The intersection of an aggressive religious fanaticism with the multicultural ideology of victimhood has created a state of paralysis across British institutions. The refusal to admit the religious character of the threat means not only that Britain is failing to take the action it should be taking but, worse still, is providing Islamist ideologues with an even more powerful platform from which to disseminate the anti-western views which have so inflamed a section of Britain’s Muslims. The refusal to acknowledge that this is principally a war of religious ideology, and that dangerous ideas that can kill are spread across a continuum of religious thought which acts as a recruiting-sergeant for violence, is the most egregious failure by the British political and security establishment. The deeply-rooted British belief that violence always arises from rational grievances, and the resulting inability to comprehend the cultural dynamics of religious fanaticism, have furthermore created a widespread climate of irrationality and prejudice in which the principal victims of the war against the West, America and Israel, are demonised instead as its cause. …
The cultural deformities of moral relativism and victim culture that have done such damage in Britain are present in American society too. At present, they are locked in conflict with traditional values in America’s culture wars. But it doesn’t take too much imagination to envisage that, if a different administration were installed in the White House, Britain’s already calamitous slide into cultural defeatism might boost similar forces at play in the United States.
Britain is the global leader of English speaking culture. It was Britain which first developed the western ideas of the rule of law, democracy and liberal ideals and exported them to other countries. Now Britain is leading the rout of those values, allowing its culture to become vulnerable to the predations of militant Islam. If British society goes down under this twin assault, the impact will be incalculable — not just for the military defence of the west against radical Islamism, but for the very continuation of western civilisation itself.
The west is under threat from an enemy which has shrewdly observed the decadence and disarray in Europe where western civilisation first began. And the greatest disarray of all is in Britain, the very cradle of western liberty and democracy, but whose cultural confusion is now plain for all to see in Londonistan. The Islamists chose well. Britain is not what it once was. Whether it will finally pull itself together and stop sleepwalking into cultural oblivion is a question on which the future of the West may now depend.
Melanie Phillips is an acclaimed and controversial columnist for London's Daily Mail. Educated at Oxford, she won the Orwell Prize for journalism 1996. She provides an in-depth look at London as the European hub for Islamic terror and extremism in her book Londonistan.
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