So, the inevitable has happened. After several incidents of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the UK, it appears that an incident of counter-terror, directed against Muslims in that country, has now occurred.
One man has died and 10 others were injured when a van was rammed into worshippers in a terror attack near a London mosque, before the driver is said to have screamed: "I'm going to kill all Muslims".
The van driver - described by witnesses as a large white man - was detained by members of the public after the incident in Finsbury Park early on Monday that police said had "all the hallmarks of terrorism".
There's more at the link.
Let's be honest here. The response of the UK authorities to the initial incidents of Muslim fundamentalist terrorism was pathetic. Sure, police swarmed the streets, and there were all sorts of emotional responses (up to and including concerts to benefit the victims), but none of them addressed the real problem - that there are tens of thousands of potential terrorists in Britain, who are there because the government of that nation deliberately allowed them to enter, and allowed their ideology to be propagated unchecked.
By now it's too late to address that problem. The authorities would find it almost impossibly difficult to trace and deport all of those tens of thousands of radicalized Muslims; and even if they could, existing laws would prevent them from doing so on the grounds of 'human rights' or other current hot-button buzz-words. Besides, if they were to be deported, who would take them? Many of their countries of origin are only too happy to have got rid of potential terrorists. They don't want them back. Furthermore, many of the radicalized were born in Britain. They have no other homeland to which to return.
The authorities won't admit it's their fault, of course. They'll claim that no-one could have foreseen the extent of the problem when previous generations of politicians allowed mass immigration, virtually unchecked. They ignore the crystal-clear vision and explicit warning delivered by the late Enoch Powell. His so-called 'rivers of blood' speech in 1968 was widely derided and rejected at the time, but his views have proved to be prescient. Here are a few excerpts.
In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General’s Office.
There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London ... Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.
As time goes on, the proportion of this total who are immigrant descendants, those born in England, who arrived here by exactly the same route as the rest of us, will rapidly increase.
. . .
We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.
. . .
The other dangerous delusion from which those who are wilfully or otherwise blind to realities suffer, is summed up in the word “integration.” To be integrated into a population means to become for all practical purposes indistinguishable from its other members ... to imagine that such a thing enters the heads of a great and growing majority of immigrants and their descendants is a ludicrous misconception, and a dangerous one.
We are on the verge here of a change. Hitherto it has been force of circumstance and of background which has rendered the very idea of integration inaccessible to the greater part of the immigrant population – that they never conceived or intended such a thing, and that their numbers and physical concentration meant the pressures towards integration which normally bear upon any small minority did not operate.
Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population.
The full text of Mr. Powell's speech can be found here.
Nearly two decades after his death, in 2015, his friend Simon Heffer pointed out:
[David Cameron] is but the latest prime minister to have paid lip-service to the warped ideal of multiculturalism, and all that entails. In case one is unsure what it does entail, let us run through the card. It is an idea that the cultures and values of new, minority communities are the equivalent of the majority ones.
It means the majority culture may not expect those from minority cultures to abide by majority ways. It carries with it an expectation to tolerate attitudes that the majority reject, such as towards women and those professing other faiths. And it abjures interference in those minority cultures, for fears of accusations of racism. That last fetish has paralysed sensible response to multiculturalism for decades, and continues to stop any senior politician giving the right lead today.
. . .
It was not Powell who made this discussion impossible: it was the fear of generations of politicians since him to state the bleeding obvious, that there was a group within Britain’s community of predominantly decent, law-abiding and highly civilised Muslims who were determined to impose a primitivism and savagery first on their co-religionists and then, if they could, on the rest of society.
To refuse to tolerate that was not racism, it was common sense and an appeal for reason and decency; to use what Powell had said as an excuse for doing nothing was simply the expression of a desire for a quiet life.
. . .
If you seek the monument of Powell’s critics, look about you. We are a prosperous, decent country that normally embraces many faiths and outlooks within a strong common culture. Yet we have this malignancy eating away at a part of us: and our political class still fears to take the lead necessary to deal with it.
Again, more at the link.
Since the British government and its security authorities have flatly refused to do anything meaningful about the problem of terrorism that has taken root in their midst, it's only to be expected that at least some of the people of Britain are now going to take matters into their own hands. All over the world, in every nation where crime (including terrorism) has become a real and crippling problem, people have taken the law into their own hands in dealing with it. I saw that at first hand in South Africa. It's happening today in countries like the Philippines (where President Duterte has actively encouraged ignoring the rule of law in dealing with criminals, and allowed Communist guerrillas to fight alongside his forces against Islamic fundamentalist terrorists), and in Venezuela, where criminals are increasingly receiving 'street justice' rather than handed over to authorities whom no-one trusts any more. Now, it seems, it's beginning to happen in Britain as well.
I don't expect yesterday's attack to be the last. After the Paris terror attacks in November 2015, I wrote:
The terrorists haven't thought about it, I'm sure, but they're going to produce a similar and even greater tragedy for their own people than they've inflicted on France. The reaction from ordinary people like you and I won't be to truly think about the tragedy, to realize that the perpetrators were a very small minority of those who shared their faith, extremists who deserve the ultimate penalty as soon as it can be administered. No. The ordinary man and woman on the streets of France is going to wake up today hating all Muslims. He or she will blame them all for the actions of a few, and will react to all of them as if they were all equally guilty.
One can't blame people for such attitudes. When one simply can't tell whether or not an individual Muslim is also a terrorist fundamentalist, the only safety lies in treating all of them as if they presented that danger. That's what the French people are going to do now. That's what ordinary people all across Europe are going to do now, irrespective of whatever their politicians tell them. Their politicians are protected in secure premises by armed guards. They aren't. Their survival is of more immediate concern; so they're doing to do whatever they have to do to improve the odds in their favor. If that means ostracizing Muslims, ghettoizing them, even using preemptive violence against them to force them off the streets . . . they're going to do it.
I've written before about how blaming all Muslims for the actions of a few is disingenuous and inexcusable. I still believe that . . . but events have overtaken rationality. People are going to start relating to 'Muslims' rather than to 'human beings', just as the extremists label all non-Muslims as 'kaffirs' or 'kufars' - unbelievers - rather than as human beings. For the average man in a European street, a Muslim will no longer be a 'person'. He's simply a Muslim, a label, a 'thing'. He's no longer French, or American, or British, no matter what his passport says. He's an 'other'. He's 'one of them' . . . and because of that, he's no longer 'one of us'. He's automatically defined - no, let's rather say (because it's easier to blame him) that he's defined himself - as a potential threat, merely by the religion he espouses. He may have been born into it, and raised in a family and society and culture so saturated with it as to make it literally impossible, inconceivable, for him to be anything else . . . but that doesn't matter. It's his choice to be Muslim, therefore he must take the consequences. We're going to treat him with the same suspicion and exaggerated caution that we would a live, possibly armed hand-grenade. He's asked for it, so we're going to give it to him.
More at the link.
I think that's at the root of last night's attack. As Newton posited, 'every action begets an equal and opposite reaction'. Terror provokes counter-terror. It's as sure and certain as the dawn. It's been that way throughout human history . . . and we haven't changed.
In the end, society will either sort out its terror problem, or the whole of society will become dominated by terror. That way lies dystopia . . . and I really don't want to live in a dystopian nightmare.