DSCN0276 Ten years ago, ignorant Western liberals on both sides of the Atlantic were heralding “the Islamic Spring”. The same delusional triumph of hope over experience was evident in 1968, with the Dubcek Spring in Czechoslovakia. Wherever Islam goes, there is only winter: it is soviet Communism reborn, and under its stomping rigidity, all democracy, freedom of thought and kissing must stop. Acceptance of its insidious exploitation of ignorance, internecine violence and erosion of liberties is being encourageded by Western liberals dedicated to power at all costs. Opposing this is not “racism”: it is a plea for depoliticised, open-minded education. 

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It emerged this morning that a 16-year-old schoolgirl had her GCSE content disqualified by her exam board OCR as ‘obscenely racist’ after she criticised halal rules for the slaughter of meat. The girl, Abigail Ward (no relation) is a vegetarian. Her school appealed the finding, and won….so it’s a bad news/good news episode, right?

Well, no: it’s a disastrous comment on our month-by-month blasé acceptance of philosophical totalitarianism in general, and in particular, the repetitive soft-pedalling on our treatment of easily the most dangerous cultural migration problem we have in Britain.

Certain Pakistani Islamics think its OK to subjugate women via restrictive dress codes and FGM. They think it’s OK to pimp under-age girls and gang-rape others. They don’t like our legal system. They want their own. They don’t like our education system. They want their own. As long ago as 2005, they nearly persuaded Tony Blair to promote a Bill to ban citicism of Islam even if it was accurate. (Only the Tube bombings derailed it: a narrow escape).

At the core of the process as ever is the Muslim Council of Great Britain. Brendan O’Neill writes at the Spectator today as follows about it:

‘It criticised Joanna Lumley for saying in a TV documentary that Kyrgyzstan has a ‘less strict Islamic feel’ than other Muslim nations; TV drama The Bodyguard for featuring a character in a hijab who comes across as oppressed and subservient; and the BBC for giving a ‘one-sided view on the hijab’ by interviewing one of the Iranian women who protested against compulsory hijab-wearing. What was the BBC meant to do — ask the theocratic rulers of Iran for their opposing opinion? This is bizarre.’

If there was real evidence of racially-based dislike of Islam, the MCGB and OCR might have a scintilla of a point. But wariness of Islam (and that’s what it is, not a “phobia”) refers to practitioners of it, who come from (it transpires) some seventeen separate racial typologies. Racism it isn’t.

Let me raise some questions of comprehension at this point.

A phobia is a fear of something either impossible with no basis in fact, or so unlikely as to be a near-homoaeopathic likelihood. I hesitate to say this, but I wonder how many millennials actually know that’s what a phobia is? Worse still, do they grasp that 95% of all fascist accusations are aimed at people who are not fascist? Do they know what a fascist is? Do they know who the Nazis really were? Do they know what diaspora is? Do they realise that a good two-fifths of all nationality based on settlement in the middle East was driven by people escaping from the dread of Mohammed and his Jihadist armies during the latter sixth and earlier seventh centuries?

All of the above are to do with the process of education – and the intellectuo-scientific basis that underpins it. I bring them up as witnesses for the prosecution in this case because it is open and shut: what one or more human beings in the OCR did was to subjugate their acquired human knowledge to a zealotry denouncing the free speech of Abigail Ward.

And this is where I have to ask: is an apology from the OCR enough? No, I don’t think it is. It’s an easy get-out to apologise when you’ve been caught in the act of casual denunciation. We don’t need a full-blown enquiry that huffs, puffs and then consigns 5,000 pages of testimony to a Cloud somewhere. What we need to know is who the people responsible for this pushing of the envelope were, and why this incredible act of Thought Crime perception was allowed to proceed.

We need to know that the perpetrators have been fired. Not, I hasten to add, for the satisfaction of the mob. But rather, pour décourager les autres.

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Is this State revenge? Certainly not: it should be seen as the reaction of constitutionally aware liberal democrats (no capitalisation) to a group of people, a great many of whom do not share our cultural values of eclectic secular tolerance.

But in closing, let me just alert readers to a tragic, barbaric and entirely Islamic event in Afghanistan at the weekend.

A suicide bomber killed at least 63 people and wounded 182 in an explosion at a packed wedding hall last Saturday night in Kabul. An Afghan government spokesperson said the bomber blew himself up inside the hall, where more than 1,000 guests had gathered to celebrate a wedding.

The Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack the following day.

The wedding – like all others, the celebration of a young couple’s devotion – took place in west Kabul – a largely Shiite neighbourhood. Shiiites are a minority in Afghanistan. Islamic State is a Sunni Muslim sect.

To sum up, we are being asked to tolerate a misogynist, violent, internally squabbling religious culture that displays little or no toleration of our largely secular values of individual human aspiration.

A religious group that represents just 5.02% of the UK population.

A religion created by a military general. A religion riven at least three different ways. A religion that kills in the name of eternal life, and subjugates women in this one.

But a religion the UK and EU Establishments insist is ‘the religion of peace’.

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Meanwhile, what are we to make of the OCR? What is it, and who runs it?

OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) is an examination board that sets examinations and awards qualifications (including GCSEs and A-levels). It is one of England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s five main examination boards, and has been dogged by controversies concerning inaccuracies in its work ever since its formation.

It was founded in 1998 under the auspices of New Labour, and carried through by one Joseph Dudley. While that is a famous name in British history, this particular carrier of it seems to have worked very hard to disappear. There may be good reasons for this.

In 2015, OCR came close to not delivering A-level and GCSE results on time because of administrative failings. In 2017, all exam boards agreed they would only make the grade boundaries for GCSE and A-level exams available to exams officers in schools and colleges. But five days ago, grade boundaries for A-levels set by OCR were leaked online. Astonishingly, they showed that, for A level maths papers, a score of just 14% is needed to pass, with 55% required for an A grade.

I’ll just spell that out in some differently phrased English. In 21st century Britain, you can pass a maths A-level if you get six out of seven questions wrong. You can consider yourself an A student if, in answering twenty questions, you get nine of them wrong.

Is it me, or do I detect in this nonsensical lowering of the bar the mentality that produced “We are the 48%”?

Sorry to return yet again to my almer pater Plato, but his experential conclusion that “An ignorant electorate rarely admonished will, in the end, vote for tyrants” surely applies here.

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What the Germans would call a Weltanschauung has taken hold in Britain. This World View insists that herd behaviour be preferred to individual discernment, that proponents of free speech are dangerous heretics, that blanket media assertions must be believed, that anyone self styling as an expert must be right, that everyone pointing out the practise of denialism shall be denounced as a witch, and that it’s just fine to suspend commitment to Equality before the Law if a “Cause” justifies that.

Next stop, mass book burnings and torchlight parades.

Stop asking me when I’ll come back to Britain. I’ll come back to Britain when Britain comes back to its senses.

Connected to this post: is there a viable future for free speech in Britain?