Islam and the search for UKIPs soul
Realistically, there can be little doubt that Islam has emerged as a touchstone issue in the leadership election. This is almost entirely the result of the insurgency candidature of Anne Marie Waters. Whatever you think of Ms Waters, she has certainly put the issue on the map. Had she not been a candidate it would have been an issue but not a central one. So, in that sense and since this is the issue she has avowedly stood to raise awareness of, then it is hard not see her campaign as a success regardless of the outcome of the election.
I think opposition to Islam follows an ascending gradient;
- Islamophilla is an alien establishment creed and therefore to oppose it is anti-establishment. Perfectly reasonable point of view as is hostility to Islam based upon its record of spreading evil, bloodshed and death.
- Islam has fundamental problems and is incompatible with our values and a threat. I think people who would subscribe to both these statements will range from saying ‘extremism’ is the problem not Islam itself to people in the hinterland who would say no, Islam itself is the problem and extremism and terrorism are natural outgrowths of what is in the Quran. However, I would like to think people who subscribe to these points of view would make a distinction between Islam and Muslims as people.
- Islam is the problem and Muslims are scum. Now we are in hard hard right territory where opposition to Islam is a fig leaf covering plain and simple old fashioned notions of racial superiority. If it wasnt Muslims it would be the Jews or some such other group…..
I would like to think Anne Marie wouldn’t agree with statement 3 however, if she doesn’t she keeps quiet about it and actively seeks the support of those who enthusiastically promote it. Her now infamous reaction to the Finsbury Park incident shows that her admirable courage in speaking out against Islam is sadly not replicated when it comes to speaking out against the murderous actions of the hard hard right. My opposition to Islam starts from the standpoint of my faith; it is an apostate religion responsible for a massive outpouring of evil and although it is slightly out of context, the statement in Matthew 7:16, “ye shall recognise them by their fruits” is more than apposite to me.
Finsbury Park caused me to engage in some much needed self reflection and reflect that while I am hostile to Islam on the grounds outlined above and its barbaric treatment and cannibalisation of its own people as well as its murderous rage towards those who wont submit to it and am unrepentant in that and will remain so, the enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend. I have been guilty of cheering things I shouldn’t have because frankly, there are few voices out there willing to say what needs to be said. Britain First and their ilk parade around with crosses and claim to represent the Christian faith while failing to understand it at all and blatantly ignoring Paul in Ephesians 6:12 which reminds us that our struggle is not against “flesh and blood” and therefore definitely rules out the haranguing and targeting of Muslims as people. It reminded me that these people need to be challenged and called out over their actions every bit as much as Islamist terrorists and that their ways are not my ways or the ways my faith teaches me to follow. In fact, we fight against Islam but for all the Muslims who suffer under its lash not just here but across the Middle East especially.
The opposition to Islam needs to be reclaimed from those who mirror its violence and reckless hatred with their own. We cannot oppose something by becoming the very thing we seek to oppose and ultimately defeat. Maybe the debate within UKIP can become the place to start that necessary process and through that UKIP will find the soul that is currently being fought over.