Here we go again. David Cameron yesterday laid out his Government’s plan to tackle an existential threat to our country. Many people were impressed – but for me, that is demonstrative of how weak our leaders have been thus far. Before I offer my alternative plan, let’s take a look at where Cameron falls short.
While acknowledging the ludicrous “nothing to do with Islam” fallacy as just that, Cameron does so merely as a method of facilitating discussion as to what represents “true Islam”. He does this while insisting of course that ISIS, and its fellow violent thugs, do not represent it. But who is to say? And if the barbaric version of Islam isn’t a valid one, why is it so widespread – including among nation-states we call our allies?
Cameron repeatedly states that it is Muslims who overwhelmingly suffer at the hands of ISIS, and this is true – but he doesn’t seem to understand that ISIS do not see the Muslims they murder as true Muslims, they see them as infidels who do not follow Islam correctly. That “Muslims are the majority of victims” is not, I’m afraid, the full story.
He points repeatedly to the “far-Right”. Given that those of us who oppose jihad, and are openly critical of the religion itself, are often dishonestly placed in to this category, are we now going to be silenced? Is the Government’s view on this issue the only acceptable one?
Some people have criticised his unquestioning use of the word “Islamophobia”. Again, my feeling is that those of us who have a different view of this problem than that of the Government, are likely to be affixed with this label.
But let’s not be entirely negative. Cameron has said there will be a review of sharia courts – this is welcome, but it is what happens during and after any review that really counts. He also made reference to the horrors of forced marriage and FGM, but do his plans to allow people to apply to the courts for protection orders, or for schools to inform authorities when children go missing, go far enough? What if nobody applies for a protection order? What happens when schools do report that a girl has gone missing – exactly what action will be taken?
His rating? Good effort Mr Cameron, but not nearly good enough. So, let me set out my alternative:
- Publicly acknowledge the legitimate scriptural basis for the barbaric acts of ISIS, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and many others. While it may be only one interpretation of Islam, it is an entirely valid one, and indeed an extremely common one.
- Condemn the horrific tyranny of Saudi Arabia and acknowledge that, in terms of cruelty, it is nigh-on identical to ISIS. While we’re at it, do not fly the Union Jack at half-mast in memory of its King; who had been one of the world’s most vicious Islamic tyrants.
- Get rid of ludicrous and stifling hate speech laws, and stop pretending that people have no legitimate right to fear, or criticise, the religion of Islam itself.
- While handing over millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money to Pakistan, how about a quite word in its ear about the continuing oppression and execution – by law of the land – of Christians in that country?
- Acknowledge and recognise the hatred of the West preached by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Indeed, to talk about confronting Islamic extremism so soon after your Foreign Secretary supported the lifting of sanctions on this horrific regime demonstrates, yet again, that you simply do not understand the religiously-motivated aims of Iran i.e. to Islamise the world and wipe Israel from the map.
- Change charity laws so that Islamist monsters don’t get to run their own little network of “courts” to impose sharia on Britain’s Muslims, and to terrorise and humiliate women as much as possible. It would also be helpful to recognise and acknowledge that such sharia “courts” are run by jihadists; many who have openly stated their aim to expand their power and to bring stonings and lashings to the streets of Britain.
- Throw out all non-British citizens who preach the destruction of Britain and the over-throw of its democracy. While we are duty-bound to protect the free speech rights of our citizens, we owe no such duty to the rest of the world; those from outside who seek to destroy us should be permanently excluded. If the ECHR objects, tell it to, er, mind its own business.
- Stop making special laws for crimes related to culture, such as FGM and forced marriage. FGM should never have been made a crime in its own right – thereby offered some “cultural” protection. It should have been robustly punished as grievous bodily harm from the get-go, and non-British practitioners deported for life. Ditto for forced marriage, which should have been punished under kidnap, false imprisonment, and rape laws. Let’s do that in the future.
- Stand up to that little coterie of Islamic dictatorships and theocracies at the UN known as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Why on earth Sayeeda Warsi was allowed to commit the UK to supporting Resolution 16/18, a plot by the OIC to criminalise criticism of Islam on a global scale, is frankly a mystery. (I have written about this before).
- Recognise the religious nature of the threat faced by Israel, and that the murdering terrorists of Hamas are driven by Islamic fanaticism. Hamas, in its founding charter, specifically states that its fight is against Jews, and yet we pretend this isn’t a factor. Why? Because if we acknowledge the religious character of Hamas, we may need to examine the scriptural basis for it…which could unearth some inconvenient truths.
- Understand and acknowledge that the horrific elements of Islam are not the preserve of a “tiny minority of extremists”. They are extremely common and have much support. The Pew Research Center has carried out the largest survey of opinion in the Muslim world. It showed that clear majorities in countries including Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, support the death penalty for apostasy and adultery. Overwhelming majorities in many countries support sharia as the law of the land. We need to face up to this reality.
- Give a clear message to Muslims in Britain that yes, this is their country, but like all people in this country, they are obliged to obey the law. Be clear – when the law clashes with Islam, the law wins. No ifs, no buts.
- Celebrate, and teach children, what is great about Britain (including England if that’s not too much trouble) and its past. Tell children about the great writers, the inventors, and the political trailblazers that this country has produced. Be rather clearer about what British values are. Let’s talk a bit more about Parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech, the rule of law, trial by jury, judicial and press independence, and gender equality.
- Let the jihadis go. If people want to go off and fight for a group that seeks the destruction of this country, do not pity them – expel them.
- Give resources to our police and armed forces. We face a global fight for our very survival – surely this fight should be our priority, and public funds directed to reflect this.
Above all Mr Cameron, grow a backbone and put the people of this country first. Do not smear those who defend it and love it as “far-Right”. Make immigration and aid conditional – those who seek to annihilate us should be entitled to neither. It is time to show leadership that the people of this country can have faith in. I’m afraid Mr Cameron, on this, you have yet again let us down.
Anne Marie Waters is the head of the Sharia Watch organisation