by JAMES DELINGPOLE 1 Sep 2014
All right, so it was only a straw poll conducted among viewers of yesterday’s BBC Sunday Morning Live debate programme: 95 per cent of Britons think multiculturalism has been a failure.
But as majority verdicts go, it was a pretty resounding one – and it was delivered despite the BBC’s best efforts to muddy the waters, first by wheeling out two of the nation’s Multi Culti Apologist big guns Owen Jones and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, and second by pretending that multiculturalism means something other than what it actually means.
Multiculturalism is a very specific political philosophy which could scarcely be further removed from the idea that we should live in one big, happy, multi-ethnic melting pot and all just get along. That’s because it means the exact opposite. It’s about separatism, not integration.
It was championed from at least the 1970s onwards by effete bien-pensants like Labour MP turned Social Democrat Roy Jenkins and is essentially a manifestation of the cultural guilt and self-hatred that afflicts the left-wing chattering classes. Rather than accept the truth which to most of us is glaringly obvious – that some cultures are manifestly superior to others – it urges us all to celebrate our differences and to accept values that we may personally find alien or even abhorrent in the name of creating a fairer, more tolerant and inclusive society.
So, for example, we in liberal Western culture generally take a dim view of marrying members of your own family, female genital mutilation, forced or arranged marriages, second-class status for women, voter fraud, systematic political corruption, honour killings, the organised grooming, trafficking and rape of underage girls, and so on.
In some of our immigrant communities, though, such practices are considered more or less acceptable. (And I’m only using that “more or less” modifier out of politeness).
We know, for example, that two thirds of Pakistani mothers in Bradford are related to the father of their child.
We know that every year about 20,000 girls in Briton are considered “at risk” of female genital mutilation (FGM). (Somalis, mainly)
We know that among certain cultures – Pakistan’s, for example – that corruption is endemic. As Rod Liddle noted, Pakistani is 139th on Transparency International’s list of most corrupt countries – the higher the number, the more corrupt. And as Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has corroborated, these practices have been “imported” into some of our “northern towns and cities.”
We know that in Britain every year at least a dozen women are victims of “honour killings” – and that the justice process is often hampered by the refusal of family members or people in the local community to testify in court.
And we can, I think, take with a fairly hefty pinch of salt the notion that the rape gang phenomenon is something which the broader Pakistani-Kashmiri community in Britain finds unacceptable. If this is really the case, how come it has been allowed to persist, unchecked for up to fifteen years, across Britain on an epic scale, without the perpetrators being named and shamed by their friends, families, colleagues, their community elders or their imams?
The failure of multiculturalism is not, of course, a new thing. Some of us have been warning for years that it is a disastrous policy for various obvious reasons: it militates against social cohesion; it violates the principle that all should be equal before the law and no groups – as contra the parallel Sharia courts now operating in Britain – should be singled out for special treatment; it strains Britain’s culture of tolerance to breaking point, while simultaneously diluting the national character and rejecting those qualities which once made (and still do make, up to a point) Britain such a desirable place to live; it makes it that much more likely that FGM, honour killings, voter fraud, rape gangs and the rest can carry on unchecked.
But these sensible arguments against multiculturalism have often been drowned out by the liberal-left either with the cry of “racist” or through the more subtle, but no less effective methods of distraction and dissimulation.
We saw both the latter techniques being used on BBC Sunday Morning Live. Owen Jones – fluent political operator that he is – tried to claim the moral high ground by arguing that blaming the Rotherham gang rape phenomenon on “multiculturalism” not only lets the perpetrators off the hook but also ignores the plight of the victims. (Short answer: it does neither and if you believe it does Owen, you’re thick and if you’re only saying it for effect then you’re wicked. You choose).
Worse still, almost, was the way at one point during the multicultural debate, the show decided to canvas the opinions of two festival organisers at Mela 2014 (“Europe’s biggest outdoors South-Asian festival”), both of whom assured us that they thought “multiculturalism” was a jolly good thing without for one second grappling with the philosophical or cultural implications of the term. The impression given was that to be against multiculturalism is like being against chicken tikka masala, or bhangra, or arts festivals or smiley brown skinned people or fun generally.
But multiculturalism isn’t and never was a handy synonym for “multiethnic”. And at last, it seems, the majority of British people have twigged.
Multiculturalism is the philosophy that says the grooming, trafficking and mass rape of underage white girls by Muslim gangs is not as bad as being thought Islamophobic.
Multiculturalism is the philosophy that says it’s better to let a little African girl get tortured to death by her relatives than it is to be thought culturally insensitive or judgemental.
Multiculturalism is the philosophy whereby when, say, a grant application is made to try to save for the nation an object of incalculable heritage value like the Fourteenth Century illuminated prayer book the Macclesfield Psalter, some politically correct gimp of a grants officer asks: “And how would this be relevant to the owner of the local Chinese takeaway?”
People have had enough of this nonsense. Finally.
US jihadist fighters returning from conflict zones pose a “very serious threat” to US national security alongside British and Canadian nationals that also fought oversees as they can freely enter the American soil, top politicians say.
It is impossible to track every single person who might have visited a conflict zone such as Syria or Iraq, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers said, expressing concerns over American, British and Canadian jihadist fighters who potentially can pose a very serious threat to the US.
“I’m very concerned because we don’t know every single person who has gone and trained and learned how to fight,” Rogers told Fox News Sunday, urging the White House to aggressively prosecute Americans who had trained overseas.
Hundreds of US citizens had gone overseas, Rogers said, in addition to some 500 British citizens and hundreds more from Canada.
“The chances of error are greater than our ability to track every single area. It’s a very serious threat,” he said.
Meanwhile, he noted, the US is tracking “pretty serious” threats of planned attacks in the West by al-Qaeda.
Another member of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, echoed Rogers’ assessment.
“The biggest threat that I see to the United States right now are Americans and Brits who have passports that have the ability to come into our country without getting a visa,” Ruppersberger told CNN’s State of the Union program.
“We had the suicide American bomber who was radicalized, came home to visit his parents, went back and then killed himself. Now, that could have happened in the United States,” Ruppersberger said, referring to a man who became first known US suicide bomber after blew himself up in an attack in Syria in May.
On Saturday, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for an international coalition to combat the Islamic State and its “genocidal agenda” on a larger scale, as the US continues to hit jihadist positions in Iraq in limited airstrikes.
Over in Europe, Germany, which estimates to have at least 400 of its nationals fighting alongside extremist forces announced that it is facing an “increased abstract threat” while the government approved $70 million budget for arming Kurdish forces deterring IS in Iraq.
In Britain, meanwhile on Friday, authorities raised the terror alert level from “substantial” to “severe” over fears of possible jihadist attacks. A response is needed urgently, said British PM David Cameron, as the UK and its allies “could be facing a terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean bordering a NATO member.”
A British mother of two and former musician, who is believed to have gone to Syria to join the militant terror group Islamic State with her jihadist husband, has threatened to “behead Christians with a blunt knife.”
Calling herself Umm Hussain al-Britani, the woman has been identified by investigators as Sally Jones, from Chatham in Kent, a former member of an all-girl rock band.
She warned, “You Christians all need beheading with a nice blunt knife and stuck on the railings at Raqqa … Come here I’ll do it for you!” she wrote in a tweet which has since been deleted from her Twitter account.
It is believed that Jones, 45, married British computer hacker-turned jihadist Junaid Hussain, who is 25 years her junior, after an online romance. The couple is said to have travelled separately to Syria to join Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIS or ISIL.
The reference to Raqqa, an IS stronghold in northern Syria, relates to an ambush carried out by the militants last month, where at least 50 Syrian soldiers were executed and had their severed heads impaled on sticks around the city.
On August 10, Umm Hussain tweeted that she and her husband are now living in the ‘caliphate’ after being stuck in Idlib, north-western Syria, for seven months.
Her husband Junaid Hussain, 20, from Birmingham, fled to Syria earlier this year despite being on police bail. He travelled together with Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 24, a former rapper from west London. Bary reportedly posted an image of himself holding a severed head on Twitter with the caption: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him” last month.
In 2012, Hussain was jailed for six months for stealing sensitive information from an adviser of Tony Blair and blocking a government anti-terrorist hotline with prank calls. He is now thought to be helping the terror group with his hacking skills.
Both Hussain and Barry are potential suspects in the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Hussain, who tweets under the name Abu Hussain al-Britani, is pictured with a scarf over his face and a rifle in his hands.
In the early 1990s she was the lead guitarist in an all-girl rock band called Krunch, which played a series of gigs in southeast England. A video on YouTube from the early 1990s which has since been deleted showed her wearing a leather mini-skirt and playing guitar and singing.
One neighbor said Jones was very “scatty” and that “everything was always a drama, her children were unruly and she was extremely loud. Men came and went but she lived mainly as a single mum with her two boys,” the Daily Mail reported.
It is unknown what happened to her sons, said to be aged around 10 and 14.
Meanwhile, Muslim leaders in Britain have issued a fatwa, an edict issued by a learned Muslim scholar, condemning those who fight for extremists in Iraq and Syria.
Six senior Islamic scholars have reportedly endorsed the fatwa, describing Britons allied to IS cells as “heretics.”
It also emerged that one of IS’s key financiers was the director of a Muslim faith school in Birmingham, the Daily Mail reported.
The Islamic cleric, Dr Nabil al-Awadi, partly resided in south London until last year. He was recently stripped of his Kuwaiti citizenship after it emerged that the Kuwait Scholars’ Union, which he was the president of, channeled tens of millions of dollars to IS and other jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq.
A British student has thrown in his lot with hundreds of UK citizens fighting with the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), bragging of joining the “golden era of jihad” in a new online video.
In the video, 21-year-old Londoner Hamzah Parvez called on fellow Muslim Britons to “come to the land of jihad and shout Allah,” while claiming he has been fighting with the IS for five months.
“This is the golden era of jihad,” says Parvez in a thick London accent, his face hidden behind a black scarf. “What are we doing sitting in the UK? Sitting in the land which kills Muslims every day. What are we doing in their lands? It is not the lands for us.”
This is the latest video to emerge since James Foley, a US freelance journalist captured by militants in Syria in 2012, was beheaded on film by another British jihadist.
In it, Parvez urges other British Muslims to join the foreign fighters, where there are “jobs for doctors, nurses, architects, builders, even for street cleaners in the Islamic State.” The footage is thought to be the first of a British citizen fighting in Iraq rather than Syria.
‘I have no plans to come home’
It is alleged that Parvez, who came from a stable West London background, convinced his family to pay for a study trip to Germany. He then slipped out of Europe and traveled to the Middle East to join the estimated 2,000 foreign fighters in the region.
His family is speaking out to warn against the dangers of radicalization among young British Muslims. A member of the Parvez family told ITV News of their devastation at his decision to abandon his home and join the IS, and that the ‘swaggering militant’ bore little resemblance to the brother and best friend they remembered.
“That’s not my brother. My brother doesn’t act like that,” one family member said. “My brother doesn’t call people to do violence against others. I don’t recognize him. That’s just the same body, it’s not the characteristic of my brother. It’s not the way he speaks. It’s not the way he acts. It’s not the way he addresses people. That’s not my brother.”
The family says Parvez called them this week and admitted he was fighting with ISIS, but laughed when confronted about his lies. One brother says he asked, “Can you admit that you lied to us? Can you say it to us that you are sorry? And he said I’m sorry and the way he said it, he laughed. I felt like he didn’t mean it.
“He said, ‘I have no plans to come home.’ My sister asked the question ‘What if your mum or dad died?’ He said ‘I would pray for them.’
“That’s when I lost it. I started shouting at him, I started swearing at him, ‘These are your parents! These are the people since day one have been there for you, and you say you wouldn’t attend their funeral and why? Because you want to serve this stupid leader, this self-proclaimed leader, over my parents,’” the brother said.
Around 30 UK citizens every month are now traveling to Syria and Iraq across the frontier, in a journey dubbed the ‘Jihad Express’. About 500 British citizens are believed to have traveled to Syria to join militant groups, though some have estimated that figure could be up to three times higher.
The issue of preventing extremism in the UK and how to stop British citizens traveling to the Middle East to join extremist militant groups has generated controversy. As UK Special Forces seek the British-born Islamic State jihadist suspected of murdering Foley, the government is redoubling efforts to stop Brits from joining militants and to prosecute those who return.
‘Prevent’, part of the government’s broader counter-terrorism strategy, aims to “stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism,” by mentoring people that are at the risk of “being drawn into terrorist activity.”
Home Secretary Theresa May has proposed changes to the law to target extremists and radicalization in the UK. She said she was “looking again at the case for new banning orders for extremist groups.” She has also publicly reiterated her office’s ability to strip Brits fighting abroad of their citizenship.
NORVELL ROSE — AUGUST 29, 2014
For the first time since January, 2010, Britain has raised its terror threat level — to SEVERE — an extraordinary move indicating an attack is “highly likely.”
Business Insider reports that Britain’s Home Secretary, Theresa May, just announced the rise in threat level.
It’s the fourth-highest of five potential threat levels. According to the U.K. government, it means an attack is “highly likely.” But there is no intelligence to suggest an attack is imminent.
May said the threat level was raised in general because of the deteriorating situation in Iraq and Syria…. May said, however, that there was no specific threat to Britain that caused the raise in the terror level.
“The increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West. Some of these plots are likely to involve foreign fighters who have travelled there from the UK and Europe to take part in those conflicts,” May said.
British officials say that hundreds of U.K. citizens are believed to have joined ISIS forces in Syria and Iraq — citizens whose return to their homeland could present a grave threat.
At least 400 people from Britain have traveled to Middle Eastern regions to join ISIS, according to Prime Minister David Cameron. Western officials have warned about the possibility of ISIS fighters holding Western countries’ passports traveling back to those countries to plan and possibly launch attacks.
Meantime, as our close ally across the Atlantic prepares itself for a possible terror attack, President Obama is off on another “fundraising spree”, as the New York Daily News describes Obama’s Labor Day weekend activities.
Obama is scheduled to attend two Westchester fundraisers Friday before flying to Newport, R.I., to help raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Of course, this is typical Obama scheduling in the midst of international crises, and in the wake of a news conference for which he is severely criticized — that “we have no strategy” for dealing with ISIS news conference. Time describes Obama’s starting remark as “the worst of Washington gaffes.”