It was with astonishment that I read William Underhill’s report in the July 20 issue of Newsweek, “Why Fears of a Muslim Takeover Are All Wrong,” decrying the scaremongers of the world who think radical Islam is a threat to our way of life. Underhill names and shames Mark Steyn but one assumes he would also condemn Melanie Phillips, Phyllis Chesler, Nidra Poller, Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes, and little old me writing from London. Melanie, Nidra, Bat, and I have a premium on firsthand experience of radical Islam because we happen to live in Europe.
It is difficult to establish from Underhill’s screed where he lives and from what shore he writes, but his cynical piece appears to trash the views of many of the world’s most eminent scholars of modern radicalism. He asserts that the predictions by experts that Europe will soon have a significant Muslim population should be put into perspective, but then says, “Fertility rates remain higher among Muslim immigrants than among other Europeans, and Muslims may continue to arrive in Europe in large numbers.“ Being the descendant of immigrants I do not condemn this, but it is the emerging radicalism that is so perilous.
Underhill quotes a professor from Exeter University, the home of Ilan Pappe, the Israeli revisionist historian. According to Grace Davie, who is described as an expert on Europe and Islam, “The worst of the scaremongering is based on the assumption that current behavior will continue.”
Then he comes out with a doozy.
“The truth is that there are no powerful Muslim political movements in Europe, either continentwide or at the national level.” Is he nuts?
Here in Britain not a week goes by without a media story on an issue brought into the national discourse by the powerful Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Association of Britain, or Muslim Parliament. In July a meeting at Conway Hall hosted by the Centre for Social Cohesion had to be abandoned because al-Muhajiroun was successful in refusing to allow men and women to sit together. The meeting spilled out into the street and a major confrontation was narrowly avoided, but not before a huge, adoring crowd had assembled to hear the ubiquitous and influential British Muslim leader Anjem Choudary proclaim, “We will dominate this country, my brothers, and implement the beauty and perfection of Islam,” to shouts of “Sharia for the UK!”
William Underhill might wish to know that my esteemed colleague Charles Moore of the Daily Telegraph happened to say on BBC Question Time that the Muslim Council of Britain had refused to condemn the kidnapping and killing of British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. (The BBC panel had, incidentally, been discussing the shameful demonstrations by British Muslims at a military parade in Luton in March in which the protesters had held placards referring to soldiers as “butchers.”) Underhill needs to know that the powerful MCB, demanding financial compensation from Moore, has managed to elicit an apology from the BBC on its website but is now demanding an on-air apology.