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Will the May 7th UK Election Result in a Rollback of Islamization?

On May 7th the Conservatives in the UK led by Prime Minister David Cameron, currently in a coalition with Deputy PM  Nick Clegg of the  Liberal Democrats, will face  Labor led by Ed  Miliband and a surge by  the UK Independent Party UKIP  led by Nigel Farage in the election of a new Westminster Parliament.  Farage has been a long term Member of the European Parliament seeking to take the UK out of the EU.  A decade ago, this writer was on a weekly  Radio  America program, originating out of Washington, DC, where Farageheld forth on his vision for the UK. Given recent polling in the UK, Farage may be poised to siphon off upwards of 2 million voters from the Conservatives, perhaps making the UKIP a plausible junior coalition partner in an emerging UK government following the May 7th elections.

Like Geert Wilders leader of the Dutch Freedom Party in the Hague Parliament and Paul Weston of the Liberty GB party in the UK, Farage has made significant inroads in normally Conservative voters over the issue of Mass Muslim immigration, and tolerant policies by the current Cameron government regarding Sharia law recognition and counterterrorism policies towards home grown Muslim rejectionists of British values and laws. Some of whom have committed horrendous terrorist attacks and slaughter on the streets of Great Britain killing dozens and injuring hundreds. Then there are reports of Muslim gangs controlling prisons or in British communities engaging in gang rapes and sex grooming of young girls, and illegal female genital mutilation within their own communities.  Add to that emergence of informal Sharia monitors in predominately Muslim areas in the UK like Tower Hamlets in London.

Hundreds of Muslim young men and women in the UK have left to join ISIS, some like “Jihad John” have prominently involved in ISIS videos beheading UK and American captives. Problems that Britain and the EU face in these matters are graphically depicted in Erick Stakelbeck’s new, ISIS Exposed: Beheadings, Slavery, And The Hellish Reality of Radical Islam that we reviewed in the April edition of the New English Review, The Caliphate TriumphantHe likened what the UK has become to a dystopian Muslim version of Anthony Burgess’ 1962 book and 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange, depicting Britain ruled by gangs of rampaging young criminal gangs subjected by authorities to “aversion therapy”. His interview with Salafist and ISIS supporter Anjem Choudary of ‎Al-Muhajiroun  illustrated the barbarians already being monitored inside the gates in the UK.

UK Home Secretary Thersa May announcing Extremism Dispruption Orders September 2014

UK Home Secretary Theresa May announcing Extremism Disruption Orders, September 2014.

Soeren Kern in this Gatestone Institute, “British Home Secretary to Islamic Extremists: “The Game is Up” published today discusses Conservative Home Secretary’s platform proposals directed at curtailing Islamization in the UK. Meanwhile let us not forget that PM Cameron championing the City of London becoming the world center for Sharia Finance at an address before the World Islamic Economic Forum in London in 2013.

May’s plan for redressing untoward Islamization in the UK is outlined by Kern:

The plan is part of the Tory election manifesto, a declaration of policies and programs to be implemented if Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party stays in power after the general election on May 7.

The home secretary has pledged that a future Tory government would — among other measures— ban Islamic hate preachers, shut down extremist mosques and review whether Sharia courts in England and Wales are compatible with British values.

May has also promised to crack down on Islamic extremism in British prisons, to monitor how police are responding to so-called honor crimes, female genital mutilation and forced marriage, and to change the citizenship law to ensure that successful applicants respect British values.

May in a March 23rd speech laid out the basis for the Conservative ‘manifesto:’

“There is increasing evidence that a small but significant number of people living in Britain — almost all of whom are British citizens — reject our values. We have seen the Trojan Horse plot to take over state schools in Birmingham. Some concerns about religious supplementary schools. Widespread allegations of corruption, cronyism, extremism, homophobia and anti-Semitism in Tower Hamlets. Hate speakers invited to speak at British colleges and universities. Segregation by gender allowed at universities and even endorsed by Universities UK [a lobbying group representing British universities]. Charities and the generosity of the giving public abused by extremists. Examples of Sharia law being used to discriminate against women. Thousands of ‘honor’ crimes committed every year. And hundreds of British citizens who have travelled to fight in Syria and Iraq.

“It’s clear from these examples that extremism can take many forms. It can be ideological, or it can be driven by social and cultural norms that are contrary to British values and quite simply unacceptable. We have been clear all along that the Government’s counter-extremism strategy must seek to defeat extremism in all its forms, but it’s obvious from the evidence that the most serious and widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism.

“Islamist extremists believe in a clash of civilizations. They promote a fundamental incompatibility between Islamic and Western values, an inevitable divide between ‘them and us.’ They demand a caliphate, or a new Islamic state, governed by a harsh interpretation of Sharia law. They utterly reject British and Western values, including democracy, the rule of law, and equality between citizens, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. They believe that it’s impossible to be a good Muslim and a good British citizen. And they dismiss anybody who disagrees with them — including other Muslims — as ‘kafirs,’ or non-believers.

“Extremism is not something that can just be ignored. It cannot be wished away. It must be tackled head on. Because where extremism takes root the consequences are clear. Women’s rights are eroded. There is discrimination on the basis of race and sexuality. There is no longer equal access to the labor market, to the law, or to wider society. Communities become segregated and cut off from one another. Intolerance, hatred and bigotry become normalized. Trust is replaced by fear, reciprocity by envy, and solidarity by division.

“But tackling extremism is also important because of its link to terrorism. Not all extremism leads to violence and not all extremists are violent, but there is without doubt a thread that binds the kind of extremism that promotes hatred and a sense of superiority over others to the actions of those who want to impose their beliefs on us through violence.

“I know there are some people who disagree with me. They say what I describe as Islamist extremism is simply social conservatism. But if anybody else discriminated against women, denounced people on the basis of their religious beliefs, rejected the democratic process, attacked people on the basis of their sexuality, or gave a nod and a wink in favor of violence and terrorism, we wouldn’t hesitate to challenge them or — if the law was broken — call for their prosecution and punishment.

May ended her speech with a warning to Islamic extremists: “The game is up. We will no longer tolerate your behavior. We will expose your hateful beliefs for what they are. Where you seek to spread hate, we will disrupt you. Where you break the law, we will prosecute you. Where you seek to divide us, we will stand united. And together, we will defeat you.”

May’s Manifesto has unnerved Universities and Justice Ministers over free speech matters and control of imprisoned radical Imams.   Harass Rafik of the Quillam Foundationcommented:

“For the lifetime of this coalition government we have had no published strategy on tackling the ideas and ideology behind non-violent extremism. We are still having the same conversations. We are still talking about Sharia law, still talking about learning more, still talking about tackling non-violent extremism, why aren’t we doing it?”

Banning non-violent extremists in a liberal secular democracy does not work. We can say over the last 10 years the policy does not work. Take the policy of Anjem Choudary and Al-Muhajiroun. Once they were banned initially, they just kept popping up under different names.”

There were the usual Muslim advocates decrying May’s plan as “Islamophobia:”

 The chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Massoud Shadjareh, said: “Nobody will be fooled by the Home Secretary’s claims that these measures are designed to tackle extremism. They are a shameless expression of a hate and bigotry that is increasingly becoming normalized in Britain.” Manzoor Moghal, the chairman of the Muslim Forum, a think tank, told the BBC that May’s proposals would infringe on freedom of speech. “We might be sleep walking into what would be like a police state,” he said. Moghal also said that Sharia courts “do not contradict British laws” and were “subservient to British laws all the time.”

However, as Kern noted in his conclusion, my radio panel colleague of a decade ago, Nigel Farage’s UKIP now is ranked the third party in the UK because of its strong stand against Islamization that appeals to British voters. Kern notes that it “twice as popular as the Liberal Democrats” in the current Cameron government coalition. A tight race coming up on May 7th that might mark a roll back of Islamization in the UK, before it becomes a dystopian Muslim version of Burgess’ A Clock Work Orange.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

European Parliamentary Elections: Eurosceptic Parties Win — but can they organize an Alliance?

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with my Geneva based European observer following the close of European Parliamentary Elections in 28 member countries. He indicated that both the UK Independent Party (UKIP) led by Nigel Farage and Marine le Pen ‘s National Front each were poised to pick up 24 seats in their country’s  MEP delegations. Eurosceptic parties  like Denmark’s  anti- immigrant People’s Party led with  26.7 percent  doubling its delegate slate,  while  Greece’s left progressive Syrizia  came out on top  with 26.5 percent. Geert Wilders’ Freedom party tied for second in The Netherland despite poor exit polls on Thursday evening.  Elsewhere, the right wing Austrian People’s Party appeared  to be leading with 20 percent of the vote up from 7 percent in 2009. In Italy, the Democrat Party led by PM Matteo Renzi trounced the Five Star Movement copping fully 40 percent of the vote. Italy will take over the revolving Presidency  next month.

However, there was evidence that some anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi parties won delegates in their European parliamentary slates. Witness Hungary’s Jobbik Party which  came in second with 14.7 percent, while Greece’s Golden Dawn was third with 9.7 percent.

farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage interviewed after MEP victory. Source: AFP

For results overall and by EU Member countries, consult the Financial Times European Parliament election results on –line, at this interactive graphic, here.

The Financial Times (FT) reported on the “earthquake” that Farage predicted for the UKIP. The Euro Parliamentary Elections in the UK coincided with local council elections, as well. The UKIP at 27.5 percent of the Euro Parliament vote tally has defeated the Liberal Democrats, unnerved Nick Clegg, junior partner in the ruling Westminster parliament coalition. The UKIP significant electoral victory   upset the Labor Party led by  Ed Milleband while causing Conservative PM David Cameron to suggest to the Tories, “that it was not business as  usual”. These UK Euro Parliament results may portend a scramble for the 2015 Westminster Parliamentary elections. The FT account noted:

Nick Clegg’s grey face told the story of Britain’s European elections. The leader of the pro-European Liberal Democrats was subdued, his eyes glassy, as he spoke of his party’s “heartbreaking” electoral annihilation.

Meanwhile across town at a central London hotel, Nigel Farage was mobbed by reporters as he celebrated the UK Independence party’s “historic” breakthrough, topping the national poll with 27.5 per cent of the vote and 24 seats.

[…]

It was also the first time the Conservatives had come third in such a vote, trailing in with only 24 per cent of the vote. For Labor, second with 25.5 per cent, it was an unimpressive performance, raising doubts about whether Mr. Miliband has the momentum to take the party to victory in next year’s general election.

The FT quipped:

There is no obvious policy fix: any attempt to “out-Ukip Ukip” on immigration or Europe is unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile none of the three main parties has a leader capable of matching Mr. Farage’s “man in the pub” style.

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Ms. Marine Le Pen of the French National Front interviewed in the Elsyee Lounge. Source: AFP

Among UK voters who may have swung to the UKIP in droves were reported to be Britain’s Jews.  They may have been motivated by Farage’s disavowal of the troubling anti-Semitic positions of some of the Eurosceptic parties. The exception is the Dutch Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders, who is pro-Israel, while opposing mass immigration and critical of Islam.

Ms. Le Pen has also achieved a stunning upset victory coming in first in France. In her post election remarks, she hinted this could be a prelude to the 2017 Presidential elections.  Given the low poll standing of Socialist Premier Hollande amid the floundering French economic problems unless turned around, this could be a possibility. However, the fallout from  the Euro parliament elections also may upset the possible future plans of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and leader of the UMP.

The FT account of her victory noted:

Ms Le Pen now has her sights firmly fixed on the battle to win the nearby Elysée Palace in the 2017 presidential election. “This is just the first step,” she said as she arrived to join revelers.

Few commentators are yet ready to predict that Ms Le Pen, with her fiercely anti-EU and anti-immigrant policies, will make it. But the scale of the FN’s triumph has planted genuine fear in both President François Hollande’s ruling Socialist party and the centre-right UMP.

The 25 per cent score achieved by the FN on Sunday had been predicted by some polls, but the four point gap over the UMP and the slump in the Socialist tally to less than 14 per cent prompted alarm.

The FN broke out of its strongholds in the south and post-industrial north. It came top in 71 electoral departments, compared with 28 for the UMP and just two for the socialists.

A socialist parliamentarian who saw Mr Hollande on Monday reported him saying: “I expected it to some extent, but it was still a big shock.”

In the wake of Marine Le Pen’s stunning victory in France, French President Hollande went on television today. The FT in an article about changes in leadership for the EU reporting him saying:

He would use an EU summit on Tuesday to call for a marked shift from austerity to growth to combat the populist surge. He said the EU had become “incomprehensible. “This cannot go on,” he said, adding it must be reformed to “be efficient where it needs to be and to withdraw from where it is not needed”.

geert widlers

Geert Wilders of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) at the Polls. Source EFP

When we posted on Thursday exit poll results in the Netherlands indicated the Freedom Party (PVV) led by Geert Wilders might have experienced a set setback in the 23 seats held by Dutch parties in the Strasbourg parliament, effectively losing two seats.

On the heels of a conversation with a colleague in Geneva, came  a news brief from the Chicago Tribune  indicating that the PVV was tied with  Democrats 66 with four seats each, bested by the Christian Democrat Appeal  with five. Wilders’ comment in the Chicago Tribune article was “Four Seats, that’s great.  Now we make the first gains for a new alliance of Eurosceptic and anti-immigration parties in the European Parliament”

The FT in its analysis of the Euro Parliament elections was not so sure that the Eurosceptic alliance can be achieved. It commented:

The surge of anti-establishment parties has also led to a scramble to rebuild anti-EU blocks in the parliament, with the two biggest populist groups – France’s National Front and Britain’s UK Independence party, which both secured 24 seats, making them the fourth largest in the assembly – vying for allies.

Marine Le Pen, Front National leader, may struggle to find the six parties needed to form a new anti-EU group in parliament.  Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader who already heads a Eurosceptic group, has seen several of his allies – including the Danish People’s party and the True Finns – wooed by Mr. Cameron’s Tories. Since the Tories left the EPP, they have led the small European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Perhaps the wisest comment on the European Parliamentary election results could be that ancient Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.