Is George Galloway defending Islam? Or defending extremists who represent a sect in it? Or is he simply making a fool of himself? Video after the “Read More”.
Imagine a world in which a mad Cardinal, in charge of all the oil and mineral wealth of South America, was bent on creating an empire in Europe through religious orders and mission schools which he has funded. Imagine moreover, that the Cardinal was bent on building a nuclear weapon, etc. It would in the first instance be a challenge to the Catholic communities in the target countries. It would be within the congregations that the debate would be sharpest. In my limited experience, it is the dissidents of “Muslim background” and even the dissenting imams who are most at risk in the debate over Islamic extremism. I was astounded to meet Australian dissidents of “former Muslim background” who were actually living in secret addresses or moving from place to place just as one would in the old underground days. The debate within Islam is going to be settled largely by Muslims or those with a Muslim background. Which brings us to George Galloway.
Who is Galloway really talking to? Despite the “religious” themes of this debate, the audience of the Galloway interview is an overwhelmingly secular British viewership who probably feel that all religions are nonsense. It’s a theme that Galloway consciously twists to his own ends. The imams are doing, he argues, no more than preachers do when they quote the Old Testament. Radical Islam is no different from the milktoastish kind of Christianity preached by the aging vicar in the parish church. And anyone who says different is a bigot, etc.
In a sense, the debate about Islam within Britain isn’t an internal discussion within ‘Christendom’ but within secular atheistdom. Galloway’s opponent is so effective because he realizes this. He refuses to defend Christianity or Judaisim or any religion at all. He plants his feet foursquare in the secular world and simply hits Galloway over the head with the central tenet of post-modern European life: that we should all get along. The real crime radical imams are guilty of is the one of not getting along; of being intolerant; of calling for the stoning of adulteresses and gays and lesbians. It’s a crime the audience intuitively abhors. And he keeps beating Galloway over the head with this brick until the very end. It is all Galloway can do to escape with his trunks on.
But if Galloway isn’t really an advocate for Islam, then what is he an advocate for? What is this debate about? After all, what devout Muslim would actually believe that Galloway worshipped any sort of God, let alone Allah? My guess is that George is really an advocate for the destruction of his own society and hasn’t thought things through any further than that. Behind his soaring turn of phrase, George is really a simple man. Galloway used to be able to astonish and intimidate his interlocutors with his verbal audacity. Unfortunately the intervening years have raised a crop of debate opponents who not only have better tactical footwork than Galloway, but greater phrase speed and superior knowledge. In the video above George doing the equivalent of trying to bite somebody’s ear off in the ring and leaning against the ropes, hoping the bell will save him. Ultimately Galloway lost the round. But who won? One wonders.