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CRT Editorial
November 19, 2015

Politicians are finally starting to admit a link between Islam and the extremists

by
Douglas Murray

This article was originally published in The Spectator

One step forward, one step back.

Theresa May says in Parliament that the Paris attacks have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. And on the same day, later in the evening, her boss quite rightly says‘It is not good enough to say simply that Islam is a religion of peace and then to deny any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists. Why? Because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims.

In saying this the Prime Minister was echoing the sensible and intelligent comments of one of his ministers – Sajid Javid – who rightly said in January after the last massacre in Paris:

 

In saying this the Prime Minister was echoing the sensible and intelligent comments of one of his ministers – Sajid Javid – who rightly said in January after the last massacre in Paris:

‘The lazy answer would be to say that this has got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Muslims and that should be the end of that. That would be lazy and wrong. You can’t get away from the fact that these people are using Islam, taking a peaceful religion and using it as a tool to carry out their activities.’

In other words, the Home Secretary’s comments are – in the words of her own boss and one of her cabinet colleagues – ‘not good enough’ and also ‘lazy.’  I admire many things about Theresa May and do hope she gets this crucial policy issue right next time.  And there will certainly be a next time.

Which brings me to the huge credit due not only to the Prime Minister, but also to Nigel Farage.  In a speech on Monday night the Ukip leader said:

‘The thing that makes me angry about what happened in Paris is frankly the fact that it was so utterly and entirely predictable. I think we’ve reached a point where we have to admit to ourselves, in Britain and France and much of the rest of Europe, that mass immigration and multicultural division has for now been a failure.’

For saying this Nigel Farage has predictably drawn criticism from the Labour party, the Liberal Democrat party and the Green party.  But perhaps such knee-jerk reactionaries as Yvette Cooper, Tim Farron and Caroline Lucas should reflect on the fact that it is they who are so wildly out of step.

After all, nearly everything Nigel Farage said in his speech on Monday night has already been said for at least the last half decade by Chancellor Merkel, President Sarkozy and his successor, Prime Minister David Cameron and more.  So these strange, elfin figures like Cooper, Farron and Lucas – who have spent recent years flitting about trying to police ideas and language to the detriment of all Britons and Europeans – seem to me to have had their day.  And I suspect a growing number of people across Europe would not mind at all if these ephemeral reactionaries were to flit right off.

Douglas Murray

About Douglas Murray

A bestselling author and award-winning political commentator, he previously founded the Centre for Social Cohesion, which monitors extremism in Britain. Murray is the author of numerous publications including, "Victims of Intimidation: Freedom of Speech within Europe's Muslim Communities". A columnist for Standpoint magazine, he writes for a variety of other publications, including the Spectator and Wall Street Journal. Murray is an expert on Islamist extremism and UK foreign policy. He recently published a book on the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday.

Full profile  |  See all of Douglas Murray's work