UKIP’s interim leader Gerard Batten committed a crime a few years ago. And – are you ready for this? – he refused to repent. Instead he has committed the same crime again and again, which makes him a recidivist, a serial re-offender.
The law he has been breaking with monotonous consistency is rapidly growing in importance, with transgressors punished more surely, and often more severely, than burglars, muggers and car thieves.
Having no legal credentials, I can’t describe this vital law in terms of its accurate technical nomenclature. But it can be summed up colloquially as “You Can’t Say That!!!”
The boundaries of this law haven’t yet been signposted with the customary precision of British jurisprudence. However, everybody who’s anybody knows osmotically what those boundaries are, where the line is drawn – and that Mr Batten has overstepped it.
I shan’t keep you in suspense any longer – you’ve now been sufficiently primed not to faint on hearing the extent of Mr Batten’s criminality. He has described Islam… wait a second, let me catch my breath… as a “death cult” – and then refused to be branded as an Islamophobe.
A phobia, argued Mr Batten infuriatingly, denotes irrational fear. Since the fear of Islam is perfectly rational, it doesn’t fall into that category.
Now describing a major Abrahamic religion as a “death cult” is just awful. Similarly, it would be awful of me to claim that Mr Batten steals cars in his spare time.
However, if it can be convincingly shown that Mr Batten indeed boosts cars, the accusation will stop being awful. It’ll become a statement of fact.
Conversely, if evidence proves that he only ever drives cars he buys or hires, then profuse apologies will be in order – accompanied by the hope that Mr Batten is too busy to file a libel suit.
Only by applying this basic common sense to the issue at hand can we decide whether fear of Islam is indeed a phobia or a legitimate concern. And the only way to decide this is to look at historical facts – and I mean recent historical facts, never mind the past 1,400 years.
Fair enough? Well, in that case the briefest of looks at some of the world’s flashpoints over the past 20 years will show that most of those have involved Muslims.
Specifically one could mention the conflicts between Bosnian Muslims and Christians; Côte d’Ivoire Muslims and Christians; Cyprus Muslims and Christians; East Timor Muslims and Christians; Indonesian Muslims and Christians in Ambon Island; Kashmir Muslims and Hindus; Kosovo Muslims and Christians; Macedonian Muslims and Christians; Nigeria Muslims and both Christians and Animists; Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Islamic world; Muslims and Israelis; Muslims and Christians in the Philippines; Chechen Muslims and Russians; Azeri Muslims and Armenian Christians; Sri Lanka Tamils and Buddhists; Thailand’s Muslims and Buddhists in the Pattani province; Muslim Bengalis and Buddhists in Bangladesh; Muslims and Protestant, Chaldean Catholic and Assyrian Orthodox Christians in Kurdistan.
These are just wars or warlike conflicts. Alas, the situation with common or garden terrorism in Europe is just as bleak. Terrorist acts committed by Muslims have claimed 20,706 lives since 1970 and – a worryingly escalating trend – 11,093 of them since 2007.
In parallel with this the number of mosques in Europe has grown by orders of magnitude. For example, Britain had some 60 mosques in 1960 and has over 1,700 now. On that basis, Mr Batten advocates a ban on the building of any new mosques, although he’s at pains to stress that this is merely his personal opinion.
This opinion would be valid only if it could be demonstrated that violence against infidels is an essential part of Islam’s religious dogma. If it is, then the mullahs and imams are duty-bound to preach violence or at least not to issue injunctions against it.
Since, unlike Christianity, Islam is strictly a religion of the Book, the Koran is the only authority to settle this issue. And the Koran contains some 300 verses along these lines:
“Slay them [unbelievers] wherever ye find them…” (2:91) “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve.” (3:151) “Take them [unbelievers] and kill them wherever ye find them…” (4:91) “The unbelievers are an open enemy to you.” (4:101) “Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends…” (5:51) “Slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush” (9:5) “Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” (4:74) “…If they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them…” (4:89)
It’s true that only a minority of Muslims practise what such verses preach. But then every violent outburst in history has been initiated by a minority in a large population. A couple of hundred Bolsheviks, for example, managed to install a rather violent regime in 1917. And even in its heyday, say in the 1960s, less than 10 per cent of the population belonged to the Communist Party.
Even if truly pious Muslims, those who believe that infidels should be killed, make up a similar proportion of the British Islamic population, one can be excused for feeling the odd twinge of fear. After all, if I still remember my arithmetic, 10 per cent of 5,000,000 is a hell of a lot.
Such weight of evidence would exonerate Mr Batten if he were tried for breaking any other law. But the You-Can’t-Say-That!!! law knows no exoneration and no exculpation. Anyone accused of it is guilty as charged, and no legal representation is allowed.
As the founder, president and so far the only member of the Charles Martel Society for Multiculturalism, I’m institutionally obligated to welcome this.
So yes, fear that a Muslim may blow up your bus is groundless Islamophobia. There should be no restrictions on the number of mosques or on the content of the sermons therein – even if mullahs call for mass murder and recruit mass murderers. Anyone who suggests that perhaps importing millions of cultural aliens hell-bent on murder isn’t the best idea in the history of British polity is a criminal.
And as to Mr Batten – off with his head. He has let facts interfere with a good story.