David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

Sunday Schooling


The Sunday newspapers in London carry a revealing crop of stories about the way Britain is evolving. The Sunday Telegraph reports the case of Mrs. Nohad Halawi. A Christian, she came to Britain in 1977 from Lebanon, a country being torn apart at that time by civil war, with Muslim and Christian militias at each others’ throats. Mrs. Halawi has worked for the past thirteen years in a duty-free shop in one of the terminals at Heathrow airport. According to her, “fundamentalist” Muslims also working in the airport have a habit of harassing Christians there. She says, “One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees. They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they wanted to convert people to Islam.” And more yet cruder in that vein. Muslims were quick to put in a preemptive complaint about Mrs. Halawi, and the management responded by immediately getting rid of her. That would no doubt be that, except for a small private outfit called the Christian Legal Centre publicizing her case and going to court.

Another page describes how a special fund of public money is giving £35,500 to a project to study the life and times of Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, a Somali. For many years at the end of the nineteenth century he raised an army of Dervishes to fight the British, and earned the popular nickname “the Mad Mullah.” Highlighting Somali resistance to British rule is supposed to be the way “to engage disaffected Somali teenagers” who are today’s fodder for Islamism. And on yet another page is an article about how the army in Afghanistan is paying the Taliban not to fight.

The Sunday Times adds to the picture by quoting two well-known professors, Steve Jones and Richard Dawkins, each saying that Muslim biology students are boycotting their lectures, or walk out of them, on the grounds that what is being taught “is incompatible with their conviction that Allah created mankind and all the other species in a single act of will.” 

Both Sunday papers of course devote space to the gathering civil wars in Egypt and Syria. Islamists are poised to take power in both those countries, as well as in Tunisia and Libya. The evidence of British self-abasement and appeasement may be anecdotal, but in the wider context it is enough to give Islamists and “fundamentalists” every ground for hope.


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