I refuse to be yet another one of the “irrelevant” silent majority

churchill_islamHere I go with another blog on that most ‘dangerous’ of blog subjects…religion.

The picture may create anger in someone but there is no provocative intention. That said and oh so often these days, there will be one of those individuals who harbours a constant and personal ‘obligation’ to suffer ‘indignation’ on behalf of someone else.

So Take note… You…Yes You!

I have absolutely no desire to intentionally (or accidentally) offend anyone. Don’t attempt to do your level best to read hate into something that doesn’t contain any. You are however welcome to read on but you can take your PC Spin and shove it where the sun don’t shine!

In some ways I’m already courting a personal disaster or at the very least, treading on exceedingly dodgy ground, simply by using the Churchill image (above). Back in April 2014, the very same image and quote sparked the arrest of Paul Weston, Chairman of Liberty GB. What was his crime?

Simple, publicly quoting an excerpt critical of Islam from the book The River War by Winston Churchill. Weston was charged with a ‘Racially Aggravated Crime’, under Section 4 of the Public Order Act. It was a charge which was subsequently dropped (see here). I wasn’t there, I didn’t see Weston’s ‘performance’ or hear how he delivered his speach. All I know about it is what I have read. The issues surrounding religious ‘radicalisation’ and so-called ‘islamification’ of the Western world still remains, if anything it is worsening. 

This week there has been a great deal of, mostly media inspired, public angst regarding British youngsters who are becoming Jihadis – but what makes some British Muslim kid want to go to Syria?

It’s a question that many of us have increasingly been asking. It’s also one which Suraj Lakhani, author of a doctoral thesis on ‘radicalisation’ in the UK tried to answer in The Guardian recently; “the route to radicalisation is a complex one” and consequently, any “coherent response” requires a greater level of “grassroots action” in our communities. In addition, there’s also emerging evidence to suggest that ‘religion’ is merely a front for much behind these radical Jihad causes (see here). As sure as eggs is eggs we need to move fast as these ‘dangers’ appear to be on the increase.

Joanna Bourke, author and professor of history at Birkbeck College also pointed to the fact that; British jihadis in Syria are probably driven by more factors than just religion. “Young men going to fight in Syria may have also been influenced by wider modern cultural forces that valorise war” (see here). I’m of the opinion that, irrespective of race colour or creed, much of today’s youth constantly inhabit a ‘virtual’ world. It’s also a contributory factor in their predominant ‘Grand Theft Auto’ driving styles (but that’s for another blog).

In my view, and that of others (see below) we need to be less fearful of voicing opinion and making observations. Society’s intense adherence to overt (and covert) Political Correctness is actually providing a suit of armour to protect the ‘enemy’ we seek to defeat. Dare to espouse a view which the media can twist or read something into and you’re generally on a hiding to nothing, destined for a constant barrage of accusations decrying your ‘racist’ and ‘bigoted’ tendencies.

Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch is one such example. He has long informed the public about radicalism, fundamentalism and the ‘ills’ within Islam and, he has also campaigned against the dangers of literal and violent Jihad.

…non-Muslims in the West, as well as in India, China, Russia, and the world over, are facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy their societies and impose Islamic law upon them — and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad…(Jihad Watch)

For his, arguably informed and educated viewpoint, he is constantly pilloried by the media and those who don’t want to share his views and opinions. Because you happen to disagree with someone’s views, does that actually mean they are wrong?

Another is the author and ‘terrorism expert’ Brigitte Gabriel, CEO of ACT! for America, who spoke “heatedly” recently about Islam at the Benghazi panel of the Heritage Foundation, a “conservative research think tank” based in Washington D.C.  In her own words, Gabriel often gives voice to “what many in America are thinking but afraid to say out loud, for fear of being labeled a racist, bigot, Islamophobic, or intolerant.” For that single factor alone I would be more than inclined to listen to what she had to say. That doesn’t meen I would have to agree with her!

The Heritage event ended up getting a lot of (mostly bad) press and the left have claimed the event turned ugly. A Muslim woman in the audience raised the issue of ‘peaceful muslims’ getting a bigoted and ‘raw deal’ from so many in society (see video below). Detractors from the important issues being raised immediately claimed; she was ‘pounced on’ and ‘bullied’ by members of the panel.

After watching the video myself, I have to say, I can’t agree with that particular characterisation. Brigitte Gabriel’s answer to this Muslim woman is perhaps one that is required and maybe a little more often. The lady who posed the question may well have a strong belief in the point she was trying to put across however; should that mean she is immune from her opinion being challenged… I think not.

Many call for increased anti-terrorism powers for the police and our intelligence services however; ‘enforcement’ action alone, or simply resorting to the Criminal Justice System (CJS), will only ever tackle the outcomes from radicalism. It will not address the underlying causation factors behind it. Just as over reliance upon ‘enforcement’ has (mostly) failed us in the war on drugs, similar outcomes are likely to prevail here.

But, all of these issues require better understanding. Especially if we hold any genuine desire to address the underlying causes behind them. To fully understand anything, you actually have to research it, and be confident enough to discuss those findings, experiences and the evidence that is uncovered, no matter how distasteful it may appear. It’s something that many aren’t able to do, we tend to shy away from it because of the fear of being subjected to legal or political retribution. That or becoming the subject of abuse via social media or even face to face.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen – Winston Churchill

To my mind, if we continually accept the views of others without questioning, out of willing blindness or some level of political and/or legal coercion, this simply ensures that this individual is no better than the Jihadi they seek to combat.

Islam is NOT a religion of peace, nor does Islam mean peace. Islam means submission…(Bare Naked Islam)

It’s one of the major reasons why indoctrination of any kind, let alone the religiously based radicalism refered to here, can actually succeed. It’s also probably a good reason behind the increased popularity of secularism today.

Trying to understand both opposing extremes of any particular issue will (hopefully) help you arrive at a more passive and middle-ground viewpoint. If you can’t think about and question both sides openly, you run the risk of becoming yet another member of the ‘irrelevant’ silent majority!

PS. If you were offended or upset by any of my observations or what you have read I worry about you and I suggest you have a serious word with yourself.

Other Reference:

  • Heritage’s Ugly Benghazi Panel (The Washington Post)
  • Benghazi Panel Turns Ugly After Muslim Woman Asks About Peaceful Muslims (The Wire)
  • Conservatives Berate Muslim Woman After She Stood Up For Islam (Huff Post – Politics)
  • Brigitte Gabriel gives FANTASTIC answer to Muslim woman claiming all Muslims are portrayed badly (The Right Scoop)
  • Paul Weston Arrest: Good News / Bad News (Bare Naked Islam)
  • Is Tony Blair or Islam to blame for ISIS and Iraq? (LibertyGB)