Saying "the rules of the game are changing," British Prime Minister Tony Blair has proposed tough new anti-terror measures that would deport clerics who preach hate, close their mosques, bar entry to Muslim radicals and shut bookstores and Web sites that promote murder and revolution.
Blair's actions are long overdue and that's the problem. Some have been warning for many years not to let these hostile invaders into Europe and the United States, but they were labeled "Islamophobes" and "racists" by people whose objective was to keep the doors wide open, allowing more killers to come in.
In a televised address Friday, Blair said, "We welcome people here who share our values and our way of life." The problem in Britain and the rest of Europe - and increasingly in the United States - is that we have forgotten what those values are. We have subordinated them to the nonspecific to avoid offending a particular group or culture not endemic to the host country.
The actress Joan Collins bemoaned Britain's loss of national identity in an Aug. 4 column for London's Daily Mail newspaper. She said her native England now regards using the country's name as "a much-frowned-upon no-no," preferring "UK" instead. Collins also lamented the hooliganism, rudeness and lack of manners she sees sweeping England.
She wrote, "I believe that when a country loses so much respect for itself that it can no longer even be identified by its historically correct name, insecurity and lack of respect filter down to its inhabitants."
Will the Blair policy resemble the Nazi's 1933 book burning party in Berlin in which the government destroyed texts by Jews, communists and other "undesirables" but with a much higher purpose? If they're looking for bookstores with incendiary Islamic books and tapes, they could begin their search in the neighborhood of author Damian Thompson.
In an Aug. 6 column for The Daily Telegraph (London), Thompson wrote of his local Islamic bookshop that carries "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a viscerally anti-Semitic and totally concocted book. It claims that Jews "ritually murder Christian children and use their blood to season Passover matzo balls." Another book argues that the United States was complicit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks; yet another asserts President Bush planned the attacks.
Unfortunately, Blair's proposed get-tough measures do not extend to the likes of George Galloway. The member of Parliament has said, "It is not the Muslims who are terrorists. The biggest terrorists are Bush and Blair."