A Fly Trap for the Islamists

Jizya. Everybody’s favourite tax

I have to confess to a small but delicious sense of schadenfreude when reading that the radical cleric Anjem Choudary has finally been arrested. I wonder, whatever can be done about a British-born man who is qualified to work but appears never to have done so, and who instead spends his time taking his “dole” money, boasting that he is entitled to it as ‘jizya’ and using it to fund a lifestyle devoted solely to preaching against the state? Britain can’t withdraw his citizenship or otherwise render him “stateless.” He has a young family who cannot be allowed to starve on the streets. These are admittedly late liberalism problems, but they are problems nonetheless.

He made bail, then broke its conditions and was rearrested. He has it seems been released again and his trial has been postponed.

He has been undone by his own self-aggrandisement and attention-seeking, but the  problem is that over many years he has been involved with innumerable people who have shown themselves to be more than simply loudmouthed blowhards. They have attempted to bring serious sectarian conflict as well as murder to the streets of Britain. A number of Choudary’s associates were imprisoned a few years ago for attempting a Mumbai-style attack on London landmarks, including the London Stock Exchange. Others have been to prison for incitement and countless terrorist-recruitment offences; and since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, a number of his followers or supporters have gone to Syria and Iraq to join and fight with ISIS.

Choudary himself is a trained lawyer and is sufficiently slippery to know on just which side of the law to keep his remarks. The last Labour government’s creation of a new offence of “glorifying terror” ought to have caught him within it, but it appeared not to have done. Frustratingly, he has remained at large.

I wonder why. One theory is that Choudary has been, to some extent used as a “fly-trap” by the police or SO15.  He is well known enough to have anyone seriously interested in the most radical forms of Islamic extremism find their way to him. Perhaps there was some clandestine agreement to allow him to get away with what he does because it is better for such extremism to have an observable and open meeting-point than to be forced underground where tracking and monitoring becomes so much more difficult. Also, second tier commanders – those who are more directly involved with fomenting hatred and plotting terror, may be drawn out into the open.

Bomb threats have been made by radical Islamists against members of the Royal Family during celebrations on Saturday commemorating the capitulation of Japan in WW2. Ultimately, they were unfounded, but their very existence is the terrorists’ main weapon, to try to make people afraid. Is it possible, I wonder,  that  the timing of Choudary’s arrest is not accidental?

The Brits may only tolerate their Royal family sometimes, but if such an attack took place, the consequences for the perpetrators and indeed anyone suspected of being the least bit radical would be catastrophic and it would change the British attitude to Islam and its involvement in the Middle East crisis, perhaps for ever.

The British National Anthem has a number of verses, often forgotten and rarely sung. Verse Two goes like this…

O Lord our God arise,
 Scatter her enemies,
 And make them fall:
 Confound their politics,
 Frustrate their knavish tricks,
 On Thee our hopes we fix:
 God save us all.

Knavish tricks. Quite so.



2 thoughts on “A Fly Trap for the Islamists

  1. No comment on the individual, but the larger question remains for all “freedom loving democracies.” Where to draw the line between free speech and “incitement” or “sedition.” Here across the pond we have developed a rigorous state apparatus for pursuing and “neutralizing” real and “perceived” threats to the state. McCarthyism, black-lists, assassinations? All in defense of a system that is inherently biased and unfair to the masses of human beings within and without “the realm.” Modern Anti-insurgency doctrine (developed primarily by the British as their empire crumbled in the post WW2 era) calls for “weed and seed.” We are good at weeding but I do not see much of the “seeding.” One of the disadvantages of having an Empire that the “sun never set on” is the fact that it results in getting the worst ideas abroad along with the best. Homegrown “terrorists” have always been with us. Political action is sometimes rooted in violence. Caesar was killed by his political enemies in broad daylight. Live by the sword, die by the sword. As long as we in the west continue to hold the hammer in our hands and treat every problem like a nail, we will continue to get the response from our political enemies that resembles our methods. Dialogue and example are what is required here. An end to exploitation of powerless people in the world for commercial benefits, ie “modern imperialism” will be a far greater tool in ending the violence than more violence. We have tried the other way. Reaching out to the reasonable elements in the region will provide better results. Aside from the obvious consequences of radicalizing “moderates” continuing to bang the war drums only emboldens those who represent the worst of our societies. Time for more of what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.” And then he was assassinated.


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