Lee Rigby: How to respond?


So much has been written about the Woolwich atrocity that I hesitate to add to it.  But I would like to draw attention to an excellent piece by Professor Michael Burleigh of Buckingham University.

He castigates the “Prevent” strategy, which he sees as handing money to highly suspect Islamist groups, and allowing accredited terrorist agitators airtime on our national broadcaster.  He describes his own engagement with the establishment on the issue of Islamic extremism.  Civil servants neutered by political correctness; Universities talking loftily of the importance of free speech, as though that justifies incitement to violence on campus; toleration while FOSIS, the Federation of Islamic Student Societies, organises events where men and women are segregated.

Theresa May talks a new tough line, but we have to wait and see if she’ll deliver.  Will she actually put Abu Qatada on a plane back to Jordan?  I doubt it.

Meantime, we are assured that Islamic extremists don’t represent Islam, which is a religion of peace and harmony.  The bad guys are a tiny minority who are mostly inadequate young people led astray by extremist rabble-rousers and evil videos on the web.

Moderate Islamic organisations, to be fair, have come out and condemned violence in clear and robust terms, and rightly so: I salute them for doing so.  Some Muslim and other faith organisations have expressed concerns about the possibility of reprisal attacks.  It is clear that such attacks are taking place, and of course I condemn them unequivocally.

But really this is not enough.  What action are moderate Muslims taking to stop the spread of extremism?  What about the subversion of Universities and Further Education Colleges?  The hate preachers in mosques, and on the street outside them?  The attempts to set up de facto Sharia law areas in Muslim communities?  The madrassas where a separatist view of Islam (and worse) is fostered?  Moderate Muslims must frequently see activities which give them cause for concern.  Do they report those concerns to the authorities?

It may be a cliché, but Burke was right when he observed that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.  I have no doubt that there are many good men and women in the moderate Muslim community, but after an outrage like Woolwich, the rest of us are entitled to ask if they are doing enough to eradicate extremism within their own communities.

And a word about the security services.  I am concerned at the implied — and indeed explicit — criticism of the security services, for “allowing” Michael Adebolajo to carry out his atrocity.  After all, hadn’t he “come to the attention of the security services”?  Indeed he had, but so had thousands of others.  It is hugely expensive and labour-intensive to mount full-time surveillance of even one suspect.  And MI5 has thousands.  It would simply be impossible to provide such surveillance for everyone who might commit an offence — even if it were acceptable in civil liberties terms for the authorities to treat possible suspects in this way.

That is not to say that MI5 never makes a mistake, and the review currently in hand will cast more light on the question.  But for heaven’s sake, these guys are working their socks off to keep us safe, and most of the time they succeed.  Let’s start out giving them the benefit of the doubt.  Sadly, it is not realistic to demand that no bad guy ever slips through the net.

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19 Responses to Lee Rigby: How to respond?

  1. Eric Worrall says:

    What action are Christians in Britain taking to prevent the Lord’s Resistance Army from committing atrocities in Uganda?

    Sounds silly – what connection do normal people have with a bunch a bloodthirsty drug crazed maniacs? Even if they call themselves a “Christian” movement?

    Yet we expect normal Muslims to feel a sense of “connection” with crazed mass murderers.

    I agree they could do more to point out the murderers and crazies in their midst. But (as a Muslim once told me), its simpler to explain they’re not welcome as the Mosque, and let them go on their way, find their own path to paradise. After all, until they blow someone up, they haven’t actually committed a crime.

    • Me_Again says:

      I don’t expect ordinary Muslims to feel a connection with them, I expect them to keep an eye on them and when they see someone or hear something out of kilter, to report it.

      What is the point of comparing something that is happening in Uganda – and hardly anyone here has heard of- with what is happening on our own streets?

      As someone further down says, when you import Imams from an area that has at best been unruly forever, what can we expect them to teach our young people?

    • I don’t think the two sitiations are comparable at all, Eric. There is no connection at all, so far as I know, between Christian communities here in the UK, and a terrorist organisation in Uganda. But home-grown British Islamists actually worship in mosques here in the UK (and sometimes listen to incitement to violence there). They are embedded in the local Muslim community here in Britain, so the local Muslim community has both the opportunity and the obligation to do something about it.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Remember, the people you are expecting Muslims to report are somebody’s nephew, somebody’s brother, somebody’s mum.

        Would you turn in your brother if he started saying crazy things? I wouldn’t – I would try to talk to him, to explain, to reason with him. Because if I talked to authorities, he might be kidnapped off to Guantanamo, or sent to some ghastly Middle Eastern dictatorship for torture and interrogation – I might never see him again.

        I say crazy things sometimes. A lot of people do, when they feel frustrated or powerless about something. But you can’t know when someone have moved from talking about something to planning to do something – especially since one of the first things terrorists teach their victims is to maintain a facade of normality, to only talk to people in the group about their real intentions – if anything, people close to the terrorist might feel a sense of relief, because they stop talking so much about violence.

        Please don’t get me wrong, I’m no softie on terrorism – I think the USA and the UK wasted an awful lot of money in Iraq and Afghanistan, IMO they should have simply launched a few nukes (is that a crazy thing to say? – but its the truth). But I think its unrealistic to blame Muslims for not being quick to turn in people who say disturbing things, without having their noses rubbed in evidence the person they are worried about means to act on what they are saying – like finding the already primed suicide vest in the closet.

  2. I concur with Roger’s sentiments absolutely, and on his comments about the security services, can only add that which others have said. It only requires a terrorist to get lucky once, whilst the security services have to be lucky (and good) every time.

    A BBC news report from 2007 informed us that while around half of all British Muslims were born here, 9 in every 10 Imams come to preach to them from other Islamic countries, particularly Pakistan. Pakistan is of course where Al Qaeda and other terrorist leaders enjoy relative sanctuary, which is why the US continue to utilise drones. The report also indicated that some 70% of those Imams had appeared here over the previous decade, so that’ll be from when Labour came to power then, and the ten years which followed. Why is that no surprise?

    So if Cameron’s words amount to anything tangible, let us hope that includes establishing why the Muslim community in Britain cannot choose their Imams from the many Muslims already living here, as opposed to sourcing them from countries with no understanding and even rejection of western freedoms and values, and where the whole cultural and social life of the country is entirely directed by the Islamic faith. Is the real answer, as appears the most likely one, that the old conservative Islamic leaders in middle eastern countries, wish to ensure that the intolerant Islam which reject western freedoms and values is the version taught in British mosques, to young British Muslims?

    There was a report written by Amil Imani (Iranian born American thinker, novelist, columnist, and pro democracy activist) in 2011. In it he writes “Islam is rooted in the primitive tribal mentality of ‘we against them’. ‘We’ the righteous against the heathens. ‘We’ the servants submissive of the great Allah against the rebellious enemies of Allah. Islam is a polarizer. Islam is an enemy-maker. To Islam, a non-Muslim is a combatant against Allah, and he is fair game to be subjugated and killed”.

    Time to smell the coffee on this issue

  3. Chris says:

    Here’s an idea. How about:

    1. Deporting the illegal immigrants.
    2. Deporting the failed asylum seekers.
    3. Applying the points system to all the immigrants who came to the UK under Labour.
    4. Housing ALL asylum seekers in a secure area as Australia does.

    Try and get a work visa in the USA without being highly skilled and educated. Even then, you may fail because they limit the number of them given out each year.

    This is common sense. So why don ‘t the politicians do it?

    • Me_Again says:

      You have to find the illegals first, then the Border Agency -or whatever it is called this week- let them go with a piece of paper that says they have to report to a police station…. and then wonder why they don’t.

      I support all of your points as well as restricting incoming people to those in trades/professions where we have a shortage.

      The real problem is how to integrate those who are here legally? How do we break down the insular barriers and include them to the point that they feel part of this country and its heritage rather than separate to it? Making the playing field tilt their way is an absolute no, no since that encourages indigenous people to resent them. Ghettos though are dangerous places to allow.

      Worse still the sense of community many of these people have is better than ours. In many cases too our young people have been fed a diet of ‘anything goes’ and ‘I want it now’. No work ethic, no moral compass and no idea of right from wrong -parental failure. I got drunk when I went out years ago AS A BY-PRODUCT of the evening’s activities NOT as the main purpose. How many times do you hear on telly or at work ‘I’m going out to get hammered tonight’? How bloody pathetic.

      Not difficult to see why a moral and upstanding, hard working sober Muslim might not want his/her children to embrace our society is it?

      There are huge problems if we kicked out all illegals and failed asylum seekers tomorrow.

      • Chris says:

        “There are huge problems if we kicked out all illegals and failed asylum seekers tomorrow.”

        No there would not. We have a housing crisis due to mass immigration. We have 2.5 million unemployed, with 1 million being between 16 and 24 years of age.

        The country had no problems finding people to carry out low skilled work before the A8 East European countries joined the EU.

        It’s a fallacy that the UK needs lots of immigrants.

    • Chris! How could you! That would be onerous and divisive and would infringe their “human rights”!

  4. George Morley says:

    What EUtopian phobe said makes sense and is the exactly my feelings about this problem. Well said to him and you Roger.

  5. Rich Tee says:

    My greatest hope is that this incident, and the incidents still yet to come (and, unfortunately, there will be more I think) will break the Marxist “structural” thinking that underpins just about everything in public life nowadays.

    Marx’s model of class antagonism was thrown off by his failure to predict the increase in the middle class (or at least, people who aspire to be middle class) in the twentieth century so the intellectuals had to revise it to include ethnicity and sexuality. Marx also didn’t anticipate the resurgence of Islam, so the intellectuals will have to revise the model again for the 21st century. What will they come up with this time?

  6. Richard111 says:

    Considering the total number of Muslims in the UK I find it strange that there are more registered mosques than Christian places of worship in the UK.

  7. manicbeancounter says:

    I quite agree that the security services cannot get it right 100% of the time. In fact it is remarkable how many plots they do uncover. The reason they uncover bomb plots and not this one was the weapons were more accessible.
    I think there is another reason why we get more home grown terrorists say the USA. In Britain our children are not taught the values that make this a great country. We are (or were) mostly honest, have a strong of justice and a sense of fair play. We are the home of liberal-democracy, English Common Law, liberalism, conservatism and moderate fabian socialism. It is also the home of economics and free trade. We also have a disproportionate number of the greatest ever scientists and inventors, along with the world’s greatest ever literary figure. All of these things we should be proud of and instill into our children. But much of these aspects are derived from our Christian heritage, which is being driven from our schools lest we offend others sensibilities.
    Many immigrants I know – mostly from Brazil, but also from South Africa and Poland, chose Britain over other countries because we treat people fairly, with courtesy and respect. They recognize and value this, so should we the indigenous people.

  8. You certainly touched a raw nerve here!
    Aeroplane travel, extraordinary rendition, habeas corpus, the very law itself have all been subverted by the Forces of Allah. Our divided country is going out of its way to prove Enoch Powell was an inspired prophet. Our lives are becoming more and more policed as the unsupervised immigration catastrophe brings forth its murderous fruit.
    No government in this country dare deal with terrorists by just sending them back to where they come from (didn’t Hitler do the same?) Lawyers grow very fat on defending the indefensible. Politicians are forced into telling lies – sorry spin.
    Meanwhile we, joe public, have to pick up the pieces with a cheerful smile and lips tightly sealed in case we are deemed racist or – even worse – religious,

  9. matthu says:

    If UKIP are looking for a good political broadcast, they could do worse than to start here:


    Very funny!

  10. michaelpotts@blueyonder.co.uk says:

    God bless you lee, even know we never met, Iam pround of what you have done for this country.
    And i hope that your fellow service men/women will never forget, god lok after your family, and guide them in wich he may have wanted. rip lee.

  11. George Morley says:

    When a known terrorist is found and found guilty of committing a crime (murder) then I would deport the whole family back to where they came from always assuming they are immigrants.The same should happen to the hate clerics. Pack ’em off back where they can have all of the things they say they want in the UK.

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