British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke at a luncheon of the Conservative Friends of Israel Monday, and boasted about banning me and others from the country.
Her high-minded tone, however, only underscored the hypocrisy and double standard – and open pandering to Islamic jihadists – that the British government has demonstrated in determining who can enter Britain and who can’t. May said:
Indeed, when I was Home Secretary we took what I believe was an important step in gauging a truer picture of the problem, requiring all police forces to record religious hate crimes separately, by faith.
And I made sure we kept extremism – including the sort that peddles anti-Semitic vitriol – out of our country.
That is why I said no to so-called comedians like Dieudonne coming to Britain.
It’s why I stopped Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer and Pastor Terry Jones coming too – since Islamophobia comes from the same wellspring of hatred.
It is why I kicked out Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada as well.
So evidently, as far as May is concerned, I’m the “Islamophobic” equivalent of Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. Abu Hamza is in solitary confinement in a super-max U.S. for, among other things, conspiring to set up a training camp for jihad terrorists in Bly, Oregon.
Abu Qatada was convicted of plotting the jihad massacre of Americans and Israelis in Jordan.
Now have I plotted to fly a jetliner into Big Ben, or blow myself up in a crowd of Britons? No, I’ve never plotted, called for or approved of any kind of terrorist or vigilante violence against anyone. And thus May’s speaking of me as the flip side of Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada is beyond outrageous: it’s so ridiculous that it should lead any competent member of the British Parliament to question her fitness to remain in office, if not her sanity.
Even worse, the British government has not been consistent in banning jihadis from the country. Just days ago, the UK Home Office admitted the Pakistani Muslim cleric Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, whose preaching of hatred and jihad violence is so hardline that he is banned from preaching in Pakistan. However, the negative publicity over this move was such that even the mosque that had planned to host him has now canceled, claiming that they were shocked! shocked! to learn that Qadri preaches intolerance, hatred, and violence.
This is the comic opera that is contemporary Britain: the Home Office is so bent on appeasing Islamic supremacists that it goes farther than even mosques in the country are willing to do.
Qadri was not a singular case. The Home Office recently admitted Shaykh Hamza Sodagar into the country, despite the fact that he has said: “If there’s homosexual men, the punishment is one of five things. One – the easiest one maybe – chop their head off, that’s the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw ’em off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth – a combination of the above.”
But the Home Office last week banned three bishops from Iraq and Syria – leaders of Christian populations that have been decimated by Muslim persecution – from entering the country.
Aside from likening me to terrorists, May’s other remarks are bad enough.
“Islamophobia,” she says, of which I am guilty and thus barred from the U.K., “comes from the same wellspring of hatred” as anti-Semitism.
The implication here is that “anti-Muslim rhetoric” — that is, public discussion of the jihad threat and what can be done about it — leads inexorably to the demonization of Muslims and ultimately to genocide. This is ridiculous, overheated rhetoric that only hinders the prospects of any genuine discussion of the salient issues, and that is probably the goal all along.
The common and hysterical claim that “Muslims are the new Jews” has been answered many times — as often as it has been asserted. Islamic apologist Karen Armstrong, Leftist “journalist” Jeffrey Goldberg, Iranian front group Board member Reza Aslan, Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman Keith Ellison, Nicholas Kristof, and Canadian Muslim leader Syed Sohawardy, among many others, have repeated it.
The blazingly brilliant Daniel Greenfield takes it apart in this video. And in 2014, Bill Maher noted: “Jews weren’t oppressing anybody. There weren’t 5,000 militant Jewish groups. They didn’t do a study of treatment of women around the world and find that Jews were at the bottom of it. There weren’t 10 Jewish countries in the world that were putting gay people to death just for being gay.” Indeed, and no one is calling for or justifying genocide of Muslims now; there is no individual or group remotely comparable to the National Socialists in any genuine sense.
Christopher Hitchens also refuted this idea when writing a few years ago about the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero: “‘Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s,’ Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times.
“Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like.”
The purpose of May’s equivalence of “Islamophobia” with anti-Semitism is to intimidate people into thinking that criticism of Islamic supremacism leads to the concentration camps, and thus there must be no criticism of Islamic supremacism. The unstated assumption is that if one group was unjustly accused of plotting subversion and violence, and was viciously persecuted and massacred on the basis of those false accusations, then any group accused of plotting subversion and violence must be innocent, and any such accusation must be in service of preparing for their subversion and massacre.
It is simply a method to foreclose on any criticism of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.
Adding bitter irony to all this is the fact that, as Pamela Geller has pointed out in her own rebuttal to May’s appalling remarks, one of the reasons underlying our ban from the country was our support for Israel – although that material was removed from the records in an attempt by the British government to cover up its own venomous opposition to Israel, as if that opposition weren’t obvious.
This issue is larger than me, or Pamela Geller, or Abu Hamza, or Abu Qatada.
Will the British people continue to allow their Prime Minister to equate legitimate opposition to an obvious and genuine threat with that threat itself, as well as with scapegoating that leads to genocide? If they do, they will be continuing to hamstring any opposition to that threat, and it will advance unimpeded and unopposed. The time, in Britain as well as in the U.S., to drain the swamp is long overdue.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.