Scottish Daily Mail
DEADLY THREAT OF BRITAIN’S ENEMY WITHIN
TOMORROw, the first planeloads of refugees from Syria arrive to begin a new life in Britain. This will delight actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Labour MPs such as Yvette Cooper and a host of other compassionate folk who have urged that Britain open its door to almost all comers.
Perhaps, these lobbyists will feel no twinge of embarrassment about the revelation that at least two of the Paris killers travelled to Europe as refugees from Syria.
The rest of us, however, shake our heads in unsurprised horror.
Of course, the vast majority of refugees who come here have no desire to do us harm. But the Paris massacre emphasises some unpleasant and unwelcome realities which we do well to acknowledge rather than deny.
First, whatever China or Russia might do to us in the future, the foremost current threat to the west’s security comes from Islamist extremists. (Their religious affiliation cannot properly go unmentioned, though the BBC tries to do so.)
For the fact is that almost all the recent violent plots which are detected and frustrated by the intelligence services, using electronic surveillance, have been by Muslim extremists.
The ‘useful idiots’ who argued that the rogue U.S. National Security Agency worker Edward Snowden served the interests of civil liberty, when he exposed many of the secret activities of GCHQ, seem even more foolish today than two years ago.
Likewise, those who oppose the Government’s Investigatory Powers instrument, which would license intelligence officers to scrutinise our communications, must explain how else the security services can protect the British people from harm.
Ever since the 7/7 London bomb attacks in 2005, opinion polls have consistently shown a significant minority of young Muslims in this country are actively sympathetic to terrorism. They accuse our society of showing insufficient respect for their religion, and western governments of launching attacks on Muslims in the Middle East.
ALTHOUGH it must be stressed that most Muslims in Europe want to get on with peaceful, hard-working lives, we should be alarmed by the presence of an enemy within our society. what’s more, it has been helped by the pernicious folly of multi-culturalism which has induced them to believe that they can live here without abandoning values and beliefs that are utterly at odds with those to which the rest of us adhere. These include the subjection of women, female circumcision, forced marriage and Sharia law.
Given such practices and the chronic tension between our divergent ways of life, it seems gravely mistaken voluntarily to expand their communities in the west. It will, inevitably, lead to more bitterness and, indeed, violence.
The free movement of people within the EU — the abolition of internal border controls — has been a policy disaster: it must be reversed as part of a responsible governmental response to the crises we face.
In addition, it is extraordinary that at least 300 known jihadis who left Britain to fight with ISIS in Syria have been allowed to return here and live at liberty.
If they have sincerely repented, then this must be welcome, but a substantial proportion is believed still to espouse extremist views, and to require security surveillance.
we are also still far too lax on controlling mosques and clubs that promote extremist views with impunity. And so, whatever the dilemmas involved in deciding the west’s policy in war-torn Arab regions, it is simple to catalogue means of strengthening security here at home.
Principally, that involves stemming migration and for our leaders to acknowledge that we cannot allow all or even many of those who wish to come to Europe to do so.
Crucially, this must involve adopting tougher policies on rights of asylum.
The demands of those migrants now encamped in Calais, trying to enter Britain, should be severely restricted.
It is contemptible that British lawyers have recently visited Calais seeking to identify prospective clients who might be able to claim asylum here under a little-known amendment to EU law that means asylum claims can be made in countries where a migrant has family members.
Also, we must make it plain that those who come to live here must embrace our society and values in the fullest sense, as do immigrants to the United States. It cannot be acceptable to create foreign islands within our cities.
WHILE, for our part, we must treat Muslims as equal and respected fellow citizens, they in turn must show their commitment to us, primarily by aiding police and security services to identify potential terrorists. Above all, the political challenge for Europe is to regain control of its own borders.
Our governments need the right — and the willpower — to make tough decisions about whom we should, and should not, admit to the privileges of living here.
The practical difficulties of enforcing border controls are very great, but must be overcome.
If such an approach seems ‘uncompassionate’, so be it. Responsible governments accept the necessity to defend themselves against foreign state enemies, actual and potential. These have always existed — and always will.
But given the bitter hostility existing today between the west and substantial parts of the Islamic world, it is reckless to increase the numbers of Muslims coming to live here, particularly when their backgrounds are insufficiently checked.
Muslims can assert with justice that, until the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, Christianity was a violently intolerant religion: think of the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. But today, militant Islam and its followers display some of the same grotesque perversions, and pose a direct threat to the trust and harmony which are such privileges of free societies.
Although we are not today explicitly at war as were our forefathers in 1914-18 and 1939-45, we face threats to public safety which must be met by decisive action against those who threaten it.
Unless we display strength of will; implement some admittedly harsh measures to exclude outsiders who wish us harm; and identify those already here who nurture evil intent, we shall face decades of such horrors as those which fell upon Paris.
If our politicians prove too pathetically wedded to misguided liberal values to act in our defence, then they will deserve the obloquy that history will thrust upon them.