The place where Winston Churchill once so eloquently and forcefully rallied the British people to defeat the Nazi threat is now under siege from a new tyranny.
Islamic intimidation achieved a new high last week when it forced the British Parliament, one of Western civilization’s most venerable institutions, to quietly surrender its most basic of freedoms.
Almost unreported in the Western media, including Britain’s, a Muslim member of the House of Lords, Nazir Ahmed, showed the advanced state of Britain’s dhimmitude when he threatened to mobilize 10,000 fellow Muslims to block Dutch parliamentarian and filmmaker, Geert Wilders, from entering Westminster. Wilders had been invited by another House of Lords member to show his controversial film, Fitna, last Thursday in a Westminster conference room. Invitations had been sent to all House members to attend the screening that was to be followed "by discussion and debate in true parliamentary fashion."
But Baron Ahmed, who was born in Pakistan and raised in Britain, forgetting he is part of a liberal democratic system that cherishes freedom of expression and association, reacted with familiar jihadi-style tactics to Wilders’ announced appearance. Along with his threat to mobilize 10,000 demonstrators to block Wilders’ path, it was reported Ahmed also intended to sue the House of Lords member who had invited the Dutch politician.
However, that all proved unnecessary.
After Ahmed and representatives of several British Muslim organizations met with the leader of the House of Lords and its chief whip, the Wilders visit was cancelled and British democracy suffered a crushing defeat. And while the British elites and media may have wanted to keep the British people in the dark regarding the scale of this debacle, Ahmed had no qualms about publicising it. Labelling it what it truly is, Ahmed told Pakistani media outlets that the British parliament’s retreat was "a victory for the Muslim community."
Lord Ahmed, a Labour Party member, was appointed to the House of Lords in 1998 and, according to British law, is a peer for life. He is the first Muslim lord in the modern era and second in British parliamentary history. A predecessor, Baron Stanley of Alderley, had converted to Islam in 1862. Ahmed’s appointment was made possible when Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a major constitutional maneuver, "reformed" the House of Lords in 1999, abolishing all hereditary peerages
Regarded as a "moderate" Muslim, Ahmed led the first British government-sponsored delegation on a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. He has opposed international terrorism, women wearing the veil and forced marriages in Britain. Risking his personal safety, Ahmed has also supported the expulsion of violent Islamic radicals from Great Britain.
But there is another, more disturbing side to Ahmed’s political character. He opposed Salman Rushdie’s receiving a knighthood, because Rushdie had "blood on his hands." In 2005, Ahmed also hosted a book launch of a Swedish anti-Semite, Joeran Jermas, in the House of Lords. Jermas’s speech, titled ‘The Jews and Empire’, as reported in The Times, contained such niceties as "Your newspapers belong to the Zionists…"; "The Jews like an empire…"; and "This love of Empire explains the easiness Jews change their allegiance…"
And while Jermas said the "Jewish supremacy drive" is the only reason for "wars, terror and trouble" in the Middle East, his next statement probably accounts for Ahmed’s inviting this extreme racist to use the House of Lords to spread his repulsive message of hate.
"Now, there is a large and thriving Muslim community in England…they are now on the side of freedom, against the Empire, and they are not afraid of enforcers of Judaic values, Jewish or Gentile. This community is very important to turn the tide."
Well, there you have it. While Wilders, a democrat who wanted to warn Britain about the anti-civilizational hatred spreading within its borders and across Europe, was denied access to the House of Lords, the doors were opened wide to a neo-Nazi ally of that hatred.
Disgracefully, the representatives of the democracy that gave the world "the most powerful pro-liberty culture within the Western tradition" did nothing. As one observer commented: "There were no meetings with whips or leaders. There were no demonstrations. The meeting was not cancelled."
Contrast this with the Labour government’s energetic reaction in the Damian Green case that has been described as authoritarian. Green, a Conservative Member of Parliament, was arrested by anti-terror police last month for leaking information to the press that, according to one report, "exposed government incompetence." He was held nine hours while his home and office were searched, the latter without a warrant. As it turns out, Green will not face an anti-terror charge, but rather a more ambiguous one concerning his having conspired "to commit misconduct in a public office."
It is obvious that Ahmed intends to set himself up as the arbiter of all things Islamic regarding the British parliament. His control of free speech, stifling of debate and threatening of parliament if one does not conform to his views is the antithesis of the British democratic tradition. It makes one fear for its future if more Muslim politicians of Ahmed’s ilk are elected or appointed to Westminster.
Just as worrying is the fact that the government did not disown Ahmed and let him get away with his intimidation tactics. Even worse, it may have set a precedent for submissiveness that will leave it open to future, Islamic blackmail attempts.
Ahmed’s fellow politicians also did not express any outrage or mount a counter-offensive to protect their ancient rights and privileges. Which, in the end, is the saddest statement regarding the state of Churchill’s cherished British democracy today.