The encroachment of Islamism into small towns in the UK
The article which follows – “They Walk Among Us (A Personal Encounter with Religious Supremacists)” – should be read in conjunction with the account on Breitbart London of the meeting on 13th November 2015 in The Corn Exchange, in Bedford UK, which featured a panel of known Islamist terror-supporters, and which led to the article being sent to me.
“They Walk Among Us…” was published originally in August 2010 on CiFWatch, now UK Media Watch, an excellent blog which monitors the UK Guardian and other media, but was subsequently removed because of a change in editorial policy there. “Medusa” the article’s author, sent me this copy and gave me permission to reproduce it in the light of the recent goings on in Bedford UK.
The 2010 article is apposite in the light of the recent antics of the local authority of Bedford, a small town which, according to Medusa, is very like the town in which took place the incident she describes below. The Borough Council of Bedford, no doubt out of ignorance rather than spite, gave permission for a nest of Islamist terror-supporting vipers to rent a hall on council property, there to address a predominantly Muslim audience in the manner described in the article on Breitbart London, on the very evening that the attacks on innocents were perpetrated in Paris by ISIS.
“Medusa” was furious, quite understandably, that the Borough Council had given their permission. She perceived what ensued there as a reprise of her “debate” with the Islamists in the market place of her town over five years previously, but the Bedford Corn Exchange meeting was, we agreed, much more dangerous because 5Pillars, the organisation which planned it, sent its smoothest operator to get permission from the local authority. That, of course, gave its views specious validity, not least because Bedford Borough Council took what the man said at its face value and failed to investigate fully the organisation’s aims. We agreed that her article should be sent to Faith Freedom with that in mind:
They Walk Among Us (A Personal Encounter with Religious Supremacists)
August 1, 2010 by Medusa (originally published on CIFWatch, UK)
I write this as an illustration of the too-ready linkage between Islamism and antisemitism in the UK, which is an increasingly disturbing aspect of the general public discourse here, as is its growing influence upon the delegitimisation of Israel as a Jewish state. The following description is of a conversation I had at their market stall with two Islamists whose attitude and arguments are identical to those of Hizb-ut-Tahrir although they denied that they were members.
Initially they had no way of knowing that I was Jewish (although I told them that I was towards the end of our “debate”); they first assumed it on the strength of my pointing up one of the lies on their leaflet, and my question about the Islamic Society at Manchester University. The ease with which my interlocutors went from condemning Israel to condemning Jews (and me) would have shocked me had I not been prepared for it.
I should emphasise that these two were offering very different sorts of leaflets to non-Muslim passers-by from the ones they were peddling to Muslims. The former employed the standard modus operandi of cult recruitment – to encourage questioning about life satisfaction, to insinuate doubts about one’s life and exacerbate them and then to offer their extremist version of Islam as the only cure (see “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan for a full description of the rationale behind this and how it works).
There was no hint in any of these leaflets of the self-aggrandisement and superiority in the leaflets meant for Muslims only. These latter varied between urging Muslims not to commit idolatry (shirk), or focused on the hadith or even urged them not to vote or warned them about the evils of interaction with other faith groups. The threat to social cohesion is palpable.
ON, THEN, TO MY ACCOUNT OF THE EVENT:
A normal Saturday afternoon at the market in the small town where I live. It’s a peaceful place by and large, and people of all colours and creeds tend to rub along together very well. A walk through the market reflects the different cultures – Italian, Indian, Eastern European, British, African, West Indian – and Islamists who, I later found out, were from Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
Two traditionally dressed bearded Muslim men stood behind a trestle table at the edge of the market looking as if they had to practise being friendly. I later remembered thinking that it was interesting that they set themselves apart – that it represented a sort of parallel process to how Hizb ut Tahrir believes that all Muslims should behave. There was a donations box labelled ******** Dawah on the table, and a handmade notice which bade people to come and learn about Islam. (I later found out that they were not listed as a charity in the UK and I doubt very much that they had a licence to collect money on the street – I intend to check that out in the light of what followed).
I went over to their stall. The more confident man told me to take a leaflet from the right-hand side of the trestle. I asked him why.
“Because those are for non-Muslims.”
I said, “OK, but why are you separating out the leaflets you give to non-Muslims from those you give to Muslims?” And I reached over and took a leaflet headed “Evils of Interfaith” from the “For Muslims” pile.
“So you believe that interfaith is evil?” I asked the first man.
(According to the leaflet, meetings between faith groups in order to promote mutual respect and understanding were forbidden by the Koran and were therefore, as the leaflet declaimed, evil. This, I believed, was evidence not only of sublime arrogance, but a direct threat to the much-vaunted social cohesion strategies of successive UK governments).
“No, we believe that Islam is superior to every other faith. We have no need of interfaith.”
(Note the nonsensical nature of this remark, which was the second lie he told me. He is encouraging people to take leaflets which are headed “Evils of Interfaith” and yet in answer to my question, he denies that he believes that interfaith is evil!)
“But Islam is the last Abrahamic religion,” I said, “and Judaism and Christianity came before Islam.”
(I knew that he was likely to believe in that Islam had abrogated the other two – I just wanted to see what he would say).
And sure enough, “Islam is the best because it came last.”
I told him that I disagreed and it didn’t make any sense to me that he couldn’t make room in his belief system to accept that other religions were just as valid as Islam. He told me that was because other religions were inferior to Islam. Again I said I disagreed. Not inferior, I said, merely different.
Then he asked, “How much do you know about Islam?”
I answered that I knew quite a bit, which is true. I told him I knew, for instance, about al-taqqiya and how devout Muslims were permitted to lie. (He of course had lied at the very beginning: I had asked him whether he and his chum were from Hizb-ut-Tahrir and he had said they were not. I later found out that the Dawah organisation was part of Hizb-ut-Tahrir).
“But Islam does not lie!” he said, and I shook my head and then I, a mere woman, actually laughed at him!
I said that any religion which painted itself as superior to other religions was lying as well as being insulting to those other religions. And I quoted back at him what was written from the Koran in the “Evils of Interfaith” leaflet. I pointed up one lie which leapt off the page:
“Never will the Jews nor (sic) the Christians be pleased with you till you follow their religion [2:10]”
I said that this about the Jews was an outright lie – because Jews do not set out to convert others to their religion, neither do they insist that Judaism is the best religion for everyone else.
At this he got rather hot under the collar. How dared I say that the holy Koran was a lie? I said that he hadn’t been listening properly. I had not said that all the Koran was a lie, merely that one Sura if indeed it had come from the Koran, and moreover he knew it. I pointed to the paper – “that is a lie.”
He glared at me. “The Jews think they are superior to us but they are not.”
I reminded him that it was he who had said that Islam was superior to every other religion. I said that the majority of Jews believed in interfaith values – that everyone should be allowed to worship as they chose – and they were good citizens. How then could he argue that they thought they were superior? I asked him how many Jews had he met and how many had tried to convert him to Judaism.
He had met “lots of Jews” he said, at Manchester University where he had studied (but I was left to assume that none had tried to convert him to Judaism). I asked him what he thought about the conduct of the Islamic society there.
“Ah, you hate us because the university hates Israel and loves Palestine.”
(Another example of grandiosity – how could he reasonably argue that the Islamic society represented the views of the whole university?)
He then got rather carried away about his “brethren” in Palestine and how the Jews oppress them and murder and bomb them and have no right to be there. I told him that his grasp of history was less than adequate or honest, and had he learned more he would have known that Palestinians could have had their state in 1947 but they refused the offer of partition because they wanted it all. They could hardly complain, I said, if they didn’t have their own state because they preferred to attack Israel rather than concentrate on building a state for themselves.
A slightly different tack then: “The Jews have no link with Palestine.”
I reminded him that Jews had had links with what he called Palestine since before his prophet had been born.
“So you are an ethnic Jew?” I told him I was.
“European Jews have no place in Palestine.” I respectfully disagreed with him.
“But the Jews are not a race!” I told him neither were the Palestinians – that they were Arabs – and neither are Muslims.
And then a complete change of tack and evidence of one of the main threads of Islamist anti-Semitism: “Jews are damned because they reject Jesus and Jesus is a Muslim.“ (That Jesus was a Muslim was also written in the pamphlet).
I said that he as a Muslim must be damned because he had rejected Jesus too, and anyway Jesus was a Jew so that was another lie.
He looked flustered. “No, we don’t reject him. We don’t believe that he is a god.”
“Well neither do Jews!”
He was getting more and more exercised. “Why are you being so aggressive?”
(Another lie, paranoid projection, and attempt at the al-taqiyya of deflection which did not work – and it showed that he knew he was losing the argument).
I told him I wasn’t being aggressive at all, that he thought I was only because my truth made him feel uncomfortable because he didn’t want to hear it. I told him that he was wrong for all the reasons I had given him and that I resented his divisive message in my town.
Then he hissed “You are a second-class Jew.” (Nasty and racist but utterly predictable and a palpable hit! I had him on the ropes)
“Really?” I said. “Why? Is it because I dare to argue with the lies you are telling and because I am a woman?”
And I walked away.
I suppose that the subtext of the Breitbart article is for readers always to be aware of what is going on in the towns and cities in which they live, and where necessary take appropriate action within the law to try to prevent gatherings which threaten social cohesion. Medusa’s article, written as it was for a small blog, would not have had a wide enough circulation to heighten awareness then, but those more knowledgeable about Islam might have been alerted. Medusa reported the Islamists in her town to the local police of course, but little if anything was done.
Since the Paris bloodbath, however, we are all on high alert but that cannot be maintained for long, not least because it is mentally and emotionally exhausting.
One thing is certain: we simply cannot afford to “watch and wait” where Islam is concerned.