah and Hamas his “friends.”
Such young people are either ignorant and ill-educated – or they too believe such terrorists are legitimate resistance fighters.
Worse still, they also don’t care that Corbyn stands for insurrection against parliamentary democracy. That’s because they believe it’s Prime Minister Theresa May whose government is illegitimate, because she failed to secure an overall majority in Parliament.
Their objection is constitutionally illiterate.
But they don’t stop there. They also want to overturn the Brexit referendum vote with which they passionately disagree.
The result of all this turmoil is that the revolutionary Left thinks its moment has come. The tower block inferno is being used as the emotional trigger for a push to overturn Mrs. May’s government and stop Brexit in its tracks.
Labour’s shadow chancellor of the exchequer, John McDonnell, has openly called for insurrection and for one million people to come onto the streets to snatch power from Mrs. May.
In America, the Left is engaged in a parallel onslaught against the democratically elected US president, the Constitution and the rule of law, along with similar hysteria and double standards.
Last week, a left-wing activist who wanted Trump destroyed turned up at a baseball field in Virginia where congressional Republicans were practicing. After checking that they were Republicans, he opened fire with a rifle. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was left critically injured; a Republican aide, a lobbyist and a police officer were also shot.
The attack quickly faded from view in the US media. Can anyone be in the slightest doubt, if a Republican sympathizer had opened fire on Democrats, that we would now be seeing daily apoplexy by the Left at this politically motivated attack? Democrats responded to the shooting by calling for harmony with Republicans. Yet Democrat supporters repeatedly advocate the murder of President Trump.
On campus, pro-Israel or conservative speakers are violently suppressed. People attending pro-Trump rallies are regularly attacked. “Sanctuary cities” actively thwart implementation of the law against illegal immigrants.
Trump was brought to power by millions of Americans who wanted above all to restore the authority of the US Constitution and the rule of law.
He promised them accordingly that he would “drain the swamp.” Yet the swamp, it seems, is determined to drag him under.
An unholy alliance between the Democrats and elements in the intelligence, governmental and judicial establishment is intent upon bringing him down.
Despite a non-stop rumor mill smearing Trump as a Russian stooge, no evidence has been adduced that he is. Despite non-stop calls to impeach him, there are no grounds at all to do so. Instead there is mounting evidence of illegal acts, such as the unmasking of innocent people subjected to covert surveillance, committed by those trying to oust him.
The former FBI chief James Comey admitted leaking an anti-Trump memo in order to provoke the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible Russian ties. He just happened to turn out to be Comey’s friend and predecessor as FBI director, Robert Mueller.
A few days later, further leaks revealed that Mueller was now investigating the president for obstruction of justice. This stinks.
In both America and Britain, people are now murmuring about civil war. There’s a long way to go before that becomes a real possibility. The fact people are talking about it at all, though, shows what a dangerous moment this is.
On both sides of the pond, a titanic struggle to the death is under way for the soul of the West.Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).