Thatcher’s Role in the Radicalisation of British Muslims

With Britain now facing the renewed threat of an Islamist terrorist attack, and the rise of ISIS in Iraq, the Tories will no doubt once again be trying to present themselves as the true protectors of the British people and their liberty. It’s a risible claim. The Tories are actively reducing the unemployed to helots – state slaves – through the introduction of workfare and their use as unpaid labour for private enterprise. See the article I’ve reblogged this morning about a man refusing to perform unpaid work under the new workfare legislation for the firm that sacked him. They are also actively pressing those from the working and lower middle classes fortunate enough to be in paid unemployment into wage slavery in the Marxist sense by denying them rights in the workplace and forcing them into zero hours contracts, along with pay freezes and reductions. Traditional British justice is also being sold and denied, contrary to Magna Carta, as the government has severely cut legal aid, and, with their Lib Dem enablers, set up secret courts to try those accused of terrorism. These are truly Kafkaesque kangaroo courts, where vital evidence may be withheld from the defendant’s attorney if its disclosure is deemed a threat to national security.

Moreover, far from defending Britain from terrorism, Margaret Thatcher herself directly contributed to the growth of radical Islam in Britain. Firstly, by encouraging foreign Muslim terrorists to seek asylum in the UK, and secondly by removing the state welfare net, thus making already inward-looking Muslim communities in the UK even more introverted and disconnected from mainstream British society.

Islamist Terrorism Blowback from Campaign against Soviets in Afghanistan

Many political commentators have discussed the rise of domestic Islamist terrorism in the West as blowback from the Gulf War and the unprovoked invasion of Iraq, and the assistance given by the West and Saudi Arabia to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. America and the Saudis provided them money and weapons as part of Reagan’s global campaign against Communism and the Soviet ‘evil empire’ to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan. Margaret Thatcher herself saw them as valuable allies in the war against Communism. In return for their assistance battling the Soviets, she allowed a number of radical Islamist terrorists to settle in Britain. Private Eye pointed out the immense immorality of this policy several times, noting that one of the terrorists given asylum here in the UK was a man, who had bombed an airliner taking schoolchildren to Moscow in order to kill the Soviet officers also aboard. The Soviets themselves were in absolutely no doubt who the Islamist terrorists would target next after they had succeeded in their aims of expelling them. A few years ago the Daily Mail even ran a piece on the role of the Afghan War in the rise of radical Islamism. This quoted a former high level Russian diplomat to the US as telling his American counterparts in no uncertain terms that ‘after they have finished with us, they will come for you’: a prediction that has come all too true.

Thatcher Gave Asylum to Islamist Terrorists

The favour shown by Thatcher to her mujahideen allies also goes some way to explaining why the police were initially completely uninterested in cracking down on radical, viciously intolerant Islamist preachers and mosques. A few years ago the police finally acted against the mosque in Finsbury Park, after the imam and preachers there were revealed to be actively preaching and recruiting jihad and terrorism, including the enslavement of non-Muslims if they travelled to the Dar al-Islam, the Islamic world. Despite clear evidence of terrorist activities, the authorities were extremely reluctant to close them down, to the horror of moderate British Muslims. The authorities were warned about the mosque by an Algerian Muslim, who contacted the police something like five times about the dangers they posed. His warnings were repeatedly ignored. Some of this reluctance to act against foreign terrorists on British soil may derive from traditional British attitudes dating back to the 19th century. The authorities were content to allow foreign terrorists and radicals, such as Russian revolutionaries, to seek asylum in Britain, so long as they didn’t pursue a terror campaign against Britain herself. The granting of asylum here by Thatcher herself to Islamist terrorists also suggest to me that Thatcher and her cabinet also actively discouraged any attempt to act against their anti-Communist allies, in the same way she embraced the Chilean Fascist butcher General Pinochet.

Conservative Welfare Reforms Cutting Secular Ties between Muslim and Non-Muslim

The French scholar, Alfred Kepel, also notes the role Thatcher’s cuts to the welfare state played in the development of Islamic radicalism in Britain in his book on the rise of religious militancy, The Revenge of God. Thatcher cut state aid to the poor and unemployed partly as a way of reinvigorating religious charities. She aimed to remove secular welfare provision, so that the poor and unemployed would have to return to private charity, including religious organisations, for support. Kepel points out that the faith best organised to do this was Islam. One of the Five Pillars of Islam, the fundamental practices at the heart of the faith, is the zakat or alms tax. Muslims are required to pay a tenth of their income to the mosque, to be distributed as alms to the community’s poor. Clearly there is absolutely nothing wrong in religious organisations – or anyone else – providing aid to the poor and needy. However, the removal of state support meant that many Muslims, who were already alienated from non-Muslim British society, became even more inward-looking. It helped to break down contact between communities, not promote it, and promoted a situation where suspicion and hostility towards non-Muslims could thrive in some.

Thus, whatever the Tories say to the contrary, and however Cameron acts now to present himself as protecting Britain against the threat of Islamist terrorism, his party and Margaret Thatcher herself are partly responsible for its growth and development here in the UK. Since 9/11 and 7/7 there have been numerous programmes trying to steer vulnerable and alienated Muslims away from the preachers of hate and terrorism. It’s a pity that this could not have been started earlier, and that others now are having mend the immense damage Thatcher did. Unfortunately, this does not seem to involve the restoration of the welfare state, which is forcing so many in Britain, regardless of their colour or religious convictions, in dire poverty. This needs to be stopped if we are ever to have again a united, prosperous British people.

*****

Need for More Coverage of Muslim Demos against Radicals

There are a couple of other points that need to be made on the subject of Islamist radicalism and terrorism here in the UK. Firstly, moderate Muslims have complained that their demonstrations against the preachers of hate are ignored by the news media. There have been a number of marches and demonstrations by ordinary Muslims against the preachers of hate. I was told about one by my lecturer in Islam at college, who had seen a notice for it in the window of a local newsagents. Clearly, by ignoring the demos by ordinary Muslims against the radicals, creates a one-sided, distorted view of Islam in Britain. This needs to change.

Extreme Right Falsely Claiming Alliance between Left and Radical Islam – Disproved by Hope Not Hate

Secondly, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organisations like the BNP and the English Defence league repeatedly claim in their propaganda that the Left, and anti-Fascists, are allies of the Islamist radicals. There’s a nasty little propaganda film on Youtube, for example, which claims that in ten years’ time Europe will be racked by civil war, as Nationalists battle the combined forces of the Left and Islam for dominance of the continent. Although extreme, these fears have also been promoted in a series of books, some of them by respected international literary figures. Way back in 1984, Anthony Burgess, the author of A Clockwork Orange, wrote his response to Orwell’s 1984. Burgess was harshly critical of the great British Socialist and the book’s status as a classic. In Burgess’ own book, 1985, Muslims and trade unionists join forces to try to take over Britain, plunging it into violence and terror. More recently, the Spectator reviewed one novel by a contemporary American author. This was set in alternative universe, where French Socialists have allied with radical Islam to set up a new holocaust against Europe’s Jews. These fantasies say much more about the Right-wing authors fears of the organised working class and the supposed Islamic threat than they do about reality. The anti-Fascist organisation, Hope Not Hate, for example, not only campaigns against White Fascism and racism, but also against Islamist radicalism and terrorism. This also needs to be more widely known in order to combat the propaganda of the extreme Right that anti-Fascist organisations are complicit in promoting Islamist terrorism as part of their own campaign to increase racial tension.

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2 Responses to “Thatcher’s Role in the Radicalisation of British Muslims”

  1. Thatcher’s Role in the Radicalisation of ... Says:

    […] With Britain now facing the renewed threat of an Islamist terrorist attack, and the rise of ISIS in Iraq, the Tories will no doubt once again be trying to present themselves as the true protectors of the British people and their liberty.  […]

  2. Faisal Habib Says:

    Finchley Mosque has been wrongly mentioned in this article. Please make the correction.

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