Saturday, 25 May 2013

Permissive Britain is a fertile recruiting ground for Choudary

This is a guest post by Julian Mann

The cub scout mistress who confronted one of Drummer Lee Rigby's killers was a brave lady but in the long term her observation is probably wrong.

Writing in Friday's Daily Mail (24/5), Sir Max Hastings claimed she spoke for the nation when she said: "It is only you versus many, and you are going
 to lose."

One would have to question Sir Max's faith in the current national majority. What if the religiously committed minority becomes larger, better equipped and better organised? What if the ideologically fragmented, uncommitted majority proves too flabby to be able to resist? It is to be feared Sir Max is projecting the more morally cohesive nation he grew up in onto the present one.

By contrast, in Saturday's Mail, Andrew Malone appeared more in touch with the reason why permissive Britain is proving a fertile recruiting ground for young male Islamist killers. In a piece asking "why, in the name of sanity, is Anjem Choudary, whose poisonous teachings influenced the Woolwich killers, free to draw benefits and tour BBC studios spouting murderous hatred against Britain?", Mr Malone described the case of Richard Dart, a white British 26-year-old from Weymouth, Dorset and one of Choudary’s proteges:


"Dart converted to Islam in 2009. He joined Choudary in a private house in East London and, after swearing oaths on the Koran, was re-named Salahuddin Al-Britani.

For  years, ‘Salahuddin’, the son of teachers, had drifted from job to job. A confused young man, with strangely glazed eyes and sallow skin, he once explained to me his bizarre reason for converting to radical Islam.

‘Michael Jackson’s death to me was a sign — he said he was a Muslim, but he didn’t live the life of a good Muslim.’

Surrounded by members of the ‘Islamic brotherhood’, Dart also told me he would be happy to fight — and die — overseas for the cause, and that Islam must defeat Western aggression.

In a chilling portent of the horrors that unfolded in Woolwich this week, Dart also told me that British soldiers were a fair target.

‘The soldiers taking part in these wars are the enemies of Islam, so I don’t support them in any way, nor any man-made government or law,’ he said. These governments are the terrorists.’

Therein lies the attraction of militant Islam to spiritually and morally rudderless young men in a permissive society. Choudary's religion provides a combination of a command structure based on transcendent certainty and an element of adventure and risk.

In an increasingly feminised society, this is a combination in militant Islam that will, unfortunately, prove attractive to a growing number of disenfranchised young men.  A posse of nannies of both sexes in charge of Britain is surely unlikely to inspire them to enter into the promised land of health and safety and Blairite social democracy, a land flowing with all-female shortlists.

The Christian churches of Britain should be providing an attractive spiritual and moral alternative, but sadly, with exception of some of the newer churches, they are not. The older denominations such as the Church of England are unattractive to young men and are now largely attended by and increasingly led by middle-class women.

It is worth considering how different in this respect the older churches of Britain are from the founder of the Christian faith. Jesus of Nazareth inspired a group of young men to take great risks in his cause. But persuasion not violence was the means they used to spread his message, particularly by witnessing to his resurrection from the dead.

Julian Mann is vicar Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire, UK.