The award for this week’s most fatuous statement goes to Chris Patten, a former Thatcher government minister, who wrote, “Terrorists cannot defeat democracy.” Quite so, but they can kill a lot of people on the way to defeat.
Patten also wrote, “Those who want to pin their problems on ‘the other’ - as defined by race, ethnicity, religion, or nationality - will always be in the minority.” But, “the other” exists, and sometimes “they” use religion, or ethnicity or nationality, as cover to kill Western liberals.
Which is not to argue that Islam alone is at fault for Islamic terror. Arab nationalism was dominant in Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt, and the Palestine Liberation Organisation started out as secular.
It is true the IRA was Catholic, but it was nationalist; it hated the English, who happened to be Anglican, for occupying their land. It is not as if all Muslims are happy with Islam. The army knocked out the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Societies ruled by Islamic law have become frustrated. Too many are angry at the West, or at their leaders, or at other religions. As a consequence, like it or not, Muslims are more susceptible to Islamisation than non-Muslims.
However, the biggest threat from Islam is not to life and limb but to liberty. There is any number of particularities of Islam that makes it so: religiosity, and the extraordinary attachment to the Koran as a guide to life; associated illiberal attitudes to apostasy and blasphemy; paranoia about the West and especially Jews; and the mistreatment of women.
A poll last year for Policy Exchange in the UK revealed that British Muslims are a more religiously devout subset of the British population. Seventy-one per cent identify with their mosque and see it as representing their views. There are high levels of support for gender segregation in education as well as traditional religious clothing in schools. Neither trend is apparent in the remainder of Britain, outside heavily Muslim districts.
Forty-three per cent support the introduction of aspects of sharia into Britain. Only 22 per cent oppose it. Which aspects of sharia were not made explicit, although mention was made of laws of marriage and divorce. When asked who was responsible for the 9/11 attack on New York, 31 per cent of Muslim respondents said the US government was behind it. More people said “the Jews” were responsible (7 per cent) than said al-Qa’ida or some other analogous group (4 per cent). A control group surveyed recorded only 10 per cent of people claimed the US government was behind 9/11 and just 1 per cent blamed the Jews, whereas 71 per cent of respondents said al-Qa’ida or some analogous group was responsible.
It is astounding that political leaders do not understand the desire of many Muslims to live under Islamic law. Two legal academics from University of Sydney, Salim Farrar and Ghena Krayem, want Islamic practices accommodated in Australian law. Extraordinary is the frequent reference to the Koran and subsequent Islamic religious texts as the basis for current Islamic law.
Farrar and Krayem describe processes of Islamic commercial dispute resolution, whereby “male evidence is preferred over female evidence” and where “Muslim evidence is preferred over non-Muslim evidence”. They make perfectly clear that one of the principal rules of Islam is “not to disclose the faults of your fellow Muslim”.
Meanwhile, the inquiry into freedom of religion by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs is attracting useful idiots. The Public Health Association of Australia wants the committee to disavow the notion “that there is any inherent link between Islam and terrorism”. The link may not manifest in all places and at all times or by all Muslims, or be as immediately destructive as terrorism, but it is a threat to liberty.
The association forgot to mention that Islam is super sensitive to criticism. The 2011 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam argued that human rights was bound to, and limited by, Islamic law. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation is trying to export its draconian blasphemy laws. The committee has to be very clear to distinguish freedom of religion and freedom to criticise religion.
The association forgot to mention apostasy and its penalties or blasphemy and its penalties. It also forgot to mention that a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim but a Muslim woman may not.
Islam is a problem.
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