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A Page on the World
I would like to begin with the credentials of the author. Melanie Phillips is the leading political and current affairs columnist for the Daily Mail . Her insightful, common-sense assessments of modern political life in Britain are hard to equal in the world of British journalism because they are generally based upon the backdrop of the traditional values that built the United Kingdom.
Her latest book, Londonistan, points out that Britain has become the leading European gathering ground for recruitment and financing of Islamist terror groups. The sheer scale of these activities has earned the area the label “Londonistan” by antiterrorist specialists elsewhere in the world.
Mrs. Phillips addresses the overall problem from a number of different angles. For instance, she shows that radical Islamic demands are being appeased by multiculturalism and by a so-called replacement theology put forward by certain Christian theologians who seriously question the necessity for the state of Israel (Mrs. Phillips is Jewish).
Franklin Littell calls this replacement theology Christian anti-Semitism that “rings with the genocidal note. This is the myth that the mission of the Jewish people was finished with the coming of Jesus Christ, that 'the old Israel' was written off with the appearance of 'the new Israel.' To teach that a people's mission in God's providence is finished, that they have been relegated to the limbo of history, has murderous implications, which the murderers will in time spell out” ( The Crucifixion of the Jews, 1996).
The gravity of the problem
Although she allows that the majority of the Muslim community in Britain is law-abiding, Melanie Phillips does insist that “the evidence suggests that the numbers who do support either the aims or the tactics of the jihad are terrifying. According to British officials, up to sixteen thousand British Muslims either are actively engaged in or support terrorist activity, while up to three thousand are estimated to have passed through Al Qaeda training camps, with several hundred thought to be primed to attack the United Kingdom” (p. 9).
But why would Britain allow such reprehensible activities within its borders? Mrs. Phillips states the obvious when she notes that Britain is a country “where traditional morality has been systematically undermined and replaced by an 'anything goes' culture in which autonomous decisions about codes of behaviour have become unchallengeable rights” (p. 25).
This reminds one of the descriptions of ancient Israel in the days of the judges when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6 Judges 17:6In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
American King James Version×; 21:25).
American King James Version×; 21:25).
The author also takes pains to point out that the threat is not just from a few radical extremists who might rarely succeed like they did when suicide bombers wreaked havoc on the London Underground with the loss of many lives. She believes that the British establishment is in denial about how widespread the threat really is.
Too many erroneously pin the blame on the United States, Israel and even on Britain itself instead of the guilty culprit, which she identifies as radical Islamic ideology.
Melanie Phillips concludes that “the West is under threat from an enemy that has shrewdly observed the decadence and disarray in Europe where Western civilization first began” (p. 285). Those weaknesses are now being exploited on many fronts by those determined to bring down Western civilization as we know it and replace it with a worldwide “umma”—a global community of Islamic believers in submission to Allah.
She further points out that Britain has been the cradle of Western liberty, but urgently needs to squarely face this growing problem and counter it with policies based on “absolute consistency and moral integrity, which arise from the strength of belief in the values that are being defended” (p. 273).
This book review highlights a few crucial points, but cannot really do justice to the massive evidence proffered within its pages that identifies the causes of this disturbing trend threatening Britain's—and Western civilization's—stability and way of life.
The recent deadly train bombings in India, plus a fresh outbreak of violence by terrorist groups against Israel (involving Gaza and Lebanon) that prompted a response unprecedented in recent times, underscore the importance of her warnings and the peril our Western democracies face. WNP