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“I am writing to advise you that following the London bombings in July 2005, the Home Secretary announced a list of particular activities that would normally lead to a person being excluded or deported from the UK … The list of unacceptable behaviours covers:
-writing, producing, publishing or distributing material;
-public speaking including preaching;
-running a website;
-using a position of responsibility such as a teacher, community or youth leader
To express views that:
-foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs;
-seek to provoke others to terrorist acts;
-foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts;
-foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
The Home Secretary has considered whether, in light of this list, you should be excluded from the United Kingdom. After careful consideration, she has personally directed that you should be excluded from the United Kingdom…”
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who heads the ministry responsible for counter-terrorism, recently sent the above quoted letter to a recipient in the Middle East. It is worrying to realize who the recipient was and what that implies about Britain’s role in the global struggle against radical Islam.
Was it sent to a Hezbollah official in Lebanon or Iran? Not a chance; “Army of Allah” officials are always welcome guests in the UK. Ibrahim Moussawi, Hezbollah’s chief propagandist, recently concluded a British “speaking tour” with no objections from Ms. Smith’s Home Office.
Perhaps it was sent to a radical imam or cleric somewhere in the Gulf? Wrong again; Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi was successfully granted a visa five out of the last six times that he has applied. Al-Qaradawi, a Muslim Brotherhood affiliated cleric, is known for praising terrorist attacks against Israelis and Americans, calling for the destruction of Israel, and stating that homosexuals should “be put to death”.
During his last trip to Britain, where he chaired the annual meeting of the European Council of Fatwa and Research at London's City Hall, London mayor Ken Livingston compared him to the Pope.
Shamefully, this letter was sent to a politician in the Jewish State. Moshe Feiglin, the head of the Jewish Leadership faction within the Likud party, initially had thought that the letter was a prank, as he had no intentions of visiting the UK and had not applied for a visa. He was shocked to learn that the letter was indeed authentic and that Britain had become the first nation on earth that banned his presence.
In addition to the excerpt quoted above, the letter listed a few statements attributed to Mr. Feiglin as evidence of his ability to “foment and justify terrorist violence”. One of the quotes, 'The Arab is not the son of the desert, but rather, its father', pulled from one of Feiglin’s articles, was not even his at all. Ironically, Feiglin took that quote directly from the book The Desert Yesterday and Today written by none other than, British High Commissioner of Sinai, Sir Claude Jarvis in 1938. In other words, as Feiglin likes to joke, he is being barred from Britain for quoting a British official.
About whose “terrorist violence” were the Brits so worried? Did they think that after one of Feiglin’s trademark synagogue lectures, about the need for Jewish unity and the sanctity of an undivided Jerusalem, the elderly Jews in the audience would be so riled up that they would decide to blow themselves up on the Tube? Or were they more concerned about the violence of the over 2000 Islamists MI5 has under surveillance for being “actively involved in supporting al-Qaeda”?
Appeasement of radical Muslims and their leftist allies is nothing new to the British. The United Kingdom, a country that values its freedom of speech so much that it consistently lets Islamists protest chanting the vilest of expressions, has a long history of silencing Jews. Whereas Islamists in Britain are free to chant “May Allah and Osama Bin Laden bomb you!”, “Nuke, Nuke UK and USA, Blair and Bush you will pay!”, and “Europe is the cancer, Islam is the answer!”, Israeli officials are frequently denied visitors’ visas, threatened with arrest upon entry and worse.
The letter to Feiglin was far from the first time that British authorities acted out against Israelis to mollify their homegrown Islamists. Former Israeli Prime Ministers, Menachem Begin and Yitzchak Shamir, have also received similar letters. Last December, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter cancelled a trip to Britain over fears he would be arrested for “war crimes”.
Transport Minister and former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, and Major General Doron Almog have all encountered similar problems. Almog had already arrived in London to do fundraising for a handicapped services organization, when the Israeli military attaché phoned him to tell him not to get off of the plane. Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism officers were waiting in the airport to arrest him, so Almog stayed on the plane for two hours until it finally headed back to Israel.
British appeasement of radical Islam does not end with the Israelis. Domestically, Londonistan is quickly becoming Europe’s Islamist accession capital. In a speech earlier this year, Home Secretary Smith outlined Britain’s new policy with respect to labeling Muslim terrorists; the slogan “war on terror” is out, deemed “aggressive rhetoric” and too offensive, while “Islamist terrorism” will now be reffered to as “anti-Islamic activities”.
BECTA, the government’s educational technology agency, also recently deemed the Three Little Pigs fairytale as being too offensive to Muslims. Last year, the Department for Education and Skills released a study in which it confirmed that schools across the UK are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending the Muslim community, where Holocaust denial is considered a matter of fact. Add to the mix the recent statements from the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England about integrating Sharia law into the British judicial system and the scope of the problem in the nation where Muhammad is rapidly becoming one of the most popular babies' names becomes clear.
All of this comes at a time when Britain is facing a crisis within its Islamic community. Intensifying militancy and the springing up of “no-go zones” for police are just the tip of the iceberg. In 2006, NOP Research conducted the most comprehensive survey to date of Muslim opinion in Britain.
The results are terrifying. Only one-fourth of British Muslims consider the UK “their country”. The same number believe the 7/7 terrorist attacks on London’s Underground were justified. 30% of respondents hope that Britain becomes a “fundamentalist Islamic state” governed by Sharia law. And an astounding 78% support punishing those who “mock Muhammad”.
All in all, 38% classify themselves as “hardcore Islamists” or “staunch defenders of Islam”. Only 3% of British Muslims surveyed took consistently pro-Western, pro-freedom of speech positions on the questions. A survey undertaken by the Daily Telegraph released at about the same time revealed that one-third of British Muslims found Western society “decadent and immoral” and believed that Muslims should “seek to end it”.
At a time when many European nations, facing similar terrifying realities, are starting to stand up to the threat of radical Islam (the Danes, for one, should be applauded for their reprinting of the Muhammad cartoons in response to the scuttled jihadist plot to assassinate cartoonist Kurt Westergaard), it is a shame that this is going on.
On March 5th, 2004 former British PM Tony Blair said “the nature of the global threat we face in Britain and round the world is real and existential and it is the task of leadership to expose it and fight it, whatever the political cost; and that the true danger is not to any single politician's reputation, but to our country if we now ignore this threat or erase it from the agenda in embarrassment at the difficulties it causes”— four years later it seems his nation is backsliding into another Chamberlain-esque “Peace for Our Time” moment.
Dan Rabkin is a Middle Eastern Affairs and National Security analyst based in Toronto, Canada. He was Canada’s 2005 Governor General’s Medalist. He can be reached at email@example.com.