Political Imprisonment in Britain, 2012
Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, a.k.a. Tommy Robinson, is the joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party. The following article, which appeared earlier today at the British Freedom website, describes some of the ongoing official harassment that Mr. Lennon is forced to endure virtually every day.
Following British Freedom’s recent public meeting in Yeovil, party co-Vice Chairman Stephen Lennon was arrested by police for entering a kebab shop. He recounted the sequence of events in his speech at the European Parliament:
[I] came out of the meeting, I was walking, police officer pulled up. “I’m arresting you on suspicion of drunk and disorderly.”
“I’m not drunk. Okay? You can’t arrest me for drunk and disorderly.”
We get down to the police station, I start my breathalyser. I’m not drunk. Eleven o’clock in the morning, the next day comes, they then rearrest me on suspicion of racially-aggravated public order. I’m held for another twelve hours. I said, “Why are you arresting me?”
They said, “Did you go to the Muslim kebab shop? Did you go in that Muslim kebab shop?”
I said, “Yeah. I went in there. My mate was in there”.
“Well, what happened in there?”
“Nothing happened in there.”
“Well, we need to investigate whether something happened in there.”
I said, “So no one’s actually telling you something happened”.
They held me for twelve hours until they could contact the kebab shop owner to see if I’d done anything…. I spent twenty-four hours in the cells. I’m then released.
Maliciously entering a kebab shop? It sounds absurd, but it’s no joking matter when a citizen can be arrested and imprisoned simply for going into a take-away restaurant to greet a friend.
Unfortunately, Stephen routinely has to endure official harassment and intimidation that would break most men. In the last couple of years he has:
* had the doors of his home kicked down by police
* been interrogated by Special Branch over £30 worth of damage to a hotel room (the charge was later dropped)
* been arrested with his wife, in front of their children, on a bogus charge of ‘money laundering’
* had 15 police descend on his parent’s home
* had his financial assets frozen
* seen the seizure of computers and phones from his parents’ home
* had police question his grandmother and cousin
* been arrested and incarcerated for entering the abovementioned kebab shop.
As a catalogue of harassment and intimidation by politically motivated police, all this wouldn’t look out of place in a Stasi interrogator’s log book. But it’s happening here, in supposedly democratic Britain, in 2012.
Its purpose, of course, is to silence political dissent on the issue of Islamic extremism. Too afraid to deal with the problem itself (for the violent Muslim backlash it might bring) officialdom instead turns its wrath and frustration on the messenger, one who sees clearer than most the danger our society is in.
There is one sure-fire way to stop these abuses, and that is for others to follow Stephen’s courageous example, to get up and speak the truth, whenever and wherever they can. The state can bully one man, or ten, or a hundred, but it cannot bully hundreds of thousands into silence. To quote again from Stephen’s Brussels speech, “… the next generation… will never forgive us if we stand by and do nothing”.
Should Western women wear Muslim dress to prevent rape?
Women are "raw meat" waiting to be devoured by men because of their dress, declared an Australian imam in 2006.
Six years later, and in our own backyard, a young convert to Islam, Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana is proposing new laws in Canada that would require women to cover up "like Muslim women," concealing all but their eyes and hands. He contends that the high incidence of rape in North America is because of how women dress in Western countries. The new laws would make it "illegal for women to dress provocatively in the streets," and would thereby take away the freedoms Western women enjoy.
Canadian women would have to be covered up in burkas, abayas and hijabs. They would presumably also be segregated, and their male relatives would monitor and control their behaviour. So what is it about Islamist men and their preoccupation with sex that awakens such paranoia about women's garb?
First, many Islamist men do not understand the imperative of consent in a sexual relationship. They believe rape is a normal rather than a criminal reaction to female physiology, and assume that this would be every man's response to a glimpse of some skin.
The young convert also naively assumes that rape occurs in the Western world more frequently than in the Islamic world. He goes onto to suggest we "should take your example from the way Muslim women dress. Why does Muslim women who wear long dress and covers her head aren't targeted for sex attacks? Why is it that rapists and sexual predators only target women that dress so provocatively? Because Muslim women have nothing to show in regards to her body."
He is dead wrong. While rape is more often reported here, it occurs with equal if not greater frequency and ferocity in the Middle East and South Asia. Women there suffer violent gang rapes and assaults. Even very young children are tormented by incestuous family members.
Statistical differences also involve definitions of rape. Is sex with a minor rape? Absolutely! Yet Middle Eastern countries like Yemen condone marriage with underage girls--children who are not old enough to give consent or even understand the concept. And what about marital rape? Since a Muslim wife is supposed to comply with her husband's sexual demands at all times, the issue of her consent becomes irrelevant under Sharia Law. Women can be beaten by their husbands if they refuse sex. They are forced, at times violently, to comply with their husbands' wishes.
All this occurs in countries like Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where women are required to cover up. In civilized countries on the other hand, men recognize the value of consent, a fact not altered by the aberrant behaviour of a minority.
No two cases of rape are identical. Rape may occur in situations where "signals" are mistaken as consent. At its worst, rape is of course a manifestation of criminal pathology. Here in North America we can at least be grateful that society rejects rape in any form, in any situation, and no matter what a woman chooses to wear.
According to Al-Haashim Kamena Atangana, men are so depraved that if given the opportunity, they will pounce on a woman if she is scantily clad. He requires Western women to change their attitudes in order to check the incidence of rape in North America. Yet it is really those like Atangana who need to change. They need to realize that the responsibility of rape rests entirely with perpetrators of the crime, and that women have the right to dress whichever way they like. His exhortation for everyone to embrace Sharia shows that he has no idea that sexual crimes persist, at a horrifying level, in the kind of society he advocates.
Why victim culture is running riot in Britain
Last year's English riots weren't down to government cuts but to a vast culture of self-pity and entitlement among the young
A new Church of England report into last August’s riots in England ‘sounds a clear warning note’ about the ‘social consequences’ of austerity measures, senior cleric Reverend Peter Price said on Sunday. After the LSE/Guardian Reading the Riots reports, the Children’s Society’s Behind the Riots, and the government’s own independent panel report, the Church of England is the latest, and probably not the last, institution to blame the riots on cutbacks in social services. Written by the church’s mission and public affairs (MPA) council, the Testing the Bridges report is made up of interviews with clergy around the country who witnessed the riots breaking out.
A mixture of poverty and welfare cutbacks has, according to the church, had a negative impact on ‘already vulnerable people’. This has contributed to a ‘feeling of hopelessness which may sometimes emerge in destructive and anti-social actions’. The idea of the looters and arsonists being seen as ‘vulnerable people’ may surprise those who were attacked or had their livelihoods destroyed. But in recent years, being ‘vulnerable’ essentially means anyone who is not under the direct control of state agencies. These individuals, who clearly can’t cope when left to their own devices, must be nurtured, flattered and mollycoddled by nice, caring professionals.
If the response to the riots reveals anything, it is how the concept of the welfare state has dramatically changed in recent years. And it is this redefinition of state agencies which has helped pave the way, not just for the riots last August, but for a generalised culture of menace and anti-social behaviour, too. The original concept of the welfare state was to act as a safety net if an individual lost his job or when a person retired. At the heart of this conception of welfare was the idea that people made contributions which they would be entitled to in times of hardship. But in recent decades, welfarism has lost much of that ‘take out what you put in’ ethos. Instead, it now provides resources regardless of what a person has contributed to society beforehand.
Even worse, welfarism has actively promoted an incapacity culture, whereby the state has encouraged people to believe they can’t cope without help from an army of professionals. This is something that young people learn at an early age. The medicalisation of young people, whereby routine teenage behaviour becomes recast as a form of illness, makes youth aware of how potent the language of therapeutic victimhood can be. School pupils can be remarkably adroit at putting teachers on the backfoot by trotting out phrases like ‘you haven’t catered for my individual needs’. Consequently, schools in England have steadily replaced the attempt to instil in young people the value of personal responsibility with a belief that they are disadvantaged and in need of constant support. Far from ‘esteem boosting’ values providing a motivation to do well in life, instead they have informed a culture of self-pitying grievance and an inflated sense of entitlement.
Even before the riots, it was noticeable how a grievance or an assertive victim culture was increasingly palpable among young people. In an article I wrote for spiked in February last year, I pointed out that in ‘today’s therapeutic age, the cultural script is… an unappealing mix of gross emotional incontinence and aggressive assertions of victimisation. Even without oceans of booze inside them, I’ve seen young people kick off in public – to bus inspectors checking tickets or shopkeepers, for example – using the therapeutic language of assertive victimhood.’ Many a pop sociologist has reckoned that there were ‘warning signs’ of the riots in young people’s ‘sense of hopelessness’ and ‘anger’. In truth, it was a decade of the state promoting pity-based entitlement, not unemployment or poverty, that inflamed the short-fused tendencies of some young people today. This is why the riots should not be seen as an unfortunate one off, but as the rising to the surface of a more generalised culture of menace and aggressive entitlement.
At a Stone Roses gig last weekend at Heaton Park in Manchester, for example, one of the tent bars was raided and looted by crowds impatient with queuing for a drink. It was reported that one chap simply served pint after pint and distributed the stolen drinks to punters. On YouTube and internet chat forums, such antics were generally applauded for ‘sticking it the man’. In reality, as one individual pointed out, it meant that young bar staff were being threatened and intimidated by a riotous mob. It provided a rather sorry snapshot of the complete absence of class solidarity in British society today. Historically, a general affability towards service-industry staff, especially in domains of working-class life such as pubs, cafes and shops, was an important norm that was rarely transgressed. To do so would be to denigrate ‘one of your own’. The one-man riot at a T-mobile shop in Manchester last week, cheered on approvingly by a large crowd, was another dramatic example of how service workers are seen to be worthy targets of individual grievances and contempt.
The political defeat of the working class in the 1980s had the effect of weakening class solidarity. But it is the rise of state intervention into working-class life which has completely destroyed that important source of social solidarity. spiked has constantly attacked the ‘anti-chav’ prejudices of the political class because these have become ways to legitimise the state colonisation of all aspects of working-class life. As Brendan O’Neill said in a speech last year: ‘Today, people’s mental and moral powers are being decommissioned, weakened, undermined, put out to pasture by the relentless intervention of the welfare, nanny and psychological states into their lives, constantly telling them how to parent, how to eat, even how to think about themselves and their futures.’ For many people today, identifying with the ‘all helpful’ state has replaced identifying with each other or a local community as a source of moral support. The wider community, in turn, and individuals in that community, can end up being a focal point for all sorts of real and imaginary grievances.
Testing the Bridges also makes the point that the lack of youth centres should share in the blame for the riots. Come off it. Such places are hardly likely to be magnets for any self-respecting youngster. It would be far better if a vibrant pub culture thrived that enabled teenagers to socialise with, and be expected to behave like, grown adults. But here again, under the auspices of combating chav-style binge drinking and smoking, the state’s war on public drinking has effectively destroyed these once important areas of communal solidarity. Pubs were once a vital way in which expectations of mature adult behaviour were informally transmitted to the next generation. As places where the emphasis was also on conversation and quick wit, they forced young people out of their solipsistic state and into a relationship with others. The social development of young people has been seriously stunted through the state’s relentless attacks and interventions on pubs (see An initiation to the culture of unfreedom by Neil Davenport).
Testing the Bridges continues with the wrongheaded idea that further state intervention in ‘poorer communities’ is needed to prevent a repeat of the riots. That is clearly the last thing such communities need. The moral- and soul-destroying consequences of such hectoring intervention has not only corroded old forms of solidarity, it has also fostered the rise of a culture of victimhood and menace. You don’t only have to look at the riots to see the grim evidence of that.
The Leftist-Islamic Alliance against Freedom of Speech
Robert Spencer, a tireless defender of freedom and the freedom of speech against Islam, was attacked recently in the New York Daily News and charged with having "inspired" Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik to go on his killing spree in July 2011. The writer, Nathan Lean, in his July 9th column, "Expose the Islamophobia industry," connects several other counter-jihadist writers with Breivik's actions, and lumps them all together as "untouchables" who ought to be ostracized.
The Islamophobia industry insists that it is not just a fringe minority who distort an otherwise peaceful faith. Instead, they point to the Koran and suggest that terrorists derive their world views from its messages. If that is so, these anti-Muslim agitators are guilty based on the logic of their own argument. After all, Breivik read and interpreted the writings of people like Spencer and [Pamela] Geller. He deciphered their diatribes much like Osama Bin Laden interpreted the Koran. Both men were compelled to act on the messages they digested.
It is doubtful that Lean has cracked open a Koran, or has heard of the Hadith, or The Reliance of the Traveler. For if he had any solid knowledge of Islam and its principal texts, he would grasp that these works do indeed sanction the violence of Muslim terrorists. He would understand that Spencer has every right to be an "Islamophobe," that is, someone who is fearful of Islam and especially of Sharia law. It is interesting to note that while Lean inveighs against Breivik, who murdered dozens of people, he does not mention the thousands of people killed by jihadists in virtually every country on earth. Moreover, he does not suggest that Breivik also was inspired by al-Qaida, in addition to a potpourri of other "Islamophobic" writers. About Spencer and his outspoken co-counter-jihadists, Lean concludes:
Society has a responsibility to counter these individuals with overwhelming overtures of pluralism - and to systematically push the fear-mongers out of public discourse.
The claim that I "inspired" the Norway mass murderer Breivik because he cited me in his "manifesto" has become a staple of Leftist and Islamic supremacist polemic against people who are trying to defend freedom against Sharia. But it founders on the facts: never mentioned is the fact that Breivik cited many, many people, including Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, and Thomas Jefferson -- who are just three of the many who are never blamed for his murders.
Also swept under the rug is the fact that whether he is sane or not, Breivik's manifesto is actually quite ideologically incoherent -- so far was he from being a doctrinaire counter-jihadist that he wanted to aid Hamas and ally with jihad groups.
It probably has not escaped the notice of the more observant readers that the alliance of the Left and Islam reflects the same agitprop strategies, chief among is that when the Left's or Islam's policies fail, or produce disasters, or cause deaths, or provoke hostility among the electorate, blame for the failure is shifted elsewhere. When Obama's policies produce the opposite of his alleged goals, he blames Bush, when in fact Obama's policies are a continuation of Bush's soft-pedaled socialism. The difference between Bush's socialism and Obama's is that Bush's policies were founded on an ignorance of economics, or of reality; Obama's policies are intended to negate economics and remake reality.
When Muslims murder, torture, rape, go on rampages, or otherwise resort to violence anywhere in the world to enforce conformity to their ideology, their spokesmen in the West blame "extremists." But they never say that the "extremists" are wrong. The ideology is never at fault, only its finger-pointing "misunderstanders."
Thus, as Spencer points out in his Jihad Watch column, anyone who criticizes Islam is a "misunderstander" who spreads "lies" and "fabrications" and so on about the perils of Islam and can be quick-marched to the same camp with actual jihadists. Then a leap of logic is performed and Muslim violence can be blamed on criticism of Islam. The Left and Islamists "abhor" violence, express "regret" when violence occurs, and do not blame the perpetrators, but instead the "instigators" of the violence, that is, those who exercise their freedom of speech by pointing out the evils and fraud of Islam and the consistent violence its ideology encourages and promulgates. They cluck their tongues in public over the violence sanctioned by their ideology, but chastise anyone who says the violence is part and parcel of their ideology.
They must be "pushed out of public discourse." That is, shamed, humiliated, boycotted, mocked, picketed, and ultimately censored. The irony is that there is no "public discourse" about the nature of Islam and the crimes committed in its name. Nor does the Left and Islam wish there to be.
It is six of one, half a dozen of another. The Left and Islam both promote collectivism and universal submission and subjugation to them. Of course they are allies. With the help of its Muslim occupiers, France recently elected a blatant socialist. Has anyone in this country heard a single Muslim speak out against Obamacare? Has any British Muslim spoken out against Britain's welfare state? No? Why not? Because to oppose collectivism one must advocate individual rights. It is individual rights that the Left and Islam wish to extinguish. They say: Control private property, or expropriate it, and it is extinguished.
In the fantasy universe of collectivists, violence is never the fault of the ideology, it is always the fault of anyone who resists submission to the ideology or criticizes it. For secular collectivists (or the Left), as with Islamists, the fundamental means to the end is force.
The correlation between and alliance of the Left and Islam are not contrived, "constructed," coincidental, or accidental. They are fundamental, natural, and inevitable. Marx and Mohammad have gone forth into the world, holding hands, fingering their beards as their feral and predatory intelligences survey the landscape before them. For example, Marxists, socialists, and other leftists wish to collectivize property. If the property is thus "owned" by the state, then no freedom of speech is possible (except illegally underground, or via samizdat) but the "freedom" to extol collectivism. If property is Islamized - that is, owned, or controlled, by Muslims in a fully collectivized society governed by Sharia law (that is, Nazified), with nominal private ownership whose purpose and end are dictated by the state, or by the caliphate - then no freedom of speech is possible, either, except the "freedom" to parrot the party line of Mohammad. In either system, an individual who dares question the ideology gets swatted very quickly. That is what Gulags and chopping blocks and bomb detonators are for.
Then there is the "purgatory" or halfway point between the full collectivization by either ideology, a gray world in which freedom of speech is not expressly forbidden by law, but exists at the arbitrary whim or politically correct discretion of politicians or the judiciary. This is the situation in the United States. Brand any criticism of Islam as "Islamophobic" and the critics are conveniently diagnosed with dementia and committed to Antonio Salieri's Vienna loony bin, the papers signed by people like Nathan Lean. Or by Hillary Clinton and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations, or Barack Obama, or by Tony Blair and the Prince of Wales, and The New York Times.
James Bloodworth almost gets it right in The Independent (Britain) in his July 5th column, "It's time to stop using the term ‘Islamophobia'":
There has, however, been an unfortunate consequence of all of this. It is now possible to shut down almost any contemporary political debate by blurring the distinction between legitimate criticism of Islam and the anti-Muslim prejudice of the far-right. This is perhaps best expressed by the appearance on the scene of terms like "Islamophobic racism" - a further extension of the concept of Islamophobia - which conflate the idea of "race" (the way a person is born) with religion (a set of ideas passed on in the home, the school and the community).
Bloodworth is one of those leftists (and The Independent is notoriously leftist) who frown on private property but uphold freedom of speech, meaning, for all practical purposes, that one should be free to speak on any subject, so long as it's standing up at the bottom of a public swimming pool (there are no private swimming pools, except in the backyards of the political elite) and one's words have no untoward or deleterious social consequences. Bloodworth is correct to claim that the inclusion of the idea of racism is illegitimate, because Islamophobia has nothing to do with race. It is a "set of ideas," however, he presumably has not examined very closely. He still harbors a distaste for the term, without examining the root meaning of "phobia," either, which means a fear of something.
A phobia can be an unreasoning fear of things like mice or spiders or cigarette smoke or the number thirteen, or it can be a rational response to a nemesis, such as being knifed or stoned or raped or stalked by a fellow wanting to be propelled in a fireball to Paradise and seventy-two virgins. The desire to speak one's peace, or to preserve one's freedom, he insinuates but does not elaborate, is not a form of bigotry.
On the surface, the Left and Islam indulge in and promulgate the reversal of cause and effect. The mobs of Occupy Wall Street go on a rampage because they do not have the wealth of their victims. Muslims murder infidels because they are disrespectful non-Muslims who enjoy more freedom. But the reversal is only superficial. In fact, causality plays no role in the violence sanctioned by the Left and Islam. In criminal law, the causality of crime is not regarded as a legitimate, rational motive. Motives are not on trial. Murder, property theft or destruction, or felonious assault in the name of an ideology, are not admissible as rational norms of behavior. Only actions are deemed worthy of judgment.
Leftists like Nathan Lean say - and they say it often - that one having something a criminal lacks because of "the system" has denied him that thing is the cause of the violence. The wealthy sui generis are the cause of the expropriation of their property. This illogic can be and has been extended to: The bourgeoisie must be eradicated because they are the bourgeoisie. Jews must be exterminated because they are Jews. Muslims say that if infidels don't have "religion" - their religion - then their lives are forfeit and they must be fitted with fetters and assessed for jizya or just gotten out of the way. Infidels must be conquered or killed because they are sui generis infidels.
If you are a blonde, blue-eyed Swedish woman, or a British school girl, or a red-headed German secretary, you deserve to be raped by a gang of ambitious, "morally superior" Muslims who want a taste of Paradise on earth before they turn into bomb-carriers. Islam grants Muslims dispensation for being in a hurry. If you are rich, or just moderately well-off with money in the bank in spite of paying confiscatory taxes wherever you turn, you deserve to be robbed and collectivized in the name of a fantasy society projected by the looters to miraculously evolve some time after your passing. The Left grants its activists in and out of government dispensation on the basis of need and the sui generis sainthood of a "have-not." For the Left and Islam, every action is forgivable, nothing is criminal.
The reversal of cause and effect is not causality at work, but rather the irrational and the anti-reason. Lighting a bonfire beneath a pile of iron ore is not going to produce an ounce of steel. Gagging anyone who speaks out against censorship is not going to acquit one of the crime of censorship, not unless some dhimmi American judge rules that "Islamophobia" does not qualify as "civil" or "public" discourse.
Pushing "Islamophobes" out of the "public discourse" is not going to stop Islamic jihad, stealth or violent. Muslims will only be encouraged to carry more signs saying "Free speech go to hell." Prohibiting the advocates of individual rights from criticizing socialist policies will only encourage wannabe beneficiaries of socialism to smash store windows, occupy private property, and shut or shout down forums on the price of liberty in the name of "freedom of speech."
And that, in a nutshell, is the symbiosis of the Left and Islam. Its fruit is totalitarianism. Ignore it at your peril.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.