Our World: After Londonistan

Far from confronting the Islamist threat, there is wavering on both sides of the Atlantic.

glick short hair 88 (photo credit: )
glick short hair 88
(photo credit: )
In the wake of last year's terror attacks on London, the people of Britain seemed muster the will to rally around their flag. After years of denial, the country that gave Israel the British jihad bombers who blew up Mike's Place in 2003; gave Pakistan and America Daniel Pearl's British jihadist executioner; and gave America the British jihadist shoe bomber finally acknowledged that British jihadists were a problem for Britain. British Prime Minister Tony Blair started to admit that the source of the terror was not poverty, Iraq, Afghanistan or Israel but the jihadist ideology propagated within Britain's Muslim community. Rather than make excuses for the murderers and their army of teachers and enablers, Blair began formulating a program to go after Britain's jihadist hotbeds that indoctrinate British born and bred Muslims to wage war against their country. Yet, as Melanie Phillips points out in painstaking and hair- raising detail in her book Londonistan, Blair's efforts to curb the influence of radical jihadists and undermine their operations were quickly stymied. The multiculturalists who have taken hold of Britain's cultural, intellectual, judicial, ecclesiastical and political life attacked, blocked or watered down every single one of his anti-terror initiatives. In the end, far from winning over his seemingly endless critics, Blair backed down. One of Blair's initiatives had been to establish a Task Force which would tackle jihadist Islam that had declared war on Britain. As Phillip's explains, "It would go into [Muslim] communities to actively confront what [Blair] called an 'evil ideology' based on a perversion of Islam and 'defeat it by force of reason.'" Yet, with his anti-terror campaign torn to shreds, Blair allowed the very extremists he was seeking to counter to take over the Task Force. Not surprisingly these men - who included Swiss jihad apologist Tarik Ramadan and prominent British Hamas supporters - decided that the proper British response to the homegrown British jihadists who killed 52 of their fellow citizens was to surrender to their demands. One of the chief demands of Britain's radical Muslims is for Britain to change its foreign policy regarding Israel and the US. The view that Britain should take a pro-Islamic stance on issues such as Hamas, the US-led campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear weapons program in order to placate British Muslims has gained currency in British foreign policy circles. Labor MP John Denhan, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee said in September 2005, "We need to recognize that some foreign policy has now a very direct impact on domestic policy. We may well need to …be prepared to change the emphasis of our foreign policy in order to safeguard our security…It is no exaggeration to say that Israeli policy in the occupied territories is not simply a matter of foreign policy - it is a matter of British domestic security as well." UNFORTUNATELY, Britain's efforts to appease its Muslim minority have only served to further radicalize its members. While Britain has all but outlawed the use of the phrase "Islamic terrorism;" as the British media studiously refused to publish the cartoons of Muhammed out of respect for British Muslims and systematically distorts the reality of the Palestinian jihad against Israel and the violence in Iraq; and while the British police takes the mildest view of overt Muslim incitement to wage jihad against Britain, the US, Israel and other Western democracies in mosques and on the streets of London, the latest Pew Global Attitudes poll showed that British Muslims have the most radical views of all European Muslims. As Amir Taheri noted last week in The Wall Street Journal, only 32 percent of British Muslims have positive views of Jews while 71 percent of French Muslims reportedly have positive views of Jews. A majority of British Muslims hold a dim view of Westerners and 16,000 of them expressed an interest in carrying out terrorist acts. ONE OF the casualties of Britain's tilt towards the jihadists is the struggle to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Last July, as the rotating head of the EU Presidency the British published an appeal to Iran to release political prisoners Akbar Ganji and Nasser Zar-Afshan. In the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's less than democratic electoral victory, Blair said, "It would be a serious mistake if he [Ahmadinejad] thought that we are going to go soft on them, because we are not." Today, the British are soft and silent as thousands of Iranian protesters are rounded up, students and workers are brutalized, and women are attacked by secret police. And Britain played a central role in convincing the US to join Britain, France and Germany in trying to buy off the mullahs rather than confront their program to acquire nuclear weapons. Indeed, today there is little difference between Britain's policy towards Iran's nuclear weapons program and that of the UN and the Arab and Muslim world. This past weekend, Ahmadinejad hosted the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as well as the UN envoy for Iraq and the secretaries general for the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Teheran. After participating Friday in a demonstration calling for Israel's destruction, Ahmadinejad addressed his distinguished audience and explained, "The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilize to remove this problem." He went on to say that anyone who supports Israel should expect to be attacked and demanded that Israel's supporters get rid of Israel themselves or face the wrath of Islam. Although this was not the first time that Ahmadinejad specifically called for the eradication of Israel, his speech is nonetheless newsworthy because of his audience. Not only did none of those assembled condemn his call for Israel's destruction, they issued a condemnation of Israel of their own. They attacked Israel for "increasing aggression against the Palestinian people" and condemned the "silence" of the international community. The Teheran demonstrations were followed by similar ones in Turkey. FOR ITS part the so-called international community in the EU and the UN leapt into action. Both issued statements condemning Israel for using "disproportionate force" against Palestinian terrorists in Gaza. And like the Arab and Muslim states, neither the EU nor the UN felt the need to say anything at all about Iran's threat to "remove" Israel. Phillips wrote Londonistan for the American rather than the British audience. She explained that she wanted to alert the Americans to the true status of their closest ally and by extension of the Anglo-American alliance. If Britain surrenders to the forces of jihad it will spell both a national security nightmare and a political disaster for America. As Phillips notes, on a cultural level, "Britain's already calamitous slide into cultural defeatism might boost similar forces at play in the United States." Unfortunately, from the looks of things, those forces seem to have taken over the Bush administration. Like the British and the EU, Washington had no response to Ahmadinejad's latest statement of intentions about Israel and the rest of the Western world. Nor did the administration have anything to say about the silence of the Arab and Muslim states and the UN whose representatives seemed to accept Ahmadinejad's remarks. Rather, on Friday, President George W. Bush stated that he sees reason for hope that the international community will come together to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons during the upcoming G-8 summit in Moscow. Moreover, on Saturday the Washington Post reported that Bush will announce a dramatic policy shift at the opening of that summit. Instead of attacking Russia for blocking all concerted international responses to Iran's nuclear weapons program, Bush will announce that he is rewarding Russian despot Vladimir Putin and risking the alienation of the Republican Congress in an election year by agreeing to sign a civilian nuclear cooperation deal with the man most responsible for Iran's free hand in developing nuclear weapons. Bush's apologists claim that the deal will act as an incentive for getting Putin to stop supporting Iran and North Korea. Yet that rings hollow. It is hard to find compelling examples of states who behaved better after their bad behavior was rewarded. One year after the London bombings, with Britain slouching towards dhimmitude and the Bush Doctrine in shambles, it is hard to keep from wondering what it will take for the free nations of the world to abandon appeasement and fight for victory.