UK Prime Minister David Cameron believes that Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with religion. We know that because he’s always banging on about it. Perhaps he should talk to his counterpart in Tunisia. The first thing Habib Essid did after last Friday’s Sousse massacre of (mostly British) innocents was close the doors of 80 mosques.
There was no debate, consultation or plea for understanding from Tunisia’s leader. The anodyne social worker language of “reaching out” to the disaffected and calling for understanding of “root causes” was entirely absent.
Unthinkable action for our own effete liberal intelligentsia in the UK, I know. Instead closing radical mosques would be immediately called out as showing a callous disregard for human rights and liberties. It would be a suppression of religion, a blow against free speech and a challenge to the inalienable right to freedom of worship.
It would probably upset the EU as well. Just a bit.
Not that Essid cared a fig for such delicate sensibilities as our own. He also announced a string of tough measures to fight extremism including examining the funding of organizations suspected of promoting Islamic radicalism and declaring certain mountainous zones military areas.
He did that because Essid sees the world as it is – not as he wishes it to be. That’s why he also cautioned: “We are at war against terrorism which represents a serious danger to national unity during this delicate period that the nation is going through.”
It should be applauded that a man who came to power at the tail end of the Arab Spring (remember that?) is a man of action not hollow words. He knows Islam is a convoluted religion with a host of competing interpretations but that doesn’t mean it should not be challenged. What a pity our own limp political class is less inclined to call out the evil of Islamic terrorism and close down its wellspring in radicalised mosques wherever they are found.
Instead we have David Cameron calling for calm and urging us to “carry on”, downplaying any criticism of the self-described “religion of peace” by saying the acts of terrorism we have witnessed in France, Kuwait and Tunisia have nothing to do with Islam. No, seems they are lone wolves. Every single one of them.
Tell that to Habib Esid.
Better still, Mr Cameron should listen to Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott. In the hours immediately after the 24-hour jihadi spree in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, Mr Abbott spoke in Canberra about the danger posed by IS terrorists. He used five words you will never hear coming from mealy-mouthed Dave.
“They are coming for us,” Mr Abbott warned.
Well, David Cameron, do you agree with that or not? Your time starts now…
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