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On Londonistan August 18, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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A gripping article exposing some of the spectacular dimness in the UK’s (former) laissez-faire policy regarding radical Islamist clerics. I agree with the impressive Camilla Cavendish that they were long seen simply as clowns, not a threat. I remember seeing Jon Ronson’s TV documentary as he trailed Omar Bakri Mohammad years ago, so these views were hardly unknown, and as Mr. Ronson has himself said in an interview with salon.com on his book on the subject,

My view is that the book is accurate. The way I portrayed the people is accurate. Because they’re human beings and we have a kind of wonderful capacity to be absurd and ridiculous. It would be easy to portray them as one-dimensional demons, but I wanted to do the opposite. Just because they’re buffoons it doesn’t mean they can’t fly planes into the World Trade Center. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

It is true that one of the things that makes Britain a wonderful place is the level of freedom. Mostly, you can get on with your life unimpeded by the state. Having lived in France, Russia and Germany, I can definitively say the state is far more in your hair here on the continent than there. But Britain now clearly has to conceive ways to deal with those who abuse that freedom. I can’t propound a solution. ID cards obviously wouldn’t have stopped the English suicide-bombers in London, or the foreign failed ones, come to that. Stopping the dangerous buffoons getting in in the first place would obviously have been better, but that horse has now long since bolted and I’m sure there are plenty of home-grown fools to go round. (I worked with one of them, Mr. Anjem Choudary, many years ago at a language school in London.) Still, some limitations must, however belatedly, be imposed to stop further foreign fundamentalist fools fomenting fanaticism forthwith.
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