Islamic terror now has a comfortable place in our political life

These days I am often reminded of a scene from the film The Godfather Part II.

Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone is in Cuba for a meeting of gang and business bosses to divide up the spoils of corrupt deals with the Batista government. Driving around the island he sees a number of Castro rebels being arrested, one of whom breaks away and kills himself and a military police captain with a grenade.

In relating the episode to fellow bosses, Michael says this tells him something about the rebels, that “they can win”. The fact that the rebels were motivated enough to die for their cause showed that they could prevail over a regime that had to pay its people to fight. (One of the other business-crime bosses present by contrast dismisses them as ‘lunatics’. Shortly afterwards the Batista regime crumbles and Fidel Castro takes over.)

In Downing Street yesterday, Theresa May as Prime Minister gave one of those speeches that are becoming familiar to us and also to her and the likes of her. Commentators praised her for finding the right words and showing the right level of resolve. She rounded it off by saying,

“And today, let us remember those who died and let us celebrate those who helped, safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win – and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail.”

I think it’s worthwhile thinking about some of these words and formulations:

  • Safe
  • Knowledge
  • The terrorists will never win
  • Our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail

There’s an awful lot of knowledge being expressed there, and it’s knowledge of the future, which is a self-contradiction, (yet is all over the place in our political life, notoriously in the economic warnings of Project Fear during the EU referendum). We don’t and can’t know these things. We cannot be sure, and we are certainly not safe in the knowledge that everything is going to be OK. Safe is the opposite of what those young concert-goers and their parents turned out to be. Given things now are not OK and have got worse over time, there is every reason to suppose they will not get better in the future.

Claiming to see into the future gives this sort of talk from May and others a cosmic character. It is the sort of talk that a religious leader would use, claiming knowledge of the future and therefore control of it, demanding the flock keep the faith and stay with her.

It’s an assertion of authority. But the resort to prophecy is also part of a pattern and a habit. We have heard it all before from political leaders past and present, home and abroad. Tony Blair was a master at it, and I think it is his example that everyone has been following since.

They have all fallen into the same way of addressing the problem: by invoking this quasi-mystical authority that they know the nature of history and can therefore tell us what to think and how to feel. Moreover, seemingly everyone with a pretension to lead is at it: issuing instructions and making demands, including that those who do not obey their demands are punished (Katie Hopkins seems to have taken this role from Nigel Farage as a sort of folk devil for progressives).

In this way, Islamic terror is now integrated into a system of possibilities and responses for those involved in our political life, from politicians to the police to community and faith leaders and the rest of us in everyday life. The patterns have been established. The responses have been prepared and are ready to employ whenever a new attack occurs.

Meanwhile the sort of people who committed the atrocity in Manchester on Monday night are not going away. They are clearly in it for the long term, and are not lacking in commitment or organisational skills. We may dismiss them as ‘lunatics’, ‘barbarians’ and ‘irrational’, but they have shown an ability to plan and execute complex and demanding military and logistic tasks in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and elsewhere – and now, increasingly, in Europe and even North America.

But what would it mean for them to win and to defeat us and ‘our values, our country and our way of life’? Theresa May and others wouldn’t be saying what she says if it wasn’t now in question.

Obviously, in the near future, there is no chance of jihadists taking over the government or mounting a coup and establishing a Caliphate in Britain or Europe. They do not have the power.

But that is probably not the point. What their actions do is to draw attention to their cause of maximising Islamic power, while re-asserting their antagonism to other sources of power which they see as threatening it (from governments ‘intervening’ in Islamic countries to little girls going to Ariana Grande concerts).

By drawing attention to their conflict, they re-create it, create opposition and thereby eke out a greater role for themselves in defending Muslims and attacking those who threaten Muslims. This role is also taken on by non-violent Islamist representative organisations. Every jihadist attack also brings attention to them and re-states their importance in public life as mediators between Muslim communities, the state and the rest of society.

It therefore gives these softer Islamists political power, leverage and some justification for their claims of victimisation, which in turn brings the forces of the state to their side in a protective role, which is something they want to extend.

Their consistent underlying message is ‘do what we say and this will stop’. Make way to our demands and the situation will come under control. Protect Muslims from attack and the extremists will no longer feel the need to respond. Stop people being nasty to Muslims. Bring in a blasphemy law to protect Islam from attack. Arrest those who criticise Islam. Ban practices which offend us as Muslims, like highly sexualised Ariana Grande songs being performed in school.

These are much softer demands than those for an Islamic Caliphate, but they are demands which wouldn't have much force would it not be for the 'problem' of terrorist attacks and the opposition which they encourage between Muslims and non-Muslims. For Islamists as well as for our politicians, Islamic terrorist attacks play a role.

While we all stand together, united against extremism, we gradually come to accommodations that pass ‘our values’ and the rest not to the extremists, but to those who use them as cover to achieve the same ends of our society and state becoming more Islamic, incrementally and without us barely noticing.

This is what defeat would look like in practice. 


  1. I suggest you read "Days of Rage". (review/commentary ). I'm listening to the audible audiobook, and every so often I have to pause the playback and think about the parallels (and differences).

  2. ''It therefore gives these softer Islamists political power, leverage and some justification for their claims of victimisation, which in turn brings the forces of the state to their side in a protective role, which is something they want to extend.

    Their consistent underlying message is ‘do what we say and this will stop’...

    but to those who use them as cover to achieve the same ends of our society and state becoming more Islamic, incrementally and without us barely noticing.''

    This is very insightful and something I only woke up to very very recently.

    These two groups - the violent and the non-violent Islamists -are two sides of the same coin. With the latter, IMO, being far more pernicious.

    This attack on the girls' concert cannot be separated for example from the grooming phenomenon. I can tell you thanks to knowing Jayne Senior - the Rotherham whistleblower - that somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 English girls have been groomed, gang raped and prostituted in organised networks of Muslim paedophiles (gangs doesn't do the organisational scale justice) the length and breadth of this country over the last 25 years. There are estimated to be 70,000 Muslim paedophiles at large - which is not so inconceivable given that each girl has been repeatedly raped by multiple men.

    They target English girls because from day one upon their arrival in this country, they have been disgusted at the freedoms that British women have and are even more appalled at our increasingly liberal sexual mores. If one talks carefully with Muslim taxi drivers,saying all the right things, one can find the deepest loathing of teenage pregnancies and even the fact that British women do not cover their heads. What this is then is a creeping form of purdah where white women are afraid to go out or let their children go after dark.

    Allied to this are the countless abuses which take place WITHIN Muslim areas. And let's be clear, when Trump said there were Muslim no-go zones in Europe, he wasn't lying. There are parts of England where it is extremely dangerous for non-Muslims to go - and it has been that way for many years. My own personal view is that the history of race relations in northern towns is completely back to front.

    Thus we have forced marriage, child marriage, FGM, honour killings and Sharia courts. Allied to that is an utter contempt for our laws as evidenced for the vast amount of drug dealing which is done from (supposedly pure) Muslim areas and gigantic amounts of money laundering and tax evasion. It is not an accident that many Muslim areas are stuffed full of kebab shops and takeaways which do a roaringly good trade yet few people seem to go in them.

    It is absolutely impossible that the authorities do not know about all this. Nor indeed the banks who accept the cash.

    On all the issues I mentioned above, the time has come to say enough is enough and the law will be applied right across the board. Every single male who has raped an English girl will be going to jail and every single one who can be deported will be deported. Every parent who submits their child to FGM will be prosecuted. Sharia courts are finished. The tax evasion and money laundering is ending. Anyone who doesn't like it is entitled to try life elsewhere. We can even help them re-settle.

    1. Thanks for your comments Dave, I will have to come back to them to read in full but one point I think is worth mentioning is that Muslims in what is a highly integrated and coherent (even if we might not like its coherence) see the social breakdown outside them and have contempt for it and the people who are experiencing it. They see few attractive possibilities for themselves outside their own communities. So it is difficult to even conceive of integrating on a local level with non-Muslims. Then they have these people offering a sense of purpose and even a form of heroism in their religion as something that will overcome what they see as a diseased society around them. These are profound social divides we have

    2. The social breakdown, or as I would call it, hypocrisy, is every bit as prevalent within their own communities as outside. Drinking alcohol, taking drugs, affairs, sexual abuse - it's rampant and a complete mistake to think it isn't and hasn't been all the long. What keeps the whole thing going is pretence: keeping up appearances within the community (and thus not reporting child abuse, rape within marriage etc. etc.) and maintaining the fictions to the outside world.

      Melanie Philips wrote about the grooming and claimed a misogynistic culture collided with 'girls from chaotic backgrounds'. This ignores the fact that countless children (not just girls) from entirely normal families have been groomed and raped. If you read Peter Mclaughlin's book 'Easy Meat' he produces scans of letters sent to parents about cars full of 'Asian' men waiting outside primary school gates. These men couldn't care who they get hold of provided they are kuffar. Girls are continually harassed on their way to school in some areas. My ex had to move out of Rusholme in South Manchester because she was being harassed on a regular basis by Muslim men. Police officers in Lancashire have long said the rape of adult age white women by Muslim men is disproportionate.

      It has nothing to do with 'social decay' and 'lack of opportunities to integrate' and everything to do with lies and self-serving justifications for abuse.

      I am more than happy to put you in touch with a number of ex-Muslims who will tell you that not only were they brought up to think white people are trash but that they were not even allowed to play in the houses of schoolmates because they were 'dirty'. It's the psychological projection of a medieval peasant mindset from Mirpur - something which the writer Binah Shaha described as ''a culture of racism, misogyny, tribalism and sexual vulgarity among men who hail from the poorest, least educated, and most closed-off parts of Pakistan".

      I am also happy to put you in contact with child protection experts like Jayne Senior MBE.

  3. Thank you for those considered words, you may find this interesting to read in relation to your last two paragraphs. By Nassim Taleb


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