by Hugh Fitzgerald
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in the U.K., apparently is rising in the polls and has a chance to defeat Theresa May for Prime Minister in the upcoming elections. As we all know, Theresa May has been a disaster on the subject of Islam. She has insisted that the Islamic State’s “actions have absolutely no basis in anything written in the Quran.” She claims that the massacres in Paris in November 2015 had “nothing to do with Islam.” She and her associates have, as Robert Spencer has noted, “hounded, stigmatized, and demonized foes of jihad terror, falsely claiming that they represent a “far-right” equivalent to jihad terrorists, while appeasing and accommodating Muslim groups in Britain, many of which were by no stretch of the imagination “moderate,” and allowing numerous jihad preachers to operate without hindrance. Among the preachers she has admitted is Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, whose preaching of hatred and jihad violence was so hardline that he was banned from preaching in Pakistan, but the UK Home Office welcomed him into Britain.” And, of course, Robert Spencer continues to be blocked, as a “far-right islamophobe,” from even entering the U.K. So one wonders if Jeremy Corbyn could possibly be worse? The answer, I’m afraid, is yes.
Well-known for his anti-Israel views, in 2014 Corbyn attended a wreath-laying ceremony at a cemetery in Tunisia honoring one of the terrorists who masterminded the 1972 Munich massacre. He later wrote about this in an October 2014 column he wrote for the Morning Star (a far-left paper, successor to The Daily Worker) newspaper, recalling his recent participation in a “poignant” ceremony at which wreaths were laid on the graves of Palestinians “killed by Mossad agents in Paris in 1991.”
Corbyn has appointed one Andrew Murray to run his campaign. Murray, who after forty years as a Communist gave it up to join the Labour Party, also heads the group Stop the War. Murray has repeatedly attacked Israel, and numerous speakers at Stop the War events over the years have denounced the Jewish state. In 2009, one of the group’s founders, John Rees, described Hamas and Hizballah as “resistance” groups which are “a legitimate part of [our] movement.” In a 2012 speech, Murray expressed “solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people in Gaza,” saying that “Palestine stands today undefeated and unbowed despite the bloody aggression by one of the greatest military powers on earth,” by which he meant Israel.
Murray continued: “We have a message for the Israeli embassy, the Israeli government… every time you kill a Palestinian child, you are digging your own graves.” This is the man Corbyn chose to run his campaign.
The anti-Israel animus throughout the Labour Party, which has become indistinguishable from antisemitism, led to an investigation and a report on antisemitism in the party by one Shami Chakrabarti. When the report was submitted, Jeremy Corbyn made a “defense” of non-Israeli Jews, in which he managed to place Israel on the same moral level as the Islamic State:
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organisations.”
These are the views he holds, this is the company Corbyn keeps, these are the PLO terrrorist-murderers he found it “poignant” to honor, this is the viciously anti-Israel political activist he chose to have run his campaign, and this is the moral equivalence he makes between the permanently beleaguered, tiny state of Israel, and the fanatical and murderous Jihadists of the Islamic State.
But there is even more to deplore in the views of Jeremy Corbyn. His palpable want of sympathy for Israel is matched by his failure to understand Islam. After the Manchester bombing, Corbyn claimed that it was important to make sure that “our foreign policy reduces rather than increases the threat to this country … Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home. But an informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people that fights rather than fuels terrorism.”
It was fascinating to see Corbyn blame British intervention in wars overseas for Muslim terror attacks, including most obviously, Salman Abedi’s attack in Manchester. A moment’s thought about the Abedi family and Libya might have given him pause. For Salman Abedi’s family fled Libya for the U.K. because his father, Ramadan, was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, violently opposed to Khaddafy, and his life was in danger as long as Khaddafy was in power. And the British did indeed intervene in Libya, along with other Western powers, but against Khaddafy. The “intervention” by the British that mattered most to the Abedis had been on their side, allowing the father to return to Libya, and logically it ought to have been cause for gratitude from the Abedis, rather than reason for a terrorist attack by Salman Abedi. When Corbyn referred to“the connections between wars the Government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home,” he apparently had forgotten the British role in getting rid of Khaddafy, and making Libya safe for Salman Abedi’s family.
And within a day or two of the Manchester atrocity, Muslim terrorists were hard at work elsewhere, in places where neither British foreign policy, including “wars the [British] government has supported or fought,” nor any country’s “foreign policy” could possibly have explained the actions of these terrorists. In the Philippines, in the last week of May, Muslim terrorists linked to the Islamic State swept through the city of Marawi, beheaded a police chief, burned down buildings, seized a Catholic priest and his worshippers, and raised the black flag of ISIS. They are still fighting in early June. The Islamic State now also claims credit for the lone-wolf attack on a casino in Manila. Almost a hundred people people are known to have been killed so far in Marawi. Since its inception in 1991 the chief Islamic terror group in the Philippines, Abu Sayyaf, has carried out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and extortion. These are all elements of the violent Jihad that has waxed and waned, but that shows no signs of being permanently crushed. What did British foreign policy, or Filipino foreign policy, or the foreign policy of any nation, have to do with those acts of Muslim violence and terror?
The reason for the Muslim violence in Marawi is clear. For the Muslims in the Philippines, it is intolerable that they, as Muslims, should be expected to remain as part of a polity where Christians dominate. There are at present two main groups fighting the Filipino state, the Abu Sayyaf terror group and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The immediate cause for the violence in Marawi that broke out on May 23 was the attempt of the army to arrest the head of Abu Sayyaf. For now, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front appears to be willing to accept the government’s offer of strong local autonomy, though one wonders how long that will be enough to satisfy them, and whether they are merely trying to buy time in order to regain their military strength, just as Muhammad did with the Treaty of Al-Hudaibiyya with the Meccans in 628 A.D.. The Salafists of Abu Sayyaf have refused any compromise; they want nothing less than complete independence from the Infidel government in Manila. Neither Abu Sayyaf nor the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has ever raised any objections to Filipino foreign policy which, insofar as it affects Filipino Muslims at all, is characterized by craven accommodation to the uber-Muslim Saudis, who mistreat many of their Filipino domestic servants — there are 760,000 Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia — in all the ways one might imagine.
While Corbyn was still prating about the need to limit British intervention abroad to remove a main reason for Muslim unhappiness which, he claimed, led to Islamic terrorism, and just a few days after the Manchester bombing, there was, in addition to the attack by Abu Sayyaf, another terrorist attack, this time in Egypt. It was a massacre, by ten armed Muslims, of Copts on a bus going to visit a monastery; twenty-eight Copts were murdered, dozens wounded. The timing was right: the first day of Ramadan, the month when Muslims strive to please Allah with special fervor, and what better way to please Allah than to kill Infidels? Was it the “foreign policy” of the Copts, or of Egypt, or of any Arab or any Western power, that prompted this massacre? Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn can see a connection that no one else can. If so, it would be good of him to spell it out publicly. Or perhaps he thinks, given his attitude toward Israel, that the attack on the Copts was really the work of Mossad agents, trying to make Muslims look bad? No, the attack was prompted by one thing only: the Copts are Infidels, and that’s reason enough to kill them. “When you meet the enemy…” Also sprach Muhammad.
Still a third Muslim terror attack, in Kabul on May 31, near where foreign embassies are located, killed 80 and wounded 350. The Afghan government believes that the likely perpetrators were the Haqqani network in eastern Afghanistan, a group that is opposed both to the Afghan government and to Western troops bolstering that government. It is supported by the government of Pakistan, which sees the Haqqani network as a counterweight to Indian influence in Afghanistan. But it’s not a war over foreign policy; it’s an intra-Muslim war within Afghanistan, of groups with differing views over just how “Islamic” the Afghan government and society should be. It’s essentially a conflict between those who want still more Islam — the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, the Pakistani government that has supported both — and those who, like President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, oppose those they regard as too extreme. Far from clamoring to intervene, that handful of Western nations that still have a few troops in Afghanistan are reluctant to return in force. The British, for example, have only 500 men in Afghanistan at present, providing security around Kabul, with a small contingent of Special Forces. It is the Afghan government that has been imploring NATO for more soldiers from the West, not the Infidels who have been pushing to again occupy parts of Dar al-Islam. I suspect Jeremy Corbyn is unaware of just how reluctant Western powers are to return, and who is doing the asking.
But let’s go back to September 11, 2001, when Al-Qaeda operatives flew two planes into the World Trade Center, a third into the Pentagon, and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 Infidels were killed by 19 Muslim terrorists, 15 of them from Saudi Arabia. Were those 19 operatives protesting against American foreign policy, against Western intervention, as so many like to say, “in Iraq, in Afghanistan”? It is amazing how many people continue to make that claim, failing to realize that the Americans entered both Afghanistan and Iraq in force only after the 9/11/2001 bombings, in direct response to that attack, and therefore the terrorists could not possibly have been prompted by “American intervention in Iraq, in Afghanistan.” In fact, the Americans had previously done much to support Sunni Muslims. They had supplied the Afghans with military aid to be used to drive out the Russian Infidels. In Iraq, the Americans had covertly helped in the transfer of military supplies from Saudi Arabia to Saddam Hussein, in his war against Shi’a Iran. Was that American help to Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, against Persian Shi’a, reason for the Sunni Muslims of Al-Qaeda to bomb the World Trade Center? When Saddam Hussein then invaded Kuwait, it was the Americans who intervened at the request of the Kuwaitis in Kuwait and, at the request of the Saudis, positioned troops inside Saudi Arabia, and it was the Americans who expeditiously drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait. Was that an anti-Islam policy? Was that pro-Saudi policy, which the Americans have steadily held to, reason for 15 Saudis to want to destroy the World Trade Center?
Go back further still to the American bombing of Serbian forces, in order to protect Bosnian Muslims. As in Afghanistan, the Americans took the Muslim side against the Infidels — against Serbs in Bosnia, against Russians in Afghanistan.
The reason for the attack in Manchester is the same reason that prompted the World Trade Center bombers, the Abu Sayyaf killers in Mindanao, the Muslims who raked with gunfire a bus carrying Copts to a monastery in Upper Egypt, the Muslims who blew up a truck in Kabul. It is the same reason that caused the Muslims of Boko Haram to kidnap hundreds of Christian girls in northern Nigeria, prompted the beheading of 30 Ethiopian Christians (who had gone to Libya for work) by the local branch of the Islamic State, led to the murder of tens of thousands of Yazidi men and boys around Sinjar, in Iraq, and the sexual enslavement of Yazidi girls by Muslim Arabs. It’s the same reason that explains the murders, in Paris, of the cartoonists who worked at Charlie Hebdo, of customers at a kosher market, of concertgoers at Bataclan, of diners at Au Petit Cambodge, of French holiday-makers on Bastille Day at the seaside promenade in Nice, of an 86-year-old priest, Jacques Hamel, who, while standing at the altar of his church, had his throat slit by Muslims, of a rabbi and three small children (two of them, a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, were his) stabbed to death outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, of a French policeman killed, and his wife tortured to death in front of their three-year-old child, in Magnanville, the atrocity livestreamed for his fans by the proud Muslim murderer. It’s the same reason that explains the mass murder of Spaniards at the Atocha subway station in Madrid, the massacres in Brussels, in Munich, in Wurzburg, the murders in Amsterdam and Copenhagen and Stockholm. It’s the same reason that explains the killings by a Muslim couple in San Bernardino of their co-workers at a Christmas party, of the murder of his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, of the Pulse nightclubbers mowed down by a Muslim in Orlando, of runners and spectators at the Boston Marathon blown up by two Muslim brothers. It’s the same reason Muslims — not Hindus or Buddhists — formed grooming-gangs of “English girls” in Rotherham, and why, in Germany, Muslim men attacked a thousand German women and girls in Cologne last New Year’s Day.
What is that reason? It’s the contempt for, and hatred of, Infidels that the texts and teachings of Islam inculcate. Non-Muslims are described in the Qur’an (98:6) as the “vilest of creatures.” Much of the Qur’an consists of elaborations on that sentiment. In the case of the grooming-gangs and the mass sexual attacks in Cologne, the behavior of the Muslim men reflected the contempt felt for Infidel women and girls, for their supposed looseness of dress and thus of morals. In the case of the decapitated priest in Normandy or the Coptic pilgrims, it’s hatred of Christians and Christianity. In the case of the rabbi and his children, it’s the deep hatred of Jews, seen as the “strongest in enmity” to the Muslims (Qur’an 5:82). In the case of Major Hasan, it’s the unwillingness to fight fellow Muslims (Hasan was about to be deployed abroad) and the hatred of the non-Muslims whom he was expected to fight not against, but alongside. Some suggest that the Pulse nightclub, catering to homosexuals, was targeted for that very reason. But in the end, no specific category — Jew, Christian, blasphemer, wanton Western woman, homosexual — was necessary; it was more than enough to simply be an Unbeliever, in order to be a target of jihad terrorists.
Jeremy Corbyn should be asked what foreign policy, of what country, explains the killing of those Copts traveling to a monastery, or those Filipino farmers and traders and policemen cut down in Mindanao, or those 80 Afghans blown up in Kabul, or those Thai teachers — nearly 200 so far — murdered in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand by Muslim insurgents. And if he can’t come up with a convincing explanation that covers all three examples of Muslim attacks on Infidels, perhaps he will at long last find the time to read, and study, the Qur’an, and hadith, and sira, in order to discover what might convincingly explain, not only those three examples of anti-Infidel Jihad, in Egypt, the Philippines, and Thailand, but also what has been going on in Europe. Why is it only Muslim migrants, and not the Hindus, not the Chinese, not the Bolivian Indians, not sub-Saharan African Christians, not Buddhists from Vietnam, who seem uniquely unable to integrate into European societies? And why is it that, no matter what European country Muslims settle in, whether that country be run by Conservatives (the U.K.) or Socialists (France), whether that country offers a cornucopia of welfare benefits (Sweden) or a relative paucity of them (like Spain), whether that country had a colonial connection to Muslim lands, as France did with Algeria, or none at all, like Denmark, the Muslim migrants in Europe everywhere exhibit the same pathologies, that is, a widespread failure to integrate into the larger society, and instead of gratitude, hostility to their hosts, and they continue to exhibit much higher levels both of unemployment (and of receipt of welfare benefits of every kind), and of criminality, than do either the indigenous non-Muslims or non-Muslim immigrants? Might the Qur’an, that inculcates hostility, even murderous hostility, to Infidels, get in the way of integrating into societies whose laws and customs Muslims are taught to despise?
Jeremy Corbyn has yet to show us that he is willing to entertain the possibility that Muslims might actually have deeply-held beliefs, that they might act on those beliefs, and that those beliefs are not difficult to discern, but spelled out in the Qur’an, hadith, and sira, all accessible not just to the 1.5 billion people who call themselves Muslims, but to any Unbeliever who takes the time to study those texts. The hatred of Infidels, and need to subjugate them, is not hidden; it’s everywhere in the Qur’an and the hadith (the words and deeds of Muhammad, the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct, that provide a gloss on the Qur’an).
Jeremy Corbyn is both ignorant of Islam and unwittingly condescending to Muslims. For him, they lack agency; they only react to the Unbelievers, who have it coming from the jihadists for their mistaken “foreign policy” or “interventions” abroad — and we know that policy must be “mistaken,” for otherwise it would not offend Muslims who, take it from Jeremy Corbyn, are people imbued with a keen sense of justice. This condescension is of a piece with the comically patronising remark that he tweeted just the other day: “Only Labour can be trusted to unlock the talent of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority people.” Lots of people have had fun with this, especially black conservatives standing for Parliament, who have tweeted their delight that Corbyn (whom they addressed as “massa”) will bear the White Man’s Burden and “unlock the talent” which Blacks, Asians, and “Ethnic Minority people” can’t do for themselves, but apparently need Jeremy Corbyn, a white man, to do it for them.
Jeremy Corbyn thinks that Muslim terrorists are reacting to “British foreign policy.” What can he be thinking of? Does he know that the British steered Iraq and Jordan to statehood, managed to clean up the Egyptian civil service, and helped secure the Gulf sheikdoms, and their ruling families, from aggressive larger neighbors (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran)? Perhaps he thinks the British should atone for the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine, which would certainly fit his deep hostility to Israel. And how would that “atonement” be achieved, if not by taking the side of Hamas, Hizballah, and the Palestinian Authority, against the mighty colonial empire of Israel? In a way, Corbyn himself has been doing exactly that rhetorically, and if elected, he would try to make that abandonment of Israel official British policy. But everyone of sense knows that that will not stop terror attacks by Muslims; any abandonment of Israel, or still worse, forcing Israel to withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, will not sate but whet Muslim and Arab appetites, and Islamic terrorism, now shown as able to obtain results, will continue, with ever greater enthusiasm than before and, not least, in Western Europe.
What part of “British foreign policy” explains the 7/7/2005 attacks on Underground trains and London buses, the murder by car and cleaver of Drummer Lee Rigby, the mowing down by car of pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge, the Manchester concert attack? Please, Mr. Corbyn, tell us what parts of “British foreign policy” or “foreign interventions” would, if changed, reduce or end Muslim terror attacks? And while you are at it, what should other countries in Europe do to ensure that they are no longer the target of such attacks? Even if Israel were to be pushed back, or done away with altogether, is there any evidence that Islamic terrorism would come to an end? Or that it would be the least bit dampened? Aren’t the Unbelievers still Unbelievers, and thus remain proper targets for the permanent jihad that is a duty incumbent on all Muslims, until those Unbelievers are subjugated, and their lands, once part of Dar al-Harb, are incorporated into Dar al-Islam?
It seems that while Jeremy Corbin thinks the British government has been too soft on Israel, he may find it has been too hard on ISIS. One of Jeremy Corbyn’s close allies in the Labour Party, Christine Shawcroft, certainly thinks so. Last March, she suggested the best way for British soldiers to deal with ISIS would be to sit down and have tea with them, talk things over, clear up all misunderstandings: “I think we should bear in mind that having cups of tea might actually be the best kind of system of defence and national security that you could have.” Put away your guns, bring out your Earl Grey and the Royal Doulton.
It’s hard to know where to begin with a remark like that. But we all know, with a remark like that, where we are certain to end up.
First published in Jihad Watch.