There is a phrase used of, and by, jihadists: ‘First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.’ Well there’s a fine example of this on display at the moment in East London. Even the Guardian has picked up on it.
At the entrance to a council estate near Canary Wharf, amid the banners of the hilariously misnamed ‘Stop the War coalition’ (‘End the Siege on Gaza’) the Black flag of Jihad is flying. Yes, that’s right, at a major council estate in the East End of London the black flag of ISIS is flying. Here is an excerpt from what one might hope is the Guardian’s learning curve:
‘When the estate was approached last night, a group of about 20 Asian youths swore at Guardian journalists and told them to leave the area immediately. One youth threatened to smash a camera.
When a passerby tried to take a picture of the flag on a phone, one of the gang asked him if he was Jewish. The passerby replied: “Would it make a difference?” The youth said: “Yes, it fucking would.” Asked if the flag was an Isis flag, one local man said: “It is just the flag of Allah.” But another man asked: “So what if it is?”’
This isn’t the first such sighting. A couple of weeks ago I drew attention on Twitter to the fact that the black flag of jihad had been hoisted when young Muslims from the East End of London blocked the Blackwall Tunnel in a gesture of anti-Israel activity. There, among all the Palestinian flags, also flew the black flag of Jihad. The black flag has been on display elsewhere in Western Europe in recent weeks, notably at pro-ISIS and ‘pro-Palestine’ demonstrations in Holland.
When historians look back on Europe in this era, they will rub their eyes in disbelief. ISIS is carrying out actual genocide, ethnic and religious cleansing on the people of Syria and Iraq. Their exact ideological soul-mates in Hamas, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda are doing everything they can to set light to the same region. Right now the western states are finally talking of intervening in Iraq to stop ISIS wiping out the ancient Yazidi and Christians communities of Iraq. Yet we do nothing to stop the same murderous ideology thriving here.
Instead another pattern is set. When we see this disgusting ideology at work, as we have done for the last month, much of Europe turns its hatred onto the Saturday people for defending themselves. Israel continues to defend itself. And we may do something to hold back ISIS in Iraq. But what will we do in our societies when we finally realise that behind the flag of Hamas is the black flag of jihad, and that after failing to stand up for the Saturday people there will be fewer people left to stand up for the Sunday people?
Most importantly, what will we do when we wake up to the fact that, far from being in some neighbouring or far-flung country, we have allowed the enemy to plant itself deep inside our own countries?