Last night’s Any Questions panel spoke for multiculturalism, women, and the Arab Spring. The solitary male member, if you’ll excuse the expression, was Jehangir Malik OBE, UK Director of Islamic Relief, who was roped in to opine on behalf of the Arab World.
The panellists still spoke elegiacally of the Arab Spring, which, for them still heralds the dawning of a new age of enlightenment. It’s just as if they’d never heard of the disconcerting rise of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, or listened to any of the creeping doubts that are beginning to emerge everywhere but in their own consciousness. They seem a bit like the befuddled fugitive who hasn’t discovered that the war he’s been hiding from for the last decade ended years ago.
In this vein, they expressed undiluted optimism over the Arab Spring, and deep joy at the diversity and multiculturalism in the UK.
The thing that was omitted from the discourse was, of course, Islam.
Diversity is undoubtedly beneficial. I myself am diverse. Variety is the spice of life, and variegated skin-colour, racial origin, a multiplicity of traditions and customs are all jolly good ingredients when added to the mix in correct, proportional measure.
But political correctness ignores the essential truth, which is that the benefits immigration might bring to the UK must outweigh and not overwhelm the very things that make it an attractive destination. There comes a point where those who ‘flock’ from far and wide to partake, begin to resemble tourists who, by sheer numbers, wreck the beauty and tranquility of the tourist attractions they visit, robbing them of their attractiveness in the process. Before people recognise what is happening, too many are profiting from the status quo, so don’t want to admit there’s a problem.
The Islamic faith may well be beneficial in potentially volatile Islamic regimes which are kept on an even keel by people we consider tyrants and despots. They control populations by fear, as do religious leaders who stunt the imagination by persuading vulnerable people that this life is a mere preparation for the next.
Refusing to get to grips with the fact that a functioning democratic society requires the population to be reasonably free from constraints that interfere with the ability to think, is a huge handicap. That’s what political correctness does to us. It won’t permit open discussion, and explains the puzzling tyranny of the P.C. edict, which proclaims ” to be good, one must be non-judgmental.” That leads to moral equivalence, which in turn might explain the frequent appearance on our screens, courtesy of the BBC, of Abdel al-Bari Atwan. Mr. Atwan has been endorsing last week’s attacks near Eilat in which Israelis were murdered.
‘The Eilat operation, as I see it, corrected the course of the Arab revolutions and refocused them on the most dangerous disease, namely the Israeli tyranny. This disease is the cause of all the defects that have afflicted the region for the past 65 years…’
CiFWatch, the watchdog website that monitors the Guardian’s increasingly overt antisemitism, is concerned about Atwan’s frequent contributions to Comment is Free. The Guardian represents the intelligentsia, many of whom have travelled so far to the left that they’ve gone right round the back and out the other side, having picked up radical Islam along the way, like a burr on your woolly jumper. How did that happen? It’s inexplicable to many of us, and apparently to them. At least, I haven’t heard a convincing explanation so far.
The BBC’s fondness for hiring Abdel al-Bari Atwan is clear. He’s never off our screens. Opining on this and that, his eyes bulging preternaturally, he’s regarded as an authority on all things Arab. Springs, Uprisings, and Resistance? Ask Abdel. His speciality is demonising Israel and fantasising about it being nuked.
Is he impartial? Is he sane? Are his prejudices balanced on the air, in the short term or the long term, by opposing views? Are his views given undue respect and credibility?
Why does the BBC give inflammatory, racist, antisemitic and warmongering individuals the oxygen of publicity on programmes like Dateline or Newsnight? We know the BBC is mischievous and likes a bit of a barney for the ratings. But this is serious. They might want to try and make sparks fly, but sparks have a habit of getting out of control if they’re given free rein.
Any Questions? Here’s one. Does the panel think the BBC is after a conflagration?
A caller has phoned in to Any Answers to self-flagellate over our colonial past, and has invented a new despot named ‘Dugaffi.” I despair.