In Depth

Made in Britain: time to face facts about Muslim extremists

It is no longer possible to pretend that Muslim immigration to Britain has been an unqualified success

Crispin Black

David Cameron announces solemnly that we face the greatest terrorist threat in world history or the Guinness Book of Records - whatever his hyperbole du jour is - but is slow to do anything about it. 

My first commanding officer in the Welsh Guards, a hunting-shooting-fishing type to the core, often used a vivid phrase to describe the spineless and decision-averse staff officers that seemed to infest the army in the early 1980s: “So wet you could shoot snipe off them.” Quite.

We need a Gene Kranz, rapidly. Remember him: flight director during the Apollo 13 moonshot, wonderfully played by Ed Harris in the 1995 movie.  He was the man who got the astronauts back to earth against the odds. 

The YouTube clips of Harris making the key decisions are a mini-masterclass in leadership.  The film script stays close to the recorded dialogue and facts (although “Houston, we’ve had a problem” is changed to “Houston, we have a problem” – not what was actually said but what entered the folk memory).  

Perhaps the key moment in the whole rescue operation comes early in the drama when a squabbling group of NASA technicians is brought to order by Kranz.  All of them are making one cardinal error that Kranz spots and realises will be fatal – they are dealing with the stricken spacecraft as they think it ought to be, not as it is.

“Let’s look at this thing from a standpoint of status.  What do we have on the spacecraft that’s good?”   It was above all a sense of reality that made the rescue possible.

In the same way, we should make a cool and realistic assessment about Islamist extremism.  It is no longer possible to pretend, or force down people’s throats, the idea that the large-scale Muslim immigration to Britain, particularly from Pakistan, allowed and encouraged over a generation (in the teeth of popular opposition), has been an unqualified success. 

Of course, the troublemakers – the very high-maintenance aspect of this immigration now in its second and third generation - represent only a tiny infinitesimal minority of the whole.  Still, there are enough to rape over 1,400 underage girls in Rotherham, perpetrate the bloodiest terrorist attack in British history, dishonour returning British troops from abroad, attempt to hijack parts of the education system of the country’s second largest city etc etc. 

It’s not entirely their fault.  Perhaps no one ever instructed them in or stuck up for the basic norms of British life – respect for the law, for instance. Which would account for the fact that, according to one recent survey, more than 40 per cent of British Muslims would prefer Sharia law to our thousand-year-old system of justice. 

And it’s little wonder that many of them seem to have no respect for our established religion: in the 1980s the third most senior bishop in the Church of England publicly described the Resurrection of Jesus as a “conjuring trick with bones”.   

Those who govern us seem unwilling to take the most obvious precautions.  Jihad-watchers at King’s College, London estimate that up to 700 British subjects have so far gone to kill and murder for a supposedly religious cause in the Middle East, and that 260-plus have already returned to this country, many of whom represent a clear and present danger to the safety of the rest of us.  

We used to export cars, ships and steel to make a living in the world.  Most of the games people play for a brief respite from the rigours of the human condition originated here: soccer, rugby, tennis, golf, squash and bridge were all formulated on these shores.  We have also exported values, most importantly parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.  

Now we are reduced to being exporters of the bestial form of Islamist extremism adopted by ‘Jihadi John’ – whoever he is, he is certainly a Brit. Cocooned here, tolerated here, indulged here, supported by welfare payments from the hard-pressed British taxpayer and comfortably housed at public expense.  Our beloved country has become an incubator of savagery.   

The modern state is uniquely powerful – it can interfere in just about every aspect of our lives.  But it seems reluctant to protect us from a startlingly obvious threat – sadistic killers and torturers returning from the Middle East. 

If, in the months to come, a group of such men are able to mount a terrorist attack in this country we will know for sure that the contract between British citizens and their state has been broken beyond repair.  The political elite will protect themselves – look at the security at the Nato summit in Newport - but it is unwilling to protect us.  We must make other arrangements.  

Barack Obama and David Cameron visited a primary school just outside Newport yesterday morning.  It was lovely to hear President Obama saying ‘bore da’ - ‘good morning’ in Welsh. I have another message for David Cameron, in particular, also in Welsh: “Ble mae’r ffycin tryfu ups?”  

A translation, not including the third word, would read “Where are the grown-ups?”  “Ffycin” you can probably guess.

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