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Artillery Row

Sunak, false equivalence and the phantom far right

There is no comparison between the threat of Islamism and the threat of the far right

Last Friday, Rishi Sunak recited the “Diversity is our Strength” platitude on the steps of 10 Downing Street. Unremarkable, if not for his drawing a false equivalency between Islamic extremists — who call for intifada every weekend and Wednesday in Westminster — and the phantom “Far Right.” The Prime Minister was unclear, so allow me to be: the Far Right is no comparable threat to that posed by Islamist terror in Britain. Pretending that equivalence exists, to appease the liberal chattering class, impairs our ability to quell existential threats.

Who and where are the Far Right? Ninety per cent of those on MI5’s terror watchlist are Islamic extremists — equivalent to 1 per cent of Britain’s Muslim population. Surely Sunak can’t mean the insane neo-Nazi who murdered Jo Cox MP eight years ago? Thankfully, there have been no marches in his honour, nor successful copycats since. When I mentioned this on television, I was told last month a “white extremist” was imprisoned for plotting to kill fifty MPs. An inconvenient detail: said extremist is a Leftist. We appear to have a shortage of skinheads. Unsurprising, as few British nationalists are fond of the losing side in the Second World War.

Maybe Sunak meant Sam Melia: husband of the deputy leader of Patriotic Alternative, sentenced to two years in prison for “intending to stir up racial hatred”. Melia distributed stickers, which included slogans like “Reject White Guilt”, “It’s OK To Be White”, and “We will be a minority in our homeland by 2066”. While the judge found nothing on the stickers to be criminally liable, they were the pretext for police to search his home for “signs of Melia’s ideology”, and linked him to a book by Oswald Moseley and a poster of Adolf Hitler. I find Melia’s idols indefensible; but why has he received harsher treatment than those who projected “From the River to the Sea” onto the Elizabeth Tower during Parliament’s ceasefire vote — which the Met Police declared “not a criminal offence”? Why did the same judge spare a man caught with child pornography from serving prison time?

Bodies tasked with surveilling the Far Right can’t accurately define it either. Prevent, the government’s deradicalisation programme, designated Peter Hitches, Douglas Murray, and Sir Jacob Rees Mogg, and authors like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George Orwell, pipelines to White nationalism. It seems like it’s Prevent, not right-wingers, who love writing fantasy. 

Perhaps Sunak was singling out Lee Anderson: the former Deputy Party Chairman who resigned over the defanged Rwanda Bill, and was excommunicated from the Conservative Party for saying that Sir Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan are doing the bidding of Islamists. Despite 64 per cent of Party members polled opposing Anderson’s suspension, Tories rushed to condemn his comments as defamatory, urge he apologise, or preface any defence by calling him “clumsy.” 

But Lee Anderson was right: Sadiq Khan’s permissive policing policies have given terror apologists, who declare their intent to annex England to a global caliphate, carte blanche in London. 

Whether or not Khan would describe them as “mates” is not the most important point. In this row about Islamophobia, Khan’s history of defending and associating with Islamists appears to have been memory-holed. During his career as a human rights lawyer, Khan represented Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan — who has called white people “devils”, Jews “termites” and Hitler a “very great man” — and consulted for the defence of Zacarias Moussaoui — the only man convicted in the US for 9/11. 

In isolation, this could be defensible. Everybody has the right to a lawyer. But Khan’s advocacy on behalf of violent anti-British figures has gone beyond the call of professional duty. The Times has reported that in 2003, Khan attended a conference agitating for the release of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay; organised by Yasser al-Siri, who fled to Britain after killing a 12-year-old-girl in a car bomb in 1994, and was convicted in 2005 for planning the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Al-Siri was a member of Islamic Jihad, run by Ayman al-Zawahiri — who later became Osama bin Laden’s deputy in al-Qaeda. al-Siri also celebrated the anniversary of 9/11 in 2002 at Abu Hamza’s Finsbury Park mosque.

Also present was Sajeel Shahid, leader of the later-proscribed al-Muhajiroun — whose terror camp trained Mohammed Siddique Khan, orchestrator of the 7/7 bombings. Khan’s former brother-in-law was also a member; his name appearing on a fatwa in 1998, calling for a “full-scale war of jihad” against Britain and the US.

Khan has apologised for calling moderate Muslims “Uncle Toms” on Iranian state TV in 2005, and maintained he hasn’t seen his former brother-in-law for a decade. The question remains: are we to take a man who misrepresented data to justify ULEZ, and his introduce pay-by-mile charges, at his word? Or can we, like Lee Anderson, infer from a pattern of past action a reason why the Mayor has appeared reluctant to prevent these anti-white, anti-semitic demonstrations?

Prime Minister, David Cameron noted Khan spoke nine times alongside NHS imam Suliman Gani, who holidayed with the Taliban last year. David Cameron remained Prime Minister, and recently became Foreign Secretary. Why, then, was Lee Anderson punished?

I can only assume Anderson was scapegoated for the same reason Rishi Sunak scaremongered about “the Far Right”: because Far Right has become a pejorative for anyone who notices the unwanted consequences of the government’s mass immigration policy.

They are responsible — and now gaslight us about the scale of the problem to avoid taking accountability

Islamists being brought to Britain was not, as Fraser Nelson wrote last week, “an accident”. No force of nature blew a record 1.2 million people a year to our shores. It was a political choice — by MPs, the Treasury, the civil service, and international bodies. They are responsible — and now gaslight us about the scale of the problem to avoid taking accountability.

This is the most alarming part of this feigned outrage: that politicians demonstrate no capacity for course correction. When MPs are stabbed to death, and have their constituency office firebombed, they feign ignorance as to the cause, and blame “social media” and “emails”, rather than admit fault for importing the problem. Parliamentarians are finally feeling threatened by the same ethno-religious antagonism which has blighted British towns and cities for decades. Yet still, they insist on doing their best ostrich impression: burying their head further in Nelson’s affirmation that our “multi–faith society whose cohesiveness is envied by much of Europe”. The country suffers so that they maintain their delusional liberal sensibilities.

It is too late, and the threat too great, for such cowardice. Punish the Islamists — either with incarceration or deportation. Do not punish Lee Anderson and those like him for telling the truth.

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