The aftermath of the recent ‘Muslim Patrol’ saga served as another reminder of the British Left’s cherry-picking approach to morality
by Saleem Khan on 25 January 2013 18:10
There aren’t many times in politics when people of different stripes can unite over an issue, but I’m heartened to see that the Left have joined the chorus of condemnation over the disgusting behaviour of the thuggish ‘Muslim Patrol’ gang.
Sorry, hold on. That’s in a parallel universe. Here in our universe, no such thing has happened. As with every other instance of Islamist fanaticism, the Left remains silent. Case in point: I emailed several groups, including Unite Against Fascism (UAF), The Respect Party (RP), and The Socialist Workers Party (SWP), asking for their comments on the incidents. Want to guess how many replied to me?
Bear in mind my emails were polite, concise and formal; I don’t go in for name calling and playground-level discourse. Of course, that’s what they would prefer. Had I written a long, ranty email full of insults, they would have responded like a shot. Take that ammunition away from them by asking a simple, sober question, and they can’t respond. As an aside, I also emailed George Galloway asking for his reaction; equally polite. Not that I expected a reply from him either.
This is what is so fascinating about those on the Left who proclaim to fight against fascism, racism, misogyny and homophobia. If they were honest, they would admit they’re highly selective about whom they actually fight. In their bizarrely distorted world view, fascism and homophobia perpetrated by some people is wrong, but fascism and homophobia perpetrated by Islamists is fine (well, what else can one conclude from their blanket silence?).
This pick-and-choose approach, based on a type of ‘right-on’ politics, is morally bankrupt.
Now, I can imagine some on the Left might stress that the actions of a few extremist individuals are not worthy of serious comment. That would be a legitimate point except that comment (read: shriek) is precisely what they do on every other issue or topic where Islamists aren’t the perpetrators.
Can you imagine the reaction if a gang of hooded men had gone up to a Muslim woman and told her to take off her face veil because she was in a British city? Or forced a Muslim man to drink a can of beer because it’s part of our culture? The likes of the UAF would have rightly been in every TV and radio studio – the BBC would have welcomed them with open arms – calling for arrests and protests.
But they won’t say a word about Muslim men verbally abusing a young woman for “not obeying allah” by wearing a skirt, or calling a man a “fag” and warning him to get out of the area. To UAF members, I must ask: isn’t that fascism – telling a woman what she should or shouldn’t wear in a country where women have the right to dress how they please, or subjecting someone to homophobic slurs in a country where people have the right to love whoever they want?
Silence constitutes approval, and when these thugs see little or no reaction, they become more brazen and their numbers will grow.
The ‘Muslim Patrol’ issue is more than one of backward idiots; this forms part of the wider issue of identity and how the UK, as a sovereign nation, has gradually had its identity, the right of the population to self-identify as British, eroded. Eroded, not by Muslims or any other minority, but by elements of the Left who have acted as enablers.
For years the Left has shut down any attempt at reasoned debate by introducing the intellectually false concept of Islamaphobia. Taking this absurd claim on its own terms, I’m reminded of what Douglas Murray once said so incisively on the BBC’s Question Time: “there’s nothing irrational about having a fear of those who constantly talk about wanting to kill you.”
The ‘Muslim Patrol’ symbolises how far we’ve declined, to the extent that there are now certain areas where a British citizen cannot feel safe simply doing the things we all have the right to do. And yet they’re ignored by the very same Left who vehemently stand up for the right of Islamic countries to exist however they wish.
You remember the old adage that a liberal is a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet? I have a reconfiguration of that for Britain in 2013: An apologist for Islamism is a secular realist who hasn’t been subjected to verbal abuse by a gang of hooded men late at night or had a friend or loved one blown up by suicide bombers yet. Doesn’t roll off the tongue as smoothly, I grant you, but it bears thinking about.
The Polly Toynbees, Mark Steels and George Galloways of this world haven’t experienced what the victims in the ‘Muslim Patrol’ videos experienced. They don’t live in Whitechapel or Tower Hamlets; they reside in nice, comfortable suburbs, holding middle class dinner parties where they tut-tut with grave concern about how a cap on housing benefit is tantamount to the Holocaust, as Polly infamously claimed.
Whilst I don’t wish ill on anyone, until someone at the heart of the leftist commentariat is personally subjected to the tactics of the ‘Muslim Patrol’, their silence may well continue.
Saleem Khan is a pseudonym