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Violence, threats and blackmail ought to have no place in politics

6 August 2014

3:41 PM

6 August 2014

3:41 PM

I have never issued a call for violence before, and I’m certainly not going to start now. But I wonder if people might consider the following, purely hypothetical situation.

In her resignation letter over the UK government not being anti-Israel enough for her, Sayeeda Warsi backed up her ‘case’ by writing:

Early evidence from the Home Office and others shows that the fallout of the current conflict and the potential for the crisis in Gaza and our response to it becoming a basis for radicalisation could have consequences for us for years to come.’

Let us ignore for now the fact that the Home Office is today denying that any such evidence exists. It could be true. I do not think anybody is in any doubt that there are young Muslims in this country who feel very angry over the Israeli government defending its citizens from Hamas rocket fire.

Plenty of evidence certainly does exist suggesting that the war in Syria will have security consequences for years to come. As, indeed, does any intervention or non-intervention anywhere in the world where there are Muslims. We had a wave of radicalisation among British Muslims thanks to not intervening in the Balkans in the 1990s. And then we had fresh troubles when we did intervene. We found the same problem in Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and more.

In fact, it appears that there are a lot of things which can serve as ‘a basis for radicalisation for years to come.’ Nobody doubts that a lot of young British Muslims are available to be whipped up on a whole range of subjects. The question is: what are you going to do about it? Are you going to give into the grievance? Or will you explain that in a law-based democracy the only response to threats and those who issue them is the full force of the law and the wholesale opprobrium of civil society?

Sayeeda Warsi squandered an unbelievable opportunity — as the first female Muslim in the British cabinet — to explain this latter point and correct popular misconceptions among some British Muslims. Instead, she pandered to a raucous and reactionary crowd. Even now she is warning everyone else that there could be ‘consequences for years to come’.


People who haven’t thought about where this will all lead really ought to start doing so. Because the list of things over which there can be ‘consequences for years to come’ is becoming astoundingly long. The threat can now be issued whenever Britain, Israel, America or any other Western country defends itself. But it can also come when a British author writes a novel, or a Dane or Swede draws a cartoon. There can be ‘consequences’ for the leader of the worldwide Catholic church making a historical reference in a scholarly speech. Or for a film made by a left-wing Dutchman. There can be ‘consequences’ for the naming of a teddy bear or for writing ‘Mohammed’ on a piece of pineapple fruit. There are always ‘consequences’ when Jews try to live at peace in their historic homeland. As there are for Christians hoping not to be beheaded in places they have lived for half a millennium before Islam came along.

As I say, a lot of things can have ‘consequences for years to come’. The only question in a society which obeys the rule of law is what you are going to do about such threats, and whether a democratic government should ever deign to acknowledge such mob politicking.

Sayeeda Warsi has found a gaggle of discreditable appeasers to support her line. Last night on the BBC’s Newsnight I found myself opposite that pompous old windbag Menzies Campbell, who was doing what appeared to be the BBC version of a filibuster. ‘Ming’ certainly took Sayeeda’s line, while I kept trying to interject that the conjuring up the image of mobs if people not do as you wish is what we usually call ‘blackmail’. However, on watching the footage back (see above) I see that my microphone seems to have been turned off during this part of the exchange. By way of Dane-geld down-payment, Ming kept stressing just how much he, Paddy Ashdown and various other ‘Lib Dems’ have been beating up on Israel in recent weeks. ‘The Hague’, ‘War Crimes’, ‘Disproportionate’ — the whole lot was thrown in. I am sure the Islamists will remember Ming and Paddy’s service if the time comes.

But in the meantime I have a question for readers. If this is the way in which politics is to be done in Britain, perhaps we should follow suit. Surely there must be something we’d like to change about this country or its activities in the world?

If so you will find that it will really help your cause if someone who shares some of your views is willing to threaten acts of violence. It is possible that at some point they might actually have to carry out the threat, but a few bombs in carefully chosen places will work wonders. And if they do choose the bomb option (thus letting the authorities know that they mean it), why not act as the good cop to the bombers’ bad cop, and stress that, although you deplore such acts of violence, you can’t promise that they won’t happen again unless everyone agrees with you and does what you want.

Doesn’t it make you want to arrange a mob on your side for once? It seems an excellent, nay unparalleled, way to make, or reinforce, your particular sectarian, racial or religious point. That being the case, perhaps I can suggest some hypothetical opportunities for such organised violence.

The British government seems utterly unwilling to act to halt the persecution of Christians across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. So why don’t some enterprising Christian readers stop turning the other cheek and consider some cheeky little acts of violence instead? Why not let off a couple of bombs to let everyone know that, instead of being a pack of sad losers, the British wing of the worldwide Christian communion is willing to take matters into its own hands, highlight the plight of their co-religionists and thus pressurise the British government? It’ll probably only need to be done once or twice. Then everyone else can say how much they regret it happening again, but that they can’t promise it won’t happen again unless there’s a change of policy etc. etc.

Other possibilities leap to mind. The continuing persecution of the Dalai Lama and his supporters strongly suggests to me that rather than traipsing around looking like damp tents, the Buddhists of Britain would do well to change the British government’s shameful policy of placation towards the Communist Party of China vis-à-vis never again meeting the Dalai Lama. Why not take up the tactic of the moment — the threat of violence? If you Buddhists are unsure of success, why not put a couple of explosive devices in a popular restaurant in, for instance, London’s Chinatown? Perhaps make it more general: blame society as a whole and blow up a bus or two? Sure, some people might grouse for a bit, but victory in altering British government policy would surely follow.

And then there are Jews. There might well be British Jews who feel aggrieved that so many members of the British establishment delight in using the rhetoric of the Nazis and Holocaust against them, and for selling the Jewish state down the river. So why not carry out some random act of violence? Get a mob together — or at least threaten one. Then you can sit back — without any of that boring talking, arguing, debating or reasoning — and reap the political rewards.

Unimaginable? Of course it is. Outrageous and unacceptable? Of course it would be. But it makes one wonder. Do Sayeeda, Ming et al know the doors that they are opening? Surely not? In our society, politics should be debated on the terrain of what is right and wrong, not on who might raise a mob. For anyone who thinks otherwise, they really ought to reflect that if this kind of blackmail is deemed acceptable today, then we will have nothing to say when every other variety of blackmail follows in its wake. As it will.

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Show comments
  • sepide
  • Lydia Robinson

    Douglas, This is the way the left and Islamists behave and express themselves. They don’t know how to do anything else. Have you ever tried participating in a leftie forum? It would be a interesting case study for a professor of sociology – note how all the pcness is quickly dispensed with when someone with an opposing view comes along and it all descends into the vilest of personal abuse, including making threats and insulting members of one’s family. There is also no problem at all about making sexist insults towards women with conservative views and even rape threats. Because the left and Islamists (the axis of evil) have no coherent policies or strategies other than threats of violence.

  • Picquet

    Very good article, which I’ll quote repeatedly in my effort to subjugate and oppress the bloke in the office next door, whose opinions lean toward those of Campbell.

  • Mustrum Ashkente Ridcully

    What Mr Murray fails to point out is that the cave in to mob rule has already happened. The Parades Commission in Northern Ireland was set up entirely in response to violent protests from Nationalists objecting to the Orange Order parading along “their” streets. We now have the situation where the UK is possibly the only European democracy which has a quasi-governmental, non-accountable organisation, backed by the full might of the police and judiciary, who’s sole function is the selective removal of people’s freedom of assembly to appease the threat of mob violence.

  • mohdanga

    If disagreement with government policy is the cause of radicalization then it is time to stop all Muslim immigration to the UK. There are enough home grown nutbars and sympathizers in the few million Muslims already in the UK to keep the authorities busy for decades. Wonder if the Baroness would have accepted this proposal??

  • Gilberto Mertins

    The best part of your
    text, Mr Muray, is “any intervention or non-intervention” will cause problems; Muslin
    cannot be happy unless everybody in the world 1) is Muslin OR 2) pay tax for a
    Muslin state OR 3) be dead.

    • anotherjoeblogs

      Zugzwang (German for “compulsion to move”, is a situation found in chess and other games, where one player is put at a disadvantage because he must make a move when they would prefer to pass and not to move. The fact that the player is compelled to move means that their position will become significantly weaker. A player is said to be “in zugzwang” when any possible move will worsen their position.[1]

  • Dougie

    According to militant Islam (and, who knows, perhaps non-militant Islam: Warsi certainly seems to agree), if Muslims are in conflict with non-Muslims, anywhere in the world for any reason, the Muslims are always in the right. This is hardly a rational philosophy so why do we imagine appeasement will work?

    • James Molony

      Warsi has said that has she?

    • James Molony

      You don’t have to appease militant Islam, you have to appeal to moderate Muslims, bring them onside and take away any reason to do things like vote for Hamas. If you blockade them, interfere with their elections and bomb them you just fuel the conflict. DM began this article by saying he would never call for violence, but he does support it. Unless you are prepared to condemn all violence you are part of the problem.

      • mohdanga

        If it isn’t Gaza, it’s Afghanistan…or Iraq….or Tunisia…or Egypt….or Libya….or Syria…or swirls of ice cream that look like the head of Mohmammed…or a teddy bear…..or a piggy bank….or Tesco clerks refusing to serve customers because they are buying pork and alchohol…or a running shoe logo……there is no appeasing or appealing to Muslims, it’s only constant demands and threats.

        • TimboX

          So true. The leftist pseudo-intellectuals will play their word games deconstructing language to the best of their abilities in order to control the narrative, but when all is said and done… this is nothing more than a political power grab by muslims who will do anything, kill anybody to rise in power.

  • global city
  • Jacques Protic

    Warsi stance is 100% justified and it has nothing to do with religion – For those who value Truth and Democracy should listen to Irish UN stance on the issue: – For my part I’m not apologist for Islam and find it’s practice and interpretation highly oppressive, but discrediting Warsi, simply because she is a Muslim is wrong!?

    • wudyermucuss

      Warsi stance is 100% unjustified.
      Resisting Islamofascism in a proportionate and restrained manner as Israel has done is absolutely right.
      Threatening “consequences” unless Islamism is pandered to is absolutely wrong.
      A watershed,but not the tipping point.

  • James Molony

    I do not think anybody is in any doubt that there are young Muslims in this country who feel very angry over the Israeli government defending its citizens from Hamas rocket fire.

    You’ll say anything won’t you Douglas, words don’t mean a thing to you do they. This is one of the most intellectually dishonest sentences I have ever read.

    • mohdanga

      Yet these same non-existent Muslims march through the streets of London holding signs like “Death to the infidel”, “Another Holocaust is coming”, “Another 9/11 is coming”, etc.

  • James Molony

    I have never issued a call for violence before, and I’m certainly not going to start now.

    How much difference is there between calling for violence and staunchly defending it?

    • mohdanga

      If you had a clue you would realize that the examples of ‘violence’ he has listed will never come to fruition whereas Muslim violence already has.

      • James Molony

        I’m talking about the violence perpetrated by Israel.

        • mohdanga

          So self defence is now ‘violence’?? Ok, then.

  • Hippograd

    In fact, it appears that there are a lot of things which can serve as ‘a
    basis for radicalisation for years to come.’ Nobody doubts that a lot of
    young British Muslims are available to be whipped up on a whole range
    of subjects.

    They’re certainly “available”, thanks to mass immigration and generous funding of the heartwarmingly high birth-rates of the most vibrant of our communities.

  • morbidfascination

    Actually, not “unimaginable”. The veneer of civilisation which keeps a state together is frighteningly thin. And even the rule of law is itself only guaranteed by physical coercion and violence.

  • rightrightright

    When Moslems attempt to make their case as Warsi did in her resignation letter, there is always a threat to the Infidel, usually towards the end of the piece. They have successfully terrorised Other believers for nigh on 1400 years and the bullying (to put mildly) has become so ingrained that Moslems simply cannot stop doing it.

  • monkey for sale

    The koran is the gun and the perceived grievances are the bullets. All too many muslims seem to interpret the word no as islamophobia.

    Islamophobia, that garbage linguistic bludgeon of a non-word.

  • artemis in france

    I fear, Douglas, that in a country where a local council agrées that a cinema can be barred to white British because they are restricting it to Muslims only to celebrate the Eid festival, the slope is already becoming very slippery. If people who already have an exaggerated sensé of entitlement are encourages in this belief, things can only get worse.

  • mightymark

    Excellent article Douglas. And lets call a spade a spade. What we are facing with this “radicalisation” nonsense is unadulterated blackmail. As you say, none of those using the argument face its long term implications.

  • Meghan Nova

    If we don’t want to see another 500+ children killed in next few months Israel must step in front of Court for war crimes

    • Damaris Tighe


    • wudyermucuss

      Hamas would have to join up for that to happen and for reasons that you are clearly blissfully unaware,that won’t happen.
      I put your naievety down to your age though I may be being too generous to you and you may have other motives.

    • mohdanga

      They’re next on the docket behind ISIS is Syria and Iraq, Muslims killing Muslims/Christians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Iran, etc. Oh, wait….

  • andy_gill

    Excellent post Douglas. You have said what many people think, but are too scared to say; this talk of potential radicalization is nothing but blackmail.

    The Muslim lobby is now dictating to the whole country. Britain is going to look a very different place twenty years from now, unless we get off our knees and stand our corner.

    We should start by denying Islam any role in public life.

  • Callan

    Melanie Phillips wrote “Londonistan” a few years ago. It was not only illuminating but frightening and deserves another reading in light of recent events. Baroness Warsi might usefully take some time off from discussing her career with the BBC to read it. Then she can wind her neck in.

  • anotherjoeblogs

    I was once listening to a phone in about the radicalisation of British Muslim kids and one caller said that the government need to sit down with the kids and pay attention to their grievances and adjust British foreign policy accordingly ! When pressed on the question on whether children had a political view, the caller said Muslim children are just the same as grown-ups with the same opinions.

  • CO Jones

    Excellent article Mr. Murray. Please keep producing such statements of truth and common sense for as long as the authorities allow you to do so …

  • Peter Stroud

    An excellent piece, that brings out the almost uniquely violent nature of the Moslem religion. Of course we cannot imagine followers of other faiths, in the civilised West, becoming suicide bombers. Or hacking to death a soldier in broad daylight, because he might have fought for his country, in a Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist state.

  • Damaris Tighe

    The term ‘radicalisation’ always annoys me. It suggests that RoP yoof aren’t complicit in the decision to become a jihadist; that it’s caused by something we do that they object to & therefore it’s we who have to change our behavour to appease them.

    • monkey for sale

      Yes, it’s bit like the euphemism -falling pregnant.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Yes, as if becoming a jihadi or becoming pregnant are like catching a cold. I think it’s a symptom of the culture of denying responsibility.

  • ACN

    Seeing ‘Minge’ on Newsnight debating with Douglas Murray I was struck by the fact he, Campbell, resembled a barely animated corpse. His reasoning seemed to confirm this impression.

    • David Prentice

      As one of the very few to survive the dash into the valley of Death/ cannon to right of them/ cannon to left, we need to appreciate Sir Ming whilst he yet with us abides.

  • David Prentice

    Thanks, Douglas, brilliant. It can’t be pointed out enough, the selective morality of the likes of Warsi, the BBC, the luvvies and fellow travellers polluting social media with their stupidity. On the slaughter and religious cleansing of the orthodox Christian communities in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt by Islamic thugs? Nothing. Not a peep. But when it’s the Jews defending the only democracy in the sea of medieval darkness that is the Middle East…

  • Bob Thomas

    Excellent piece.

  • TrulyDisqusted

    You’ll find all the answers your looking for in this short video Douglas:

    Using only the words of the Koran, the Haddith and the Sira, David Woods takes us through the stages of Jihad that we can all see in all countries where Muslims congregate.

    Take Baroness Tokens warnings seriously because she knows how this will end and she’s ensuring that she is on the winning side.

    • Terry Field

      So is Obama Sunni, Shia,or what?

      • TrulyDisqusted

        Don’t be ridiculous. He’s the Messiah!


      • rightrightright

        The way he crawls to, fawns and slobbers over Saudi sheikhs, I would say he is Sunni. His regime is complicit in the rise of ISIS which is Sunni.

  • Terry Field

    Warsi has gone rogue – she can no longer be a British minister and a moslem. The implication of violence if Britain fails to follow her suggested course further highlights the total incompatibility of Islam and living in Britain. The two are mutually exclusive.

  • William Clark

    The difference between the muslim world and the civilised world is that they think absolutely nothing of deliberately setting out to attract the deaths of their fellows. Hamas know that if it continually fires rockets at Israel, they will be returned. As Hamas are incompetent, the consequences of the return of fire will kill a hundred times more than Hamas have managed, because the Israeilis are competent, but that was what they wanted in the first place. Then the so called liberal forces of ‘attack the line of least resistance’ get going. The threat of muslim violence will end western society, if indeed it is not already a corpse walking.

  • jjjj

    Kathy Newman and her shameful attacks on Rod Liddle and Jon (‘I emote only when it comes to Israel’) Snow, as bad as the BBC.

  • jjjj

    Douglas Murray, Bravo! And thank you.

  • Mr Grumpy

    Superb post, as evidenced by the fact that so far not one critical commenter has felt able to take issue with your main point. Plenty of Israel-bashing, a splash or two of ad hominem, but not a word in defence of the Baroness’s nice cop routine.