How Political Correctness About Islam Made Britain Vulnerable To Chemical Terrorism

How Political Correctness About Islam Made Britain Vulnerable To Chemical Terrorism

Ben Wallace’s call for public vigilance is both ironic and impossible given a pervasive culture in Britain that demands absolute tolerance for all things Muslim.
Megan G. Oprea
By

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Britain’s minister for national security, Ben Wallace, had an ominous warning for Britons. Echoing a Europol report that came out last month, Wallace told The Times that ISIS is plotting to deploy chemical weapons on the island nation.

Although no specific plots are underway, the threat is serious enough that British security forces have carried out exercises to prepare for such a disaster, including chemical decontamination drills. So, how does Wallace suggest foiling such plots? A vigilant populace.

Unfortunately for Britain, their oversized sense of political correctness and so-called religious sensitivity toward Islam make vigilance virtually impossible. Recall that ISIS has used mustard gas in the past, both on civilians and on Kurdish soldiers fighting the Islamist group in Syria. The Islamic State is now producing its own chemical weapons, specifically mustard gas, but the group is also thought to have access to Syrian chemical weapons that were never disposed of in the disarmament deal in 2014. Now the fear is that this know-how will be used to inflict mass casualties in the United Kingdom.

The Terrorist Threat Britain Imported

Wallace is concerned, as he should be, that the attack will come from within, from British citizens, not foreign agents. “The insider threat, as we would call it, is real and it can be exploited and there are people trying to do that as we speak. If it’s hard to get in the front door, then what you try and do is get someone on the inside.”

Around 800 Britons have gone to fight with ISIS over the past three years. In November, it was revealed that British special forces were trying to track down 200 of these fighters who had gone off-grid, possibly returning to the United Kingdom to launch attacks there. As ISIS loses territory as a result of allied offensives in Mosul and Raqqa, there is increasing concern about foreign fighters coming home and either plotting attacks or radicalizing others.

There are also several hundred men and women in Britain who were prevented from going to Iraq and Syria, and many more who hold sympathetic views toward ISIS, making the possibility of a chemical weapons, or other mass-casualty attacks, from the inside a real possibility.

In response to this impending threat, Wallace wants the British people to help by reporting anything that seems suspicious. He needs people on the street and in their jobs to keep their eyes open for the “enemy within.” But unfortunately for Wallace, and for the UK’s security, there’s not much hope of this ever happening.

PC-Mongers Make Way for Mass Rape

Wallace’s call for public vigilance is both ironic and impossible given a pervasive culture in Britain that demands absolute tolerance for all things Muslim. It has been ingrained in the British people that any criticism of a person who happens also to be Muslim is an act of intolerance and aggression against the Islamic faith. So, to avoid being labeled an Islamaphobe, people just keep their mouths shut.

This fear of being seen as Islamaphobic was most disgustingly on display in the Rotherham child sex ring scandal. The case involved the sexual exploitation of more than 1,400 young British girls over the course of 16 years. Even though the ongoing sex-trafficking, rape, abduction, and abuse of minors was well-known to city officials and police, they did nothing. Why? Because the perpetrators were Pakistani and no one wanted to be accused of racism.

The Rotherham story originally broke in 2013, much to the horror and outcry of people around the world. But this past summer, three years later, it was revealed that little had been done to eradicate the sex-ring and that it was still happening on an “industrial scale.” It seems fear of accusations of Islamaphobia may still be the reason.

Rotherham isn’t the only example of political correctness at the cost of human suffering. At the end of December, a British woman came out with her own story of being held prisoner for 13 years by a Pakistani man named Malik, beginning at the age of 15. She was raped almost nightly, by him or other men who paid to have sex with her. During this time, she had four children, all of whom were taken from her and sold.

After particularly brutal beatings, Malik would take her to the hospital, and dress her in Muslim clothing, including a hijab, beforehand. She believes that because she was dressed as a Muslim, no health-care workers would report her obvious signs of physical abuse or ask to speak to her alone. According to her, they didn’t want to appear prejudiced against Muslims by assuming that the woman’s bruises were from her husband.

Perhaps most relevant to Wallace’s call for public action was the case of the British counterterrorism agent, herself a Muslim, who reported the extremist views of some of her fellow Muslim co-workers. Thinking this would interest her superiors, she was surprised when they told her that pursuing these complaints would damage her career and reputation. So much for “if you see something, say something.”

Multiculturalism Means Death

How can anyone expect a populace this worried about cultural sensitivity to call authorities if they see a Muslim man or woman doing something suspicious in the workplace or on a public transit line? The tragedy in this, of course, is that it’s a problem of Britain’s own making.

Britain, like most of Europe, has nourished ultra-sensitivity toward its Muslim population as an outgrowth of multiculturalism, one of the pillars of progressivism. This has worked in in perfect harmony with Islamist groups that understand that if they can stop all criticism of Muslims, both legitimate and illegitimate, they can avoid scrutiny when engaging in subversive acts.

Europe is ahead of the United States in this respect, but we are moving in the same direction. Every time a terrorist attack here is perpetrated by a Muslim, there is an outcry from both the mainstream media and Islamist groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, that insists talking about the attacker’s religion will lead to Islamaphobic attacks. To convince us further of what bad Islamaphobes we are, there have been numerous incidences of faked hate crimes against Muslims in recent months.

Of course, there are legitimate cases of Islamaphobia and hate crimes in America, and these are disgusting and unacceptable. But we are cultivating an atmosphere where, like Britain, people are afraid that anything they say or do regarding a Muslim will be interpreted as racist.

Consider the couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who shot and killed 14 coworkers at a Christmas party in San Bernardino in 2015. After the attack, a neighbor of Malik’s mother said she thought something suspicious was happening at the house but didn’t say anything because of fear that people would think she was a bigot.

The threat of Islamist terrorism isn’t going away anytime soon. And we’ve created the perfect storm by going beyond polite and reasonable cultural sensitivity toward our Muslim compatriots by carving out a special class that we’re terrified to criticize. This is going to have security repercussions in Britain, the rest of Europe, and here in the United States. In fact, it already has.

With apologies to Wallace, British law enforcement and intelligence agencies shouldn’t expect ordinary Britons to be vigilant about terrorism. They’ve gotten the message loud and clear: if you suspect a Muslim of wrongdoing, you must be a bigot.

Megan G. Oprea is editor of the foreign policy newsletter INBOUND. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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