Robert Kilroy-Silk is Britain's answer to Oprah Winfrey. Or perhaps I should say was, as Mr. Kilroy-Silk has fallen victim to "political correctness" (PC).
His often controversial daytime talk show weathered every storm until the one that broke in early January with the publication of an article Mr. Kilroy-Silk wrote for the British Sunday Express. In it, he made some blunt statements about human rights in Arab countries.
Nothing he said was untrue—but that's not the point. PC says otherwise and PC rules.
The BBC quickly suspended Mr. Kilroy-Silk's television program. Shortly afterwards he resigned. He should have no problem writing columns for the foreseeable future as many people agree with him, although the noose around freedom of expression is ever tightening.
Sir Bernard Ingham, a former press secretary at Number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of British prime ministers, wrote an article for the same Sunday Express one week later with the title, "How Political Correctness Has Robbed Us of Our Nation." Among other things, Sir Bernard points out that the same BBC that is so sensitive to criticism of Islam and Islamic countries does not allow correspondents to mention the sexual orientation and practices of British Cabinet members, even when these may be of relevance to voters.
The words of the prophet Isaiah come to mind: "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness" (Isaiah 5:20). What used to be considered good is now described as evil and vice versa.
Robert Kilroy-Silk is a household name in Great Britain, just as Paul Harvey is in the United States. But now Mr. Harvey, too, has fallen victim to PC—at the age of 84, and essentially over the same issue.
On Dec. 4 Mr. Harvey described the vicious nature of cockfighting in Iraq, adding the words: "Add to the [Iraqi] thirst for blood, a religion which encourages killing, and it is entirely understandable if Americans came to the bloody party unprepared," a reference to the recent war and subsequent difficulties maintaining the peace.
The following day the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) demanded "an on-air apology."
The following is taken from Daniel Pipes' Web site www.danielpipes.org. Mr. Pipes is a noted expert on Islam and recently published the book Militant Islam Reaches America.
Writes Mr. Pipes: "I have been documenting since 1999 CAIR's use of such censorious tactics against anyone who dares criticize Islam, militant Islam or Muslims. This reflects the militant Islamic ambition to privilege Islam, which implies in part a prohibition on discussion about it."
Continuing: "CAIR upped the ante on December 8th by calling on its minions to contact a different sponsor of Harvey's each day to press it to drop its advertising on his program 'until Harvey responds to Muslim concerns.'"
Mr. Pipes adds the comment: "CAIR here rejects the American principle of free speech and the belief that differences in opinion should be dealt with through reasoned discourse; it wants to close down debate. I can think of no U.S. organizations except the militant Islamic ones that deploy comparable tactics."
Sadly, "Harvey immediately capitulated to CAIR, announcing on Dec. 9 (through an on-air substitute) that he received letters from 'dear friends' who 'reminded all of us that Islam is a religion of peace, that terrorists do not represent Islam.'" CAIR offered Harvey the opportunity "to further his re-education by meeting with American Muslim leaders to begin a dialogue on issues related to Islam."
Here Mr. Pipes adds the comment: "Calling for Harvey to meet for 'dialogue' points to CAIR's intent not to move on but to exploit each opportunity to promote its agenda."
CAIR did not relent—a few days later General Electric suspended its sponsorship of Paul Harvey while it looks "into the matter further."
One final comment from Mr. Pipes: "This effort to crush an opponent—get his apology and then deprive him of his livelihood—typifies CAIR's illiberal approach."
9/11 highlighted Islam for Americans
Most Americans were blissfully unaware of radical Islam prior to Sept. 11, 2001. Mr. Pipes was not one of them. He has been warning Americans of what was coming for a decade. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 brought Islam to everybody's attention, but the official reaction at the highest levels of government in the United States and Britain was to keep repeating that Islam is a religion of peace. The media has helped reinforce this.
PBS carried a three-hour documentary a year or so ago on Christianity, followed by one soon afterwards on Islam. The first documentary tore Christianity apart, questioning everything in the biblical account; the second portrayed as fact everything written in the Koran and claimed by Muslims. None of this is new—the liberal elite that dominates our media has been making fun of Jesus Christ and His followers for decades. But the same liberal academics are not about to risk their lives by questioning Islam.
The Anglo-American response to this pressure from Islam is in contrast to the French approach, which has been highlighted in the same time period, December to January.
The Americans, the British and the French have three different approaches to immigration.
Americans believe that all immigrants who come to America are eventually assimilated. And that usually happens by the second generation. The British don't care too much about assimilation—their only requirement for citizenship has been a pledge of loyalty to the queen (though there is talk of changing this). The French have still a different approach—they believe that everybody must become French.
The French are in the process of banning religious symbols in public schools. This is intended to stop Islamic girls from wearing the traditional headscarf, though the new law will also halt the wearing of crucifixes and the Star of David. Parochial (religious) schools can still do whatever they want. There has been a great outcry against this decision, which attempts to force Muslims to assimilate.
While each country differs in its approach to immigration, all three are wrong. This is because they overlook an essential question that needs to be faced up to, one which PC makes it impossible to address. This does not mean it will never be addressed—it just postpones the problem, passing it on to the next generation, which will pay a heavy price for the negligence of this one.
The big question for Western countries is: Can Islamic values coexist peacefully alongside Western values? Or, as Michael S. Rose put it in a recent issue of The American Conservative: "The big question with respect to Muslim immigration to Europe and America is whether a tolerant society (as characterized by the West) can survive the presence of an intolerant minority (as characterized by Islam)." Mr. Rose was reviewing Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West by Robert Spencer. In reviewing the book, Mr. Rose writes: "The most absorbing point, if not the main point, of Onward Muslim Soldiers is that most Western countries, and especially France, are serving the twin gods of multiculturalism and tolerance to their own demise" ("Christendom, Awake," Dec. 15, 2003).
No doubt this realization led to the recent French government decision on headscarves—if Muslims are not assimilating, then apparently legislation is required to help them move in that direction.
In neighboring Spain, a Muslim cleric recently caused controversy when he published a book advising Islamic men on how to beat their wives and avoid prosecution—a classic example of how multiculturalism and tolerance are being taken advantage of.
Meanwhile, 80 percent of the imams in American mosques "are under control of radical extremist Muslims who teach violent jihad" (ibid.), a fact that bodes ill for the next generation of Americans.
The same is true for France, for "... all of France's 1,200 mosques are funded by foreign governments, and out of the country's 230 major imams, none is French" (ibid.).
The American Conservative published a review of another book on militant Islam in its Jan. 19, 2004, issue. The reviewer was Richard Cummings, who lectures on the Middle East at Princeton, the U.S. Naval Academy and the Center for International Relations of Boston University. The book he reviewed was Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror by Jason Burke. The title of his review: "A New Vision of Terrorism."
In summation, Mr. Cummings wrote: "The only way to defeat this militancy and the concomitant terrorism of an amorphous al-Qaeda is not only to foster a dynamic and moderate Islam, but also to engage in a deep introspection. Is it just 'our freedoms' they hate, or something else? Perhaps it is our own lack of a sense of the sacred and our failure to appreciate that our avarice has engendered deprivations elsewhere that engender such rage. As Burke [the book's author] advises, 'All terrorist violence, "Islamic" or otherwise, is unjustifiable, unforgivable and contemptible. But just because we condemn does not mean we should not strive to comprehend. We need to keep asking why.'"
We should note two points made here, one by Mr. Cummings and the other by Mr. Burke, the author of the book on al-Qaeda.
Mr. Burke writes of the need to "keep asking why." This is made impossible by political correctness, which has already made a determination, the verdict being that all cultures can live together in perfect harmony and that, in the event of disharmony, it's all the fault of those brought up in the traditions of the West. It should be noted that not one Islamic nation believes this, as none allow immigration from the West—they do not believe in assimilation.
Secondly, we should note Mr. Cummings' comment: "Perhaps it is our own lack of a sense of the sacred" that is part of the problem. It is the Western world's own lack of conviction on spiritual matters that has allowed the victory of the PC elite, which teaches that all religions are equally valid. This, in turn, means that Islam and Christianity can live peacefully side by side, along with the antireligious and secular (most of the PC adherents).
The Old Testament book of Hosea states: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Ignorance and apathy are enabling the PC brigade to control our minds while militant Islam takes advantage. As one Muslim leader put it in Robert Spencer's book: "Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you." WNP