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The Upside-Down Morals of Today's Britain

In early 1999, when I first became aware of the Islamization of Europe, I didn't think that nineteen  years later I'd be worried more about the future of the UK than about that of any other nation in Europe.

Consider this. Martin Sellner is a leader of a group called Generation Identity, which is opposed to the ongoing Islamization of Europe; Brittany Pettibone, his American girlfriend, is a well-known online commentator on this topic. Both are law-abiding believers in liberty. On March 9 they flew to Britain. He intended to give a speech about freedom of expression at the legendary Speakers' Corner in London; she intended to interview Tommy Robinson, another prominent critic of Islam. Instead of being allowed into the country, however, they were taken into custody, handcuffed, led through the airport in those handcuffs, separated from each other, and locked up in a detention center alongside hardened criminals. Many of their cellmates were Muslims, some of whom, had they known who Sellner and Pettibone were, could have done them great harm. On March 11, after two days in detention, the couple were flown out of the country.

They weren't alone. On March 12, Lauren Southern, an author and anti-Islam activist from Canada whose YouTube channel has nearly half a million followers, tried to enter the UK via Calais. Instead of being admitted, she was escorted into a room by Kent police, who, citing the Terrorism Act, informed her that she had no rights (including the right to remain silent), interrogated her about her political and religious beliefs, asked her what she thought about Islamic and right-wing terrorists, and demanded that she hand over her phone and tell them her access code so they could read her text messages. (She refused.)

Southern was eventually told that she would be denied entry into the UK because of her participation in a “racist” event the previous month in Luton, where, having noticed that it's okay to say Jesus was gay, she handed out flyers saying that Allah is gay. This, the Kent police told her, had been an act of “racism.” Two days after her expulsion, Southern was at the European Parliament, where an MEP from Kent, Janice Atkinson, pointed out that as a Canadian, Southern carries a passport in which the Queen of Canada, who is also Queen of the United Kingdom, requests that the holder be permitted free and unimpeded travel. The same valiant British cops who put so much energy into interrogating and intimidating Southern, noted Atkinson, have “allowed 500 jihadis to slip in.”

Of course, this isn't the first time that critics of Islam have been banned from Britain. Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were denied entry in 2013. A government spokesman explained at the time that their presence on the scepter'd isle would not be “conducive to the public good” and that the British state condemns “all those whose behaviours and views run counter to our shared values.”

The New York Times ran two very brief reports about the bans on Sellner, Pettibone, and Southern, echoing the Home Office's description of them as members of the “far right.” In its own rather long article, the BBC's website quoted government documents maintaining that their activities posed “a serious threat to the fundamental interests of society” and that they were “likely to incite tensions between local communities in the United Kingdom.” The BBC also cited, as if he were an objective observer, Nick Lowles, head of Hope Not Hate, which the BBC identified as an “anti-racism campaign.”

In fact, Hope Not Hate is a far-left group whose entire raison d'être is to whitewash Islam and demonize its critics. It was Hope Not Hate that pushed the British government to ban Spencer and Geller; in 2012, it issued a “Counter-Jihad Report” the cover of which, unforgivably, juxtaposed pictures of David Horowitz and Geert Wilders with a photo of gun-toting Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik. The guiding philosophy of Hope Not Hate is that it's not jihadist ideology, but disapproval of that ideology, that leads to violence: for these people, even the most rational, dispassionate criticism of Islam amounts to hate. (Sellner, Pettibone, and Southern, said Lowles, were “peddlers of online hate.”) The BBC article went on to say that the three activists had been “prevented from entering the UK at a time of rising concern about far-right violence” and “far-right terrorism” -- the implication being that these three commentators are indeed engaged in activities that could result in terrorism and violence.

As it happened, on the same day that Lauren Southern was denied entry into the UK, and the day after Sellner and Pettibone were put on a plane, the Mirror reported on yet another British child-grooming scandal. Readers may recall that in 2010-11, a series of articles in the Times of London brought attention to Rotherham in South Yorkshire, where 1400 girls (out of a town population of about 100,000) had been repeatedly raped by gangs of Muslim men since the late 1980s. Although police, social workers, and other authorities had long been aware of this activity, they had failed to take action against it, or to speak publicly about it, for fear of being called racists. In 2012 and 2015, a somewhat smaller-scale child-rape scandal had led to a number of prosecutions in the Greater Manchester borough of Rochdale, which also has about 100,000 inhabitants.

Only a fool would have believed that Rotherham and Rochdale were the only places in Britain where gangs of Muslim men were engaged in organized child rapes. The phenomenon is only to be expected, after all, in places where there are significant numbers of young Muslim males as well as significant numbers of infidel children -- children who, being infidels, are viewed by sharia as fair targets for sexual assault by Muslim men. It has long been recognized by those with any knowledge whatsoever of Islam that there is probably widespread grooming activity (which is, after all, essentially a form of jihad) in pretty much every British locality with a sizable Muslim presence, and that it will only be a matter of time before the media in these places break the news.

But on to the current child-rape scandal. The setting is Telford, Shropshire. As many as a thousand children in the town, which has about 150,000 residents, may have been exploited over the last forty years by Muslim sex gangs who, as the Mirror put it, have “lured [them] from their families” and then “drugged, beaten and raped” them.

When I searched on March 14 (and again on March 16) for references to “Telford” in the New York Times, I found several news items about people named Telford, but nothing about the Mirror's exposé. The BBC website did run a story, in which Telford police chief Tom Harding, rather than apologizing for forty years of shameful inaction on his department's part, actually complained about the fact that the Mirror was “discussing cases from 20 or 30 years ago.” How dare they! As has been the case with many British police officials before him, Harding's remarks didn't even touch on the victims' plight; it was as if their suffering was barely real to him. By contrast, he was obviously upset that perpetrators of mass child abuse were, yet again, being identified publicly as Muslims (or, as the British like to put it, “Asians”). This, too, is a familiar affliction in the upper echelons of British police departments -- the tendency to appear to care, above all else, about whether the bringing of a given criminal case might inflame the “Muslim community.”

One of Harding's feeble comments to the BBC was this: “I don't believe Telford is any worse than lots of places across England and Wales.” On that point, unfortunately, he's probably correct: this evil stuff is surely happening all over Britain. But what's his point? That his department's decades-long failure to address an epidemic of child rape is somehow justifiable because cops in other cities have been equally cowardly?

The bottom line here is that today's Britain is an Alice-through-the-looking-glass nation. For decades, while Muslim men have been carrying out systematic rapes of non-Muslim children, police departments have refrained from arresting them for fear of being viewed as Islamophobes; meanwhile, the same police departments have been lightning-quick to arrest, detain, handcuff, harass, humiliate, and refuse entry to foreigners who have traveled to Britain precisely to speak up against these outrages.

Yes, similar outrages are taking place across Western Europe. But Britain is -- well, it's Britain! It's the nation that, during World War II, stood alone under Churchill in defense of its own freedoms, the nation whose first woman prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, stood shoulder to shoulder with Ronald Reagan during the decisive last act of the Cold War. But of course, as Reagan himself famously reminded us, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. … It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Alas, even Thatcher, who concurred fervently with that proposition, was unable to stem the long, red tide of postwar socialist brainwashing that transformed Britain from a fortress island, proud of its heritage of freedom, into a technocratic welfare state that trains its people to revere not liberty but “diversity” and the NHS. Yes, Brits voted for Brexit, which shows that at least a slim majority cherish representative democracy and national sovereignty. But their major political parties, their schools and universities, and their “respectable” news media (notably the BBC) are at least as crippled by multicultural ideology as are their counterparts in any other nation in Europe.

On May 12, the day after Sellner and Pettibone were kicked out of Britain, they were interviewed in Vienna by Tommy Robinson. Pettibone told Robinson that some of the border-control officers who'd detained them in Britain had privately expressed agreement with their views but had said that they dared not speak out publicly on these matters for fear of losing their jobs. “The British people, we just suffer in silence,” one of them told Pettibone. “It's just how we are.” Pettibone replied that if they remained silent “it's only going to get worse. You have to act in some way, or you're going to incrementally lose your freedoms. One day it's going to affect you. … So you might as well stand up now. Because you're only losing every day.”