By Melanie Phillips On July 8, 2008
Three years after the London Tube and bus bombings, it is alarming beyond
measure to record that Britain is even now sleepwalking into Islamisation.
Some people will think this is mere hyperbole. However, that’s the problem.
Britain still doesn’t grasp that it is facing a pincer attack from both
terrorism and cultural infiltration and usurpation.
The former is understood; the latter is generally not acknowledged or is
even denied, and those who call attention to it are pilloried as either ‘
Islamophobes’ or alarmists who have taken up residence on Planet Paranoia.
Certainly, the police and security service have been foiling plot after plot
and are bringing to court a steady stream of Islamist radicals -an
improvement without doubt from three years ago. And so, particularly within
the British elite, people think that things are broadly under control.
They fail to realise that the attempt to take over our culture is even more
deadly to this society than terrorism. They are simply blind to the ruthless
way in which the Islamists are exploiting our chronic muddle of well-meaning
tolerance and political correctness (backed up by the threat of more
violence) to put Islam on a special – indeed, unique – footing within
As a result, the steady Islamisation of British public life is either being
ignored or even tacitly encouraged by a political, security and judicial
establishment that is failing to identify the stealthy and mind-bending game
that is being played.
The official counter-radicalisat ion programme illustrates the problem. The
Government wants to tackle radicalisation within Britain’s Muslim community
by winning hearts and minds within that community. Its strategy is based on
isolating the extremists and encouraging the moderates.
The problem, however, is that it doesn’t understand what Muslim extremism
is. Believing that Islamic terrorism is motivated by an ideology which has
‘hijacked’ and distorted Islam, it will not acknowledge the extremism within
mainstream Islam itself.
The reason so many older British Muslims are traditionally moderate is that
they were brought up in the Asian subcontinent under a tamed form of Islam,
deriving from centuries of colonial rule, which glossed over much of the
teaching of the religion.
The Government believes that Islamic radicalism can be countered by teaching
authentic Islam to Muslims. But since Islamic radicalism is based upon those
very authentic religious precepts, this will undoubtedly have the effect of
radicalising people who otherwise would never have thought in this way.
The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) was set up to put into
effect the Government’s aim of ensuring moderation in the mosques. This was
always unlikely, given that members of Islamist groupings were on the
steering committee. Although MINAB’s chairman, Manazir Ahsan, presents
himself as a reformer, he is the director of the Islamic Foundation, which
follows the writings of Maulana Maududi – who preached an end to the
sovereignty and supremacy of unbelievers who should be made to live in a
state of subordination to Islam.
Similarly, Dr Ataullah Siddiqui, the Government’s chief adviser on Islamic
Studies, is a senior member of the Islamic Foundation. A report he wrote for
the Government last year, Islam at Universities in England, which was
publicly welcomed by the Prime Minister, urged that among other special
privileges for Muslims, they should be allowed to teach Islamic subjects in
British universities and that non-Muslims should be banned from doing so.
In any event, the universities are steadily being Islamised, with academic
objectivity in the teaching of Islam and Middle East studies being set aside
in favour of indoctrination and propaganda.
A report by Professor Anthony Glees due to be published in the autumn will
argue that extremist ideas are being spread by Islamic study centres linked
to British universities and backed by multimillion- pound donations from
Saudi Arabia and Muslim organisations.
He says: ‘Britain’s universities will have to generate two national
cultures: one non-Muslim and largely secular, the other Muslim. We will have
two identities, two sets of allegiance and two legal and political systems.
This must, by the Government’s own logic, hugely increase the risk of
Even more terrifying is the increasing Islamisation of the police. It has
been reported that up to eight police officers and civilian staff working in
the Metropolitan Police and other forces are suspected of links to extremist
groups, including Al Qaeda, with some even believed to have attended terror
training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan. One suspected jihadist officer
working in the South East has been allowed to keep his job despite being
caught circulating internet images of beheadings and roadside bombings in
No less disturbing is the fact that the police are intentionally bringing
Islamists into the force in the utterly misguided belief (shared by many in
the security service) that they can help counter Islamic radicalism.
Commander Robert Lambert, who until this year ran the Metropolitan Police
Muslim Contact Unit, observed that terrorism could not be fought by contact
with moderate Muslims but through partnerships with Salafists (Sunni
extremists who believe in Islamic supremacy over the secular state) – one of
whom was actually an officer in his own police department.
Commander Lambert believed that this would enable the police to understand
the way extremists thought before they committed any acts of terror.
But it surely goes without saying that an officer who is committed to the
overthrow of the West, and its replacement by an Islamic society poses a
security risk of the first order. For a police counter-terrorism specialist
to be promoting this situation beggars belief.
Deeply alarmed sources have furthermore told me that, in the overriding
concern by police forces to hire more ethnic minority officers, they have
junked vetting criteria – particularly when it comes to hiring Police
Community Support Officers, who after two years can become fully fledged
police officers with no further vetting required. The result, say these
sources, is that the security of police operations is potentially
Moreover, there have been disturbing examples of the police protecting
Islamic extremism. In 2007, the Channel Four Dispatches programme uncovered
evidence of incitement to murder of homosexuals, the killing of British
soldiers and hatred of ‘unbelievers’ going on below the official radar in
ostensibly respectable British mosques.
But instead of prosecuting such fanatics, the West Midlands Police first
tried to prosecute the programme makers and then accused them of selective
editing and distortion and undermining community cohesion – a libel for
which the police and the Crown Prosecution Service were subsequently forced
A report by the Centre for Social Cohesion on honour killings and similar
violence revealed that several women’s groups, particularly in the Midlands
and northern England, say they are often reluctant to go to the police with
women who have run away from home to escape violence, because they cannot
trust Asian police officers not to betray the girls to their abusing
In February, Christian evangelists Arthur Cunningham and Joseph Abraham were
handing out Bible extracts in Alum Rock, Birmingham. They were stopped by a
Muslim Police Community Support Officer, threatened with arrest if they
carried on preaching in ‘a Muslim area’, and warned that they might get
beaten up if they came back.
What on earth is happening when, in the heart of England, a British police
support officer, employed by the British state to enforce the law of
England, aggressively prevents Christians from preaching the established
faith of England on the grounds that this is now a ‘hate crime’?
When the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, warned that Britain was
developing Muslim nogo areas, he was denounced as Islamophobic.
The Establishment queued up to say they didn’t recognise the Britain he was
describing. But British public life is progressively being Islamised, with
Muslim radicals in areas with large concentrations of Muslims increasingly
After a vicar in East London, Canon Michael Ainsworth, was beaten up by
three Muslims in his own churchyard in March, it was revealed that there had
been many attacks on churches in the area by such youths, who on one
occasion shouted: ‘This should not be a church, this should be a mosque.’
Yet last month, one of the youths in the Ainsworth attack walked free after
a judge accepted his claim that the attack was not religiously motivated.
Sharia law is steadily encroaching into British institutions. Last week,
Lord Phillips, the most senior judge in England and Wales, said it could
play a role in some parts of the legal system. This followed comments by the
Archbishop of Canterbury who declared that Muslim families should be able to
choose between English and Islamic law in marital and family issues.
But the fact is that Britain is already developing a parallel sharia
jurisdiction in such matters, with a blind eye being turned to such
practices as forced marriage, cousin marriage, female genital mutilation and
polygamy; indeed, welfare benefits are now given to the multiple wives of
Meanwhile, the courts still appear to be bending over backwards to appease
Muslim radicalism. Last month, a judge freed from prison Abu Qatada, the
most important Al Qaeda operative in Europe and the lynchpin of numerous
European terror attacks, who was being held pending deportation to Jordan to
His release on bail – into a kind of house arrest – followed an Appeal Court
ruling that he could not be deported to Jordan because any prosecution there
might have been obtained as a result of a witness being tortured – a breach
of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Why do the British authorities appear to go out of their way to thwart
efforts to fight and defeat jihadi terror? While Islamists are being
appeased, the Christian church is being discriminated against. The Bishop of
Rochester said that the decline of Christian values was destroying
Britishness and had created a ‘moral vacuum’ which radical Islam was filling
In reply to this cri de coeur from a civilisation under siege, Hazel Blears,
the Communities Secretary, maintained it was right that more money and
effort was spent on Islam than Christianity because of the threat from
extremism and homegrown terrorism.
But Islamism will be repulsed only if Britain once again regains the
confidence of its own culture, heritage and traditions. And these are based
Ms Blears’s lamentable comment graphically illustrates the problem. While
the ordinary people of Britain are increasingly aghast at the way their
country is being transformed by Islamism, the political, judicial, security
and intellectual elites are busy denying the nature of the danger and making
it far, far worse through a combination of extreme ignorance, arrogance and
The Islamists launched their jihad against the West because they perceived
it was so weak and confused it would not possess the wherewithal to defend
itself. When it comes to Britain, they never spoke a truer word.
This is an abridged version of a new foreword to an updated edition of
<http://www.amazon. co.uk/Londonista n-NEW-UPDATED- Britain-Creating /dp/1903933
900/ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8& s=books&qid= 1215502950& sr=8-1> ‘
by Melanie Phillips, published in the UK by Gibson Square.