McKinstry invokes George Orwell

Why do we insist on being friends with the enemies of freedom?

By Leo McKinstry

Daily Express, 20 February 2006

George Orwell’s epic work 1984 painted a nightmarish picture of Britain under a brutal totalitarian regime. In this grim police state, all dissent had been crushed.

Orwell’s book, published in 1949 shortly before his death, was a powerful warning against the tyranny of socialism. But more than half a century later, with the Berlin Wall having fallen, the greatest threat to our liberty now comes from the potent dogma of radical Islam.

Orwell’s 1984 may have been a work of fiction, yet the soul-destroying oppression he so brilliantly described was all too real, since most of Eastern Europe and all of Russia was under the dictatorship of Stalin.

As a passionate democrat and patriot, Orwell came to despise the refusal of British Left-wingers to challenge the horrors that were being practised in the name of socialism.

He loathed their moral relativism and shameful eagerness to ally themselves with the enemies of freedom.

Today, in the face of Islamic aggression, such cowardice and appeasement is not confined just to the Left but has infected all the civic institutions of Britain.

While they prattle about the joys of multiculturalism, the British authorities, led by the Labour government and the police, cower before militant Muslims. In their mood of continual surrender, they prefer to oppress the ordinary public rather than stand up to the hardliners. So they allow London to be turned into a haven for terrorists and then, in the resultant chaos, tell us that we will all have to carry ID cards.

They allow Abu Hamza to operate with impunity for almost a decade, then impose restrictions on our freedom of speech. So thanks to the outlook of the Government, a climate of genuine fear now prevails in Britain because of Islam. While we are all threatened by terrorism, few dare to speak their minds for fear of being on the receiving end of a bomb – or a visit from the local constabulary for daring to “offend religious sensibilities”.

The July bombings and the Danish cartoon protests have only intensified the efforts of the State to disguise the menace of radical Islam. Even now we are told that we must celebrate diversity, since the vast majority of Muslims are moderate and Islam is really a peace-loving religion. That kind of propaganda always seemed dubious.

If the adherents of Islam are so moderate, then why have they only taken to the streets to wail, often in extreme language, about the Danish cartoons?

Since 9/11 there has not been a single march in Britain to protest about the worldwide atrocities being committed in the name of Allah.

The myth of Muslim moderation was exposed this weekend by a detailed opinion poll carried out by ICM. According to this research, fully 40 per cent of Muslims in Britain think that their own sharia religious law should be introduced in predominantly Muslim areas. Just as disturbing were the findings that 20 per cent had sympathy with the motives of the London bombers, while seven per cent believed that Western society should be “brought to an end, by violent means if necessary”.

This hardening of Islamic opinion makes a mockery of the pretence that Islamic communities are well integrated into the British mainstream.

Given that there are almost two million Muslims in Britain, we are talking about hundreds of thousands of our citizens who have an instinctive support for terrorism.

The ICM study should prompt a major rethink in the political establishment over its increasingly desperate attempt to reach an accommodation with Islam. The lesson of recent years is that the handwringing approach does not work, yet the State has bent over backwards to reach a compromise with the militants.

Grants have been dished out like confetti to Muslim organisations, and knighthoods and peerages to self-styled Muslim leaders. Taxpayers’ money has been used to fund Islamic schools. There is now a vast network of “culturally sensitive” social housing and welfare support for Muslims, such as the housing association in Bristol which built a new block of flats with toilets facing away from Mecca to avoid offence.

The Church of England has issued more apologies than Ronnie Corbett when he was in the sitcom Sorry. Trendy artists and comedians continually mock Christianity, but dare not utter a squeak against Islam.

Yet still the aggression, the terrorism and the outrage continues. The more the Government caves in, the more emboldened the radicals become. They sense there is no willingness to defend traditional liberal Western civilisation in the face of brutality.

No one can be in any doubt about the threat posed by Islam. Everywhere in Europe, where there are substantial numbers of Muslims, there has been civic unrest and terrorism, whether it be the killing of the artist Theo Van Gogh in Holland, the Madrid bombings, the violent gang warfare in Malmo, Sweden, or months of rioting in France.

There is not a single Muslim-led society in the world where democracy, freedom and tolerance flourish. In all such countries, women and non-Muslims are treated as second-class citizens, while Christians and Jews are subjected to persecution.

In Palestine, the hardline Hamas party, which recently won the elections, has said it will introduce the jizya tax, a humiliating poll tax extracted from non-Muslims unless they convert. Similarly, in the wake of the Danish row, Christians from Nigeria to Turkey have been executed, while churches have been burned down.

Britain had the courage to confront the communist threat, but there is no sign of the same steadfast determination to defend ourselves today.

“It is only necessary for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph,” the philosopher Edmund Burke is credited with saying. We are doing nothing today to overcome those who loathe our values.