Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas and U.S. Presidential hopeful delivered a strongly worded wake-up call for Britain at a private meeting in central London last night, where in a comprehensive foreign policy speech he rejected cultural relativism, warned about the creeping Islamification of Britain, and called for moral clarity in defeating Islamic extremism.
The meeting at London’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is part of Governor Perry’s speaking tour of Europe which is featuring meetings in Europe’s two political capitals – London and Berlin – and a visit to troubled Eastern nation Ukraine. It has been reported in the American press that the robust speech is part of the Governor laying groundwork for a 2016 bid at the presidency, and consequently may signal the future direction of travel for the United States should Perry be elected.
Speaking on the dangers of radical Islam, Governor Perry chose not to follow the form of U.S. President Barack Obama or UK Prime Minister David Cameron by insisting that Islamic terrorists are “not Muslim”, a convenient dodge recently described as a “reassuring assertion, and one that almost everyone, including the vast majority of Muslims, would desperately like to believe”, but ultimately “wishful thinking”.
Instead, Perry asserted the moralistic strength of Western culture, and that of ISIS a “falsehood”: “Their twisted version of Islam amounts to a creed of human cruelty – pure sadism, and nothing more”.
He pulled no punches when describing in graphic detail the ISIS advance: “The enslavement, the beheadings, the crucifixions, the mass executions, the forced conversions. And all of this, of course, by men who tell themselves they are doing God’s work on this earth”. Criticising those who assert “quite plainly, that the Middle East is ultimately no concern of ours” Perry opposed moral relativism in the face of the barbarity of the Islamic State: “we have every right to judge, and every reason to act”.
Concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe, as well as the Islamification of Britain was also apparent, as the Governor was at pains to emphasise his belief in Britain as America’s first ally and friend in the world. Perry said some within British society, in “Islamic areas… where extremists are gaining the upper hand” had come to expect “the ways of the sharia code to replace British law and British liberty”, and Britain was seeing the rise of anti-Semitic “no-go zones”.
Issuing what amounted to a battle-cry for the West against Islamic extremism, Perry said: “But to every extremist, it has to be made clear: we will not allow you to exploit our tolerance, so that you can import your intolerance. We will not let you destroy our peace with your violent ideas. If you expect to live among us, and yet plan against us, to receive the protections and comforts of a free society, while showing none of its virtues or graces, then you can have our answer now: No, not on our watch!”
While Governor Perry accepted “even a proud, patriotic Texan has got nothing to teach the British people about defending freedom” he still felt the need to issue a wake-up call to Britain, who he said were at risk of losing sight of the West’s “moral tradition” when he said: “Sometimes, it takes a friendly outsider to come by and point out the obvious”.