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Kathy Gyngell: It is not Islamophobia that worries me. It is our phobia about our Christian heritage


So Nigel Farage stands accused by our political establishment for his ‘sickening’ attempt to use the appalling Paris shootings to score political points on multiculturalism.

Well if to agree with him that Britain’s policy of multiculturalism is what is primarily responsible for the fifth column of terrorists in our midst then I must plead guilty too. I too must be ‘Islamophobic’ as both Harriet Harman and Chris Grayling were so quick to warn us against becoming in the aftermath of the massacre.

In fact I have another phobia too while we are about it – it is a phobia of foolish politicians worshipping at the altar of political correctness and multiculturalism – except I suspect my fear is reasonable.

Just in case anyone needs reminding, a phobia is “an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance”.

An unreasonable fear of an object that poses little danger, I repeat.

Can we honestly say that terrorism in the name of Islam poses little real danger? That there is not reason after 9/11, 7/7 , Madrid, Lee Rigby, and many other outrages across the world to have some reasonable anxiety?

It seems to me that the people who are suffering from irrational and unreasonable ‘phobia’ are those who led the condemnation of Mr Farage yesterday. They are, it seems to a man and woman, terrified of being seen to be other than ‘inclusive’ – of being seen to discriminate in thought, word, or deed against ethnic, sexual, religious or behavioural minorities – to the point of marginalising our inherited customs and beliefs and accepting those that are far less tolerant.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”. I am talking about the irrational fear of being considered ‘racist, xenophobic, discriminatory’, or any other such modern slur – to the point of shutting down debate on multiculturalist policies – that the establishment is guilty of.

So much for freedom of speech. Never did more people spend more time publicly apologising for what they (thoughtlessly) said.  No longer is it a case of “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”.

That is what I call phobia – being too  anxious to speak or so anxious that you clamp down on others discussing things it is more than reasonable for them to be anxious about.

Prime amongst these is Islamism and those who would impose this unforgiving and violent creed on the rest of us, whether in Syria, Iraq or in Europe. Yes it is indeed a cause of concern when two cultures come face to face, one of which has a history, unlike ours, of putting religion above nationality as the test of membership. It is a cause for concern that our inherited culture of tolerance (and forgiveness) makes us more vulnerable to the other. It is a cause for concern that our new and unenlightened culture of repudiation encourages us – led by the BBC – to denigrate what is ours and what defines us, namely our Judeo-Christian tradition.

It is desperately short-sighted to refuse to see that the Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, which backs the (medieval) sharia law against the modern world, is very much something to be worried about as more and more Muslims inhabit Europe – 15 million across Britain, France and Germany as the numbers stand today. For the longer the establishment keeps its head in the sand the more extreme, irrational and angry will be the reaction, as we saw in Germany earlier this week.

Which bring us to the second phobia the political establishment (the demonised Mr Farage excluded) suffer from – which is a phobia towards our own heritage and its defence. To a man over the last two days, politicians have spouted on about liberty and free speech without even mentioning that these are but some of the values of a civilisation rooted in Christianity. As a result we have Islam treated on a par with Christianity by the likes of Harriet Harman and the Birmingham local education authority, or as Laura Perrins says, all faiths being demonised equally.  Yet even that arch atheist Richard Dawkins admits they are not and that Christians gave up massacres centuries ago.

All that seems to matter to Harriet Harman is liberty to blaspheme at any religion. The United Kingdom abolished its laws against blasphemy in England and Wales in 2008 with the passage of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act she told us proudly on Radio 4’s The World at One on Wednesday; a similar resolution made by the EU a year earlier and which we no doubt followed. So that’s all right then. except it isn’t.

This great multicultural law that puts Christianity on a par with any other religion hardly protected the poor journalists gunned down in Paris.

What would have protected their right to live, as opposed to their legal right to ‘blaspheme”, would have been a better understanding of the virtues of our Judeo-Christian tradition and Christian heritage and an energetic defence of them; ones which she and others in so many ways have been so keen to repudiate.

This would have brought more honesty from the start as to what makes Christianity so very different from, and dare I say it, superior, to the Muslim faith – whether Sunni or Shia – from which derives the militant and brutal Islamism of today.

For the truth the politicos need to face is the one set out by Roger Scruton in How to be a Conservative. “Our civilisation cannot survive if we continue to appease the Islamists ….

….precious though national boundaries are, yet more precious is the civilisation that made national boundaries perceivable.”

He is right. And I defy Cameron, Jowell or any of the others to call him sickening.


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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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