We hear many claims (mainly by those who would appear to support the rabid mass migration of 2015 and the inevitable quadrupling of these mind-blowing numbers during 2016) asserting that Islamic ‘terrorism’ and ‘radicalisation’ is a phenomenon brought upon ourselves by the ‘warmongering’ actions of the West in our recent past.
The Iraq War(s), bombing in Iraq/Syria, Libyan intervention, Afghanistan invasion, etc. are paraded triumphantly by the Left Wing press as examples of incompetent foreign policy, of the brutality and murderous nature of the West, of our inability to understand the people of the Middle East or North Africa and their peaceful (but apparently ‘easily riled up’) nature.
I don’t accept that the West created ISIS, though I will concede that Obama withdrew troops from Iraq too early, leaving a deeply divided population and allowing conditions for their growth. The Shia-led government was far from ready to handle the tattered remnants of Iraq and the Sunni response was the spawn of ISIS. ISIS had a readily available quantity of ex-Saddam generals, soldiers and supporters, Sunnis with no future in the new Iraq.
I’ll also accept that ISIS are experts at recruitment PR. I don’t accept that ISIS are our only problem as many other groups (some from regions we have no military involvement in) are also emerging/expanding – Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Jaysh al-Jihad, etc.
This noisy left-wing approach includes active encouragement of the mass immigration blighting Europe, ridiculing anyone in opposition and citing humanity whilst conveniently skewing numbers to suit their rhetoric. They fail to recognise the hazardous nature of a proportion of this immigration – the terrorists, rapists, lawbreakers, extremists, etc.
To question the legitimacy of a single migrant is to question the whole migrant or refugee crisis and to appear some sort of sub-human. Simple and much-needed debate over the practical filtering of these migrants and some sort of background checks to ensure a legitimate claim for asylum has been closed by rhetorical misreporting of the whole migrant crisis by western media.
These migrants are predominantly Muslim, male, of military age and only 21% are accepted as even being from Syria. They are bringing an undesirable element amongst their numbers, with crisis after crisis emerging across Europe being attributed to their travelling companions. Terrorists have infiltrated their ranks, using the crisis as easy cover to gain access to Europe. Mass rape seems to follow in the wake of the arrival of large numbers of these men, with certain elements either coming from a background incompatible with our own or holding contempt for their ‘infidel’ hosts.
We cannot attribute the crimes of these imported savages to all of the migrants coming to our shores, or to those who have settled here in years past. We cannot turn our backs on obviously needy Syrians, camped along borders in Turkey and Jordan. We cannot label every crime committed by the undesirable element amongst migrants as something likely to be committed byany Muslim.
We also cannot ignore that the migrant invasion is bringing a serious number of unwelcome people into our midst, people who will influence our existing population in a negative way, people we would never accept under any other circumstances.
The Sunni v Shia divide
There are two main sects within Islam, Sunni and Shia. This is an ancient divide and tends to have an influence in any conflicts within the Middle East or wider Islamic world. Iran is the main supporter of the Shia faith, Saudi Arabia and her cohorts in UAE and Qatar would be predominantly Sunni.
Many proxy wars are fought in countries within the Middle East (a recent example being Yemen) between the Sunni and Shia faiths as they grapple for overall control and geographical supremacy. Saudi Arabia caused outrage lately with their beheading of a Shia cleric, showing the rest of the world how deep the divisions actually run.
This hostile divide is ignored by the West when considering the 1.1 million predominantly Muslim men we are allowing to mingle with our existing populations. We have no idea of the numbers following any particular sect of Islam, typically generalising Muslims and ignoring obvious differences.
We ignore that they cause division amongst existing Muslim communities. We ignore that they hold ancient hatred and mistrust of each other and this boils over into violence from time to time. We ignore that some of these migrants hold to extreme versions of their faith (Wahhabism and Salafism, both from the Sunni side, being the biggest danger) and they have a serious lack of respect for the host country they are entering.
We make no effort to ensure that the demographics are correct and that new entrants are being best placed within amenable communities. We simply permit Muslims to enter, then move and settle wherever they like, without considering their influence on the fragile existing Muslim community they choose to join.
Has anyone ever considered that we might be placing undue pressure onto existing Muslim communities without some basic filtering of new additions? How long can we fail to recognise the Sunni/Shia divide apparent in most wars and conflict in the Islamic world and how this affects our communities at home?
The radicalisation debate
Many socialist commentators have tried to explain the phenomenon of radicalisation amongst the Muslim population of the West (an estimated 6000 have gone from Europe to join ISIS), perhaps not meaning to ‘excuse’ it as much as they appear to, but overplaying the conditions leading to such radicalisation, including:
- Islamophobia and Racism
- Poor economic conditions and deprivation
- Social alienation
- Western foreign policy
Whilst one can understand protests and general upset at social deprivation (though I’d dispute the currently accepted ‘UK left’ definition as farcical), even almost excusing some of the historical rioting which has occurred in the UK from time to time, it is impossible to fathom how such issues can lead one to support a regime such as ISIS. Certainly such issues can cause upset, even civil unrest, but to change our basic threshold of humanity to permit the acceptance of beheadings, mass rape, slavery, murder, homophobia, corruption, etc., because we feel ‘alienated’ or ‘socially deprived’ seems a little far-fetched for even the most open of minds.
We are asked to accept that young Muslims, born and educated in the West, can feel so angered by Western military involvement in the chaotic Middle East, somewhere they feel akin to religiously but have never even visited, they can take up arms in such an extreme fashion against the very people they live amongst.
We are asked to accept that young Western Muslims are so angered at what they perceive to be murderous action by Western military in a land they have never saw, they attempt to commit even worse atrocities in response. We’ve never before accepted military action in a foreign war to excuse the murder of innocents on our own streets. We came close with some misguided support for the IRA campaign against the UK (unsurprisingly from the UK left wing and some foolish monetary support from misguided Irish-American US ‘Democrats’), but fell somewhat short of the levels we appear to have reached over the Middle East and Islamic extremism.
No, we can say radicalisation occurs in areas affected by social deprivation, simply because there is a more willing, almost captive audience, but we cannot use these as the reason behind their extremist belief or attitude.
We have to accept that all of these extremists have one thing in common – each has fallen under the spell of a firebrand purveyor of Wahhabism or Salafism (or equivalent) in a local mosque. Each of these ‘radicals’ has either been brought up in an Islamic family, but been pushed to extremes by those encountered in a local mosque, or been converted to Islam under the mentoring of an extremist preacher. The one common denominator is the mosque, not the building but those being encountered inside.
Until we increase transparency into mosques, sprouting up like daffodils across an unsuspecting West, we will find extremism always has a home. The infiltration into Western mosques by preachers sent to spread the hateful bile of Wahhabism will eventually become apparent, but only when it is too late. Until we open these mosques up, ensure we know exactly where they are funded from and introduce some methodology to filter the more extreme interpretations of Islam, we will find extremism and radicalisation has a cocoon in which to fester.
The term ‘Islamophobia’ stifles debate
Our press, under increasing pressure from overbearing (detached from reality?) authorities and infiltrated by a generation of editors incapable of accepting that there are worse people in the world than Western politicians, have fudged the debate surrounding the role of Islam and everyday (seemingly nowadays referred to as ‘moderate’) Muslims in the barbarity witnessed in the multiple ‘wars’ in Islamic countries and the terrorism epidemic this has been exported to Western shores.
Whilst we can accept that ‘extreme’ elements are the root cause of atrocities, we overlook an awful lot of behaviour we’d normally be outraged over, simply because it is perpetrated by what we deem to be ‘moderate’ Muslims. Our great ‘ally’ Saudi Arabia has been actively supported in their genocidal cluster-bombing of civilians in Yemen, leading to the death of almost 1000 innocent children. We have armed many ‘moderate rebels’ in Middle Eastern countries, only for them to become as extreme as those we’d hoped to pit them against.
The term ‘Islamophobia’ has been coined, to be used in a similar way to an overtly nonsensical redefinition of the ‘racism’ tag, and freely applied to anyone who dares attempt to link any atrocity carried out ‘in the name of Islam’ as ‘anything to do with Islam’. The inconsistent alternate use of ‘Islamophobe’ and ‘Racist’ to describe anyone questioning this out-dated religion, or the incompatibility with Western values of specific aspects of it, has led to a hardening of positions and a definitive Left-Right political split. Once the ‘Islamophobe’ label has been applied to a commentator, the regular reference to being a ‘racist’ follows quickly after. It becomes difficult to have open debate as common sense gets hidden behind impregnable ‘anti-racist’ defences.
The resurgence of a militant-looking, hard-left brand of politics amongst the previously centralist ‘socialist’ parties in the UK, and indeed across Europe, has pushed this ‘islamophobic’ labelling agenda and begun a process of redefining the right-wing to encompass a wider spectrum of opinion. Those who would have previously described themselves as central-right, with a pragmatic economic approach but a humanist and empathetic social approach, have found themselves arguing against similar labelling as traditional right-wing proponents. We’ve even seen open warfare within the UK Labour Party as the hard-line Left grapples to hold onto, and increase their stranglehold on, what was previously a central, electable political force – now sinking in a quagmire of 1970’s protest-type ideology, detached from the reality of a very different 21st century.
I’ve already written a piece about Radicalisation in the UK and how the Saudi-funded growth of the extreme Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam has fuelled a ‘hardening’ amongst some Muslims in the UK (and across the West). Since then we’ve seen a splattering of commentary whereby Wahhabism is finally gaining recognition as the cancer it has proven to be. The inability to have open discussion about this extreme and barbaric strain of Islam is perpetuating its growth and from this ‘radicalisation’ flourishes under the guise of staunch religious belief.
It is this blind ignorance towards Wahhabism (also Salafism, another dangerous cult within Islam) which is the greatest danger to the West. The automatic labelling as an ‘Islamophobe’ (or ‘Racist’) the moment one questions the apocalyptic ideology behind Wahhabism makes it increasingly difficult to create any distinction between this and the perfectly acceptable ‘moderate’ Islam followed by the vast majority of law-abiding Muslims settled and happy in the West.
The vast majority of commentators will recognise that not all Muslims are extremists, but find it increasingly difficult to make any valid points at all regarding specific elements of the Muslim faith which may need addressing.
The spawning of new terms, such as ‘Islamophobia’, has made open debate difficult. The grabbing by Left and Right for ‘sides’ in the whole radicalisation debate and the alienation of any off-message commentary has made any pragmatic call for action, against the hate being preached to currently ‘moderate’ young Muslims across the West, fall upon deaf ears.
Where does a confused young Western Muslim go for guidance?
The fear amongst increasingly alienated Muslim communities is growing, it stands to reason. An average young Muslim is thrust into a world ravaged by contradiction and extremities, yet finds it increasingly difficult to discover any avenue to question any confusion they may have. To reach out to anyone inside a local religious hierarchy, infiltrated by a much stricter approach to Islam (Wahhabism), is impossible. To dissent in any way can mean alienation, isolation and possibly even violence. To question your peers in such a hierarchy is not encouraged.
The puritanical approach to religious teaching, coupled with their increasing influence on everyday life, of Islamic religious leaders creates a rigid infrastructure in which young Western Muslims are thrust. As their rebellious stage of life approaches, they are suffering under an ever-increasing weight of religious control.
The contradictions amongst the non-Muslim majorities in most Western countries must make approaching someone from outside their faith a daunting task for a young Western Muslim. To be seen to speak out against any Muslim can be fatal for their standing inside their own community, leaving these youngsters with a head full of confusion and a growing frustration they cannot address. This leaves the weaker-willed of such youngsters to be easy prey for the recruiters to violent jihad who move so freely amongst Western mosques.
We cannot blame all Muslims for the atrocities carried out by (an ever increasing) few, but we can certainly accept the fact that ordinary Muslims are being radicalised under the gaze of Muslims who should be, but currently are not for whatever reason, speaking out against such things.
We cannot equate the newly arrived Muslim men, mostly of military age, who have invaded our shores under the protective cloak of needy refugees, with young Muslims born and educated in the West. Culturally, emotionally and behaviourally there must be a vast chasm in acceptable practice, as there is between non-Muslims and the horror they see arriving en masse.
What we must recognise is that the complete, ignorant, blanket acceptance of these new citizensis dangerous. To permit those with more extreme views, a more violent background, a less lawful upbringing, to simply integrate themselves into existing more-peaceful communities is naïve in the extreme. To expect these ‘influences’ to settle immediately into an area, already struggling to balance their faith/culture with that of the West they’ve chosen as home, without some of their less-acceptable traits rubbing off onto confused young westernised Muslims is verging on a negligent approach to our human ‘duty of care’.
Mo Ansar, a much-debated ‘moderate’ Muslim voice, described the cancer of extremism in a recent talk he gave, describing such a puritanical approach to Islam as toxic. Whilst he does approach the subject, he falls short in naming and shaming, in the way we in the West would expect. Most non-Muslims do not recognise the ‘toxic’ cancer spreading throughout Muslims in the West, they simply see Muslims. Until the divisive influences are openly talked about, the population will remain ignorant.
The rhetoric needs to stop
The pro-refugee propaganda campaign by mainstream media throughout Europe, the apparent covering up of anything untoward committed by a Muslim, the refusal to accept the obvious diversity among migrants, the constant stifling of any legitimate questioning of the numbers and logistical/demographic consequences, all contribute to the current crisis.
If we refuse to open debate, hearing from all sides, questioning the cause and potential solutions to incidents, we will not progress towards anything resembling peace. Unrest and dissent is growing throughout Europe. Muslims and non-Muslims are antagonising one another. Until we address the issue of mass migration, all of the effects this can have, how can we hope to agree any possible peaceful integration of so many (already divided) people?
References & further reading
- The Cologne sexual assaults at the centre of German politics, explained. Vox
- By scapegoating Muslims, Cameron fuels radicalisation. Seamus Milne, Guardian
- Iran didn’t create ISIS, we did. Ben Reynolds, the Diplomat
- Who is more responsible for the rise of ISIS: Bush or Obama? The National Interest
- ISIS: A monster made by the moralists of the West. Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online
- Sunnis and Shia, Islam’s ancient schism. BBC
- The British Press and Radicalisation. Radicalisation Research
- European Union Terrorism Situation and Trend Report, June 2015
- 3 million more migrants by end 2016, predicted by EU autumn economic forecast. Breitbart
- Furious charity pulls Calais camp funding after ‘migrants burn food and clothes’. The Express
- Bulgarian police discover boxes owned by Muslim refugees going to Germany and in them they find 10,000 fake passports. Shoebat.com