London Bridge Terror Attack - Ignoring the Problem
On November 29th London suffered another terror attack at the hands of an Islamic Jihadi - a fact which seems carefully omitted from every report on the incident. Usman Khan attack began at 13:58 GMT inside Fishmongers' Hall. Fishmonger Company chief executive Toby Williamson had this to say about the incident:
The resultant outcry in the context of a General Election campaign in the UK has led to the expected calls for locking up terrorists and throwing away they key, the death penalty.
The left blame cuts to services like the police, courts, probation and prisons:"What the few who seek to spread fear do not realise is that it only makes the rest of us more steadfast."— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) December 2, 2019
Commissioner Cressida Dick has written for the @EveningStandard following the #LondonBridge attack last week.
Read more 👉https://t.co/UhHS0Dtamk pic.twitter.com/tikAzLsg0u
The right say the problem is letting convicted criminals out too early:40% justice cuts, fewer cops and prison officers, probation privatisation fiasco, courts shut and jails turned into universities of terror from which jihadis graduate yet after nine years they still cynically blame another political party https://t.co/zTdnEvwPFw— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) December 2, 2019
Honestly I think that both arguments are wrong. The argument that having more police would make a difference is patently nonsense. The fact is you can't stop random individual attacks like this if individuals are determined to carry them out. Simply locking people up for indeterminate amounts of time is expensive and, frankly, counter-productive, because all the evidence is that the vast majority of radicalisation actually takes place in prison.Prior to his emergency COBRA meeting, the prime minister said "I have long argued that it is a mistake to allow serious and violent criminals out of prison early and it is very important that we get out of that habit"— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 29, 2019
Read the latest here: https://t.co/AjCp2A1oas pic.twitter.com/vAw2pHuD22
I can see the argument that investing in rehabilitation would make a difference, if there was any evidence that rehabilitation was working - but there's not.
So what should we do?
I think the problem is largely the progressive attitude towards Islam as a reasonable religion. The problem with criticising Islam for Catholics today is that it is almost like a turkey voting for Christmas. In the religiously intolerant atmosphere of the post-modern secular UK, all religions are considered the same, despite the reality that Western civilisation was built by Christianity. These are painful truths for citizens of the UK who like to live in a peaceful, tolerant society. So am I arguing against a freedom of religion? Of course not. I am arguing for a frank and honest discussion about religion and what action certain beliefs produce.
Khan was a radical Muslim. There are radical Catholics too, sure. Mother Teresa for example - St Maximillian Kolbe is another good example. Spot the difference?
Sure not all Muslims support terrorism, but most Muslims don't know what Islam teaches about terrorism. If a radicalised person hears from the British government that Islam is actually a religion of peace, is he going to believe the British government, the prison service, or his imam, Mohammed and Al qu'ran? You see, he knows what his religion teaches about these things from more authentic sources and he's not going to be convinced that non Muslims know more than his sources of radicalisation.
So what do we do?
The answer is that we offer a proper, objective critique of Islam using Islamic sources that Muslims recognise. Our culture of everyone from politicians to pop stars supporting Islam as a religion of peace in a vacuum of real understanding is what creates this threat.
The danger is that critiquing Islam promotes intolerance of religion in the culture referred to above. That is a risk, but I am prepared to defend my Catholic faith against such attacks with facts. I believe that holding Islam to account for its specific teachings is the best way to combat future crimes such as the one Khan committed on the 29th November.
In this video, David Wood explains the issues clearly: