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You've got the wrong man: Anti-fascist organisations pursue UKIP but let Islamist extremists off the hook (photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The state intervenes when the principles of a liberal society collapse. Usually it blunders in. Invariably it destroys basic freedoms. No one except the most blinkered supporters of authoritarian government can predict with confidence that its "crackdowns" and "emergency measures" will make our lives better or safer. But there you are. When supposedly good and responsible people fail to police themselves, the government will summon the real police to do the job for them.

For years, a dizzying gulf has stretched between the principles most good and responsible liberals say they hold — beliefs in reasoned argument, democracy, and equal rights for women, gays and people of all colours and creeds — and their practical failure to oppose radical Islam. A few of us tried to persuade them to mean what they say and behave accordingly. Some of us have stayed on the Left. Others have given up on what looks an irredeemably compromised movement and attacked liberal-left orthodoxy from the right. I will not pretend that any of us have had a great deal of success.

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light," said Max Planck, "but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

I thought that liberal values would only creep forward at the Planckian pace of "one funeral at a time", and we would have to wait for the current generation of liberal-leftists to die out before we saw progress. I forgot that outsiders can impose changes insiders refuse to contemplate. Whatever their politics, religion or occupation, people who live in bubbles confuse their world with the whole world. Lost in their little rituals and taboos, they do not see that others are noting their faults and weighing whether or not to interfere.

The schools can seem a self-enclosed system. Meet an educationalist and he or she will be on the Left nine times out of ten. Yet when fanatics from the Islamist religious Right took over Birmingham schools, the teaching unions, Labour councillors and the liberal press did everything they could to cover up a plan to impose a reactionary education on British children. Unions did not defend secular teachers when hard-line governors forced them out. Supposed leftists did not worry that governors were making a "sustained and coordinated" effort "to force the segregationist attitudes and practices of a hard-line and politicised strain of Sunni Islam" on British boys and girls, as Birmingham City Council's inquiry put it. Right until the moment when they could no longer deny the truth, they claimed the scandal was an Islamophobic plot, manufactured by Conservatives trying to exploit racial tensions.

It has been that way for what feels like forever in Britain's schools. You don't tackle difficult subjects. You never lay yourself open to accusations of racism, however spurious and self-interested they may be. It felt it could carry on that way forever too. But all of a sudden the state, and I suspect the public, decided it had had enough. Government inspectors put the Sir John Cass Church of England school under "special measures" a few weeks ago. Its teachers and governors will face extraordinary scrutiny and can be dismissed at short notice, not because they were plotting to indoctrinate children — they are by all accounts admirable people running an admirable school — but because they failed to spot that Muslim pupils were linking to extremist sites on Facebook.

For what would have been a forgivable lapse only last year, a good school has lost its autonomy. Every school in the country now knows it must treat radical Islam in much the same way as it treats extreme white racism or suffer. The liberal failure to be honest about political Islam in Birmingham is having national consequences.

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September 7th, 2017
1:09 AM
Yes Annonymous (may 7th 2015) we are for real. Very real.

November 28th, 2016
10:11 AM
The problem with the government approach to combatting Islamic radicalisation and jihad is that it won't name Islam-sharia explicitly as the target. The current blunderbuss approach is dangerous to us all.

May 20th, 2015
2:05 PM
Anonymous claims there is no support from the left for radical islam. He should read Nick Cohen about Unite and its support of the Tower Hamlets islamo-mafia. The Labour Party lost the election because it is soft on islam. Rod Liddle in the Spectator elaborates some extra reasons. The Labour Party may never be electable because of it`s waffling evasions. Multiculturalism is not multicultural. Islam is not multicultural. It wants a sharia caliphate.The Liberal delusion is that everyone`s a `rational actor`. The Koran is 100% irrational lies. The Left can get on with losing the next election too. At least the voters got rid of George Galloway. Michael Gove and Douglas Murray helped secure a tory victory. As for the future of Darwinian capitalism ,free speech and independence of mind, that remains to be seen.

May 17th, 2015
10:05 AM
Are you lot actually for real? You need some help, I think. What are you proposing - chuck anyone out that seems like they could be extremist Islam? The way you talk treads dangerous territory. There is no support of radical Islam from the left, merely support of anyone who is accused of it when it is unwarranted. If you see real danger, report it. Otherwise, get on with your lives.

Billy Corr
April 5th, 2015
11:04 AM
The question the ungoodthinkful are inclined to think but disinclined to ask aloud is; "Who let this garbage into our country? And why?" Well, O best beloved, the capitalist class wanted cheap and tractable labour in the milltowns (and elsewhere) and the goodthinkful simply adored having people they could patronise for being brown-skinned, politically-ignorant and poor.

April 2nd, 2015
5:04 PM
Douglas Murray and Roger Scruton are philosophising over at the Spectator. Michael Gove is defending Christianity and Julie Burchill has been on a silent retreat at St Cuthman`s ! It`s interesting that the atheists Slavoj Zizek and Camille Paglia make the best cases for Christianity. Tonight the magnificent 7 politicians will tell us how they intend to completely wreck the country. Vaudeville? Panto-politics? Democracy and the 7 Dwarves ? The Pegida UK facebook also has a sense of humour (and Christianity) that it`s enemies do not. April 4, opposite Downing St, for the Pegida UK public event.

March 19th, 2015
12:03 AM
No doubt the `George Galloways` will be out in their thousands to counter-demonstrate (ie caricature Pegida then attack the caricature) against the PEGIDA UK anti-islamisation demo/educational initiative in London April 4. All the info on the Pegida UK facebook page. It`ll be all over the news in a few weeks.

February 25th, 2015
6:02 PM
George Galloway says he will be part of the counter-demo against the Pegida demo in Newcastle. He`s rising to the bait like a demented trout. No doubt he will speak in tongues too (as in forked) with his mouth stuffed with islamo-gold and taqiya. Vote George for colonialist,racist sharia and gruel-propadanda .

February 24th, 2015
10:02 PM
According to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle `thousands` of so-called anti-fascists (anti-Israel too) will be protesting the `hundreds` of PEGIDA/EDL anti-islamisation marchers this Saturday in Newcastle city centre.

David Mitchell
February 24th, 2015
9:02 PM
The Truth about Islam The existing terrorist threat in the UK and a warning of the conflcit to come:- Muslim leaders and preachers proclaim the evil and fanatical ideology of Islam which forms the core belief of muslim identity. They revile and preach hatred of Christians, Jews and non believers who are called Kuffar. Islam is an extremely dangerous, extremely violent, mysogynist ideology. The Koran states: "slay the unbelievers wherever you find them" (2:191) ;" terrorise and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an" (8:12) Muslims reject and disdain western values of freedom and democracy, but cunningly use all the powers of democratic legitimacy and the benefits conferred on them in western secular society to demand the construction of more mosques, the subjugation and veiling of women (Life for most muslim women is a dystopian nightmare from which they cannot escape), the cruel and bestial practice of female genital mutilation, (punishable by up to 14 years in prison under English Law, but few cases are brought before the courts), polygamy, forced marriages, often of children and minors, the prohibition of alcohol, the cruel and barbaric halal slaughter of farm animals. Muslims hold beliefs advocating criminal justice that sanctions punishments perpetrating medieval savagery, including public beheading, hanging, amputation,stoning to death, flogging, muslims who convert to Christianity are sentenced to death. The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that Christians are being deliberately attacked because of their faith in parts of the muslim world and even martyred for their faith in large numbers. Millions of muslims live in Britain and many of them neither condone nor condemn bloody mass murder and atrocities committed by their activists who call themselves 'soldiers of allah'. Let nobody be under any illusion spread by their preachers and propagandists that islam is a religion of peace, because anyone who dares to speak out against muslims risks being killed and butchered by their activists, "Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticise Islam" Koran- (5:33) British Soldiers are frequently subjected to death threats. On Wednesday 22 May 2013, a day of infamy, the full force of islamic malice and savagery found its target and willing perpetrators, two 'soldiers of allah' committed the brutal bloody murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.There are currently an estimated 12,000 muslim fanatics in UK prisons at an annual cost of over £500 million, most if not all of them will eventually be released, 100 of them are classified extremely dangerous. Due to the lax and lenient Criminal Justice System driven by the need to reduce costs, many of them could be released early, free to carry out terrorist attacks to murder and maim potentially thousands of people. The British Government will have failed in its primary duty to maintain the security of its citizens. Islamic idealogy is fundamentally opposed to the collective conscience of the majority of British people and sets muslims in direct conflict with the values of Western Civilization. Higher muslim birth rates will produce a majority muslim population in large parts of Britain by the year 2035. England is on course to become a muslim country before the end of the century. The supreme symbol of muslim dominance will be the conversion of Canterbury Cathedral into a mosque destroying over one thousand four hundred years of Christian Civilization and History. Muslim leaders will be exultant to repeat the precedent of 1453, when the leader of the Ottoman Turks, Sultan Memhed II ordered the Hagia Sophia, the main church of Orthodox Christianity to be converted into a mosque, symbolizing his conquest of Constantinople. Christian worshippers inside the church were slaughtered without mercy and the building was desecrated and looted. In future years internecine warfare will break out as increasing acts of muslim terrorism spread throughout the land. Their avowed objective of imposing a muslim caliphate in Britain by terrorising the non muslim population into submission to this vicious evil creed will cause civil strife on an unprecedented scale. The battle for the defence of Judeo-Christian Civilization against muslim barbarism will continue a conflict which has lasted for centuries, except the battles to come will be fought on mainland Britain and France. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke, 18th Century statesman, author and philosopher.

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