Made my way into town today to meet and listen to Melanie Phillips, author of the most compelling book on Islamic fundamentalism, violence and intimidation in the West, Londonistan.
It was a small elegant lunch given by the Middle East Forum. I was secretly pleased to be meeting a great intellect and truth teller, a woman I greatly admire, in the most magnificent edifice in all New York - The majestic Chrysler Building. Mmmmm.........pure, brilliant, style.
When I worked at the Daily News, another glorious monument to man's aesthetic, I would walk that block to admire Chrysler's beauty, never tiring of it. And still, it rises seductively, gorgeously, singularly into that competitive Manhattan sky, and you have to pause and bask in its unabashed exquisiteness. I love that building.
It is a beautiful day in Manhattan and there is a wistfulness in my joy. Always the same sadness. These beautiful days are eerily reminscent of September 11th, and I never shake that feeling. Never.
The terrorist attacks in July 2005 exposed the UK's role as the European epicenter in the promoting, recruiting, and financing of terrorism - and explains why those in the know have given London the moniker "Londonistan."
In her book Londonistan , Melanie Phillips exposes the scandalous appeasement of radical Islam by the British government, media, and the Church of England, and demonstrates how their actions have paved the way for radical Islam to set up shop in the UK’s capital city. She further explains how the dangers of "Londonistan" apply not just to Britain, but also to the United States.
A prominent British journalist and author of six books, Melanie Phillips has written extensively on British politics and culture. Educated at Oxford, her writings have appeared in such venues as the Guardian, the Observer and the Sunday Times, and she is the recipient of the Orwell Prize for journalism. She currently writes a weekly column for London’s Daily Mail.
I was fortunate enough to ride up that wonderful art deco elevator with the erudite Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate and so we chatted, dined and debated the impending ramifications of Radical Islam gone wild. Jon does not appear to be quite as worried as yours truly. Sweet, but denying. I am sure we will continue to debate.
The Heritage Foundation hosted Melanie Phillips on the 10th of May and there is a video and live stream if you want more of Melanie (which you do do.)
The suicide bombings carried out in London in 2005 by British Muslims revealed an enormous fifth column of Islamist terrorists and sympathizers. Under the noses of British intelligence, London had become the European hub for the promotion, recruitment and financing of Islamic terror and extremism – so much so that exasperated European security agencies mockingly dubbed Britain “Londonistan.”
Melanie Phillips posits that the advance of the global jihad is being facilitated by a wholesale collapse of western values and national identity within Europe and in which Britain is taking the lead. Paralyzed by minority rights and the terror of Islamist violence, Phillips argues that the British establishment is even now failing to confront the religious fanaticism in its midst and is choosing instead to appease it. Meanwhile, the post-modernist onslaught upon the concept of truth itself has produced such confusion that, instead of standing up to the ideas that threaten democracy, many in Britain now subscribe to the false narrative of those who are laying siege to their society. This disorientation of the once-implacable British bulldog has major lessons and warnings for America as well.
Daniel Pipes hosted and wasted no time introducing Phillips to speak. Phillips is tall, lithe, beautiful. She was angles and edges, no fleshiness.She started right off in the political context. Here are some of her notable remarks (although all of it was notable):
Tony Blair: "He has said he will stand down before the next election. The question for the United States and for others also is whether the succeeding Prime Minister will be as staunch a friend to America as he [Blair] has been and as staunch in the alliance in the defense of the West. I am suggesting to that is the very important question that is now troubling me.
Clearly the special relatonship between Britain and America is very much in Britain's interests. From the point of view America being its great protector, but it's also important to what we mean to America -- the kind of moral, psychological support that Britian gives along with everything else.
I am suggesting to you that there are now very powerful trends in Britain that are making that alliance increasingly problematic.
People in America will think that because Blair is such a staunch supporter of America that Britian is very much on her side. I am afraid this is absolutely not the case.
I am saying Britian is actually a weak link in the alliance because of a cultural enfeeblement that has taken place.
This should be of particular concern to us here in the States.
Britian is more important [to America than Europe] because of its central role in the alliance
So what has happened that is causing me such concern
[...] There has been over the past 20 to 30 years an evisceration of British National identity and values which has created a cultural and moral vaccum being exploited by Radical Islamism which has come to fill that vacuum.
It gets worse
Download melaniephillips.wav (if anyone wants to transfer to MP3...........?)
"Britian has lost belief, really, in itself as a nation and furthermore in the idea of the nation itself. The nation itself is seen as the cause of all ills in the world from prejudice, discrimination to war. Legitimacy resides instead in super national institutions, values and laws. So institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, the International Criminal Court and values such as the doctrine of International human rights and minority rights are considered to be more legitimate because they are not rooted in the particular. The particular is discriminatory by defintion. The particular is rooted in a majority culture. The majority culture is by nature exclusivist and therefore discriminatory. They're essentially racist."
Much of Britain's rot is the grave consequence of unregulated immigration. Turning a blind eye to the jihadis flooding that country in the 1990's was a great blow to the proverbial head. Once Britain lost control of its borders, it could not maintain security. Why were they so hospitable? Partly it was Britain's excessive deference to freedom of speech and the pragmatic (some would say cynical) point of view that in Britain, today's dissident is tomorrow's Prime Minister.
"Immigrants are coming into a culture which no longer cares to integrate them because to integrate minorities into a culture you've go to believe there is a culture for them to be integrated into. Instead Britain believes the majority culture -- the definition of it -- is illegitimate. Therefore it's a multicultural country, for there is no culture for them to be integrated into."
"Instead of doing integration, Britain now does disintegration in every sense."
Phillips dissection of Britain's cultural collapse is clinical, surgical, scary. I found the most devastating examination to be the following;
"The deconstruction of TRUTH. Postmodernism, if you like, in which the whole idea of objectivity is regarded a an unsophisticated and ignorant construction. And that therefore all that is relative. And if you go down that road, and you open the way to lies taking the place of truth, and you open the way to, through the minority rights situation, a moral inversion."
That is truth to power, read that again. (Toohey lives). This madness taking place.
[...] truth and lies - in which because minorities can do no wrong even when they are committing mass murder through suicide bombings, because they are essentially victims of the majority. It is the majority's fault.
"The inherent disintegration of the culture of the country has meshed in a disatrous way with the deformation of thought at the heart of Islamic radicalism."
The governing class response? Appeasement.
If you ride a tiger, you must expect to get eaten and Britain is in the process of being eaten."
Essentially what England needs is a "counter counter revolution."
And while Phillip's blames Britain's church for the appeasement, she sees hope in the rise of the evangelical, Black evangelical churches, as a counterweight;
" I believe the churches that are most robust are Evangelical churches, which are very largely Black churches, and in a way that's the strength almost the potential salavation here, that the rise of evangelicalism in Britian, which is at the moment at a fairly low level, but it's increasing."
If you can't listen to it all, tune in at the end and listen to the Q&A.
The good news? This woman with such a clear idea of the present danger is "insanely optimistic" and doesn't wish to go off the cultural cliff. The problem of course is Britain hasn't realized yet (!) how dangerously close to the cliff Britain is.
After she spoke, Phillips graciously chatted with us and signed copies of her brilliant new book Londonistan. The crowd was smart, wary, concerned. And for those who attended that are Atlas readers, I say................keep reading!
UPDATE: More thoughts, on worldwide terror, Phillips cited Dershowitz
Controlling the world through this sort of blackmail. It preys on weakness, and it preys on weakness which doesn't confront lies, and it doesn't show that it's prepared to when attacked, are not prepared to defend themselves.
Until the West starts to undo this appeasement culture that it's been in, then that is going to continue. I am very taken bythe argument put forward by Alan Dershowitz in his book I've forgotten the title, his book about terrorism in which he made a devastating point that right from the very beginning of the hijacking epidemic by Palestinians back in the early sixties, late fifties even, the very first plane that was hijacked. The reaction of the world set the tenor for what was going to come and sealed the world's fate. The reaction of the world was not, this act is completely unsupportable and these people therefore are pariahs.It was 'oh my goodness, we must address the root causes of this.'
UPDATE: Additional thoughts before I give the kids dinner. Phillips was reluctant to discuss Iran and issues she was not completed immersed in (Britain is her expertise) but she was struck by what Ayann Hirsi Ali said last week while she was still a Dutch politician;
Parpahrasing Hirsi Ali, Phillips said, the West, the free world is making a mistake if it thinks the choice in Iran is between peace and war, the choice is between war with Ahmadinejad who does not have a nuclear weapon and war with Ahmadinejad who does have a nuclear weapon. I think that's a very realistic way of putting it.