Douglas Murray

Is Britain losing the war against radical Islam?

Is Britain losing the war against radical Islam?
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Some stories are almost too predictable. Take this one.

Three schoolgirls from Britain disappear to Syria, apparently in order to join Islamic State and become ‘jihad brides’, or more precisely ‘jihad rape prizes’. There is a huge public outcry. In particular the families of the girls – and others in the Muslim communities – ask why the police did not know that these girls were planning to go to Syria. Before long Keith Vaz – never one to miss the lowest form of bandwagon – hauls police chiefs in front of his Parliamentary committee. There the police chiefs are made to apologise for not knowing the movements of the three schoolgirls. There is also much talk of the need for the British police to ‘rebuild trust’ from Muslim communities in the wake of this appalling oversight.

And then, piece by piece, the real story comes out. An early sign that something was not right could be spotted in the croc idea that the Muslim communities of Great Britain – whose leadership have spent recent years campaigning against any and all surveillance on Muslim communities in the UK – in fact expect the British police to keep such a close eye on young Muslims that they should know their intentions and movements better than the people who sleep in the room next door (ie. their own families). Sure enough it then turns out that the lawyer representing the families turns out to himself epitomise the problem. Tasnime Akunjee, who has spent recent weeks berating the police for their ‘failures’ turns out to be a man who has previously said that British Muslims should not cooperate with the British police – a very commonly expressed opinion among British Muslims. He also turns out to believe that the security services ‘created’ Michael Adebolajo who killed Drummer Lee Rigby.

Then there is another discovery — about the families of the girls, that is the people who seem to believe that the British police should know more than they do about the movements of their own daughters. In the last day we have discovered something very interesting about the father of one of the girls – a certain Mr Abase Hussen.

Just last month Mr Hussen gave evidence to Keith Vaz’s Parliamentary Committee. Indeed the committee’s report, released last week, quotes Mr Hussen’s evidence. As part of a fairly slick PR campaign Mr Hussen was also recently photographed holding a teddy bear and implying that Islamic extremism was a totally alien thing to his daughter, the 15 year old Amira Hussen. But now it turns out that the story is quite different. Some people have looked again at footage from a demonstration in London in 2012. Was this a rally calling for peace and harmony? Nope. It was a rally organised by Anjem Choudary and was a full-throated extremist rally, with burnings of American flags and everything.

Footage from this rally shows the same Mr Hussen without his teddy bear. Indeed he is marching at the front of the protest, behind a banner that says, ‘The followers of Mohammed will conquer America’. An American flag is being burned just in front of him, and also in attendance is one of the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby, Michael Adebowale.

I don’t suppose that Keith Vaz will have any sleepless nights or reconsider his grandstanding. I don’t suppose the British police will feel confident enough to ask for any type of apology, and I doubt anyone will ask for one on their behalf. But this little story funnily enough contains a microcosm of one of the most significant manias of our time. It was rather well summed up the other day in part of a piece by Newt Gingrich titled ‘We’re losing the war against radical Islam’:

‘We have been refusing to apply the insights and lessons of history, but our enemies have been very willing to study, learn, rethink, and evolve.

‘The cultural jihadists have learned our language and our principles — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, tolerance — and they apply them to defeat us without believing in them themselves. We blindly play their game on their terms, and don’t even think about how absurd it is for people who accept no church, no synagogue, no temple in their heartland to come into our society and define multicultural sensitivity totally to their advantage — meaning, in essence, that we cannot criticize their ideas.

‘Our elites have been morally and intellectually disarmed by their own unwillingness to look at both the immediate history of the first 35 years of the global war with radical Islamists and then to look deeper into the roots of the ideology and the military-political system our enemies draw upon as their guide to waging both physical and cultural warfare.’

Mr Hussen came to this country from Ethiopia and used at least part of his time here to denounce this country and campaign to radically change it. When something happens to his family his first instinct is to attack the authorities of the country which has given him sanctuary. That is not of course surprising. What is surprising is that our societies are at such a stage of weakness that we assume that it is the institutions of our society that have gone awry rather than anything closer to the girls’ home.

There are reasons for this. Perhaps we genuinely think that only Britain and British institutions can be guilty. Perhaps we think it might be more complicated than that, but look out at the situation we have allowed to come about, think ‘crumbs’ (or words to that effect) and try to delay the realisation a bit longer. Or perhaps we’re just suicidal. A society that reacts in the way ours has to the disappearance of these three schoolgirls, and sucks up the claims of their families and legal representatives so completely happily is, I think, suffering from that final possibility.

Written byDouglas Murray

Douglas Murray is Associate Editor of The Spectator. His most recent book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity is out now.

Topics in this articlePoliticskeith vaz