By Melanie Phillips
The Daily Mail
27th April 2011
So now we are all finally able to see just why Britain’s capital came to be known contemptuously as ‘Londonistan’.
Some five years ago, I wrote a book by that name which laid out the extent to which Britain had become the global hub of Islamic terrorism outside the Muslim world itself.
So bad was this phenomenon that the French secret service, which had tried in vain to alert Britain to the dangers, dubbed it ‘Londonistan’ in a sarcastic reference to the flow into London of Muslim extremists who had been radicalised in Afghanistan.
Worse still, I wrote, the British political, legal and security establishments were still refusing to get to grips with the threat posed to Britain by militant Muslims who wanted to conquer it for Islam.
At the time, such an analysis was considered pretty off the wall. I had a hard time getting the book published, and when it did appear I was called ‘mad’ by the Guardian, as well as ‘bonkers’, ‘alarmist’, ‘hysterical’ and, of course, ‘Islamophobic’.
Now, however, a new tranche of WikiLeaks documents, detailing the backgrounds of the inmates of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, confirms precisely what I wrote.
The UK, these papers reveal, furnished no fewer than 35 of the members of Al Qaeda — more than any other nation — who ended up in Guantanamo after having been indoctrinated by Islamic preachers in Britain into murderous hatred against the West.
The documents record how terrorist recruits from across Africa and the Middle East flocked to London to claim asylum.
As I wrote in my book, they were drawn like bees to a honeypot by Britain’s uniquely self-destructive combination of a generous welfare state, a long tradition of turning a blind eye to foreign political dissidents, and a judiciary and political class which had effectively decided to tear up Britain’s border controls in the cause of ‘universal human rights’.
The truly disturbing thing was not just that these characters were allowed into the country, but that it was in Britain itself where thousands of young Muslims were subsequently radicalised — a process that continues to accelerate.
And as these files state, this didn’t just take place in London’s notorious Finsbury Park mosque under those two key preachers and terrorist recruiters Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza.
It also occurred in self-styled moderate establishments such as the flagship Regent’s Park and East London mosques. Between them all, they dispatched dozens of extremists to be trained in terrorism against the West in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
One new and startling fact also thrown up by the WikiLeaks treasure trove is the possible part in this process played by the BBC. For, after several suspected terrorists were all found to possess a phone number at the BBC World Service, the U.S. government suspected the BBC of being a ‘possible propaganda media network’ for Al Qaeda.
It would doubtless be uncharitable to observe that, even without any knowledge of this entry in the Al Qaeda Rolodex, some of us have long thought the same thing.
Of course, it must not be forgotten that many hundreds of thousands of British Muslims shun violence or extremism. They want only to live peacefully and enjoy the benefits of Western democracy and human rights.
But an alarmingly high number do not. And this radicalisation has come about through a lethal cocktail of multiculturalism, welfarism and sheer spineless funk by the British authorities, laced with political correctness which turned right and wrong upside down.
What beggars belief even more is that the Government has been paying millions in compensation to some of these terrorists for having so inconsiderately deprived them of their ‘human rights’ by locking them up.
Even more ludicrously, we now learn that one Guantanamo inmate was paid more than £300,000 of British taxpayers’ money to eradicate his poppy crops in Afghanistan. But instead he allegedly supported Al Qaeda — while continuing to act as a major drugs trafficker.
It was, of course, under the previous government that all this madness took such hold. David Cameron, by contrast, has made excellent speeches condemning multiculturalism and promising a new approach.
Yet there are still signs of muddled thinking at the top. For example, Security Minister Baroness Neville-Jones, who is drawing up the Government’s new counter-terrorism strategy, recently identified her task as ‘trying to convince minorities in this country that it’s their country as much as anybody else’s’.
But since the essence of the problem is that extremists in fact regard Britain as so much their own country they wish to turn it into an Islamic one, this is surely to miss the point spectacularly.
For it is not just terrorism that threatens Britain. It is also the steady incursion of Islamic sharia law, whose principles are inimical to Western values and human rights. This ‘sharia creep’ is now highly advanced in Britain. A parallel jurisdiction in Islamic family law has been allowed to develop in Muslim areas, turning British Muslim women into second-class citizens and worse.
There has been an enormous growth of Islamic banking — which, WikiLeaks says, the Americans feared might serve as an umbrella for the financing of Islamic terrorism.
Several education authorities have quietly taken to serving halal meat to all pupils. As TV programmes have shown, some Muslim schools and apparently ‘moderate mosques’ are teaching pupils and worshippers to hate ‘unbelievers’.
Islamic extremist speakers appear unchallenged regularly at British universities. Freely available in London are certain Muslim TV propaganda channels — one of which is owned and controlled by the fundamentalist Islamic state of Iran.
And the Government still hasn’t dealt with human rights law, which has driven our legal system so catastrophically off the rails and has come to act as the judicial weapon of the Islamic jihad.
The key problem I identified five years ago remains true today: that Britain’s ruling class even now does not want to acknowledge the true nature and scale of the threat that we face.
There remains a fixed belief within Whitehall that this is hardly more serious than, say, the threat once posed by Irish terrorism. But this is surely a terrible error.
Terrorism uses violence against civilians to force society to yield to its demands. The Islamic jihad, by contrast, is a world-wide war on many fronts to destroy a society altogether.
For heaven’s sake, as the WikiLeaks files reveal there has been much Al Qaeda ‘chatter’ that somewhere in Europe it has stowed away a nuclear weapon, to be detonated if Osama Bin Laden were ever to be killed or captured.
Whether or not that particular claim is true, there is no doubt that Al Qaeda is actively seeking nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in order to murder as many people as possible.
Yet although the British security service has warned repeatedly that it fears a dirty bomb in Britain is all but inevitable, people refuse to take this seriously.
So while the security people sweat over how to keep the British people safe from such a monstrous event, parliamentarians, human rights lawyers and civil liberties activists posture preposterously as defenders of western values protecting the ‘human rights’ of known terrorists, and by indulging in the lethal frivolity of trying to destroy control orders or detention before charge — on the grounds that all we are facing is just another type of crime to be dealt with in the normal way.
What the WikiLeaks files show us is that, on the contrary, a war is being waged against the free world. But unless Britain finally acknowledges this fact, it is a war we are destined to lose.