Phyllis Chesler Interviews Carol Gould

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Underhill's Parallel Universe
Last uploaded : Sunday 26th Jul 2009 at 14:54
Contributed by : Carol Gould


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It was with utter astonishment that I read William Underhill’s report in the July 20 issue of Newsweek. “Why Fears of a Muslim Takeover Are All Wrong, ” decrying the scaremongers of the world who think radical Islam is a threat to our way of life. Underhill names and shames Mark Steyn but one assumes he would also condemn Melanie Phillips, Phyllis Chesler, Nidra Poller, Bat Ye’or, Daniel Pipes and little old me writing from London. Melanie, Nidra, Bat and I have a premium on first-hand experience of radical Islam because we happen to live in Europe.

It is difficult to establish from Underhill’s screed where he lives and from what shore he writes but his cynical piece appears to trash the views of many of the world’s most eminent scholars of modern radicalism. He asserts that the predictions by experts that Europe will soon have a significant Muslim population should be put into perspective, but then says, “Fertility rates remain higher among Muslim immigrants than among other Europeans, and Muslims may continue to arrive in Europe in large numbers.“ I can already hear the cries of “Racist!” but all one has to do is attempt to ride a crowded bus in Edgware Road in London to see many a pregnant Muslim woman accompanied by four or five ladder children and a pram containing an infant. Recently when I waited in my doctor’s practice a burkha-clad mum was breast-feeding whilst her, and several other covered ladies’ broods clamoured about in the playroom.

It is notable that Underhill quotes a professor from Exeter University, the home of Ilan Pappe, the Israeli revisionist historian. According to Exeter’s Grace Davie, who is described as an expert on Europe and Islam, “The worst of the scaremongering is based on the assumption that current behavior will continue.” The Newsweek correspondent cites statistics about white Europeans beginning to overtake Muslims in fertility and these facts are indisputable.

But then he comes out with a doozy.

“The truth is that there are no powerful Muslim political movements in Europe, either continentwide or at the national level.” Is he nuts?

Here in Britain not a week goes by without a media story on an issue brought into the national discourse by the powerful Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Association of Britain, or Muslim Parliament. In July a meeting at Conway Hall hosted by the Centre for Social Cohesion had to be abandoned because al Muhajiroun was successful in refusing to allow men and women to sit together. The meeting spilled out into the street and a major confrontation was narrowly avoided but not before a huge, adoring crowd had assembled to hear the ubiquitous and influential British Muslim leader Anjam Choudhary proclaim, “We will dominate this country, my brothers, and implement the beauty and perfection of Islam” to shouts of “God is great” and “Sharia for the UK.”

William Underhill might wish to know that my esteemed colleague, Charles Moore of the Daily Telegraph, happened to observe on BBC “Question Time” what he saw as a refusal by the Muslim Council of Britain to condemn the kidnapping and killing of British soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. (The BBC panel had, incidentally, been discussing the shameful demonstrations by British Muslims at a military parade in Luton in March in which the protestors had held placards referring to British servicemen as “butchers.” ) William Underhill needs to know that the powerful MCB, demanding financial compensation from Mr Moore, has managed to elicit an apology from the BBC on its website but the MCB is now demanding an on-air apology.

To my disbelief Underhill says, “A British Muslim from Pakistan would struggle to communicate with a French Muslim from Algeria.” Has Underhill ever attended one of the huge rallies in Trafalgar Square in which thousands of Muslims of every nationality and sect mingle, chant and distribute literature about “Zionist apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing in Palestine,” inbetween endless speeches by Muslims of every background condemning evil America and its war criminal leaders?

Underhill proves my point by citing a recent Gallup poll : “more than 30 percent of French Muslims were ready to accept homosexuality, compared with zero in Britain.” This is one indication of the reactionary nature of much of British Islam. He goes on to point out, “ 40 percent of Iranians living in Germany identified themselves as having no religion... In the Netherlands, the proportion of Muslims who regularly attend the mosque—27 percent—is lower than the proportion of Protestants who go to church.” This may be true but what the “scaremongers” are trying to point out is that there is also a percentage of these populations, led largely by Imams from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who have become radicalised in such a way as to be unprecedented in any other minority immigrant group in Europe or Britain.

If Underhill thinks there isn’t a problem in Britain, evidently he has not heard about the massive fertiliser bomb plot that would have killed thousands in shopping malls, the liquid bomb plot that would have brought down airliners by the handful and the nearly-successful 2007 bombs that narrowly missed slaughtering hundreds in the Texas Embassy restaurant in Cockspur Street, in a nightclub in Haymarket and at Glasgow Airport. Has he not heard about the July 7 bombs or Richard Reid? Britain continues to be a breeding ground for radical groups allowed to function without impunity across the country. What other nationality or faith behaves like this? Was it normal for the men of the London Regent’s Park Central Mosque, way back in 1998, to warn my Libyan cameraman not to bring me, producer of a film celebrating the three Abrahamic faiths, onto their premises or I “would be killed?” This is the peaceful, loyal population that Newsweek sees blending in so well to European ways of life? Yes, the IRA terrorised Britain for decades but Britain now has a new problem with young men born here who seek to bring a repressive system to a progressive democracy that has flourished for a thousand years.

Underhill finishes off his essay with, “It seems that if Europe is in the throes of revolution, many of the supposed combatants appear strangely content with the established order..”

That could have been said before 9/11 when the only monstrous Islamic uprising was being perpetrated against little Israel ( a popular calendar there shows every day as “9/11”) but when the rest of the world was quiet.

This editorial first appeared in Pajamas Media under a contractual 48-hour embargo on publishing elsewhere.

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