This lethal moral madness
Published in: Daily Mail
Our worst fears have now been realised. Four young British Muslim men, born and raised in peaceful, tension-free suburban Leeds where they played cricket and helped disabled children, travelled to London a week ago today to turn themselves into human bombs in order to murder as many of their fellow citizens as possible.
No-one in the Muslim or wider community in Leeds apparently had the slightest suspicion that any of them would ever have done such a terrible thing. They appeared to be utterly normal, regular young men. Their fanaticism was utterly invisible.
A truly appalling vista has now opened up before us. For if these four were able to hide their religious extremism so completely, fooling everyone who came into contact with them, how many more such young men may be harbouring similar feelings in total secrecy and may commit further such atrocities against their fellow Britons?
This is not just the first instance of suicide bombings in Europe. It is virtually the only time suicide bombers have targeted their own fellow citizens. Even in Israel, where suicide bombings have become so frequent, there has only been one example of an Israeli Arab citizen turning into a human bomb to murder fellow Israelis. Yet we now have to face the fact that some of our own citizens harbour an overwhelming murderous rage against their own country that makes them want to destroy it.
This terrible development poses the most acute, difficult and urgent questions about how this can have happened. For the usual alibis for suicide bombings now stand exposed as bogus. These terrorists were not foreign imports from some far distant conflict. They had not been dispossessed of any land; they did not live in the squalour of refugee camps. They were not destitute or despairing.
These were suburban boys who had been educated at British schools and had degrees, jobs, comfortable families. Yet unlike other British boys, their hopes and aspirations did not centre around the lives they were to live. They aspired instead to die, to turn themselves into human bombs in order to commit murder on a grand scale.
Above all, this poses the most urgent questions about the Muslim community from which this monstrous act has sprung. It is absolutely essential that we all find the answer to such questions if we are to have any hope at all of preventing further such atrocities.
Yet since last Thursday's outrage, this crucial debate has been thwarted by a culture of denial in which it has been all but impossible to discuss freely and properly the questions in everyone's mind. Since the bombings, many of the leading voices of British society have given the impression that they are less concerned about the atrocity that claimed the lives of more than 52 innocent people than the need to protect the Muslim community from any backlash.
Obviously, it is important to prevent any retribution against ordinary Muslims, the vast majority of whom are utterly appalled at what has happened and who themselves live blameless, law-abiding lives. But what has happened has gone much further than that. The impression has been sedulously created that this act of Islamic terrorism by four Muslim boys from Leeds had nothing to do with nothing to do with the Muslim community or indeed Islam.
Thus Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick made the astounding comment that 'Islam and terrorists are two words that do not go together'. Thus the parish priest of the church near where the number 30 bus was blown up said in his sermon last Sunday: 'We must name the people who did these things as criminals or terrorists. We must not name them as Muslims.'
As for the BBC, it has seemed determined to wrench the spotlight away from the role of Islam in these bombings and instead displayed an obsession with avoiding 'Islamophobia'. Item after item on radio and television has dwelt upon the need to avoid blaming Muslims for what happened, rather than addressing the hard questions to the community that cry out to be asked.
In doing so, it has been taking its cue from the Muslim community itself which seems to be in the deepest denial. Yes, it has certainly condemned the atrocity in the strongest terms. But in the very next breath, its leaders have effectively washed their hands of it by repeating like a mantra that anyone claiming to be a Muslim who commits such an act is not a proper Muslim, because Islam is a religion of peace.
This is the line being taken, for example, by Sir Iqbal Sacranie, general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain. In an interview yesterday on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, Zaher Birawi of the Leeds Grand Mosque said he agreed with this view - and then immediately started talking about Islamophobia.
On BBC TV's Newsnight on Tuesday, Irshad Chaudhury, a leader of the Leeds Muslim community said the four bombers were 'not Muslims at all', that people had to be taught that Islam was a religion of peace and that the term 'jihad' had been coined by the media and was not even known in Islam. Yet jihad - or holy war - is a central tenet of Islamic theology and law.
Thus four Muslim boys who committed an act of terrorism as part of a religious war against all who challenge the supremacy of Islam are presented by the Muslim community in Britain as nothing to do with them - and indeed, not even Muslims at all, on the basis that since Islam is 'a religion of peace', anyone who commits murder in its name cannot be a Muslim.
This reasoning turns both logic and morality on their heads. It also masks some deeply alarming statistics. Far from being adherents of a 'religion of peace', huge numbers of Muslims world-wide support al Qaeda - 65 per cent in Pakistan, 45 per cent in Morocco. And in Britain, where the vast majority of Muslims are opposed to terrorism, according to an ICM poll carried out for the Guardian some 13 per cent of a Muslim community of 1.6 million support it.
These numbers are horrific. And yet in the debate which has been going on for the past week, Muslims have been presented not as the community which must take responsibility for this horror, but as its principal victims.
This moral inversion is the result of the cultural brainwashing that has been going on in Britain for years in the pursuit of the disastrous doctrine of multiculturalism. This has refused to teach Muslims - along with other minorities - the core of British culture and values. Instead, it has promoted a lethally divisive culture of separateness, in which minority cultures are held to be equal if not superior to the values and traditions of the indigenous majority.
Even worse, multiculturalism causes the moral paralysis of 'victim culture', whereby to say an ethnic minority is at fault is to invite immediate accusations of racism. When Lord Ouseley reported on the 1999 race riots in Bradford, he concluded that many local people did not dare challenge wrongdoing among young ethnic minority people because they feared being labelled 'racist'.
When Ray Honeyford, the Bradford headmaster, warned strongly against multiculturalism in the schools in the eighties, he was branded a racist and hounded from his job. Now those Yorkshire chickens have lethally come home to roost.
The moral bankruptcy of this victim culture is all around us. Thus the BBC instructed its journalists not to refer to the London bombings as 'terrorism' because this was a subjective value judgment. And yet it allowed John Simpson, its World Affairs editor, to call these terrorists 'misguided criminals' an astounding value judgment which diminished the nature of the atrocity.
The problem is that this inversion of morality can be lethal. Such is the ethos of political correctness in our public services that librarians who want to complain about the potential danger of young Muslims logging onto websites instructing them in making bombs or nerve gas are told to say nothing for fear of being accused of prejudice.
All this prevents us from acknowledging the principal reason why otherwise ordinary young men turn themselves into human bombs - religious fanaticism.
The British find this difficult to grasp because of its fundamental irrationality. Yet contrary to what we are being told, this terrorism is all about religion.
It derives from a cult of hatred and death within Islam - albeit one that moderate Muslims privately abhor - whose explicit aim is to destroy the power of the west and any expression of freedom by Muslims or others which prevents the imposition of the most repressive interpretation of Islam.
Whether this represents a hijacking of the religion is matter for theological dispute. But the fact is that it has not been challenged by any leading Islamic religious authority; indeed, they have endorsed it.
This hatred is further incited and inflamed by lies and distortions about the history and present actions of the west and above all about the Jews and about Israel - a world-view based on a wholesale denial and inversion of the truth which has poisoned the minds of millions.
Even moderate Muslims believe many if not most of these untruths, thus reinforcing the lethal grievance culture which is the sea in which terrorism swims.
Yet even to say such things is to risk accusations of 'Islamophobia'. And now the government is bringing in a law against incitement to religious hatred, all in order to appease the Muslim community which seeks to outlaw altogether the drawing of any association between Islam and terror. Ironically, this law is definitely not designed to prevent extremist British imams - who, yes, are only a minority - from disseminating their bigoted hatred of the west.
This madness has simply got to stop. Our society has now been attacked in a way that means it will never be the same again, and may well be subjected to more such attacks. And yet the very irrationality and moral perversion that lie at the core of this onslaught are being used to prevent us from addressing it.
Such lethal equivocation cannot be allowed to continue. We have to tackle all the sources of this poison. London must no longer be Europe's terror factory - the 'Londonistan' in which terrorists wanted in other countries are allowed to walk freely in our streets. Publications advocating violence should be banned. Charities funding terror should be proscribed and their assets seized.
Imams preaching violence should be prosecuted or removed from the country. Extremist Islamic websites should be shut down and those who log onto sites providing blueprints for bomb-making should be arrested. Extremist groups should be banned and their leaders locked up or deported. We should have special judge-only courts for cases where evidence is too sensitive to bring to a normal trial. The Human Rights Act which has made it all but impossible to protect this country should be repealed.
But above all, the responsible Muslim community and its leaders - who are the majority - must come out of denial and unequivocally condemn the extreme interpretation of Islam that is twisting the minds of the minority of zealots in its midst.
This war for civilisation won't be won by practical action alone. What we are up against is a death cult which recruits its foot-soldiers through propaganda based on lies and distortions which inflame grievance into murderous rage. These lies emanating from extremists in the Muslim world have been further inflated by support from those in the wider community in Britain - mainly on the left - whose obsessive repetition of such falsehoods and disproportionate attention to the misdeeds of the west while ignoring Muslim atrocities have helped turn grievance into hysteria.
We have already paid a terrible price for multiculturalism and this cancer of moral inversion and irresponsibility. These are tough measures - but we must take them if our society is to be defended against this horror that threatens us all.