As far as anyone knows there are at least 60.3 million people in Britain. The official figure is that about 1.7 million of these are Muslims. Unofficial estimates put the real figure at anything between 2.5 to 3 million. That is between 2.8% and 5% of the total population. Muslims have much higher birth rates that non-Muslims and their number proportionate to the population will, if current demographic trends continue, increase dramatically over the next few decades. That will have profound effects on British society. Some people say that there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. I do not agree. I know many Muslims who are hard working, decent and law-abiding. They are not, in my direct personal experience, religious fanatics trying to turn Britain into an Islamic state. But many Muslims in Britain choose not to integrate into British society and in many inner city areas they have preferred to create, what are effectively, enclaves of the Islamic societies from which the originally came. There is a real and growing problem with Islamic fundamentalism: a literalist interpretation of the Islamic religion that seeks eventually to transform Britain into an Islamic state. From the Islamic fundamentalist point of view this is not an unreasonable ambition.
The problem is that, so far at least, we have allowed the fanatics and the extremists to gain the upper hand in the ideological and propaganda war. How this situation has come about may be summarised as follows: Britain has an immigration policy that is, especially since the Labour Government took power in 1997, uncontrolled, unlimited, and indiscriminate in the real sense of the word. Successive British Governments have deliberately allowed Islamic extremist activists and terrorist suspects from abroad to seek safe haven and operate openly in the UK. Britain has allowed the growth of Islamic fundamentalism to be fuelled and funded from abroad. The prevailing and corrosive doctrines of political correctness and multiculturalism have infected every public body and institution. Anyone who dares to question or criticise Islam risks being labelled a racist or Islamophobic or an official sanction of some kind. Put simply their livelihoods will be at risk. Politicians, especially those of the Labour Party, fear that any critique of Islam will result in loss of votes in constituencies where the number of Muslims can determine the result in an election. This is a real fear because it has happened. Until recently the media has refused to address the growing power of extremist Islam at all. This has changed a little for the better in the aftermath of the 7/7 terrorists attacks in London. Let me now say something about the current situation in the United Kingdom. There at least 1,600 Mosques in Britain. Of which about half are estimated to be controlled by the fundamentalist Deobandi sect. The Islamic fundamentalist group Tablighi Jamaat plan to build a so-called super Mosque in West Ham in London in time for the 2012 London Olympics. It is intended to seat 10,000 people, and to hold many thousands more. It is planned to be the biggest place of religious worship in Europe, bigger than St Pauls cathedral in London and St Peters basilica in Rome. The super-Mosque is estimated to cost £100 million, and we can be fairly certain that this money will not come from Muslims in Britain but from the Middle East, Pakistan and other Muslims states. The literalist teachings of groups like Tablighi Jamaat are gaining ground. The views of some British Muslims are extremely worrying and bear this out. An opinion poll carried out by YouGov for the Daily Telegraph in July 2005 showed the following attitudes. 6% of those Muslims questioned believed that the 7/7 attacks were justified on balance. Any percentage with this view would be shocking and this equates to over 100,000 people. 24% felt sympathy for the feelings and motives of those who carried out the 7/7 attacks. That equates to over 400,000 people. 56% understood why some people felt that way. This equates to a staggering almost one million people. 16% felt no loyalty to Britain, that equates to almost 300,000 people. What in my opinion is most frightening is the attitude of young Muslims between the ages of 16 to 24. A study published in February 2007 by The Policy Exchange entitled Living Apart Together showed the following. 74% prefer Muslim women to wear the veil. 37% would prefer to live under Sharia law in Britain. 36% think that Muslims converting to another religion should be punished by death. 13% admire terrorist organisations such as Al-Queda. In England's green and pleasant land we have substantial numbers of British born young people wanting to bravely advance backwards into 6th century Arabia. These attitudes have been assisted by the British state itself The British Government has allowed a multitude of notorious terrorist suspects and extremist Imams to remain in the UK and propagate their extreme views because to deport them might infringe their human rights. The Home Office allowed itself to become enthralled to the Muslim Council of Britain and organisation that purports to represent all Muslims but which has its roots in the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood. More and more concessions are granted to Muslims that impinge on the non-Muslim population. For example state schools with high proportions of Muslims pupils are increasingly allowing only halal food to be served without properly consulting non-Muslim parents. And the attitude of the British police is truly worrying. In January 2007 the Channel 4 Dispatches television programme Undercover Mosque showed scenes filmed inside Mosques in which Imams were heard to make statements about non-Muslims. Had such statements they been made by non-Muslims about Muslims would have undoubtedly resulted in arrests, charges, possible convictions under the race or religious hatred laws, and certainly dismissal from their posts. But what happened? Unbelievably the police pursued complaints by the Mosques against the television company. Normally the accusation of bias or misrepresentation would be a purely civil matter. It is still unclear on what legal basis the police took up the complaint by the Mosques against the television company. We are truly moving into an Orwellian society. What is our Government doing to combat the threat from radical Islam? The answer is pitifully little if anything. They have made some encouraging noises but these do not amount to firm actions.
What should we do? There a many things that need to be done but here are just the bare minimum. We must realise that we are engaged in an ideological struggle. We face an ideology that wishes to sweep away the values of our civilisation. George Bush made a mistake when he used the term, "war on terror". Terror is only a tool of the terrorist. What we are engaged in is a struggle with ideology. We must openly state that fundamental, literalist Islam is simply incompatible with Western liberal democracy.
We have to ask moderate decent Muslims to accept this too. And we have to help them to do it. They must adapt to our society not us to their beliefs. Britain must put an end to further mass immigration and set about integrating and assimilating those immigrants we already have into our society. Britain must stop the funding of fundamentalist Islam from abroad by controlling the finances that build mosques and support radical Imams. We must make it plain that our liberal democratic society, which believes in such things as free speech the quality of women and the separation of religion and the state, is the only one on offer. The British government should make it plain, politely but firmly, that if people want to live in an Islamic state under Sharia law then they should go and find one elsewhere. If we do not understand the ideology that threatens us we cannot defeat it. If we do not believe that our ideology and values are superior then we wont find the will to confront the threat let alone defeat it.
GERARD BATTEN UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FOR LONDON October 18, 2007