Extremism is a messy and emotional topic, and in recent months it has come up once again here in the UK. In June, there were two major separate stabbing incidents in one week in the UK. The first, on 20 June, was committed by a 25-year-old Libyan asylum seeker who was given permission to remain in the UK in 2018 after initially claiming asylum back in 2012. He reportedly shouted ‘unintelligible words’ (one wonders what they might have been…) while committing the atrocity and succeeded in hacking three men to death and injuring three other individuals in a Reading park with a kitchen knife before being apprehended.
The second took place at a hotel in Glasgow city centre (which is being used to house ‘asylum seekers’) on 26 June and, thankfully, resulted in no deaths other than that of the assailant himself, who was shot dead by police. Six people had to be transported to hospital as a result of the attack. He was a 28-year-old male asylum seeker from Sudan who arrived in the UK six months prior to the attack. The Telegraph reports that the attacker had complained about the meals he had received, threatened his fellow asylum seekers with physical violence, and complained of hunger. Which, apparently, he viewed as a good enough reason to begin a stabbing spree.
Obviously, incidents such as these are not only commonplace in both the UK and many other European countries, but – particularly since 2015 – have become so normalized that, at least in my experience, the standard reaction of those first hearing about the attack is not one of shock or horror. Instead it is one of exasperation and almost wearily robotic responses such as ‘How many?’ and ‘Where was the attacker from?’
And – thoroughly unsurprisingly – the public discussion about these two horrific attacks (at least in the media) ended so swiftly that you would be justified in saying that there wasn’t really one at all. The Reading attack is confirmed to have been a terrorist incident, but the Glasgow attack was not treated as such, and so the main focus of this article is the Reading attack.
But you’d think that, regardless of motivation and whether the attacks were terror-related or not, two young men from North Africa (asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, illegal migrants – take your pick, as no one seems to be able to agree on which term is correct) embarking on stabbing sprees within a week of each other would warrant a serious dialogue, particularly as, although the Glasgow attack wasn’t a terror incident and the Reading attack was, police were still investigating whether or not the Glasgow stabber drew inspiration from the Reading terrorist. But it hasn’t happened. Indeed there was – and is – more of a fierce discussion over the language we should use to describe those that have come and are coming to Europe than there ever has been about why attacks such as these occur and what we can do about them.
Anyway, for anyone unfamiliar with it, the standard response to terror attacks on European soil is as follows:
- Shock is expressed on social media after photos and videos begin to emerge.
- Everyone offers their condolences.
- Our self-appointed moral arbiters (who, even on matters unrelated to violence/terrorism, are normally quite fond of policing thoughts and the boundaries of speech) sternly tell us not to ‘jump to conclusions’.
- If it seems to be a particularly large attack, such as the ones that occurred in Paris (2015) or Nice (2016) or Manchester (2017), hashtags will begin trending (#Pray4[insert city here]).
- Then, society at large refuses to discuss the attack and everyone waits for the next one to occur.
It is a deadly cycle. And it is one that has gone on for so long that there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it. The most heartbreaking and infuriating thing about the Reading terror attack is that, just as with the Manchester attack (which was also committed by a Libyan migrant), the suspect had been known to MI5. The Reading suspect had been released from prison less than three weeks before the attack after being sentenced for possession of a bladed article and also an assault charge. He had came to their attention in 2019, and the Manchester suicide bomber had been identified as being a risk and MI5 have admitted that he should have been monitored.
It is easy to become insulated to these attacks (and the responses), but one should speculate as to why they keep happening. Since it was confirmed that the Reading attack was indeed a terrorist attack it has been hard to stop myself from thinking about this.
One main reason is that because most of the media is so heavily slanted towards the political Left, they effectively control public discourse. Anyone with a major platform that is willing to discuss terrorism – especially when committed by Islamists and/or those that seek asylum in European countries – frankly and honestly is always in the minority.
For instance, let’s say the Reading terror attack had been committed by a white supremacist neo-Nazi with a swastika tattoo who screamed Nazi slogans as he did it. The response would almost certainly have been entirely different. The Guardian and The Independent would be filled with opinion articles demanding an urgent, thorough, and aggressive investigation – and the opinion writers would be wholly correct. For investigating extremist attacks in a manner that leaves no stones unturned will not only help identify any potential accomplices – for example, individuals that may have supplied the attacker/s with weapons, smuggled them to Europe (if they are not European citizens), or trained them – but will also provide ample evidence that one could extrapolate and use to formulate a plan to try and prevent similar attacks in the future.
But if terrorists are not far-right – and especially if they are Islamists and/or migrants – it is far less simple for many people. One must discuss policies such as mass migration. One must discuss past and ongoing illegal immigration. One must discuss the failure of many migrants – but certainly not all (far from it, in fact) – to integrate in to European society successfully.
If it is confirmed that, as many in recent years have been, an attack is Islamist-related (this is not to say that the Reading attack was, because as of the time of writing, we are not entirely sure of the motivations of the terrorist – he allegedly ‘converted to Christianity’ and ‘mental health’ is apparently a possible factor), one must discuss Islam. The two, though many do not like to admit it, are directly related. Which, as everyone knows, is not easy to talk about. To say – hell, to even suggest – as a public figure that Islam has something to do with Islamic extremism is to trigger an onslaught of abuse and often calls for censorship. Or threats to one’s life. Obviously, the same response is delivered to those that dare, to use one example, to depict Muhammad in cartoons, as is the right of those that live in supposedly free, secular, and democratic western societies.
The three victims in Reading were reportedly all gay men. Maybe it was a homophobic attack. Maybe it wasn’t. But if it was, it presents another conundrum for the woke Left. The possibility that some of those entering Europe from North Africa and the Middle East may bring with them less than enlightened social attitudes when it comes to other minority groups is a problem that no one is supposed to discuss. But it is a serious problem, and one that can have horrible consequences. Both of the aforementioned regions are horrific places for minority groups such as gay people. No amount of whining will change that fact.
Infuriatingly, the terrorist’s mother has said that, because he has been in England for 8 years, ‘if he is a terrorist, England made him a terrorist’. A nauseatingly bare-faced lie, of course. And one that will no doubt be forgotten about despite it being yet another piece of evidence that the UK, like other European countries, has serious integration issues.
The UK, like other European countries that have experienced mass migration for years, has done everything it can to accommodate all those who wish to come to the continent. Integration is a one-way street, not a two-way street. The onus is on those entering a country to integrate fully in to its society, not to demand anything from those already living there or abuse their hospitality.
And many do integrate brilliantly, of course. And those that do so are an enormous – and heartwarmingly uplifting – credit to the country they arrive in. But to pretend that Europe does not have a gigantic problem with integration and extremism – especially Islamic extremism – is to be a coward.
Very few individuals with a public platform are brave enough to say what is true on this matter. And so as long as the climate of fear persists, attacks such as these will continue.
There doesn’t seem to be many ways for numerous Western countries – particularly those in Western and Northern Europe – to get out of the mess that they are in.
Maybe there aren’t any at all.
The post On The European Attitude To Extremism and Integration appeared first on Liberty Talks.
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