Paris and the new appeasement

From the leader of the Labour Party to US ‘social justice warriors’, the response of the ‘radical’ left to the Paris attacks has been nothing short of shameful.

Jeremy Corbyn has outraged moderate MPs in his party with a series of bizzarre comments. The Labour leader questioned the legality of the drone strike that killed knife-wielding ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi (better known as ‘Jihadi John’), ruled out a free vote for Labour MPs on air strikes against ISIS in Syria, and declared that he would not support a ‘shoot to kill’ policy against terrorists on British soil.

Corbyn has refused to sever ties to the Stop the War Coalition (he is its former chairman) after the anti-war group posted an article titled ‘Paris reaps whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East’. The article was later removed from Stop the War’s website and twitter feed. Shadow foreign minister Catherine West recently told the group that Labour would consult them on any decision regarding Syrian air strikes.

The hashtag #jihadijez has become inexplicably popular, with many Labour activists demanding it be blocked. Not that I condone retweeting it or anything…

Not to be outdone, the Green Party quickly got in on the act. The party’s foreign affairs spokesman Tony Clarke said that “world leaders must find a way forward that defeats ISIS using the weapon that these terrorists fear most of all: peace talks”.

One can only imagine confusion followed by howls of laughter greeting this pronouncement in Raqqa. What sort of compromise would the Greens negotiate with ISIS? Exterminate only half the Jews and convert half the unbelievers, perhaps?

Meanwhile, social media is abuzz with angry young activists who know exactly who to blame: conservatives and the “far right”.

There is plenty of talk about the need to avoid an anti-Muslim backlash. Worse than the attacks themselves is the fear that they might embolden the EDL, Front Nationale, or PEGIDA. The fury directed against a petition to close the borders until ISIS is defeated is typical of this tendency.

The petition has now gained 425,000 signatures, nearly twice as many as Jeremy Corbyn gained in the Labour leadership election.

The hashtag #refugeeswelcome has been trending strongly among right-on twitter users outraged by the actions of the brutal Islamist killers – four of whom entered Europe with fake Syrian passports as ‘regugees’. Naturally the ‘no human is illegal’ crowd become rather agitated whenever someone dares to point this out.

I’ve written before about how the opinions of the masses are often written off by politically correct elites, who believe ordinary people to be stupid, bigoted and brainwashed by the ‘right wing media’. A vast majority of the public believe in much tighter immigration controls – and indeed such sentiment seems to be the prevailing viewpoint in the wake of the Paris atrocities. Such attitudes are not ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobic’ but eminently sensible. Yet they inspire horror among the politically correct.

It has become common over the last few days to see proclamations that “Islam means peace” (it actually means ‘submission’), or the patronisingly obvious observation that “not all Muslims are terrorists”. Even more common is the refrain that the attacks have “nothing to do with Islam”.

Such statements contain some truth and a lot of self-deception. Yes, it is true that the vast majority of Muslims are not inclined to strap bombs to their chests and pick up a Kalashnikov. Most Muslims are just like you and me – ordinary people living ordinary lives. But it is also true that these attacks had everything to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, articulated by its most brutal disciples, perhaps, but Islam all the same.

To deny that these attacks had anything to do with Islam is to patronise Muslims, not protect them. It also provides cover for terrorist sympathisers posing as “religious leaders” and “local activists”.

There is a huge groundswell of support for radical Islam amongst Europe’s Muslim population. Polls suggest as many as 42 million Muslims worldwide back ISIS, with one in four British Muslims expressing sympathy for those who travel to Syria to fight for the terrorist organisation.

Islam badly needs a reformation. We ought to be standing beside the reformers – those who share our values and want to be a part of our society – rather than excusing their persecutors.

Taking advantage of the chaos, ‘peaceful’ Islamists – those who approve of the goals of groups like ISIS but condemn their ‘violence’ – have stepped up their campaign to reintroduce blasphemy laws to the UK.

Naturally, these calls have already found influential supporters. Home Affairs Committee chief Keith Vaz told Al Arabiya: “Religions are very special to people. And therefore I have no objection (to a blasphemy law) … but it must apply equally to everybody”.

The ideals of radical Islam – of a caliphate governed by sharia law, of jihad, of the subjugation of women or the execution of homosexuals – are not compatible with a Western civilisation founded on freedom and democracy. To pretend otherwise is nothing short of surrender. Vaz ought to be ashamed of himself, if he is even capable of feeling shame.

The self-flagellating tendency of the left is out in force. There has been no shortage of commentators queuing up to claim that Islamist attacks in the West are all the fault of George W Bush and Tony Blair for their “illegal” and “imperialist” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never mind that 9/11 happened first, or that Al Qaeda was born nearly two decades before Iraq.

Worse still are the conspiracy loons who believe the attacks were all a hoax. Or that they were a false flag operation carried out by the United States, Israel and/or ‘Big Oil’ to justify further wars in the Middle East.

Equally contemptible are the #BlackLivesMatter protesters and students at the University of Missouri, who took to twitter after the Paris atrocity to complain about “losing the spotlight”.

“Paris attacks were terrorism,” one ‘activist’ wrote. “black students getting death threats on their college campuses (A SUPPOSED SAFE SPACE!!) is also TERRORISM”. For precious little social justice warriors brainwashed by petty identity politics, the murder of 129 men, women and children is just another opportunity to scream ‘look at me!’.

Denial, deflection, whataboutery, victim blaming, calls for ‘peace’ on any terms, and cries of “what about me!”: This is how the hard left responds to terrorism and mass murder now.

Such attitudes are reminiscent of the head-in-the-sand appeasement of the 1930s. Then, as now, a brutal enemy opposed to the values of Western-style liberalism was steadily bearing down on Europe. Back then there were many influential people who thought Nazism would just go away if we gave Hitler everything he wanted. Those who dissented were labelled “warmongers” and fuzzy old reactionaries. Appeasement was wrong then and it is wrong now.

The new generation of politically correct appeasers have a particular vision of how the world works. There is a hierarchy of victimhood in which rich straight white men are always the villains: oppressing poor, gay, ethnic, female and transexual minorities with their every thought, word and deed. In their eyes, these ‘victimised’ minorities can do no wrong. If they do then it is self evidently ‘our fault’ for provoking them.

Naturally, if the reality doesn’t fit that dogma, they reject reality.


Chris has been a member of the Conservative Party since 2010. He believes strongly in individual freedom, personal responsibility, and the power of free markets to eliminate poverty by encouraging wealth creation. Follow him on Twitter: @cjmanby1989

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty