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Keep calm and carry on denying

Jane Kelly

Mother Theresa II takes the veil

I was in the Mall Gallery yesterday looking at some rather humdrum English landscapes and still life. It’s a pleasant place with a nice cafe just near Admiralty Arch, and I usually enjoy meeting friends there, but for once it wasn’t a good place to be. It’s also near Westminster. After about half an hour drifting about wondering why so few people can paint anymore, mayhem crashed in from outside. Someone heard guns shots, I don’t think I would recognised them, and a security guard appeared in the doorway telling us to keep  inside. People from the street rushed in to join us, for their own safety. We didn’t know it had been a police special squad shooting, so an unspoken thought came to us, clear on people’s faces, that there could be a Jihadists outside or nearby.

A few of us, smiling and joking went to look at the loos wondering if they might be a good place to hide if anyone came in with a machine gun. They weren’t. There was nowhere to go and for a time we couldn’t get out. Like people in offices all over Westminster, including the BBC reporter Laura Kuenssberg, we all had to sit tight. It was best to just forget about the risk looming outside on this Spring day and go back to looking at the sentimental images and our mobiles.

I contacted the editor of the Salisbury Review as some of the editorial staff and readers were meeting at 6pm at the Athenaeum. He made a few jokes about my dying as a martyr for the magazine, and thereby putting the circulation up, then realised it was serious and decided that the social event had to be cancelled. Some people were on their way from Manchester and coming up from Devon. When all was deemed safe and they let us out again I made a dash for the bus home. I was worried they might start closing the tubes and it wasn’t nice travelling on them, everyone was very tense.

Perhaps surprisingly this was my first experience of a terrorist attack. In 2015, a total of two hundred and eleven completed, failed, or foiled terrorist attacks were reported by EU states, resulting in one hundred and fifty one fatalities (148 in France, 130 of them in the November 2015 Paris attacks.) Over three hundred and sixty people have been injured. To that we can now add twenty more, including French school children.

Last September Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, pointed out in case we’d missed it, that the threat of terrorist attacks are ‘part and parcel of living in a big city. ’ He encouraged Londoners to be vigilant to combat dangers, without saying exactly how.

He revealed he’d had a bad night after previous bombings in New York, but opined usefully that the world ‘has got to be prepared for these sorts of things,’ to happen when people least expect them.

So, Muslim culture has not yet been normalised in the UK, despite the best efforts of liberals and the Church of England with its all enveloping ‘interfaith dialogue,’ but Islamic terrorism is now normal. I know older people who were children during the war. One of them told me yesterday, ‘People used to go home to find their houses were gone. But they just went to work the next day and carried on.’

After cooking a hearty breakfast on a primus stove in the rubble no doubt. But when he says terror is part and parcel of daily life, something to be expected, I don’t think Khan is really talking about the famous British stiff upper lip. To my ears, his words speak of a required tacit silence about violence, an almost passive acceptance that we now have to have it, in the same way that people on the Left used to insist that a high crime rate was a price worth paying for social ‘freedom.’ We have to have terrorism in our cities because a proportion of Muslims here and abroad believe they are victims and want it.

The big difference between then and now, between Nazi aerial attacks, Irish bombs and one off extremist nutters, is that with Muslim terrorism we are not supposed to oppose the enemy. Instead he is to be given understanding and as far as possible accommodated.

This was confirmed on the extended BBC News at 10am last night when a high ranking member of the Met Police told the BBC that the force would, ‘Seek to reassure the Muslim community,’ after the suffering they’d endured due to, ‘Right wing extremism.’

What exactly this extremism amounted to I don’t know. Perhaps the fiendish capitalist press has kept it away from me. This morning on the Today Programme Muslim leaders were criticising the police Prevent programme which aims to prevent youngsters being radicalised, like the home grown soldier for the Caliphate yesterday. It was obvious from their reaction to the police initiative that they want to police themselves, and will brook no interference from outside. Most Muslims in our cities live in impermeable ghettos and like it that way.

This was followed by the recantation of a popular liturgy from the day before. From Mrs May through Sadiq Kahn, Liam Fox who called for, ‘tolerance,’ and others, it was proclaimed that we will not let the terrorists, those unknown, deeply mysterious blokes who we cannot control, divide our ‘communities.’ That means of course, but is never said, Muslims from the rest of us.

England, that is the most densely populated part of the UK, as anyone knows who really lives in it, using state schools and healthcare, public transport rather than taxis or limousines already completely divided and Byzantine in its complexity. For centuries it has been divided by class. The castes rarely meet or intermarry and do not even converse happily if they can help it. Since the 1960s we have been increasingly divided by ethnicity, which can be related to class but is chiefly now about the protected belief system of the Muslims. No one lives together, no one can. Only politicians and clergypersons weave this disingenuous fantasy that things are otherwise.

Khan began again, spinning out further his fantasy of England and its people, telling us that most terrorists are not from any faith group. He added that, ‘We celebrate each other.’

He’d like it to be like that of course, most of us would. But for anything like that to happen Islam will have to reform itself and change its approach to living in the West, in western cities. We would also have to insist that they do this, or tell them to leave. What are the chances of that?

 

 

 

6 Comments on Keep calm and carry on denying

  1. Dear Lady,

    While it is commendable to think that a religious reformation could turn Islam into a Creed more accommodating to Modern World.
    However, I find this (rather common) hope to be wishful thinking. I present two arguments for this:

    Firstly, as a believing Lutheran, I readily admit that the Reformation did not bring about an era of peace and understanding in Europe – rather the opposite. Religious wars of Early modern Europe need not, I believe, to be recounted here.

    Secondly, Islam has already experienced a Reformation of its own: Salafism, first developed in Arabia in the 18th century, demanding “pure” interpretation is a reform movement if any: might I add that this very school of Islam is oftentimes behind terrorist attacks in one way or another.

    Demands of casting aside corruptions and taking on more rigorous following of the Scripture is what religious reforms are about, not secularization, whatever secularized West wants to believe.

    • Time to say it…Muslims must leave the UK and, in earnest, must leave the EU. The USA will come to the same conclusion…..these barbarians do not belong here.

  2. Not only does he live in London, he is also a Muslim. Khan has no clue. Like the other politicians he lives in a bubble. There has never been a real ‘we’re all in it together’.

  3. It reminds one of Harry Potter doesn’t it? ‘He who must not be named’, yet everybody knew it was Voldemort & anyone who said his name was quietly hushed up. Another thing that must not be named is ‘what effective measures are we going to take about the Islamic terrorist problem’ which shouts out tacitly from this article but dares not to state itself in so many words. Well I will name Voldemort, the thing that the article dare not say, perhaps we need to consider a stop on all further Islamic immigration to this country & start mass deportationns. We are at war.

  4. “I contacted the editor of the Salisbury Review as some of the editorial staff and readers were meeting at 6pm at the Athenaeum.”

    It’s a shame it had to be cancelled. I last visited London thirty years ago, and I hope I’ll never have to go to the Great Wen again, but we who dwell in rural England can tolerate the existence of London if we know that the Athenaeum still exists, and that SR contributors meet there.

    Even in a city that has been almost completely taken over by the enemies of civilisation, the Athenaeum and the SR survive.

  5. The principle at the heart of the West’s failure to admit or confront the danger posed by Islam is the pernicious doctrine of cultural and moral relativity: the belief that no culture, ethnicity or religion can be said to be better or worse than any other. They are all just different.

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