Douglas Murray Douglas Murray

Violence, threats and blackmail ought to have no place in politics

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[/audioplayer]I have never issued a call for violence before, and I’m certainly not going to start now. But I wonder if people might consider the following, purely hypothetical situation.

In her resignation letter over the UK government not being anti-Israel enough for her, Sayeeda Warsi backed up her ‘case’ by writing:

Early evidence from the Home Office and others shows that the fallout of the current conflict and the potential for the crisis in Gaza and our response to it becoming a basis for radicalisation could have consequences for us for years to come.’

Let us ignore for now the fact that the Home Office is today denying that any such evidence exists. It could be true. I do not think anybody is in any doubt that there are young Muslims in this country who feel very angry over the Israeli government defending its citizens from Hamas rocket fire.

Plenty of evidence certainly does exist suggesting that the war in Syria will have security consequences for years to come. As, indeed, does any intervention or non-intervention anywhere in the world where there are Muslims. We had a wave of radicalisation among British Muslims thanks to not intervening in the Balkans in the 1990s. And then we had fresh troubles when we did intervene. We found the same problem in Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and more.

In fact, it appears that there are a lot of things which can serve as ‘a basis for radicalisation for years to come.’ Nobody doubts that a lot of young British Muslims are available to be whipped up on a whole range of subjects. The question is: what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give into the grievance? Or will you explain that in a law-based democracy the only response to threats and those who issue them is the full force of the law and the wholesale opprobrium of civil society?

Sayeeda Warsi squandered an unbelievable opportunity — as the first female Muslim in the British cabinet — to explain this latter point and correct popular misconceptions among some British Muslims.

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