Boris Johnson on Islam and war

A column from London mayor Boris Johnson on Islam, awar, hate and solutions (thanks for the link Alan).

The Islamists want war, but it would be fatal if we fell for it

Giving in to fear and its corrosive effects only strengthens the forces of hatred

It’s only known that a small radical minority of those following Islam want war.

This weekend we were all Parisians. While the Prime Minister and others joined the march in the French capital, other European cities staged rallies and events of all kinds. In Trafalgar Square we gathered to pay our respects to the dead of the past few days: to the heroic journalists who died for the right to express themselves; to the innocent victims of the kosher supermarket. In tribute to our sister capital, we illuminated the great buildings of central London with the Tricolore. “Je suis Charlie”, said countless signs. The people of London were sending a message of joint defiance, of shared values, of a refusal to give in to terror.

It was an important show of unity against terrorism and fear.

And yet we must be honest, and confess that in claiming the mantle of the editors and cartoonists of the French satirical magazine, we were being not only presumptuous, we were being pretentious and, I am afraid, simply inaccurate. There is hardly a paper in Britain that has followed the lead of Charlie Hebdo, and printed the offending cartoons of Mohammed. In fact, I cannot think of any mainstream media organisation that has been able to tell its viewers or readers what the fuss is all about.

I don’t think it’s important to do what Charlie Hebdo did. Your don’t have to agree or like or coopy what they did, just defend their right to do it (as others have the right to choose not to do similar).

You would have thought it was essential to the story. Appalling carnage has been inflicted; young men have been incited to commit acts of disgusting savagery; the French nation is in a state of shock and grief. And yet the British public is unable to form any kind of judgment about what exactly it is that is meant to have caused the offence. Was there something particularly rude or risqué about the drawings? Were they obscene? Was it just the fact of the depiction of the Prophet?

It hasn’t been difficult to find out.

There have been offensive Western depictions of Mohammed at least since Giovanni da Modena in the 15th century, and even in Islamic art the image of the Prophet may be rare, but it’s far from unknown. We need to know what precisely Charlie Hebdo did to provoke such mindless hostility – and at the heart of the whole story there is a blank, a big white space. The British press is globally famed for its willingness to say anything to anyone, to tell truth to power, to hold up people’s private lives to hilarity and scorn. In this case, a great ox has stood upon our tongue.

Perhaps, like me and many others, they didn’t like repeating the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. From what I’ve seen they weren’t very good cartoons and the were unnessarily provocative.

I choose not to wave insulting banners outside a Mongrel Mob house. Is that gutless, or is it sensible?

There are some respectable reasons that may be advanced, of course, and we have heard them a lot over the past few days. No one likes to give unnecessary offence to any religion, or to any group of people. There are many acknowledged limits to freedom of speech today – many of which are enforced by the law. There are words that may not be used, or not in certain contexts. There are assertions that may not be made, or not without the risk of legal challenge.

And everyone who publishes, be it newspaper or blog, has a choice on content.

But it is very striking that we in the British media have been almost uniquely reluctant, in Europe, to elucidate our viewers and readers as to the images at the heart of the furore, and I am afraid that it is not just a question of politeness, or punctilio, or old-fashioned good manners. The main reason no one is running the cartoons is that they are afraid.

I can’t speak for them but I’m not afraid to publish them. They are not the sort of thing I’d normally have anything to do with so why should I now? It would achieve nothing.

Then Johnson makes a more important point.

Many fine things have been said and done over the past few days, but some of the bravest words and deeds have come from Muslims. I think of the Muslim policeman, shot in cold blood as he lay on the pavement – try to watch that clip without weeping. I think of the Muslim shopworker, who helped hide some of the kosher supermarket customers in the cold store.

Across France, Britain and the rest of Europe, there are Muslim voices saying what needs to be said, like the Association of British Muslims – which issued a dignified and sensible statement, in which it not only condemned the killings in the strongest possible terms, but defended the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish the cartoons.

I’ve posted similar from New Zealand in Muslim condemnation of Charlie Hebdo killings.

And my hero – the man who got straight to the point – was the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, himself a Muslim. “If you don’t like freedom,” he told the Dutch nation’s potential jihadists, “then pack your bags and leave. There may be a place where you can be yourself, so be honest with yourself, and don’t kill innocent journalists. If you don’t like freedom, then f— off.”

That’s a fair point.

It reminds me of the 1970’s when there was noticable British immigration to New Zealand and the term ‘whining Poms’ was commonly used. They had a choice of getting to like what New Zealand offered or returning (which some did).

That is the voice of the Enlightenment, of Voltaire. We can and will protect this country against these jihadist thugs. We will bug them and monitor them and arrest them and prosecute them and jail them. But if we are going to win the struggle for the minds of these young people, then that is the kind of voice we need to hear – and it needs above all to be a Muslim voice.

Another fair point. All Muslims are not responsible for the actions of a small number of vicious thugs. And they don’t have to apologise on behalf of terrorists when they have nothing to do with them.

But is in their interests to speak up. They should keep making it clear that spreading fear and trying to provoke war through terrorism is totally unaccetpable to good Muslims.

This is similar to the worth in non-violent men speaking up against male violence in our own society. We aren’t responsible for the violence but we have a responsibility to stand up against viiolence.

The same applies to mainstream Muslim organisations. It is important that they keep making it clear that they don’t support any sort of terrorism. As should the rest of us.

Leave a comment

29 Comments

  1. Ian McKinnon

     /  13th January 2015

    No wonder you have earned the title “Mullah of Dunedin”, it is befitting!

    Reply
    • Being abused by Manolo and you is not ‘earned’ Ian. Can you not see how pathetic it is? Do you disagree with Boris Johnson? And all the world leaders who joined in the Paris march? There mustn’t be many countries in the world that you and Manolo would fit in. You would need to find your own island somewhere – but then you’d probably take out your intolerance on each other. Sad arses.

      Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  13th January 2015

    Those who don’t like freedom should be given a one way ticket to the fundamentalist hell hole of their choice with their citizenship and passport permanently cancelled. Let idiots make their choice in life and live and die by it.

    Reply
    • Like Ian? His extreme attitude painting anyone who doesn’t fit his narrow world intolerant of any difference is not unlike the other fundamentalists, albeit without the physical violence.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  13th January 2015

        The fundamental concept of liberty is that its boundary is the point at which you inflict significant harm on others. Clearly the fundamentalists are long past that boundary. As far as I can tell, Ian is not. He is free to express his feelings and we are free to disagree.

        Reply
  3. Brown

     /  13th January 2015

    You’ve effectively compared Islam to the Mongrel Mob because both are threatening, intimidating and violent but are still saying Islam is all sweetness and light. I think that’s a new stupid low for you. Boris is a fool. You can judge men by the company they keep.

    Reply
    • “but are still saying Islam is all sweetness and light”

      I’ve never said anything like that. I’ve said that most Muslims are apparently non-violent which is quite different, but I have no affinity with Islam, just human decency.

      Fortunately intolerant fools like you and Ian are a small minority in New Zealand. You can’t even tolerate moderate attitudes, resorting to make up crap rather than examine your own sad attitudes.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th January 2015

      Misrepresentation. You deliberately assume Islam is monolithic when clearly it is not and clearly PG is not treating it as monolithic.

      Boris is no fool and your judgement is extremely poor as far as I can tell.

      Reply
  4. Should get the Muslim leaders to speak out about white genocide as well

    http://r1016132.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/diversity-and-anti-racist-codewords-for-anti-white-agendagenocide/

    What a legacy to leave the kids

    Reply
  5. Ian McKinnon

     /  13th January 2015

    As I have said Pete, “Get your head out of your arse”.

    Reply
  6. Ian McKinnon

     /  13th January 2015

    PG: There is no argument . . . these Islam arseholes are a danger to civilisation and humanity, and unless you are part of their foul and evil beliefs, you are a fool in your support of the bastards..

    Reply
    • I don’t support Muslim bastards. Neither do I support bastard attitudes like your’s. You’re as intolerant as them.

      Reply
      • kiwi_guy

         /  13th January 2015

        As a viral twitter post pointed out ALL those hypocrite leaders at the march have detailed histories of suppressing journalism ranging from legal muzzling to torture and murder:

        Daniel Wickham@DanielWickham93

        1) King Abdullah of Jordan, which last year sentenced a Palestinian journalist to 15 years in prison with hard labour

        3) Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, whose forced killed 7 journalists in Gaza last yr (second highest after Syria)

        12) Sec-Gen of NATO, who are yet to be held to account for deliberately bombing and killing 16 Serbian journos in ’99 http://t.co/wp0mR0a52l

        16) Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who had several journalists jailed for insulting him in 2013 http://t.co/2p0VXYB2Sd

        20) PM Cameron of the UK, where authorities destroyed documents obtained by The Guardian and threatened prosecution http://t.co/VLS13dnckJ

        Reply
    • What foul and evil beliefs are you referring to?

      Reply
  7. “You were supposed to attack civilians, women,children. Innocent people outside the political arena . For one simple reason: To force the Italian public to turn to the state…Turn to the regime and ask for greater security. This was precisely the role of the Right in Italy. It placed itself at the service of the State which created a Strategy, aptly called the “Strategy of Tension.” in so far as they had to get the people to accept at any moment over a period of thirty years from 1960 to the mid 1980s a State of Emergency could be declared. So people would willingly trade part of their freedom for the security of being able to walk the streets, go on trains or enter a bank. This is the political logic behind all the bombings. “

    Vincenzo Vinciguerra, describing Operation Gladio.

    “To paraphrase Edmonds: though the collusion with radical Islam had been going on for decades, it wasn’t until 1996 that a formal decision was made by NATO to abandon their previous secret relationship with neo-Fascists and arch-Nationalists and replace them with Islamists.”

    Tom Secker on Islamic proxy terrorism, which Sibel Edmonds calls “Gladio B”. (France is a member of NATO).

    “The Third World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences caused by the “agentur” of the “Illuminati” between the political Zionists and the leaders of Islamic World…”

    Albert Pike, August 15, 1871.

    Reply
  8. Methinks there is a group on the ‘radical right’ (?) who are trying hard, to paint all Muslims as ‘radical jihadists’, who are just looking for any excuse to take up arms against ‘the west’ & they are therefore just inflaming this situation. I hear Bush’s statements being repeated ‘your either with us.. or with the terrorists’ & that he even called it a ‘CRUSADE’ (quickly retracted)..

    I too have read about Albert Pike’s supposed ‘letter about 3 ‘planned’ world wars, the third against Islam’.. I’m not sure about it being genuine.. but you have to wonder if some people, are trying to make it a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ ?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th January 2015

      There is truth on both sides, Zedd. Extremist Muslims are a small minority in the West. However the Muslim majority have not done enough to embrace and defend freedom. Political correctness has also harmed those it sought to protect.

      The plain speaking of the Rotterdam Mayor that Boris quotes is what must be encouraged to cut through the crap and bring the two sides together.

      Reply
  9. Kittycatkin

     /  13th January 2015

    I see no point at all in publishing deliberately offensive and inflammatory cartoons and then telling other people to respect MY views. Why should they ? Informed and informative journalism’s one thing, deliberate provocation by mocking & insulting someone’s beliefs, knowing what the repsonse will be, is another. The stupidity of Charlie Hebdo going on printing these cartoons is beyond belief. What have they gained ? Brief world fame-but who could name the dead Charlies without looking them up ? Not me.A sloppy outpouring of sentimentalism of the kind that followed the death of Lady Diana. Well, that’s worth being shot for.

    Je ne suis Charlie-je suis Rainbow Warrior. The terrorists who did that were sent by the French government. And nuclear testing’s about as terrorist as anything I know. Stuff the people of the Pacific who have to live with the after-effects-France wanted the tests and were prepared to kill anyone opposing them and bomb a boat in NZ waters..

    It was a Muslim who saved lives in the supermarket massacre.

    Do the anti-Muslim bigots assume that all Christians are like the Waco, Ruby Ridge or Westboro Baptists ? Or even our own Greed is God Destiny ? Are all Maoris criminals because 60% (or whatever it is) of criminals are Maori ? Are all Southern Americans in the Ku Klux Klan ? Are all Italians in the Mafia ? Are all Indians Sikh or Hindu extremists ?

    The all As are Bs therefore all Bs are As logic is false. All Islamist extremists are Muslim. ergo all Muslims are Islamist extremists. All parrots are birds, so all birds are parrots. All Chinese people are Asian. ergo all Asians are Chinese. All poodles are dogs means that all dogs are poodles. And so on.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  13th January 2015

      You got it wrong in your very first sentence. You are not asked to respect anyone’s views, only their right to express views you don’t respect.

      Reply
  10. Kittycatkin

     /  13th January 2015

    It’s no more cowardice to refuse to take a risk wiith no reward by publishing these witless, crude, capping-mag level cartoons than it’s cowardice to refuse to play chicken with busy traffic. It’s just not worth it. If I was going to risk my life, it wouldn’t be over a set of cartoons that have no merit of any kind, artistic or anything else and whose sole raison d’etre is to inflame those whose religion is being mocked-it’d be for something worthwhile.

    Reply
  11. I don’t want to discuss this crap stuff anymore. There is no doubt at all in my mind that there is far far worse to come from Al Qiada and ISIS towards Westernised Countries.

    Reply
    • kiwi_guy

       /  13th January 2015

      Once they advance to and secure the Mediterranean shoreline either via Syria or Libya, it will get really ugly, and the Cultural Marxists will be running around like soon to be headless chickens.

      Reply
  12. One key area of what appears to be tacit cooperation between the “Islamic State” and NATO, namely Turkey, is seen in the looting of Syria. As with Lebanon, Turkey maintains well defended borders.

    However, there is more than adequate proof that whenever ISIS moves into an area of Syria or even Iraq, the Turks aren’t far behind. Like locusts, streams of heavy trucks, engineers, equipment movers join ISIS, stealing everything of value and moving it past the border into Turkey, a border that refugees spend days waiting to pass.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/01/03/neo-something-strange-about-isis/

    Reply

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