Sunday, September 11, 2005

The monster in Britain's midst

An appropriate article from Melanie Phillips, given the date...

No fewer than three separate and deeply disturbing stories in today’s newspapers serve to confirm that Britain’s core values are not only now under sustained and entrenched assault from a section of its Muslim minority but that its governing and intellectual class remains unable or unwilling even to grasp the nature and extent of the threat.

The first story in the Independent on Sunday reveals that the extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which Tony Blair has said should be banned, has members in some of Britain's most important institutions including the NHS and blue-chip companies such as IBM and Reuters:

‘The IoS has now learned that at least two members of Hizb, which seeks to form a global Islamic state regulated by sharia law, work for the computer giant IBM, and that Reuters, the international news and financial information agency, has at least one member among its employees… Several members of Hizb are medical practitioners, including its spokesman, Dr Imran Waheed, a psychiatrist practising in London. Its women's representative, Nazreen Nawaz, is a qualified doctor who worked in cancer research. Another member is a manager at University College Hospital, London. The group is also strong in the education sector, where a former member of the executive board lectures in IT in an east London college. The former headmistress of a prominent Islamic primary school in the same area is also a member of Hizb, as is the landlord of the building.’

The second story in the Mail on Sunday reveals that a Muslim barrister has claimed that the war in Iraq was planned by a secret group of Jews and Freemasons. Ahmad Thomson, a convert to Islam and a member of the Association of Muslim Lawyers,

'...claims this hidden alliance has shaped world events for hundreds of years and now controls governments in both Europe and America… He told the Mail on Sunday that the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein was part of a masterplan by Jews and Freemasons to control the Middle East. “Pressure was put on Tony Blair before the invasion”, he said. ‘The way it works is that pressure is put on people to arrive at certain decisions. It is part of the Zionist plan and it is shaping events”.

This is of course the standard demented conspiracy delusion of the Muslim world and neo-Nazis and white supremacists across the globe. But Mr Thomson is no marginalised nutcase. For he has been appointed by the British government to advise it on how to tackle, ahem, Muslim extremism. And his views have hardly been concealed. For the story also reveals that in 1994 he published a book in which he claimed that Jews and Freemasons had conspired to control the Middle East and now controlled the governments of Europe and America; that the Nazis were a Christian backlash against the Jews; that the Jews had no right to live in the ‘Holy Land’ because they were not a pure race and therefore not true biblical Israelites; that Saddam Hussein was used as an excuse for American troops including thousands of Jews to occupy Saudi Arabia; and that Hollywood and the international media are controlled by Jews whose aim is to ‘re-educate’ Muslims.

This is the man the British government thinks will give them handy tips to counter Islamic extremism.

When confronted with this information, the government still saw nothing wrong in its appointment. A Home Office spokesman said:

‘It is part of the job of government to talk and consult with people from different communities and that means that it routinely deals with people whose views it does not necessarily agree with’.

Just process that thought for a moment in the context of the British landscape post the July bombings. To equip itself against Islamist extremism which is fuelled in its murderous rage against the west in large part by its view of the Jews as a conspiracy against Islam and the world, HMG will seek the advice of one who shares precisely such a view. That’s the spirit, chaps! Would these officials, one wonders, have sought the advice of Goering or Himmler on how to deal with the Nazi threat on the basis that the British government ‘routinely deals with people whose views it does not necessarily agree with’?

This is all of a part with the astonishing attitude of the Foreign Office revealed in last week’s Observer story (see my post below) which revealed the horrifying depths to which Whitehall is currently going in its wholly misguided and culturally suicidal strategy of appeasement of radical Islam. Which brings us on to the third story in today’s terrifying triptych. In the Sunday Times, Abul Taher reports that yet another committee of Muslim government advisers on extremism (or possibly the same one) is proposing to proposing to scrap Holocaust Memorial Day because it is regarded as offensive to Muslims:

‘A member of one of the committees, made up of Muslims, said it gave the impression that “western lives have more value than non-western lives”. That perception needed to be changed. “One way of doing that is if the government were to sponsor a national Genocide Memorial Day. The very name Holocaust Memorial Day sounds too exclusive to many young Muslims. It sends out the wrong signals: that the lives of one people are to be remembered more than others. It’s a grievance that extremists are able to exploit.”

'The recommendation, drawn up by four committees including those dealing with imams and mosques, and Islamophobia and policing, has the backing of Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain. He said: “The message of the Holocaust was ‘never again’, and for that message to have practical effect on the world community it has to be inclusive. We can never have double standards in terms of human life. Muslims feel hurt and excluded that their lives are not equally valuable to those lives lost in the Holocaust time.” Ibrahim Hewitt, chairman of the charity Interpal, said: “There are 500 Palestinian towns and villages that have been wiped out over the years. That’s pretty genocidal to me.”'

Now this is quite obviously appalling on a number of levels. First, it reveals the open anti-Jewish hatred of supposedly mainstream Muslims. Holocaust denial is quite simply a declaration of war upon the Jews. Second, it shows that these attitudes can now be brazenly expressed because such bigots are confident that they are supported at the very heart of the British establishment. Third, it reveals once again the appalling naivety or worse of that establishment in thinking it can draw the poison of such people by embracing them. Fourth, it reinforces the suspicion that Whitehall embraces people with such poisonous prejudices because it actually shares them.

But there is a further concern about this story. For the language in which it is written suggests that the writer too may perhaps share this prejudice. Taher writes that these Muslims want to replace Holocaust Day

‘with a Genocide Day that would recognise the mass murder of Muslims in Palestine, Chechnya and Bosnia as well as people of other faiths.’

‘The mass murder of Muslims in Palestine’? Hello? There has been no such mass murder. The only people with genocide on their minds are the Arabs who want to bomb the Jews of Israel out of existence. The only people who talk about ‘the mass murder of Muslims in Palestine’ are those who perpetrate this libel. But this revealing phrase was not in quote marks. It was Taher’s own phrase. He also said that Holocaust Day ‘was established by Blair in 2001 after a sustained campaign by Jewish leaders to create a lasting memorial to the 6m victims of Hitler.’
As Adloyada writes on her website, Holocaust Day actually came about as the result of thinking by various governments in Europe as well as in the US. Adloyada has also been doing some digging of her own:

‘So who is Mr Taher, and how can the Sunday Times account for his lamentably inaccurate account of the origins of the day, which just happens to make it look as if it was a purely Blair thing in response to sustained pressure from Jewish leaders? Well, a little investigation turns up that in 2001, Mr Taher was editor of The Eastern Eye, an Asian newspaper. Then there's this quite extraordinary exchange Mr Taher had online with a Muslim dissident, which includes these contributions from our intrepid and entirely balanced reporter:

'"Are a lot of the people that write for you actually Muslims, or militant Christians or Jews masquerading behind Muslim names?

'"In your writing, I sense a hatred of Islam that some would say is deeply racist, and has its basis in some paranoia that Islam is going to take over. It's like the classic fear of foreigners taking over - why?”

'Not surprisingly, the correspondent declined Mr Taher's request for his address and a photo. And Mr Taher back in 2000 was a 25 year old student journalist who entered a competition to win a trainee position as a journalist with his story about his investigations about a simulated nuclear accident on a Royal Navy ship. He was at the time completing an MA in journalism at Sheffield University. Hang on. Doesn't that sound just a bit familiar? We couldn't possibly have another Dilpazier Aslam type case on our hands, could we? No, there's nothing so alarming as evidence that he was writing for Hizb u'Tahrir. But in 2001, he did write this story for the Independent on the motives of potential British jihadi suicide bombers, in which he repeatedly suggests that the problem is the West, and especially the United States. He doesn't fully agree with George Galloway, but that's the politician he quotes in support of his view that US and UK intervention in Afghanistan, at that time still controlled by the Taliban, will produce and recruit more suicide bombers for Bin Laden.’

All this is deeply, deeply alarming not just for British Jews but for the defence of Britain and the west. It will be interesting to see therefore how tomorrow’s papers react. This horror is only growing because the general complicit silence in the face of anti-Jewish prejudice (and much mainstream opinion, alas, contains more than an echo of some of these views) has emboldened Islamist bigotry. Many members of the public are horrified by the government’s supine response to Islamist extremism; yet even here there is a reluctance to see the connection with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel prejudice because so much of this particular prejudice is unfortunately shared as a result of the campaign of vilification of Israel mounted by the media. Only when the country as a whole puts all this together will it begin to have a chance of fighting the monster that has arisen in its midst.

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