Honestly. No sooner have I filed a piece than along comes Sayeeda Warsi to help prove my point. Yesterday morning she popped up because another three sisters and their nine children appear to have traveled from West Yorkshire to join the thriving Islamic State. Apparently Sayeeda knows one of the families. And of course she is blaming this latest example of jihadist emigration on the British authorities in general and this government in particular. She claims that the current government has ‘disengaged’ from Muslim communities.
Now Sayeeda must know that this is nonsense. She must have some inkling of the precise and often thankless efforts to engage such communities. So this is just a pitch to get her old job back. And thank goodness she won’t — having betrayed and stabbed in the back the only man in politics who significantly believed in her. In office Sayeeda Warsi was part of the problem. Out of office she remains so.
For instance, it is hard to see how any government programme — however adept — could prevent three such clearly disgusting women from taking their children to the paedophile’s paradise of the Islamic State. But here we go again. ‘Why did the authorities not stop them?’ ‘Why did the British police not know that someone from Yorkshire who had gone on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia might fly to Turkey and then get into Syria?’ Well how about the families and communities from which these awful women come take some responsibility? How about people who hold themselves out as ‘leaders’ try taking a lead? Or people who know the families stop removing blame from the women who have chosen such a wicked course – a course which apart from anything else spits on this country?
Of course Sayeeda herself could have been a significant part of the solution. But she spent her time in government promising to counter so-called ‘Islamophobia’ while at the same time bringing Islamic ‘radicals’ into the heart of Whitehall (as the Telegraph showed here: Islamic ‘radicals’ at the heart of Whitehall). She apparently never realised that if such a thing as ‘Islamophobia’ does exist it might be caused not by an inexplicable seizure of the brain but by people noticing – among other things – what little willingness there is among Muslim leaders to really tackle extremism within their communities.
Here is Sayeeda Warsi speaking yesterday about ‘radicalisation’:
‘Let’s first of all be very clear about finding the evidence base of what are the drivers to radicalisation. It may make for uncomfortable reading but it is only when we start to have that honest conversation that we unpick what is now becoming a generational challenge.’
Of course Sayeeda doesn’t want to have that conversation. Very few people with any aspiration to be ‘Muslim leaders’ really do. Because the conversation will include, among other things, a lot of focus being put on the theological underpinnings of ISIS’s claims. You cannot defeat those claims if you pretend they come from nowhere or are made up by ‘Islamophobes.’ You can only counter them if you can explain why ISIS are wrong.
That requires a level of Islamic introspection for which there appears very little appetite. Meantime, as everybody keeps proving, it’s so much easier to blame the cops, or government, than it is to take any responsibility yourself.