Our papers are filled with Muslim apologetics, essentially saying that there’s nothing about Islam that can possibly prevent its exponents from effortlessly adapting to any Western society.
This claim is an article of secular faith and therefore impervious to rational argument, appeals to history or Islamic scripture and indeed the avalanche of empirical evidence before our very eyes.
That last should by itself clinch the argument for anyone who genuinely desires to find the truth rather than merely ventilate an ideological bias. Rather than inclusivity and pluralism claimed for Islam by the Oxford imam Dr Hargey et al., Islam manifestly promotes resentful particularism.
After all, the conditions of virtual apartheid in which so many British Muslims live are self-imposed, rather than thrust down their throats by an oppressive government. Anyone who wishes to become British in every other than just the legal sense can do so without hindrance, and I would be the first one to cheer.
Life within those self-imposed ghettos isn’t necessarily all bad. In fact, there are many things in Islam that we might envy.
Respect for one’s elders and the tradition they embody, the importance of family, widespread worship, contempt for drunkenness, drugs and pornography – these are all admirable, taken one by one. However, when mixed with less admirable features, they add up to a civilisation that’s incompatible with ours.
It was the Russian philosopher Valdimir Soloviov (d. 1900) who remarked that too many Christians aren’t true to their great religion, while too many Muslims are true to their bad one. Such devoutness isn’t always voluntary.
Unlike Christianity, which was spread by suicidal missionaries, Islam was spread by homicidal warriors. Coerced conversion was the order of the day, and Muslims have never been encouraged to question their faith – and always discouraged to leave it. The punishment for apostasy is death, and good Muslims still don’t regard this as a quaint anachronism.
There are some 300 verses in the Koran, conservatively counted, that prescribe violence, plus 41 calling for jihad. Unlike the violent passages in the Old Testament, these are all open-ended, not tied into a particular situation or historical context.
This alone – before we’ve even begun to discuss Muslim matrimonial practices, treatment of women, dress code and some such – should suffice to show that Islam, for all its sterling qualities, cannot be automatically presumed to foster traditional British moderation in its adherents.
This isn’t to say that all Muslims are avid killers of infidels and apostates. Far from it. Some of them are Muslims in the same sense in which Leon Trotsky was a Jew or Richard Dawkins is a Christian.
They were born to a faith whose practices they don’t really follow and whose dictates they don’t necessarily obey. Such Muslims may indeed be really moderate – what they aren’t is really Muslims.
The argument that violent Muslim zealots constitute only a minority doesn’t quite wash either, even though I’m sure it’s technically true. Every outburst of mass aggression has always been instigated and led by a small cadre of impassioned elite turning the inert masses into lemmings.
This holds true for the American Founders who professed to be acting on behalf of the people, whereas most of the people were either indifferent or downright hostile to their cause.
It was the case with the handful of French and Russian revolutionaries who then proceeded to annihilate millions of those in whose name they were allegedly acting.
It’s also true of ‘Islamism’, which is the PC for Islam.
There’s nothing new about these comments, heretical as they may sound to modern ears half-deafened by progressivist din amplified by the newly hatched (and often legally enforced) PC orthodoxy.
A few decades ago even schoolchildren would have shared the common perception of Islam, as enunciated, among many others, by Winston Churchill: “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith.”
Today’s commentators can’t express themselves so forthrightly in the mainstream press. They’re expected to profess acceptance of Dr Hargey’s assurances that Islam is inclusive and pluralistic. Only the inveterate cynics among us dare say “Yeah, yeah, known for it”, and then only in private or at best on line.
I don’t think our papers should open their pages to Muslims and their apologists when they utter demonstrable falsehoods. Freedom of the press doesn’t, or at least shouldn’t, protect freedom of alien propaganda full of deliberately misleading lies.
Such openness makes us strategically vulnerable. Public opinion still matters in Britain and, while few readers of our newspapers are likely to develop particularly warm feelings about Islam, many may well accept the mythical difference between Islam and Islamism as real.
If sufficiently widespread, this public sentiment may have an adverse effect on policy, if only by giving our congenitally vacillating government an excuse to replace muscular response with, at best, police action.
Meanwhile, Mrs May gave a dressing-down to Boris Johnson for daring to say that the Saudis are involved in all sorts of beastliness by proxy. The ensuing debate revolves around the trade deals Mr Johnson’s frankness may jeopardise, rather than on whether or not his statement is true.
Post-truth society indeed.