I wake up once more to find that there has been a terrorist attack in Britain. It’s the second in a few days. Is it the third or the fourth this year? How many such attacks have taken place in Europe in the past two or three years? I’ve lost count. Events are unfolding. Perhaps I should say nothing. But now is not the time for silence. Now is the time for some clear thinking.
This is not acceptable. The timing of these attacks is not accidental. They are an attack on our democracy. I have no idea what is going to happen next with our election, but I know what should happen. We should keep on campaigning and we should hold it on June the 8th.
We must not accept these attacks as an inevitable part of modern life that we just have to get used to. We must do whatever it takes to stop them.
Do not try to justify terrorism. The people who hate us do not need any more justification than that they hate us.
It is vital that we start calling a thing what it is. It’s no good calling the same action terrorism if it happens in London or Manchester, but the actions of “militants” if it happens elsewhere in the world. The people who hate us have the same ideology whether the attack is in Syria, Iraq, Israel or France.
Don’t side with people who hate us. The battle is the same battle everywhere. The terrorist who blows himself up in Jerusalem agrees with the terrorist who blows himself up in Manchester. The cause is the same. If you agree with either you are part of the same problem.
We must invest more money in our armed forces and in our security services. The threat to the West is at least as great as the one we faced in the 1940s and during the Cold War. It is a different kind of threat, of course, but it must be treated just as seriously. It may require a combined and concerted effort by all countries which are threatened in order to defeat an ideology that wants to destroy our way of life.
In the 1940s our fight was against Nazism, during the Cold War our fight was against communism. Our fight was not against the populations living under these ideologies, but against those who believed in them. We must make the same distinction today. Ordinary Germans were victims of Nazism. More ordinary Muslims have been killed by radical Islam than anyone else in the world. We share the same cause then and the same enemy.
We must never support any form of terrorism. I don’t care what your cause is. I don’t care how just you think it is. If you blow yourself up or commit other acts of terrorism I oppose both you and your cause.
Terrorism breeds terrorism and it’s getting worse. While in the 1970s terrorists would hijack planes, now they seek to blow them up mid-air. Where once terrorist groups took hostages, now they cut their heads off on YouTube. There is an escalation of depravity. If we don’t stop this soon, who knows to what levels these people will stoop?
At the moment the terrorists kill tens or hundreds and sometimes even thousands as was the case on 9/11. But in time they will want to kill still more than this. What if they used chemical or biological weapons? Could we stop such an attack? Can we stop one indefinitely if we keep on as we are?
The nature of our response must change. We cannot keep going through the same old sequence of lighting up buildings with a flag, making up sympathetic hash tags on Twitter. People who normally never pray are too quick to offer meaningless prayers for Manchester, London, Paris, Nice, Berlin or wherever next. We need no more shrines with cuddly toys, nor do we need pop concerts. Above all else we need no more virtue signally where everyone falls over themselves to demonstrate how caring and liberal they are. If we keep on responding in this way the problem will just continue and get worse. We need to act.
Above all this needs clear, logical thinking that is not clouded by the modern obsession of not telling the truth. Someone shouts “Allahu Akbar” and blows himself up and then everyone tells us that this has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. Sorry folks, this is self-evidently false. The terrorist may have a distorted view of Islam, he may be a perversion of Islam, but he thinks that he is acting in the name of Islam. Until and unless we tell the truth about a problem we have no means of solving it.
Ordinary Muslims however, do not follow this radical form of Islam. We must make a clear distinction. Ordinary Muslims who live peaceful lives going about their business causing no problems to anyone share a religion with the fanatics, but they don’t share an ideology. Germans who hated Nazism and Russians who hated Communism shared a nationality with the fanatics, but they didn’t share an ideology. They were as likely as not to be the victims of that ideology as anyone else.
I strongly suspect that Muslims in the UK have been responsible for thwarting more terrorist attacks in the past few years than everyone else put together. This makes them a crucial part of the solution. Islamic fanaticism is an attack on ordinary Muslims just as much as it is an attack on every other British citizen. We must find ways of identifying the fanatics and distinguishing them from everyone else.
The fight is against fanaticism. It isn’t a fight against religion and it isn’t against religious people. Moderate Muslims are no more likely to be terrorists than any other person. So let us invest in ways to identify those who hate us. When we have identified them let us do what is necessary to stop them making attacks.
We want to live in a free society where everyone is equal before the law and where we have rights. But there is a balance. I have a right to life. But it might be taken away if someone else is given the right to return to Britain after fighting for ISIS in Syria. Why should my right to life be compromised by his right to return because he has a British passport? We must make following Islamic fanaticism a crime that puts a person in prison for as long as he remains one. Islamic fanaticism must exclude a person from ordinary British life whether that fanatic at present lives here or elsewhere.
We believe that we have a duty to help unfortunate people in the world. But their right to asylum should be balanced with our right to live in safety. We should let no-one come to our country who is a threat to our safety and our way of life. We must therefore investigate each person who comes from a country where there is a prevalence of terrorist activity and attempt to determine if they are a risk or not. By all means let everyone come who can show that they are not a threat. But if they cannot, it would be far better to help them where they are than to potentially import someone who hates us.
It is necessary for the Government to introduce fair visa and asylum policies that put British security at the heart of the process. We must balance our right to live peacefully with someone else’s right to asylum and their right to travel here.
It is time to think clearly and to act. The problem is Islamic fanaticism, not Islam in general. We must make a clear distinction between the one and the other. In this way we can make our country safer for all its inhabitants. In this way we can eventually wake up without having to worry about such headlines.
This post was originally published by the author on her personal blog: