I’m grateful to the British media and political establishment for the typically rigorous, balanced, and honest debate that has taken place over the last week, which has now enlightened me about the true objectives of the Muslim advocacy organization Cage. I now understand that Cage’s purpose was not to defend Muslims who may have been unjustly imprisoned or harassed as a result of the post-9/11 directives of the war on terror, but that its members are in fact closet jihadists and fellow-travellers with al-Qaeda.
Admittedly I had my doubts about whether Cage might be overstating its case in this instance. But I now know that Cage’s admittedly tactically maladroit attempts to suggest that the radicalization of ‘Jihadi John’ may have been in part due to his treatment at the hands of the British security services meant that the organization was in fact an ‘apologist for terrorism’ waging stealth jihad against the secret services who are trying to keep us all safe. It’s now blindingly obvious to me, thanks to the Daily Mail‘s forensic investigative journalism, that its director Asim Qureshi is in fact a ‘very privileged apologist for evil’ whose only motive is to destroy the country that welcomed him.
I’m not the only one to be enlightened. Because now the Joseph Rowntree Trust and the Anita Roddick Foundation have pulled their funding, following pressure from the Charities Commission, and Amnesty have said it will no longer participate in joint campaigns with Cage.
So thank you to all those who have removed the blindfold from my eyes and stripped away the delusions that I have had in the past. And now that I can see again I would like to offer some modest proposals and principles by way of compensation, to suggest how we might repair the terrible damage that Cage has already inflicted on our national community – and our national security – and prevent other organizations from taking advantage of my politically-correct naivete in the future:
- It should be understood as an absolute and unquestioned principle that Muslims never have been and can never be victims of state anti-terrorism policies under any circumstances. At no point during these last fourteen years has any Muslim been unjustly arrested, extradited, imprisoned, tortured, harassed, blackmailed or subject to control orders. Anyone who suggests otherwise should be immediately neutralised or shut down. The government should only engage with Muslim organizations that uncritically support British foreign policy and the British security establishment. Any criticism of either is unhelpful and divisive and hinders the attempts of the latter to keep us safe.
- Such organizations should be approved and vetted beforehand by a ‘de-radicalization committee’ made up of experts chosen for their deep understanding of terrorism, radicalization and the lived experience of Britain’s Muslim communities. May I suggest Douglas Murray, William Shawcross, Nick Cohen, Maryam Namazie, Boris Johnson, and any representative of the Quilliam Foundation.
- We should encourage the publication of memoirs, books and public statements by former Muslim radicals who have repented their extremist views, and ensure that they are checked by Whitehall officials beforehand and rewritten if these officials deem in necessary.
- We should increase funding to the Quilliam Foundation – an organization with massive and overwhelming support amongst the UK’s Muslim communities.
- We cannot and should not engage at any level with any ‘Islamist’ organization whose members may have religiously conservative or reactionary social views because it has been scientifically proven that these views lead inevitably to terrorism. For this reason we should recognize that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization or at least an ‘ideological precursor to terrorism’ and ban it. Our liberal democratic allies in Egypt and Saudi Arabia both want us to do this, and we should do as they ask, because driving the Brotherhood underground will definitely help our outreach efforts with British Muslims both in the UK and beyond.
- We should be more assertive and even coercive in ensuring that British Muslims learn British values. Suggestions that these values should be taught to Muslim toddlers don’t go far enough. There is no reason why pregnant Muslim mothers shouldn’t also attend prenatal de-radicalization classes in which tapes of the Magna Carta and Churchill’s speeches can be played to their unborn children. Anyone refusing to do this may be considered vulnerable to radicalization and susceptible to extremism.
- We should punish universities that invite ‘hate preachers’ to speak at their institutions, regardless of whether these speakers are doing anything illegal. There is no more need to define or explain ‘hate preacher’ than there is to define ‘hate’, ‘radicalization’ or ‘extremism’- the meaning of these words is self-evident and any attempts to impose an objective definition will only inhibit our efforts to prohibit them.
- We should transform all the organs of the state (schools, Ofsted, nurseries, job centres) into instruments of surveillance and regulation so that we may know what British Muslims are thinking and doing at all times, and immediately punish or exclude anyone who may be thinking thoughts that we don’t approve of. These efforts should include a CCTV camera in every mosque. Any complaints about the impact of these procedures should be ignored or perhaps taken as evidence of radicalization and extremism.
- We should create a website called ‘ I condemn…’ followed by the latest atrocity perpetrated by Islamic State or any other similar organization. All Muslims must be obliged to click it. Every Muslim neighborhood in the country should support these efforts with a public display of condemnation and anyone who fails to do this should be expected to explain themselves, otherwise their passivity may be regarded as evidence of radicalization and extremism
- Children who are in danger of being radicalized by their parents should be taken into care, as the mayor of London has wisely suggested. They should then be fostered out to good British families while their parents are deported to where they or their grandparents came from.
These measures are only part of a blueprint that I hope will put an end to the climate of division, suspicion, and false victimhood which has done so much to hinder our counterterrorism efforts over the last fourteen years, and will surely lead our country to a brighter, more hopeful and above all safer future, defined by the British values of rule of law, justice and democratic accountability.
I hope readers will accept these suggestions as a gesture of genuine repentance.
And by the way, just so you know, I also condemn Jihadi John.