Melanie Phillips, a prominent British journalist and author of six books, has written extensively on British politics and culture. Educated at Oxford, her writings have appeared in such venues as the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times, and she is the recipient of the Orwell Prize for journalism. She currently writes a weekly column for London's Daily Mail. Ms. Phillips addressed the Middle East Forum on Wednesday, November 15 on the subject of her book, Londonistan. The following is an account of Ms. Phillips' briefing, as reported in the Evening Bulletin.
Is Britain Lost?
by Joseph Puder
The Evening Bulletin
November 24, 2006
According to British journalist Melanie Phillips, author of the recently-published Londonistan, "Britain stands at the precipice."
Both Britain and Europe, she claims, are facing a civilizational test and are in danger of losing.
Speaking Nov. 15 as the guest of the Middle East Forum/Bob Guzzardi Lecture series in Philadelphia, Philips explained that London has become the European hub for the promotion, recruitment, and financing of Islamist terror and extremism, thus mockingly dubbed Londonistan.
Britain, she pointed out is experiencing the collapse of self-confidence and national identity resulting in paralysis by multiculturalism and appeasement. In her book she pieces together the story of how Londonistan developed.
Phillips described the British condition in recent articles published on her Web site and in various British dailies. Titles such as Feminized Britain portray the state of denial the British are in.
Phillips suggested that the current climate threatens to "undermine the alliance with America and imperil the defense of the free world." She quoted Nathan Sharansky's remarks about her book: "Londonistan is a last minute warning for Britain and for much of the free world."
Sharansky observed moreover that "In dictatorships you need courage to fight evil; in the free world you need courage to see evil."
Londonistan exposes the truth of how Islamic clerics infect young British Muslims with hate and incite them towards violence. Young British Muslims are told that Islam is under attack by the West, they are told that Americans are butchering Muslims in Iraq, and Jews are doing the same in Palestine and, they are told that the Israeli Mossad and the American CIA perpetrated 9/11.
Muslims are the largest minority faith community in Britain, comprising 3 percent of the population, approximately 2 million strong. In London, the Muslim population is about nine percent; more than 700,000 people. Phillips maintains that most Muslims in Britain are moderates. However, there are nearly 1600 potential suicide bombers who are primed and ready to go, according to the latest British intelligence reports.
The British public has been strangulated by their culture of political correctness. Islamic terrorists have deftly exploited British weakness in defending its culture and institutions, and any criticism of Islam is automatically viewed as Islamophobia.
A recent controversy over a Muslim women teacher wearing the veil in class (she taught English and her students could not hear her because of the veil), raised by former Foreign Minister Jack Straw detonated a fierce debate in Britain. Ironically, it became a shallow exchange because the British feminists, fearing accusations of Islamophobia, were silent on the subject and, the general public was equally intimidated. The Hijab (veil in Arabic, meaning cover) is not merely an expression of modesty but a political statement as well, one meant to intimidate other women.
Most Britons do not understand the severity of their situation. In the face of the July 7, 2005 terrorist attack on the London Underground (rail system) by British Muslim suicide bombers, which killed 57 people and wounded hundreds, the Brits pretty much blamed themselves. Many excused the Muslim terrorists with such expression as "It was because of our involvement in Iraq." The Brits, as Philips points out, simply do not realize that they are in a war with an enemy that seeks to destroy them and impose an Islamic way of life governed by Sharia law (the latest polls indicate that 40-60 percent of British Muslims want Sharia laws to govern Britain), thereby destroying their democratic institutions and their nullifying their individual freedoms.
The Islamic war on the West did not begin on 9/11; it started in 1979 with Khomeini's Islamic revolution in Iran. Khomeini then, and Ahmadinejad today, declared their intention to subjugate the West. The Saudis, fearful of Shiite dominance in the region and concerned with Khomeini's impact on Muslims worldwide and the possible destabilization of their kingdom, ignited a race with Shiite Iran that fueled Jihadist Islam. The Saudis spent billions spreading their intolerant and anti-Western brand of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism. They funded the anti-Western and anti-Semitic madrassas in Europe and the Indian sub-continent thereby radicalizing British mosques and Imams, and paving the way for the creation of home-grown British suicide bombers.
At the same time, while Muslim radicalism was taking shape, a massive wave of immigration from Islamic lands hit Western Europe. And unlike previous immigrants from Asia, Eastern Europe, or the Caribbean, according to Phillips, "Muslim immigrants did not seek to integrate - they sought instead to colonize the host countries."
Phillips charged that the British government has not "combated the ideas that are driving Islamic terror," and that the British government defined a Muslim "moderate" as "someone who does not promote violence against Britons." The British government, therefore, regarded Sheikh Yusuf Karadawi, who promoted suicide bombings in Israel as a duty of all Muslims, as a "moderate."
"We do not understand in Britain that we are fighting a religious war. Instead, we're appeasing it," Phillips said. Why doesn't Britain get it? According to Phillips, "The Brits lost their national identity and values." Moreover, Britain lost control over its borders, and belief in itself as a proud nation. "Britain," Phillips said, has become supra-national, believing in the U.N. and the E.U..." Brits view particularism as exclusive and discriminatory, and thus celebrate the minority Muslim culture. It is a form of self-hatred that infected most of the West, who discarded Christianity and who view with favor Islamic "orderliness."
In today's Britain, every minority member is a "victim" except the Jews. Brits reason that because Muslims are "victims," it is "our" fault. This sentiment, according to Phillips, is an outgrowth of the "cultural dominance of the British Left." There is no talk-radio or think tanks in Britain to challenge the prevailing views and as a result, America and Israel are demonized.
Asked to comment on Mark Steyn's book America Alone, which argues that Europe as we knew it is lost by virtue of disappearing demographically and through cultural suicide, Phillips replied "I disagree, I will not give up without a fight to bring Britain to its senses."