Evidence of the hold that Islam is acquiring over Britain piles up all the time. The release from prison of Abdel Baset Ali Al-Megrahi, sentenced to life for the Lockerbie bombing, shows that a Muslim country can already dictate British policy. More extraordinary still is the stranglehold that Muslim demands are acquiring on British practices and values at home. Such Muslim demands are in fact more often imaginary than real, which makes the British surrender to them all the more inexplicable.
Shirley Chaplin has been a nurse for some three decades. She is a committed Christian and wears round her neck a small silver cross, about one inch big. Her employers, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, warns her that she must remove this cross or be fired, in effect forcing her to choose between her faith and her job. Muslim nurses, however, are allowed to wear the hijab. Meanwhile in Liverpool, Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang have been running a hotel, and they are also committed Christians. A guest in their hotel was a Muslim woman, and she came down to breakfast one morning in a hijab. A discussion began, apparently about the status of Jesus in Islam. Mr. Vogelenzang allegedly said that Muhammad was a warlord, and his wife said that Muslim dress is a form of bondage for women. The Muslim woman went to the police, and the Vogelenzangs are now charged with breaching a Public Order Act, thus causing harassment, alarm, or distress. If convicted, they face fines of £2,500 each and a criminal record. On top of that, publicity has put a stop to business, and they have had to sell the hotel. On yet another front, the civil servants of the Home Office — in charge of domestic affairs — have been warned not to eat in front of Muslims during Ramadan. Operating officially within the department, it turns out, is a Home Office Islamic Network, paid for by the taxpayer, and it has inspired what it calls this “sensitivity” to Muslims. However, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, established to promote Islamic interests, has put out a statement that “We don’t care how much non-Muslims eat in front of us,” — which is very kind, perhaps even sensitive, of them.
It is hard to know what exactly motivates this regular and obsessive obeisance to Islam, its practices and values. Obviously some profound collective cultural readjustment is under way in the country. Is it prompted by guilt about the supposed wickedness of the British colonial past, whose atonement will only be attained though a Muslim Britain? Or on the contrary, by fear of being overpowered? Is there a total loss of confidence in being British and Christian, and therefore a spirit of national defeat?
The international spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood is Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi. He is very well known as a Muslim supremacist, advocating in blood-curdling terms the death of those he considers enemies. Da’wa is the Arabic word for call, generally used in the sense of outreach, of converting or proselytizing. Some years ago, Qaradawi declared importantly, “We will conquer Europe; we will conquer America! Not through the sword but through Da’wa.” But even so one-track a sheikh as him can hardly have foreseen the enthusiasm of the British to do his Da’wa for him.