Sharia in Britain: ignoring common sense
Long after the horse has bolted the political elites in Britain have now decided to "get tough" on Sharia and radicalisation. But ordinary Britons saw the dangers long ago. All you had to do was use common sense. That was far too much to ask
The Government is planning tough new measures to combat the growing threat from Islamist extremists in Britain. So reported the Sunday Telegraph, having seen a leaked draft of the Home Office’s new counter-extremism strategy.
The tough new strategy ranges from targeting sharia courts to changes to the benefits system and measures to deal with radicalisation.
If Mr Cameron thinks the British people will be impressed by all this he is mistaken. It’s an almost certain bet that the vast majority of British people will be totally cynical of these new proposals to fight extremism.
The British people now understand that the Westminster political classes have for years been contemptuous of public opinion on many issues concerning Islam in Britain.
Consider sharia courts, for example. The British people never wanted anything to do with sharia law. They never wanted any recognition of sharia authority in their country.
Yet successive British governments ignored public opinion and turned a blind eye to the gradual setting-up of (so far) over 80 sharia courts, or “councils”, as they are more euphemistically called.
Common sense told the ordinary British person that allowing sharia courts -- even if officially they do not (yet) have jurisdiction in Britain -- would eventually contribute to at least a degree of Islamisation of the country.
That, of course, is exactly what is happening, and now the government is worried that “in some areas women have suffered from the way these (sharia) councils work, either through forced marriage or discriminatory divorce proceedings.”
But why is the Government surprised at such developments? What does the Government expect from a sharia court? If you have sharia courts in your country you will have sharia law. And where you have sharia law you will have Islamisation.
The ordinary man on the street has always understood all of this. It's not rocket science.
But when it comes to Islam in Britain, the Westminster political classes would rather go along with the ivory-towered views of the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who, despite denials, did appear to argue for some degree of community jurisdiction for sharia courts.
British sharia courts are a classic example of a Westminster-made immigration problem. They are a product of years of Westminster ignoring the common sense democratic voice and years of promoting multiculturalism and of denigrating traditional Western values.
Similarly with welfare. The Government is now concerned, according to the Sunday Telegraph, over “public outrage at people who hate Britain being able to live off the state.”
But this is another example of a Westminster-made immigration problem. The public have been outraged for years over welfare-funded jihadists.
For years they’ve had to watch welfare-fed jihadist apologists holding the high moral ground on TV, telling decent people what they must do to appease the Islamist wrath, and for years the Westminster elite refused to do anything about it.
The public have always known that, as the Canadian journalist Mark Steyn puts it “the vast majority of Islamic terrorists in Europe are on welfare, living in radicalised ghetto cultures with nothing to do but sit around the flat plotting the jihad all day at taxpayers’ expense.”
However, there is one thing missing from the Government’s proposed new “get tough” policy, and it is the one thing that will, in the long run, weaken all attempts to deal with Islamism in Britain. That one thing is immigration.
Consider the case of so called Jihadi John and his family. This Kuwaiti family were granted refugee status in the UK in 1996 and, according to a report in the Daily Mail, have been living on the hard-pressed taxpayer ever since.
The vast majority of ordinary people have always been sceptical, to say the least, about those who come seeking asylum, and the Jihadi John family proves they have a point.
As soon as they were granted British citizenship, they started travelling to and from Kuwait, the very country from which they fled claiming persecution. Of course their up-market apartment rent in London’s Maida Vale continued to be paid by the taxpayer, and was still being paid at the last count.
Predictably, our leaders expressed outrage at such asylum abuse, but it was Westminster immigration policies that settled Jihadi John and his family in up-market Maida Vale in the first place.
According to Melanie Phillips in her book Londonistan, British policy on granting asylum, both in theory and practice, turns “elementary prudence” on its head.
It grants asylum to any and every self-designated victim group from anywhere in the world and effectively puts the protection of the asylum seeker ahead of the protection of the British people.
The whole asylum system is riddled with bogus and dangerous claimants and the public have always known this (Melanie Phillips reports that almost a quarter of all terrorist suspects arrested in Britain since 9/11 had been asylum seekers), but the political classes have steadfastly refused to reform the system.
The latest “get tough” reforms do not address the problem.
Vincent Cooper is a regular contributor to The Commentator
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