I used to live in the North of England, before it became Islamisized. I doubt I’d recognize it now. When Earl sent me a link to an article entitled “My brother the bomber,” which traces the trajectory one of Britain’s 7/7 bombers took from ordinary northern Muslim to mass murderer, I thought I’d read about recognizable things. I didn’t. The new Britain is an utterly alien place, open to influences no one even contemplated 25 years ago.
I’m having the same lack of recognition when I read Melanie Phillip’s Londonistan, which describes the radicalization of England’s Muslim population (with lots of help from radical immigrant Islamists, kicked out of their own countries). I’ve actually had Londonistan on my reading list — and available to me — for months, but I haven’t been able to make myself read it. Melanie Phillip’s is a superb writer, both lucid and vivid but, for a long time, I avoided reading this book the same way I would avoiding watching a car wreck unfold. You know what’s going to happen, and the outcome is too terrible to contemplate.
It also pained me on a level entirely separate from the fact that London, specifically, and Great Britain, by extension, have become completely radioactive when it comes to disseminating the worst and most violent forms of Islam throughout the world. It pained me because the book truly sounds the death knell of a very lovely time in my life, which was my sojourn in England, an England that was just starting down Thatcher’s road to recovery.
When I lived there so long ago, I was especially delighted that I had the opportunity to live in the North, because it was still the “real” England, as opposed to the more internationalized (and definitely more tourist oriented) South. People up North still spoke with strong regional accents, and traced their ancestors back hundreds of years. Now, when I read books about the North, I learn about a place where entire towns are indistinguishable from backwards villages in Pakistan. It’s very depressing, more so because the English have been so leeched of any sense of self and morality, that they’ve passively watched as their world has been destroyed.
An aside, related to Phillips’ book: Phillips notes that Al Qaeda essentially got its start in Britain, because that’s where the money and organization first flowed to set up its structure and spread its ideas. I couldn’t help remembering that it was during his exile in England that Karl Marx lived out most of his life, and where he wrote the books that seeded modern C0mmunism. Indeed, it was the fact that London has served as a petri dish for two of the most destructive political ideologies of our time that gave me the title for this post.