Whenever there’s another terrorist atrocity like the one in Stockholm last week, and the one in Alexandria on Palm Sunday, and the one in St Petersburg a few days before, and the one in London the week before that, we often ask ourselves despairingly what on earth we can do to make a difference.
Well, I’ll tell you exactly what we can do. It occurred to me after interviewing this week’s Delingpole podcast guest – the founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson.
The interview itself was fascinating. I urge you to listen if you haven’t already: whatever preconceptions you may have about Robinson, I think you’ll be appalled by the way he has been scapegoated and maltreated by the British authorities, charmed by his honesty, and bowled over by his courage in the face of extreme danger.
But what I found even more illuminating was the response from all those people out there who wanted to tell me that Tommy Robinson was a disgusting individual whom I should never have interviewed (either for Breitbart or for a separate piece I wrote in the Spectator) and that my decision to do so made me a despicable fascist.
Here are some examples:
Douglas Lloyd is a barrister and lecturer on crime, regulatory law and human rights.
— Douglas Lloyd (@DouglasLloydUK) April 10, 2017
Gerry Hassan is a Scottish writer and academic who organises a literary festival called Scotland’s Festival of Ideas.
— Gerry Hassan (@GerryHassan) April 9, 2017
Joe Cook describes himself as a Newshound/Politico.
— Joe Cook (@joecooknow) April 10, 2017
James Hawes is the Oxford-educated author of books on Germany and the “far right”.
— james hawes (@jameshawes2) April 10, 2017
Hadley Freeman writes on fashion for The Guardian.
— Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) April 10, 2017
Dr Zubaida Haque is a “researcher and policy pro” with “lots of experience in government and evaluations” who currently works for the leftist, anti-racist think tank the Runnymede Trust.
— Dr Zubaida Haque (@Zubhaque) April 9, 2017
You get the idea.
Now, has anyone noticed what the problem is here?
I’ll tell you. Here we have a fairly representative sample of where Britain’s chattering classes are on the issue of Tommy Robinson: lawyers, academics, political activists, think tankers, journalists…
And they all take a similar line. Tommy Robinson is so repellant an individual that he has no place in respectable journalism. Anyone who takes his side is disgusting. Editors who publish anything on him should be ashamed of themselves. Etc.
Now even if Tommy Robinson were as bad as they say, I’d still find something troubling about their position. If you believe in freedom of speech then that includes the freedom of people you think you disagree with to make their opinions heard. And how can you possibly know whether or not you do disagree with them unless you know what it is they actually believe?
Furthermore, as they would have found out if they’d listened to the podcast – which obviously they hadn’t – Tommy Robinson has a lot of very sensible things to say on the subject of Islam. And I don’t mean the kind of rabid, “Islamophobic” ranting which exists only in his critics’ imaginations. I mean straightforward stuff, like his observation – based on personal experience – that British prisons are a hotbed of Islamist radicalisation.
This isn’t hysterical and partial opinion. It’s empirically testable truth, as confirmed by Ian Acheson, the former prison governor tasked by ex-Justice Secretary Michael Gove with leading an independent review into the threat of Islamism in prisons.
Prison is an ideal environment for the death-cult ideology of Islamist extremism to flourish. If you confine violent, credulous and impulsive young men hunting for power and meaning with charismatic and psychologically manipulative extremists, you have the right ingredients. Add in the grievance narrative that is the IS trademark, a dash of conspiracy theory, and lace with the glamour of extreme violence and you have the perfect recipe for Islamism.
We saw it taking hold in several prisons. We had corroborating evidence from hundreds of staff who felt unsupported and lacked the skills to cope with this new challenge. Worse still, we were told on countless occasions that prison officers did not confront hateful ideas on the landings for fear of being accused of being racist by Muslim prisoners. Without any credible counter–narrative or effective staff training, the infection of Islamist extremism was — is —spreading through the system unchecked.
In our podcast interview, Robinson argued – as Acheson does – that non-Muslim prisoners need to be housed separately from Islamist ones so as to avoid the threat of radicalisation.
Robinson also noted, elsewhere in our conversation, that the Westminster Bridge killer “Khalid Masood” – the terrorist formerly known as Adrian Russell Elms – had been working as a language teacher in a radical mosque called Luton Islamic Centre, known for publishing extreme material, and run by radical Jihadists. As subsequent research in The Sunday Times by Andrew Gilligan has shown, Robinson had got his details absolutely right.
Yet this was contradicted by the version of events we heard from The Guardian which – quoting the head of the Islamic “language school” where Masood had taught – reassured us that Masood was an “apolitical” man who showed no interest in radical Islam and was “a charming, friendly and professional employee who was open about getting his life back on track after a violent past”.
So who should we trust to give us the most accurate information on such issues?
Should it be The Guardian, a newspaper which appears to be quite unfamiliar with the concept of taqiyya – the Islamic practice of lying to one’s kuffar foes – and which sometimes gives the impression of taking its information straight off the press releases issued by Islamist sympathisers?
Or should it be from someone like Tommy Robinson who knows Luton, knows of all the local radicals, grew up with many friends who have since been radicalised, and has experienced at the sharp end the growth of political Islam on the streets of inner city Britain and actually inside prison?
In the view of the bleeding hearts I quoted above, we shouldn’t have the option. According to Douglas Lloyd, Gerry Hassan, Joe Cook, James Hawes, Hadley Freeman, and Zubaida Haque, Tommy Robinson is so far beyond the pale of civilised discussion that he shouldn’t even be granted a voice.
So strongly do these upstanding members of the liberal intelligentsia feel on this issue that they feel proud to go online and bully and sneer at anyone who dares give Tommy Robinson a voice. Note the vicious personal nature of some of those attacks. To Joe Cook, I have a “frothing gob”. To Zubaida Haque, I am essentially a “racist”. To Hadley Freeman, I’m not a fellow journalist doing what journalists are supposed to do – only a “professional contrarian”.
They are using a classic Alinskyite technique. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.” Rather than listen to what Tommy Robinson has to say, they have chosen to demonise him and turn him into a pariah figure. He has become the equivalent of Nineteen Eighty-Four‘s Emmanuel Goldstein – the generic, universally reviled hate figure that all decent people must be seen publicly loathing in order to demonstrate how on-message they are.
But it’s not just Tommy Robinson these people seek to smear and denigrate and silence. They happily apply the same tactics to anyone who associates with him or gives him a sympathetic hearing.
“It’s scary,” one public figure I cannot for obvious reasons name confided to me the other day. “Even though I personally think Tommy Robinson has been horribly maligned and talks a lot of sense, it has reached the point where I daren’t actually come out and say that because then I’ll end up being branded a member of the far right.”
This, as Orwell showed in Nineteen Eighty-Four, is how totalitarian mind control works. You police people’s thoughts. You ensure that some things are unsayable. The liberal left is currently doing this just as effectively as Big Brother.
The bien-pensant worthies I mentioned above – Lloyd, Hassan, Cook, Hawes, Freeman, Haque, as well as the many people like them – quite obviously wish to signal to the world that they are virtuous, caring, decent people. Publicly displaying their disapproval of Tommy Robinson is a form of shorthand for: “Look at me! I’m not a racist or an Islamophobe! I care about people of all races, creeds and colours, holding hands under a rainbow. And if only we all showed a bit more love and a bit less hate, that eleven-year-old girl would never have been chopped into pieces by that truck in Stockholm last week, and PC Keith Palmer would still be standing on duty outside the Houses of Parliament…”
They are entitled to their deluded and unutterable stupidity, of course.
What they have absolutely no right to do, however, is to bully, demean, smear, slur, menace, threaten, and mock those people on the other side of the argument who seek to tell the truth about what’s really happening with regards to Islam in Europe and across the Western world. Note that I’m not defending racial abuse or victimisation or religious discrimination here: I’m talking simply about people who – as Tommy Robinson does in my podcast interview – want to talk in a measured, reasonable way about the facts on the ground.
What people like Lloyd, Hassan, Cook, Freeman, and Haque are doing is shameful, ugly, and morally wrong. It is, indeed, a form of fascism.
There is, I fear, not a great deal that many of us can do personally about the radical Islamists within our societies. They are going to do what they are going to do – and the best we can hope for is that our police and intelligence services are able to frustrate them.
But there is, I think, a great deal we can do about the useful idiots who help make their evil deeds possible by creating an environment in which no one dares address the root causes of the problem.
Remember, fundamentalist Islam is fighting two simultaneous wars against the West. The first is the military/terrorist one; the second is the cultural one.
It’s the second where we can all make a difference.
When politically correct, virtue-signalling dhimmis like Lloyd, Hassan, Cook, Hawes, Freeman, Haque and their ilk try to close down discussion of Islam by accusing people who disagree with them of being “Islamophobic” or “racist” or “xenophobic”, we don’t slink off meekly: we challenge them at every turn.
These useful idiots for radical Islam do what they do because they think it shows them to be better people: more caring, more sensitive, more intelligent – superior in every way to the people such as Tommy Robinson that they denigrate. Our duty is to deny them the luxury of claiming the moral high ground, to expose the fallacies of their glib, lazy, ill-informed arguments and remind them what it is they really are. They are dhimmis, liberal fascists, ugly little cowards who have probably never stood for anything truly worthwhile in their miserable spavined lives. They’re so spineless and intellectually decadent they actually value looking nice on Twitter more highly than they do defending the values of Western civilisation against an aggressive, alien culture that seeks at every turn to undermine it. They should be ashamed of themselves. Our job is to make them ashamed.