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Robert Spencer: In Britain, If You See Something, You Better Say Nothing

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The new top dog of Britain’s counter-terror police has asked Britons to become “counter-terrorism citizens” by reporting suspicious activity. Given the way Britain treats foes of jihad terror, however, it’s doubtful that he means it.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu did his best, however, to give the opposite impression. “People are nervous about police overreacting or about wasting our time,” he said, “but it’s never a waste of our time.”

The Independent reported that “people are being asked to look out for suspicious behaviour, including possessing weapons, chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason, carrying out surveillance, having unusual items delivered, expressing extremist ideas or searching for terrorist material online.”

The Independent also articulated why Basu’s call rings hollow: “Critics argued that the call for public help was ‘paving the way to the worst kinds of profiling, vigilantism and paranoia’ amid ongoing controversy around the Government’s counter-extremism Prevent programme.”

Basu, however, stood his ground, insisting that police were “not going to overreact to a single piece of intelligence,” and reiterating: “The point is you don’t have to make that judgement, you just have to feel nervous, and if you feel nervous, you shouldn’t sit on it – you should report it. Some people say ‘isn’t that a bit obvious’ or ‘it’s normal behaviour’ and that’s absolutely true but you’ve got to take that with people’s judgement. I think people have good instincts about what feels odd in their workplace, in their community and even in their family.”

And just so that no one would think that Basu was asking people to be suspicious of Muslims in particular, he engaged in some fanciful moral equivalence, claiming that in the last year, the UK had seen “10 foiled Islamist plots and four planned attacks by the extreme right, involved similar methods.”

Basu added: “Lone actors on the extreme right are copycatting some of methodology that has been used by Islamist jihadists around the world.” The Independent claimed that “the threat from both Islamists and the extreme right has been increasing as analysts document both groups feeding off each other in a process known as ‘reciprocal radicalization.’”

Basu’s words, and the Independent’s coverage of them, demonstrate that the British government is going all in with its contention that “far-right extremists” are an equivalent threat to that of Islamic jihadis. However, this equivalence is exposed as more propaganda than fact when one recalls that the most prominent people that they smear as “far-right extremists,” including Tommy Robinson, the recently banned Martin Sellner, Brittany Pettibone and Lauren Southern, as well as Pamela Geller and me, have never called for or condoned any vigilantism or violence; our only crime is opposing jihad terror and Sharia oppression.

Theresa May in late 2016 likened Pamela Geller and me to Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, and in doing so showed the bankruptcy of this equivalence. Abu Hamza repeatedly preached violence against infidels and is currently in prison for aiding an attempt to set up an al-Qaeda training camp in Oregon. Abu Qatada likewise was involved in the planning of jihad terror plots. To liken us, when we have never been involved in or approved of any violence or illegal activity, was obscenely libelous.

When Basu claimed that there were “10 foiled Islamist plots and four planned attacks by the extreme right,” involving “similar methods,” he didn’t offer any details, and without them, it’s extremely hard to believe that there were really four attempted terror attacks by the “extreme right.” Besides having no terror leaders, the “extreme right” is not part of a global movement that has declared war on Britain and other countries. It has not boasted about how it will soon conquer and subjugate Britain. It has no ideology or political system that it is determined to put into place. Primarily, the British government has demonized as “extreme right” those who don’t want to see their country destroyed by further jihad massacres and ongoing Islamization.

And so now Neil Basu wants people to report suspicious activity. Great. But now the British government is imprisoning and prosecuting people for “Islamophobia.” So if someone sees a jihad massacre being plotted, the witness must be very careful in alerting British authorities, for the suspicion itself could be seen as “Islamophobic,” especially if the witness is a non-Muslim. In today’s Britain, foes of jihad terror who see something better say nothing, if they want to keep from getting arrested themselves.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His new book is Confessions of an Islamophobe. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

 

 

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