ANOTHER week, another national media scare story (or two) about Islamic extremism in Dewsbury and Batley. I wish the trains and buses were as regular and reliable.
I doubt there will be many eyebrows raised in the mosques, madressahs and Islamic schools littered across the district. Just another ho-hum, so-what day for Muftis Mohammed Amin Pandor, Zubair Dudha and friends, busy preparing the patient path to eventual paradise for their devoted religious acolytes.
I even paused briefly this week to ask myself, ‘is this news any longer’? And, ‘are we in danger of overreacting?’ The fact is, yes it absolutely is news, even though it was 23 years since Masood Azhar brought his jihadi mission to the ‘peace loving’ Zakaria mosque just off South Street in Savile Town, and Mount Pleasant’s main Purlwell Lane mosque.
They might be very distantly-spaced dots but you can still join them, between a violent extremist being allowed to spread his message in the self-same mosque which, years later, educated ISIS recruit Hassan Munshi and his suicide bomber pal Talha Asmal.
Was there some vague link, a connection in the mosque, between those events? I would say not – but the fact is it’s a coincidence ‘the community’ should examine. It won’t. I can even picture local Muslim leaders asking ‘what’s all the fuss about?’
What indeed – and therein lies the real issue.
The fact is that if David Cameron and the mainstream media understood the situation better, we might start getting somewhere.
Cameron’s been at it again lately, insisting there can be no place in UK mosques for preaching hatred of the west and the purity of Sunni Islam. He doesn’t get it. That is precisely what underpins their entire belief system, even if their so-called moderates will deny and dissemble for the sake of a quiet life.
After all, the prison system is staffed by radical Deobandi imams – appointed by us! – as are our universities, with Muslim faith advisers like Pandor, a man who considers Strictly Come Dancing obscene and believes you and I unfit to set eyes on his wife.
I doubt that’s in any Koranic verse that Pandor could find, by the way. These guys make it up as they go along and our politicians and the liberal wet-ears at places like Kirklees fall for it every time. Wakey, wakey, folks!
The best of their preachers – the ‘moderate’ Pandors – will tolerate us, because it suits the modern mission. But that’s all.
I think there really is no essential religious difference between some Deobandi Sunni Muslims who on the face of things admirably preach ‘love thy neighbour’ and the ‘Salafi’ al Qaeda or ‘Wahhabi’ ISIS madmen.
Deobandi, Salafi, Wahhabi … it might sound complicated, but if you thought of it as the difference between Utterly Butterly and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, you wouldn’t be far off.
A global Islamic caliphate is what they all want, with zero tainting of their spirituality by we kuffar on the way. That part is non-negotiable.
Just ask the question of a mufti if ever you get chance. Listen for the artful sidestep. Then ask it again and again until you get an honest ‘yes or no’ answer. Might take a while though.
It’s just that while Masood Azhar is happy to send young men to blow themselves to kingdom come and hasten the jihad, peaceful muftis like Mohammed Amin Pandor aren’t in such a rush. But the goal is absolutely the same.
You cannot set eyes on my wife, said with a laugh as if we’re the stupid ones for being offended by it! Non-negotiable!
And by now, so ingrained that it’s basically unchangeable – because if any Prime Mininster did, he’d be a recruiting sergeant for the Masood Azhars, the Osama bin Ladens.
Our society and our religions are considered evil, even if the Mohammed Amin Pandors of the world don’t come out and shout about it.
Why would they, when they rely on our cooperation and munificence to keep them in work, to fund their very pleasant lifestyles, to idiotically raise them up to positions of power and influence within our institutions of state, and enable them to get on with growing the caliphate quietly, behind closed doors?
Mr Pandor made himself sound slightly stupid on Radio 4’s The Deobandis. He had to answer for hardline messages published in his online magazine – as in similar vein did Zubair Dudha of the Tarbiyya Academy, otherwise known as the old Gladstone Liberal Club in Westtown. And isn’t that a bittersweet irony.
So they did what Muslims confronted by the inconvenient truths of their own words and deeds always do. They ‘reinterpret’ the facts – which is to say, they rewrite them.
They transform yesterday’s incontrovertible black into today’s convenient white.
It’s a cultural fact that everyone in British public life, from David Cameron down, seems simply unable – or unwilling – to comprehend. Still, the fuss will all blow over soon enough.
Until next time.
I HAD to chuckle at the announcement by the European Union’s immigration commissioner – a Greek bloke, ironically – that they might have to change the rules on asylum claims.
As things stand, legitimate asylum seekers (as opposed to economic refugees and migrants who are supposed to be sent straight back) can only claim asylum in the first European country they set foot in. Given the geography of the current crisis, that means Greece and Italy who, not unsurprisingly, are a tad fed up with it. Dimitris Avramopoulos wants them upon reaching the EU, to inform whoever drags their boat up on the shore their destination of choice.
If ever Jeremy Corbyn sets his commissars about purging the middle classes, as per his hero Stalin, where would you fancy? North Korea? Uganda? A fixer-upper in Syria? Or would you opt for Canada, the USA, Australia or New Zealand? I’d be partial to Barbados, or maybe one of the Cayman Islands, personally.
So are those admittedly and tragically displaced people going to plump for Bulgaria, Romania or Slovakia, do you think? Or the soft touches of Britain and Germany? Exactly.
It would be like that scene from The Life of Brian where Michael Palin is asking a queue of prisoners, ‘Freedom or crucifixion?’
Ooh, let me think...
I was going to say that’s precisely why it won’t happen, but these days normal rules don’t apply. So who knows.
ON THE same subject the three billion euro EU deal with Turkey to take back and house the hundreds of thousands of refugees on its doorstep started this week with a few Pakistani illegals decamped there.
I was going to say the scheme ‘kicked off’ this week, but that will be when they try to shift the army of fit young Syrian and Iraqi men who really won’t fancy going to rot in an effective Turkish concentration camp. That process won’t be without its troubles.
But given how corrupt some of the Turkish establishment is, and how easily and often they play the EU like an old piano, how long before the poor souls they’re rehousing are finding their way back onto boats to Greece? It would keep the scam going ad infinitum. The EU – the gift that just keeps on giving.
PEOPLE who knew Mick Sullivan as a man and a rugby player far, far better than I ever could, have said everything required in our news section today. The tributes are heartfelt and moving – and deserved.
For a number of years I never walked past the list of Rugby League Hall of Fame members in the RFL’s Leeds HQ without pointedly stopping, looking, and telling whichever chairman or chief exec I was meeting that there was one name disgracefully absent.
It was a mystery why Sully was overlooked for so long. A fluke mostly, although he did court controversy back in his heyday. It wasn’t that, I was assured and, in 2013, amends were made. Sadly, it was at a time the great man’s health was waning rapidly but I was proud to be there to witness it.
Mick lived as he died, fighting, on his own terms as best he could, but with humour, dignity, a genuinely down-to-earth bloke who lived for his beloved wife and family.
As his great pal Sam Morton rightly said, in today’s game Mick Sully would have been a millionaire. But still, he leaves a legacy of memories that money simply cannot buy.
Suffice to say, they don’t make em’ like that any more.