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Can we do more than light candles?

Can we do more than light candles?


Date Published: 
Saturday, 27 May, 2017

I suggest that there are things we can do. For a start, we should set aside the ECHR and deport foreign nationals whom we realistically suspect of jihadism.  Second, we should deny entry and withdraw passports from British citizens who seek to return from jihad (yes, there are legal problems, but we face an emergency). We should identify imams who preach jihad, and deport them (or if British, detain them – incitement to violence is a crime). We should close mosques that give a platform to hate preachers.

Then schools. It is evident that some Muslim schools are hotbeds of Wahhabism and anti-Western values. They should be closed. I’ve struggled for a long time with the apparent discrimination of closing Muslim schools but not other faith schools. But it seems that only in Muslim schools (or some Muslim schools) are anti-Western values systematically promoted, and when we are faced with Islamic terrorism, there is every justification for closing them.

We should ban the burqa. You cannot be integrated into Western society with your face covered. And if you aren’t prepared to be part of Western society, you shouldn’t be here.

Finally, perhaps the most radical point. As a broadly libertarian politician, I am hugely reluctant even to type the word “internment”, but I am coming around to the view that the threat we face – the children slaughtered in Manchester – is on such a scale that we have to think the unthinkable. No, Mr. Brendan Cox, we do not want to build internment camps for the world’s billion Muslims. But we need at least to consider internment for the 3000 or so jihadist suspects on our streets. We are horrified that the Manchester bomber was “known to the police” yet still allowed to go to Libya, to return, and to carry out his atrocity. Yet we have to recognise that it is impossible for the security forces to monitor 3000 people.