Sunday, May 14, 2006

Melanie Phillips's Londonistan

Marchers shout for the destruction of a lawfully constituted, democratic country: Israel. They chant, "Zionism, terrorism" and "We are all Hezbollah." The local population is passive, mute, even sympathetic.

One of the world's most radical Islamist organizations, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in many countries -- including Muslim countries -- where it is considered a major threat, has its headquarters here and conducts activities on many university campuses. Hizb ut-Tahrir agitates for the revival of the Muslim caliphate, abolished at the end of the Ottoman Empire, and proclaims that Muslims may live only in a Muslim state governed by Sharia law.

Islamist demagogues call for murder and insurrection. Omar Bakri Mohammed claims the political leader of the country where he lives is "a legitimate target; if anyone gets the opportunity to assassinate him, I don't think they should save it. It is our Islamic duty and we will celebrate his death." Not only does he continue living freely in the country whose downfall he urges, but he, his wife, and their children are supported by that country's social welfare payments. "Islam allows me to take the benefit the system offers," he says.

A new Muslim center with room for 10,000 worshipers opens here. Among those leading prayers at its opening is Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman al-Sudais, who has called for violence against Christians, Hindus, and Americans. He has called Jews "calf-worshipers, propher-murderers, prophecy-deniers ... the scum of the human race whom Allah cursed and turned into apes and pigs. ... These are the Jews, a continuous lineage of meanness, cunning, obstinacy, tyranny, licentiousness, evil, and corruption."

Where are we? A terrorist-supporting lunatic state in the Middle East? No. We are in Britain, and its capital London, which Melanie Phillips says in her just-published book Londonistan "has become a major global center of Islamist extremism -- the economic and spiritual hub of a production and distribution network for the most radicalized form of Islamic thinking, which not only pumps out an unremitting ideology of hatred for the West but actively recruits soldiers and raises funds for the worldwide terrorist jihad."

On July 7, 2005, three individuals on London Underground trains and another on a bus detonated themselves and killed more than 50 people going about their daily lives. "As the gruesome task began of collecting the body parts from the wrecked trains and bus, and as the wounded emerged dazed and weeping from the underground tunnels, a shocked Britain had to confront the terrible fact that the appalling phenomenon of suicide bombing had arrived on British soil," Phillips says. And, as it soon became known, the suicide bombers were British Muslims.

The evidence had been there for anyone willing to see it for years. Britain had welcomed and even supported extremist Islamic organizations. "Radicals such as Abu Qatada, Omar Bakri Mohammed, Abu Hamza and Mohammed al-Massari were allowed to preach incitement to violence, raise money and recruit members for the jihad," Phillips says. "An astonishing procession of UK-based terrorists turned out to have been responsible for attacks upon America, Israel and many other countries."

Neither the British government nor most of the British people have shown any concern over the encroachment of radical Islamism into British public life. "The Labour mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has embraced and defended Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the prominent Islamist cleric who says it is a duty for Muslims to turn themselves into human bombs in Israel and Iraq," Phillips says. "Meanwhile George Galloway, the supporter of Saddam Hussein, was elected to the British Parliament as the leader of a new political party that brings together the far left and radical Islamism -- the first such party in Europe. Yet there has been no groundswell to get rid of the popular Livingstone as London's mayor, nor has the Labour party disowned him; while Galloway is regarded as, at worst, a minor irritant or a pantomime villain."

Even after 9/11 and 7/7, the country is in deep denial about the danger from many of the Muslims and Muslim organizations in its midst. The media and intelligentsia are obsessed with avoiding any taint of "Islamophobia," a thought crime, trying to suppress any criticism of Islam and portraying anyone who talks about Islamist aggression as a bigot.

Most of the facts about the penetration of radical Islam into Britain have been published before -- although, assembled in a single source as they are in Londonistan, they have far greater impact than when discussed individually -- but Phillips has set for herself the goal of describing not just the outrages themselves, but the social and political conditions that have allowed them to thrive.

"Britain is currently locked into such a spiral of decadence, self-loathing and sentimentality that it is incapable of seeing that it is setting itself up for cultural immolation," she says.

Phillips, a London newspaper columnist and author of several previous books, is well known in the U.K. for her scathing criticisms of what she sees as her country's descent into crackpot multi-culturalism, left-wingers' contempt for its own history and traditions, and the debasement of its educational system. In Londonistan, she argues that the British have permitted their country to become a terrorist Petri dish through a combination of pathological trends.

Human rights legislation that the U.K. has signed onto is so skewed in favor of "asylum seekers," however bogus, that it effectively prevents the nation from defending itself. The British security establishment is dominated by mental habits acquired in fighting the last terrorist war, against the IRA, which was at heart a political conflict -- it never passed through the brain of even the most rabid IRA operative to establish Catholicism as the one and only religion in the U.K. The British take pride in being reasonable people, are famously given to compromise, and nowadays strongly secularist; the idea of anyone blowing themselves and others up for a religion is incomprehensible to most of them.

As a result, the British establishment can't unhook itself from the idea that Islamic radicals are motivated by economic and political goals, rather than absolutist religious doctrines that can never be satisfied until the country -- and the whole world, for that matter -- lives under the rule of the Crescent. British leaders are mesmerized by the fantasy that the solution is to endlessly show more tolerance and acceptance. Six months before the London bombings, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, said, "There is nothing wrong with being an Islamic fundamentalist" and "Bridges will be built [between the police and the Muslim community]."

"The strategy," Phillips says, "is to win over the majority of British Muslims; so the police are bending over backwards to show sympathy for them and respect for their religion. In Nottingham, the police handed out green ribbons after the London bombings to express solidarity with Muslims, who, according to the chief constable, were on the receiving end of Islamophobic attacks. And guidelines for the Bedfordshire force say that when officers raid Muslim homes they should remove their shoes, not use dogs and not mount predawn raids because at that hour people might be 'spiritually busy.'"

Phillips cites the alliance between the British left and radical Islam (based, as far as the left is concerned, on the belief that anyone opposed to Western values and the United States is on their side) and the pathetic determination of the Church of England to abandon its own beliefs and traditions while rationalizing every kind of political and social radicalism. The Church is dominated by appeasers who see Islamic terrorism as "resistance" to supposed crimes by Israel and the United States. (Her chapter on the Church of England is titled, "On Their Knees Before Terror.")

Dislike of Jews and Israel is now widespread and socially acceptable in the U.K., Phillips says. It's fashionable to support Palestinians and excuse their terrorist tactics as morally equivalent to Israel's defending its citizens and its very existence. These attitudes numb the country against feeling any outrage at even the wildest and most paranoid anti-Semitic slurs by Muslim clerics.

A popular culture that has been degraded by the welfare state into self-centered apathy and indoctrinated by left-wing media like the BBC into rejecting any pride in traditional British values has also, she says, created a vacuum into which Islamism can easily flow, appealing to alienated young Muslims who've never been given any reason to identify with Britain.

Phillips makes a strong case, marshalling facts and documenting them. She writes fluently, other than overusing the somewhat obscure word "trope" (Merriam-Webster's: "a word or expression used in a figurative sense; figure of speech"). Londonistan is a compelling read; it should make a lot of people, especially British, uncomfortable and motivate them to change the mental climate that has turned Britain and its capital into a sinkhole of violent politico-religious ideology.


Mad Maxwell said...

Hi Rick,

Thanks for the warm invitation to your blog that you extended on Parapundit a few topic threads back. I got extremely busy and so had to duck out (common these days) but have another a little breather. Considering that the Senate is on the verge of *doubling* our legal immigration quotas through the Hagel-Martinez proposal, I couldn't continue staying silent. (The legal immigration invasion is worse than the illegal one.)

You'd asked me in one of the prior threads, if I thought there was any English-speaking nation that a beleaguered European-American or White Briton could consider moving to. In response, the only place I can realistically come up with at the present time is New Zealand, which I've visited and which has somehow managed to fend off-- for the most part-- the mass immigration onslaught (though even the Kiwis are getting an awful lot of Indonesians and Arabs these days). Barring that, the only Anglophone country worth moving to is probably a future Anglophone mini-nation that's come about after the break-up of the United States, which is now pretty much inevitable. I'd suspect that parts of the Southeast, solid Midwest and Mountain States will break away as Whites in the US move to minority status. Considering that half of US kids under 5 are now non-White, with the number rising fast, the break-up may soon be upon us.

IOW, the English-speaking world is basically committing mass suicide (along with France, of course). I never would have believed it just 20 years ago, but the Anglosphere is killing itself with mass Third World immigration, and you yourself are seeing this with e.g. your Londonistan article.

That's one of the reasons that I think that emigration from the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and South Africa, to a non-Anglophone Continental European nation (speaking very selectively here), may be the best route to go. The best countries I think are Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and most Scandinavian countries in the top tier, and Spain, Portugal and Belgium in the next tier. These countries are all having issues with their White birth rate just like other Western lands, but they're refusing to "plug the gap" with mass Third-World immigration like Britain or the United States. Instead, they're offering carefully managed incentives to increase the native-born birth rate, which are just starting to have an effect. They do have some Turks and North Africans in these countries too, but surprisingly, as I learned from my own and my own friends' experience (and better data sets), they're relatively few in number, and they really do leave those European countries after a few years of work. Furthermore, they're fostering high-skilled immigration of co-ethnics who are scattered throughout other regions in Europe as well as in North America. I'm amazed at the number of well-educated Latvians, Lithuanians, Czechs, Russians, Finns and North Americans-- most with some German blood-- who've found their home in Germany. (If you have just about any Germanic or Celtic ancestry, you can use "jus sanguinis" blood relations to help you immigrate to Germany and Austria, for example-- especially if you're skilled, an entrepreneur, or have or are planning to start your own family with children.) I would strongly consider a move to these countries.

Such mass emigration from the US to Continental Europe accomplishes many things for us at once. It gives us a modern, technologically-advanced, secure place to work and raise our children. It allows to dwell in places that are openly proud of their Western culture and encourage us to be a part of it.

Most importantly, though, mass emigration of skilled American Whites to Europe-- especially the White middle and working classes and the White professionals, the backbone of the US economy-- constitutes the only effective form of protest that our corrupt, effete elites on Capitol Hill and in the Oval Office can comprehend. The political system itself is broken, and it's only voting with our feet that has an effect (although you can still vote in US elections after moving).

The elites have ruined our republic as it is, and so now, our job is to aim right at the corrupt heart of the imperial state which they've brought about. The best way to do that, is to deny the imperial state the fruits of our labor as White professionals even as the state attacks us from all sides in return, and speed along the process that causes this corrupt structure to crumble. Thus, the phenomenon of White mass emigration. If over 1,000,000 of us permanently leave the US every year, and go to places like the European nations noted above, we'll finally send the much-needed message to our elites about the folly of their policies.

My wife and I have recently talked about moving our kids to Austria, having our kids speak German and regard themselves as Austrians, and in general becoming Austrians ourselves, and we've decided to make the move in late 2009. (It does take 3 or more years from the decision to make all the preparations to emigrate.) The language is the only minor issue, and from what my old friends have told me, it's easy to surmount. It helps to do some language courses or buy Pimsleur or Berlitz guides in the bookstore beforehand, but ultimately you pick it up easily when you're in the country-- conversational situations and opportunities for practice make it easy. Just pay attention, listen and practice conversation, as well as reading periodicals and writing brief notes, and you'll learn a European language very quickly. Italian and German, for example, are similar to English and easy to become fluent in.

It depresses me in some ways that things have come to this, but it's the reality of the situation unfortunately. We have to respond based on what's happening before our very eyes.

The mass emigration idea already has legs, and I know dozens of old friends from Central California who've emigrated. The best way to help promote it further, is to market it and let more people know about it, with some specific options and organizations to assist in the process. Places like community organizations, churches, health clubs, bars, bowling alleys, condo clubs and the like-- these are the places to strike up conversations, post fliers and take other steps to increase awareness of emigration as an option, and provide specific suggestions on how to actually carry it out.

Sorry to be such a bummer in some ways, but I do think that Whites and Western culture have a future, just not in the US or Britain. The heartland of Continental Europe is where's it's at for us. Mass emigration to those countries will both strengthen us and fire a shot across the bow to shock our corrupt, lazy political elites.

Mad Maxwell said...

BTW Rick,

I'm not sure where you're posting from, but if you happen to be a Southerner proud of the Confederate flag, this ex-Yankee salutes you and encourages you to display and wave it proudly. I used to scoff at people who displayed the Southern Cross since I thought it was a symbol of divisiveness and slavery. But one of my cousins from the South pointed out how the vast majority of Southerners were never slave-owners, and that the flag instead symbolizes our true republic, and the Christian, Western roots with which our Founding Fathers inculcated our nation. The South was most active in resisting the imperialist drift of much of the rest of the nation.

Although I've never lived for a prolonged period in the South, I'm proud when I see people displaying the flag. I'd hope that more people in the South are proud enough to wave the flag themselves, to display it in public and private places, and to celebrate the ideals and the people who carried it in battle a century-and-a-half ago. When the US breaks apart (as I expect it soon will, along with Canada), I suspect that most of the Old South, outside of south Florida, will be one of the strongest bastions of our Western heritage and White roots remaining on the North American continent. With millions of White Americans consolidating themselves in solid regions like the Southeast, and millions more emigrating to strong White homelands in Central Europe and the Mediterranean and Scandinavian lands, White people and our Western culture will still manage to prevail.

Rick Darby said...

Mad Maxwell,

No, actually, I'm not a southerner, except technically. I live in the Virginia burbs of DC. But the part of the country that inspires me is the Southwest. I've lived in Santa Fe and Tucson and was planning on retiring in Tucson one of these days -- but if things carry on as they are, it will probably go the way of Los Angeles.

It makes me very angry that such a beautiful desert city could turn into one more Mexican gangland and slum. And it makes the question of my future all the more urgent. Which is why emigration is on my mind, but that raises a whole new set of issues.

Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Catman said...

What parts of New Zealand did you visit, Mad Maxwell? As a born and bred New Zealander I don't see how any "pro-white" person would want to move here. We have very large (and low IQ) indigenous Maori & Pacific Island minorities which are breeding at such a rapid rate that we're inevitably going to become a third-world country in a few short decades.

Mr. Spog said...

Mad Max, if and when you move to Europe, watch for the European refugees flying past you in the opposite direction and be sure to give them a friendly wave.

I can't refute your picture in detail, but here are a few points which don't seem to tally with it. ITALY: One of her leading journalists, Oriana Fallaci, has been charged with defaming Islam (or something of the kind) and is now in exile in the United States. GERMANY: (a) The original idea may have been that the Turks would leave after working for a few years, but it turns out that they're there, in rather large numbers, for as long as the Germans will let them stay. (And if the EU ever admits Turkey to membership, which it has been threatening to do for years, all Turks will be free to reside in whatever European country they like, except Switzerland, which isn't a member.) (b) At least one German scholar of Islam has moved, or is about to move, to the U.S. out of fear for his personal safety. The same is true, if I remember correctly, for one of the Danes involved in the cartoon affair. BELGIUM: Google "Paul Belien", the conservative writer who has been in the news the past week or so. See also Belien's articles at the "Brussels Journal" on such subjects as the Belgian churches' recent practice of turning themselves into temporary mosques. SCANDINAVIA: See articles by "Fjordman" at the "Gates of Vienna" blog and elsewhere. Sweden in particular, to an even greater degree than the rest of the continent, has the reputation of being completely intolerant of any dissent from political correctness, except by people who are socially marginalized. The Swedes seem to regard even the attitudes of the Danes as being beyond the limits of acceptable political discourse. AUSTRIA: I haven't heard much about the cultural situation here, but there was an interesting piece on a recent "Shire Network News" satirical podcast about mediators being brought in to deal with the refusal by Muslim conscripts in the Austrian army to obey sharia-noncompliant orders. One proposal in response to this was that the Austrian army should set up all-Muslim units.
(Which, SNN observed, rendered the function of the satirist superfluous.)

As Melanie Phillips pointed out the other day, it is not Europe but the United States, thanks to her relatively strong churches, that is the focus of resistance to Western cultural suicide. Only in the United States is there even a struggle going on; Europe has simply caved in. Only in the U.S. is there conservative talk-radio and an active conservative blogosphere. (These can be found in Canada too to some extent, and we actually seem to have a rather sane immigration policy by comparison with yours, despite our reputation for being liberal wimps.) It looks like you're already living in the last stronghold. Make the best of it!

Eastern Europe is another possibility some have suggested, but I don't really know anything about the cultural situation there.

P.S. I don't necessarily agree with your apparent "White identitarianism", I'm thinking more in terms of Western cultural identity.