The Old Buffoonian treads on dangerous ground (Robert Henderson)
Boris Johnson has suggested that the radicalisation of Muslim children should be treated as child abuse and children subjected to such an environment should be taken into care.
“At present, there is a reluctance by the social services to intervene, even when they and the police have clear evidence of what is going on, because it is not clear that the “safeguarding law” would support such action. A child may be taken into care if he or she is being exposed to pornography, or is being abused – but not if the child is being habituated to this utterly bleak and nihilistic view of the world that could lead them to become murderers. I have been told of at least one case where the younger siblings of a convicted terrorist are well on the road to radicalisation – and it is simply not clear that the law would support intervention.
“This is absurd. The law should obviously treat radicalisation as a form of child abuse. It is the strong view of many of those involved in counter-terrorism that there should be a clearer legal position, so that those children who are being turned into potential killers or suicide bombers can be removed into care – for their own safety and for the safety of the public. “(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10671841/The-children-taught-at-home-about-murder-and-bombings.html).
Even for the Old Buffoonian this is extraordinary obtuseness. Johnson has failed to recognise three very obvious facts: (1) removing Muslim children from their parents will also certainly radicalise the children; (2) it will provide potent ammunition for Islamic extremists and (3) you can bet your life that once the principle of “bad” ideas is established as a reason for the social workers to come in, it will be extended to many other “bad” ideas, for example, in these pc times anything which is non-pc. Let us have a look in detail at those disturbing implications of Johnson’s proposal.
To begin with at what age would children be removed from the family? If at birth or shortly afterwards, the child and eventually the adult will feel that their lives have been ruthlessly changed by the state and may well turn to extremism to revenge themselves on the society which has treated them so. If taken away at an older age the child, especially if they are old enough to have imbibed the radical message, is likely to be not merely confirmed in their radical ideas but have them substantially amplified.
Of course it is not only parents who could be a radical influence within the home. What about brothers, sisters, Aunts and Uncles and cousins who were Jihadists? Would they be grounds for removing children? Or would have to be banned from having any contact with the children?
Then there is the question of where the children would be placed after they were removed. The chances of a Muslim child being left in care would be quite strong because Muslim adopters and foster parents are thin on the ground. If they are left in care that would be likely to provide an unhappy childhood which would engender a strong sense of victimhood, fertile soil in which to plant Jihadist ideas. The child would also be brought up as a Muslim to ensure that he was not denied his “cultural heritage” and would consequently be exposed to other Muslims who might well be Islamic radicals. Adoption and fostering might provide more palatable lives for the children than care, but they would have difficulties of their own. The current politically correct adoption and fostering policies very strongly favour placing a child in families which are racially and culturally akin to those of the child. That would mean most, possibly all, of such children who were fostered or adopted would end up in a Muslim family. That family might be moderates who treat their religion in the same way that the average C of E worshipper does, as a tepid private observance rather than a fervent matter of public policy. Even in such circumstances, the child would still be regularly be exposed to Muslims with more rigorous Islamic ideas and could easily become radicalised or have radical ideas obtained before their removal from their birth parents enhanced.
Then there is school. Whether in care, foster homes or an adoptive home, the child is likely to be in a school with a significant number of Muslims because he or she will very probably, because of the emphasis on providing a racially and ethnically environment which matches the child’s original circumstances, be living in a town or city which has a substantial Muslim population. There will also be pressure on those responsible for the child to place them in a school with a healthy Muslim intake. The child might even be placed in a Muslim school if he or she is adopted and the adoptive parents favour such an education.
Aside from all this, there is the Internet. Any child forbidden to have contact with anything whether it be radical Islam or pornography is likely to be drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
The propaganda value of Muslim children being forcibly removed would be immense. Muslim terrorists would use it to justify their violence and because the issue is such an emotive one, they would gain sympathy from Muslims generally in the way IRA bombers enjoyed a sympathy amongst the wider republican movement along the lines of “I don’t agree with their methods but…” the practice would undoubtedly resonate throughout the Muslim world and have effects far beyond those willing to engage in violence. In particular, it could seriously affect trade with Britain.
Such a policy would almost certainly have an antagonising effect on other minorities, both because they would fear that the same might happen to them and because of a sense of solidarity with Muslims because they are part of what one might call the victimocracy, those who harbour a grievance justified or otherwise simply because they are minorities or from some notion that white Western society owes them something. The policy would also be a fundamental questioning of the policy of multiculturalism which has ruled the British elite roost for over thirty years.
There would also be the danger that in a bid to boost their pc credentials to offset the non-pc draconian removal of children, concessions could be made to Muslims generally by the British political elite, concessions such as allowing sharia law to be expanded in Britain from the supposedly voluntary sharia courts which now exist to Sharia courts which were compulsory for Muslims and the relaxation of immigration rules for Muslims.
In short doing what Johnson proposes would make matters considerably worse for all concerned, for Muslims and the general population of the UK. What should be done? We need to start from the fact that there is no realistic way that Muslim children can be shielded from radical Islam. Nor is there any hard proof that most radical Muslims in Britain were radicalised by their families or became radicalised when they were children. Radicalisation within mosques or through a radical preacher operating outside the mosque at a fairly advanced stage of childhood or in early adulthood seems far more common. Moreover, Britain’s inability to control her borders will always allow radical Muslims to come from abroad. Short of expelling every Muslim in the country (several million) and allowing none to visit the country, the danger of Islamic terrorism, home grown or otherwise, will be a constant. Just as Irish republican terrorism had to be managed rather than exterminated, so Islamic terrorism will have to be managed.
All of that is depressing enough, but the really sinister aspect of what Johnson proposes is the opportunity it would provide for the interference by the state in how parents generally bring up their children. This could be in part a politically correct desire to create a spurious equality between Muslims and non-Muslims, but it could equally be an ideological vehicle for the extension of political correctness.
As things stand, the politically correct legions in our midst incessantly chomp at the bit as they try to ensure that any opinion but their own is at best driven from public debate and at worst made illegal in any circumstances. An excellent recent example of the totalitarian mentality of such people is the leader of the Green Party Natalie Bennett’s call for cabinet ministers, senior public officials and political advisers to be sacked unless they unquestioningly backed the idea of man-made global warming (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/the-british-green-party-expose-their-totalitarian-mentality/).
If it was allowed that Muslim children could be removed from their homes because of the beliefs of their parents (or any other family member), why not permit the removal of children whose parents disapproved of mass immigration, were members of the BNP or EDL, who refused to accept the claims of the man-made global warming believers, thought gay marriage was a nonsense or simply ridiculed the idea of human equality?
This might seem fanciful at first glance, but think of the absurdities the politically correct have forced upon us in the name of racial and sexual equality and multiculturalism and the use of the law to intimidate and increasing charge with criminal offences those who speak out against the effects of political correctness, for example, http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/courage-is-the-best-defence-against-charges-of-racism.
The Old Buffoonian’s idea is both stunningly at odds with human nature and deeply sinister in its implications. It might seem a non-starter simply because of these shortcomings. Sadly, it is being made flesh. As I write a case is being brought to take two boys, the offspring of a Libyan Muslim and English mother (names withheld for legal reasons), into council care because the mother claims the boys are being radicalised (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10692918/Judge-to-probe-jihadist-claims-over-boys-aged-11-and-12.html). The case will be held later this year.