What's Wrong With Britain?
Lately I keep coming back to Britain. Across Western Europe in the last few years, national or regional governments have instituted full or partial bans on Muslim face coverings: no niqab or burka in French, Austrian, or Belgian public spaces, ditto in Bavarian schools, in various localities in Italy, in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland, and in certain public spaces in Barcelona. On Tuesday, after a thirteen-year effort by Geert Wilders, the Dutch Parliament finally approved a French-style ban. These bans may represent only a fraction of what needs to be done to save Europe, but at least they're something -- minor if defiant gestures of civilizational self-assertion in response to aggressive emblems of conquest.
In Britain, by contrast -- well, when asked last year about a burka ban, Prime Minister Theresa May curtly ruled it out as “divisive” and discriminatory. “I believe that what a woman wears is a woman's choice,” she said, preferring not to acknowledge the well-established fact that many women and girls who walk around in 90-degree temperatures with their faces and bodies covered in heavy, dark, non-breathable fabrics are not doing so out of choice. These days, even as other countries are beginning to debate these matters and pass (admittedly tame) prohibitions, the kind of wholesale denial of reality expressed by May seems, in Britain, to be ever more deeply rooted.
Yes, they voted for Brexit -- but even Mr. Brexit himself, Nigel Farage, is notoriously allergic to even the slightest critical commentary about Islam.
For an example of what I'm talking about, take a column that appeared in a recent issue of the Spectator -- the British one, not the American one. Now, I used to think of the Spectator as an oasis of sanity in the UK, and I would like to continue to think of it that way. But this determination was severely challenged by the column in question, which actually begins as follows:
Is it all right for the Muslim parents of children at British state schools to prevent their sons and daughters from being friends with non-Muslim kids? And is it sensible? These questions have been knocking around my head like a pair of trapped moths, unable to find a way out.
First of all, let's back up a bit. If you've read the Koran, that delightful book, you know that one of its running themes is Allah's contempt for non-Muslims. Sample quotes: “Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.” “The curse of Allah is on those without Faith.” Another theme is the “torment of Fire,” the “awful doom,” the “evil doom,” the “terrible agony,” the “doom and degradation,” the “great punishment,” the “Hell-fire,” etc., etc., that awaits non-Muslims in the hereafter. Repeatedly, moreover, the Koran enjoins Muslims to avoid the company of non-Muslims: “Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your friends.” “Let not the believers take unbelievers for friends.” The Koran also makes it clear that when Muslims live alongside non-Muslims, the ultimate goal of the former should be to convert, dhimmify, or kill the latter.
The clear Koranic directives about relations with infidels explains a lot. It accounts, for example, for the existence in cities all over England of so-called “grooming gangs” -- those groups of violent Muslim rapists that, over a period of years or decades, have maintained bevies of non-Muslim girls to satisfy their carnal desires. From earliest childhood, these Muslim men have been brought up on the unworthiness of non-Muslims -- and, particularly, on the tenet that it's not just permissible but virtuous to sexually abuse female infidels. So it only follows, as night follows day, that forming stables of sex toys out of other people's children is hunky-dory.
We know, of course, that British authorities were aware of these rape gangs for a long time but failed to do anything about them for fear of being called racist. In some cities, pressure by activists eventually compelled those authorities to act against these gangs. But the same authorities have striven to minimize the scale of these atrocities, to distract public attention from them as much as possible, to deny any connection between them and the teachings of Islam, and to harass and demonize those -- most famously, Tommy Robinson -- who insist on responding to them with the appropriate degree of outrage and on pointing out their Islamic roots.
With few exceptions, the British media have gone along with all this. No matter how much evidence accumulates that Islam is incompatible with liberal secular society and is transforming Britain in calamitous ways, the media act as if the country's only real problem is the people, such as Robinson, who keep saying that there's a problem.
Which brings us back to our Spectator column. The author, Mary Wakefield, explains that she recently met two non-Muslim women whose children have been shunned by their Muslim classmates. One of the two infidel kids in question is in a class where there's only one other non-Muslim pupil. Wakefield lets that detail pass without giving any indication that she finds it at all troubling. She's also quick to say that “I’m sure most Muslim families are undiscriminating.” What makes her so “sure”? Granted, she's willing to admit that this business of Muslim kids shunning non-Muslim kids “might be important.” Ya think? But then she urges the reader to consider the situation from the point of view of a Muslim mother:
Imagine yourself to be a devout Muslim mother living in Britain. Imagine looking around at the sex, drugs; the boozing and gangs. It might well be that your child’s best hope in this world (and the next) is to keep their faith, and the best way of ensuring that is to never let them go; to control who a child plays with and talks to after school.
What to say about this excerpt, after one has growled with rage or groaned in despair? Well, the main point is that it's a perfect specimen of what would appear to be Britain's new Orwellian orthodoxy, which, one gathers, compels every good Brit to affirm that, where Islam is concerned, everything is the exact opposite of the way it really is. According to this orthodoxy -- which isn't exclusive to Britain, but which increasingly seems to have reached its fullest flowering there (and, needless to say, in poor, lost Sweden) -- it's Islamic culture that embodies virtue and decency and all good things, and it's one's own culture that represents a malignant threat thereto.
Mary goes on to recommend something called Sound Vision Foundation, which she describes as a website for “liberal Muslim parents in Britain and the USA.” Liberal, my tochis: Sound Vision, she reports, “is quite clear about the importance of restricting your child’s friendships with non-Muslims.” Mary lists some of the site's tips on this score, including the advice to “get [one's kids] married early.” Mary seems to approve, unbothered by the implicit -- or, actually, not so implicit -- endorsement of forced marriage. “It’s hard to ensure the survival of a religious community in a secular country,” Mary reflects. “It’s entirely fair to want to.” In the year 2018, this seems to be to be a distinctly British concern -- worrying not about the survival of one's own culture in this era of Islamization but worrying, rather, about the survival of Islam in one's own secular polis.
Nevermind Islam's monstrous doctrines: a good Brit is obliged to cheer it on, to hope that it thrives. And, naturally, to stick to the Orwellian line:
Look at the news. Step outside. Last weekend, as my toddler and I played in the park, there were teenage boys on bikes with face-masks on, looping about like jackals waiting, quite openly, for the opportunity to grab some poor sod’s phone. The next day, one of them tried to take my husband’s laptop from a café table. These are school-age boys. They’ll be in class on Monday. Who could blame a Muslim mother for wanting to keep her children in the fold?
Yes, that's the big problem facing Britain today. Not Muslim rape gangs, not jihadist terrorism, not forced marriage or honor killing, not the systematic Muslim oppression of women and girls, not the deeply inculcated Muslim hatred for Jews, not the readiness of a frightening percentage of Muslims to slaughter their own children for being gay or apostates or “too Westernized.” No, the big problem is the mischievous but relatively innocuous conduct of ordinary English kids, whom Mary dares to call “jackals.” In the respectable British media, writers shrink from even applying such words to Muslim rapists or terrorists. But it's okay to talk that way about English schoolboys.
Of course, Muslims don't keep their kids away from non-Muslims because they're scared of having their cell phones nipped. They do it because they view infidels as inferiors and enemies, and because they don't want their kids infected by such Western values as tolerance, sexual equality, and individual liberty.
Mary concludes, in any event, by suggesting -- ever so gently, mind you -- that Muslim kids probably shouldn't be kept entirely out of the company of non-Muslims. There's no reason, she insists, for Muslims to think they have to choose between the West or Islam: they can have both!
Other governments in Europe are beginning to recognize that this is not true -- that fundamental symbols of Islamic faith, such as the face-covering veil, are simply out of place in a modern secular democracy. But in Britain -- banish the thought!
This is a country where judges are now officially instructed to go soft on non-white criminals while coming down hard on people convicted of expressing offensive attitudes toward protected groups.
According to the Equal Treatment Guide, “true equal treatment may not … always mean treating everyone in the same way.” I don't think even Sweden is that blatant about its Animal Farm-style understanding of the concept of equality.
What is going on here? What do such twisted guidelines, and reality-defying rubbish like Mary Wakefield's column, tell us about what is happening inside the British mind, the British conscience, the British soul? Yes, there are Brits -- we've seen them turn out by the thousands at the Tommy Robinson rallies -- who reject all this madness. But millions remain silent in the face of the treason of the elites, thereby implying consent.
Have they convinced themselves that they're doing something virtuous, something Christian -- turn the other cheek, the log in your own eye, and all that? Are they terrified that anything other than a constant stream of pro-Islamic bilge will incite Muslim insurrection? (Surely the frantic official handling of the Robinson case – and the banning of respected Islam critics from the U.K. – suggest that the British establishment is trembling at the thought of mass Muslim fury in reaction to truth-telling.)
Have they really -- 1984 style -- developed a blindness to the evils of Islam and a perverse conviction that it's their own native culture that's the menace? Are they so devoted to multiculturalism that they're willing to be complicit in the destruction of any number of girls' lives -- and willing, too, to sell out centuries of British freedom, fairness, and justice -- in order to see it flourish? Are they so imbued with that famous British politeness that they dare not speak up against even the most blatant of evils? Are they just plain cowards? Or is the difference between the Brits and their burka-forbidding neighbors rooted in British imperial history? In other words, is it post-imperial guilt, fed by anti-Western schooling and the poisonous BBC, that is leading the British, in remarkable numbers, to grovel to Islam even more shamefully than their counterparts in most of the rest of Europe?