It’s Islamic propaganda now – The Times, it’s a-changing

I must admit to a weakness: The Times is the leftmost newspaper I ever read. The reasons aren’t so much political as medical: I’m slightly hypertensive, and the pseudo-intellectual twaddle purveyed, say, by The Guardian makes the condition worse. Ten-quid words masking a tuppence of thought are guaranteed to add 30 diastolic points to my blood pressure. However, even Polly Toynbee couldn’t have damaged my health as much as the article I read in yesterday’s issue.

A Cambridge lecturer Abdal Hakim Murad (né Tim Winter) has converted to Islam. How a presumably educated Westerner can ever do that is beyond me, but I’d be interested to read his personal, well-reasoned account of what attracted him to a religion explicitly hostile to the West.

In general, I welcome arguments against anything I hold dear, provided they are a) intelligent, b) well-informed, c) logically sound, d) driven by a desire to find the truth rather than to score cheap agitprop points. An argument that meets these conditions can make me change my mind or at least treat my opponent with respect. Alas, Mr Murad’s article errs egregiously against a), b), c), d) and every other letter in the alphabet.

It’s natural for someone indulging in eccentric pursuits to put this down to some sweeping trend gaining momentum, rather than to his own quirk. In that spirit, Mr Murad cites a report stating that 100,000 Brits converted to Islam in the last decade – a 40,000 increase on the decade before. That’s supposed to cause a serious problem to ‘Islamophobes’, a term Murad reserves for those who have the slightest of problems with creeping Islamification. (The Murads of this world do tend to replace arguments with name-calling: anyone who doesn’t think women should lead bayonet charges is a ‘misogynist’, anyone who’s opposed to same-sex marriage is a ‘homophobe’, anyone who thinks university admissions should be based on merit only is either a ‘racist’ or an ‘elitist’.)

However, in the next sentence he specifies that three quarters of those ‘new Muslims’ are young women. Murad omits a critical datum: how many of these women have converted under pressure from their Muslim husbands or live-in boyfriends. Such omissions leave room for conjecture, and mine is that it’s probably most. Suddenly, the 100,000 number is edging towards an explanation that has little to do with purely God-seeking urges.

Most converts, as Murad half-admits, come from ‘some deprived areas, where the problem of failed relationships, drink and drugs has reached crisis proportions for many young people.’ So what do you know, not all new converts are Cambridge lecturers or aid workers, like Murad’s fellow convert Khalil Dale, brutally murdered in Pakistan by his new co-religionists.

And why, according to Murad, do all those people convert to Islam? Elementary theology, Dr Watson. They have ‘rejected Christianity because of the complexity of its belief system’. Specifically, they are attracted to ‘Islam’s simple monotheism’ because they ‘are bewildered by the doctrine of the Trinity’. Judging by what Murad has already told us about the conversion demographics, most ‘new Muslims’ would be bewildered by a nursery rhyme – they are the sort of folk who think ‘paediatrician’ is the same as ‘paedophile’.

But even they should be able to get their heads around the verse that encapsulates with divine simplicity the entire ‘complexity’ of Christianity: ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you …’ Out of these 15 words, only one, ‘enemies’, has more than one syllable, and this word shouldn’t cause undue difficulties for Muslims.

They are, after all, attracted to the ‘simple monotheism’ of their own holy book that tells them: ‘The unbelievers are an open enemy to you.’ (4:101) ‘Slay them wherever ye find them…’ (2:91) ‘We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.’ (3:151). There are 107 such simple verses in the Koran, conservatively counted. One can see how they would be so appealing to the minds shaped by ‘failed relationships, drink and drugs’.

Such simple truths have inspired the likes of Nicky Reilly, who tried to blow up a restaurant in Bristol with a nail bomb, shoe bomber Richard Reid and 7 July bomber Germaine Lindsay. The report from which the 100,000 number comes says the number of such converts represents a ‘very small minority’. (As did the Bolsheviks in 1917, and look what happened.) But Murad disavows such acts: ‘we refuse to be judged by the behaviour of our fundamentalists’.

Splendid. So what should you be judged by then? By the ‘saintly and fearless hero’ Khalil Dale who ‘watched the Iranian revolution in 1979… and sympathised with what he saw as a believing people’s revolt against a cruel Western-backed autocrat.’ If those wild-eyed Khomeini fanatics were ‘believing people’, give me atheists any day and twice on Sunday. Any Westerner who didn’t see them for what they were, ought to have had his head examined.

Though I suspect Mr Murad is beyond help or any rational argument, I’d be happy to explain to him, in words of one syllable, the ‘bewildering doctrine of the Trinity’, or – assuming he can read – recommend a few simple books on the subject. What I wish someone would explain to me is how a formerly reputable newspaper can publish such drivel.




Our neo-totalitarian state is wearing out its democratic mask

Call our state totalitarian, and there will be millions of hands indignantly thrown up in the air. After all, Britain manifestly lacks the outer attributes we associate with totalitarianism: barbed wire, watch towers, skeletal prisoners.

Yet if we delve under the surface, we’ll find that, though so far eschewing all those ghastly things, our state has laid the same groundwork that made them possible elsewhere. For, like Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, it has effectively replaced traditional morality with a self-serving kind. The method used to achieve this terrifying end is also similar: systematic brainwashing, ably boosted by an educational system whose purpose seems to be to benumb people’s minds.

Anything that advances the cause of communism is moral, explained Lenin, anything that doesn’t isn’t. Replace communism with the Aryan race, and Hitler’s dicta were identical. But such pronouncements mostly served PR purposes. Their underlying meaning was that for the Bolsheviks and the Nazis morality was coextensive with the good of the Bolshevik or Nazi state.

Our spivocrats won’t have the nerve to make such declarations overtly, but they clearly operate according to the same inner logic. Thus, for example, they’ve brainwashed the British into believing that it’s moral for a government to confiscate more than half of what people earn in the sweat of their brow.

The smokescreen laid on people’s minds is so dense that it can’t be lifted by a few dissidents demonstrating, figures in hand, that high taxation ruins the economy and increases the number of the poor the state claims to love. We can scream all we want about, say, the Far Eastern ‘tiger’ economies, which are so successful partly because the state claims only about 20 percent of GDP, give or take a couple. We can argue that taxing the economy at twice that proportion (or, in many Western counties, even more) is the chief contributing factor to the present crisis. We can beseech people to glance around them in search of proof that capitalist production can’t support socialist distribution – not indefinitely at any rate.

Such arguments, though factually unassailable, convince a brainwashed statist no more than the incontrovertible scientific refutation of Darwinism stops Richard Dawkins mouthing illiterate twaddle. Statism isn’t real political thinking and Darwinism isn’t real science – they are two confessions of a surrogate secular religion.

While the real religion has produced the grandeur of Western civilisation, the puny pseudoreligion can only deliver either concentration camps or a cozy, soulless hell for the whole family. Regimes that deliver the former are called totalitarian. Regimes that deliver the latter are in fact neo-totalitarian, though they cover their faces with an increasingly tattered democratic mask.

Take the camps away from totalitarian regimes, and they’ll collapse. Take some philistine comfort away from neo-totalitarian ones, and they won’t survive either. When people’s vision is sharpened by privation, they’ll see through the mask.

In 1913,when modernity was getting into high gear, the Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was passed, empowering the Congress to levy federal income tax as it saw fit. In debating the bill, the honourable gentlemen laughingly mentioned 10 percent as a nightmarishly high rate never to be achieved or indeed imagined. A generation later their colleagues were joyously taxing high incomes at 90 percent, thus vindicating the thin-end-of-the-wedge theory of state aspirations. This was accompanied by brainwashing so successful that Charles Lindbergh (who, as a Nazi sympathiser, wasn’t immune to statist propaganda) would add 10 percent to his tax bill because he was ‘proud to be an American’. Proud to be a statist, was more like it.

The only purpose of high taxes in peacetime is increasing the power of the state over the individual, thereby effectively converting a formerly Western state into a neo-totalitarian one. I can’t think offhand of a more immoral objective, and yet even our ill-informed prelates argue for the ‘morality’ of extortionist taxation.

They ignore overt pronouncements by neo-totalitarians, such as Gordon Brown. When still Chancellor, he dropped the mask by claiming that his government ‘let people keep more of their money.’ As you can let others keep only something that legitimately belongs to you, the message was clear: our money belongs to the state, which decides how much it’ll let us keep for sustenance. Stalin operated on the same logic, if by different means. So did those pyramid-building pharaohs. 

There are still enough people around who refuse to equate goodness with the good of the state. They meekly appeal to what they call Western tradition for fear of calling it what it truly is: Judaeo-Christian, which is to say real, morality. But even such reticence won’t be tolerated by our neo-totalitarian spivocrats. Like wild animals, they can smell danger a mile away. And then they pounce – on everything that remotely resembles Western tradition, and everyone who fights to preserve it.

Their weapons are multifarious, and punitive taxation is only one of them. Mass immigration, especially from societies historically hostile to the West, also acts in that capacity by both diluting – often marginalising – the traditional culture and multiplying the number of those directly dependent on the state. 

Political correctness is another such weapon for, in common with classic totalitarians, the neo variety have grasped the coercive potential of language. If people can be made to talk in a certain way, they can be made to think in the same way, and changing the way people think is a time-honoured totalitarian objective. Moreover, by enforcing political correctness through the courts, the neo-totalitarians unleash a whole raft of anti-traditionalist minority activists who may be a bit unsavoury and occasionally violent, but whose desiderata coincide with those of the state.

Why can’t our government cut tax rates, say, to a flat 20 percent, with the low earners exempt altogether? After all, every bit of empirical evidence proves that the economy will thrive as a result. Why can’t it prevent vociferous, aggressive minorities from imposing their will on a silent, yet decent majority? This would improve society’s moral health no end.

The answer is simple: because by doing so the state will increase people’s power at the expense of its own. Neo-totalitarians will never accept that. And for the time being they can count on those who have swallowed their moralising canards.