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Steve Lunetta: Protecting our culture from ‘Londonistan’

Right About Now

Posted: November 7, 2010 10:10 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.

“Isaac, be a mensch and bring in the mail.”

“But Rabbi Jacobi, I am only 8 years old and the mailbags are very heavy. Surely, someone else can carry them inside?”

“Isaac, I have faith that you will be strong enough to get them. Run along now.”

The last words ever spoken by little Isaac and Rabbi Jacobi, of Chicago, involved a simple daily chore of bringing in the mail.

No one could have dreamed that such an activity would bring about the end of both of their lives.

Had it not been for a tip from a “reformed” al-Qaida member and the alertness of the mail handlers in England and the United Arab Emirates, this scenario may well have played itself out in the heartland of America. Fortunately, it never happened. The lives of Americans were saved.

What we know is this: At least two packages containing explosive materials were sent from Yemen to synagogues in Chicago.

The devices were apparently created by individuals either in or closely related to al-Qaida.

Once again, another high-profile example of Islamic extremism expressing itself as terrorism. Of course, the pundits will claim that the connection between Islam and terrorist activities is merely coincidental and anyone who would suggest such an idea is a simply a bigot or Islamophobe.

This vexing issue of Islam and terrorism is the subject of a book called “Londonistan” written by Melanie Phillips in 2006 (Encounter Books). This tome was suggested to me by a “Right About Now” reader (thanks, Steve).

This book discusses how radical Islam has grown in the United Kingdom, encouraged by misguided domestic policies and dim-witted politically correct psychology that made London the capital of international Islamic terrorism.

United Kingdom-based terrorists include Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (murderer of journalist Daniel Pearl), Dhiren Barot and Nadeem Tarohammed (al-Qaida members who planned terror attacks on U.S. financial centers), Mohammed Bilal (drove a truckload of explosives into a police barracks in Kashmir), and, my favorite, Richard Reid, the shoe bomber.

The book further states that “London is home to the largest collection of Islamic activists since the terrorist production line was established in Afghanistan.”

How did this happen?

The book discusses several causes including lax immigration policy, extreme religious tolerance and political correctness.

During the 1990s, activist judges in the United Kingdom decided to redefine immigration policy and allow large numbers of immigrants without regard to understanding the social impact that this large migration would have. Most of these immigrants were poor Muslims.

Phillips declares that “Britain simply lost control of its borders altogether because of the gross abuse and total breakdown of its asylum system.”

This means that potentially dangerous individuals were allowed into the U.K. to sow seeds of discontent among the burgeoning new Muslim populace.

This fertile ground proved critical in the growing of an extremist organization.

The book goes on to say that “the Enlightenment in Britain put religion firmly back into its box and elevated reason to pole position as the supreme national virtue.”

Further, “the downside of this robustly down-to-earth approach is that the British now find it very hard to deal with religious fanaticism.”

In essence, by affirming the faith and culture of immigrants to the extreme, the British have done so at the cost of their own culture.

An additional side-effect has been the growth of sensitivity and political correctness.

For example, English authorities refuse to recognize the connection between Islam and terrorism for fear of being labeled an Islamophobe.

After four suicide bombers killed 50 Londoners in subway trains in July 2005, police deputy assistant commissioner Brian Piddick said, “As far as I am concerned, Islam and terrorists are two words that do not go together.”

Fortunately, many appear to be awakening lately to the fallacy of this thinking. The United Kingdom has made strides in changing the climate that has given birth to “Londonistan” — evidenced by the detection of the attempted bomb from Yemen. 

In the United States, we are protected by many institutions — a free press, free speech and a strong religious tradition.

These institutions are incorporated into the precious cloth that makes up American culture. Does this mean we are completely safe? Of course not.

In the 1960s, an Italian Marxist named Antonio Gamsci said that “the most effective means of overturning Western society was to subvert its culture and morality.”

The lesson here is obvious: We must be on guard to protect our culture and avoid a new Londonistan.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and can be reached at His column reflects his own opinion and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Right About Now” runs Mondays.


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