The liberal secular west prides itself upon creating a cultural and political environment that has tolerance at the forefront. Tolerance in this context is the willingness to allow ideas, attitudes and even behaviours that one dislikes or disagrees with to be freely expressed. Free speech is at the heart of tolerance in this environment. The free expression of ideas, however abhorrent must be allowed, provided that they can be critiqued or even ridiculed by their opponents, again with absolute freedom.
It is this free exchange of ideas that has allowed for the development of various political parties, and the expression of different religious worldviews to exist under the common ‘rule of law’ that we have inherited from our Judeo / Christian democratic Westminster parliamentary system.
This system has served us well until the present day.
However, what happens when we import a people from a culture that has no tradition of free speech or religious liberty. A culture that is entirely intolerant of ‘the other’, a culture that sincerely holds to the view of their religious and cultural surpremacism?
We need only look to Britain to see how this is working out. For decades they have been importing hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants every year, many of whom are cultural and religious supremacists.
I appreciate that politicians don’t like to talk about the ‘clash of civilizations’ and yet this is what’s being played out before our very eyes. Finally, David Cameron who has been slow to grasp the significance of this reality has begun to speak up. This week at his party’s annual conference he is reported as saying:
'For too long, we've been so frightened of causing offence that we haven't looked hard enough at what is going on in our communities. This passive tolerance has turned us into a less integrated country; it's put our children in danger. It is unforgiveable.'
The 'shadow of extremism is hanging over every single one of us' and the fight to defeat it was a 'fight for our existence', he said.
Cameron made a point of tacking [religious] extremism at it’s source, including Islamic schools. There are about 5,000 religious schools in the UK, 2,000 of them madrassas, the remainder predominantly Christian.
Last night, the Muslim Council of Britain said it was 'concerned', adding: 'It is neither Islamic, nor prevalent in Madrassas, to be isolationist or to preach hate of other faiths.'
In his most hardline comments yet, Mr Cameron insisted: 'We need to confront – and I mean really confront – extremism. When I read what some young people born and brought up in this country are doing, it makes me feel sick.
'Girls not much older than my eldest daughter, swapping loving family homes and straight-A futures for a life of servitude under IS, in a land of violence and oppression.
'Boys who could do anything they wanted in Britain – who have benefited from all this country stands for – instead ending up in the desert wielding a knife.
'This ideology, this diseased view of the world, has become an epidemic infecting minds from the mosques of Mogadishu to the bedrooms of Birmingham.'
He said Britain needed to 'tear up the narrative that says Muslims are persecuted and the West deserves what it gets'.
'Zoom in and you'll see some institutions that actually help incubate these divisions. Did you know, in our country, there are some children who spend several hours each day at a madrassa? [Goodness David, who knew?]
'In some madrassas we've got children being taught that they shouldn't mix with people of other religions; being beaten; swallowing conspiracy theories about Jewish people.
'These children should be having their minds opened, their horizons broadened – not having their heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate.'
He continued: 'Let me say it right here: no more passive tolerance in Britain. We've passed the laws – now I want them enforced. People who organise forced marriages – I want them prosecuted.
Let me say it right here: no more passive tolerance in Britain. We've passed the laws – now I want them enforced
‘Parents who take their children for FGM – I want them arrested.'
It was a passionate speech for sure. Does this mean that Britain could be entering the ‘twilight of tolerance’ when it comes to Islam?
Certainly Australia is still a long way back from this point with its Police and Politicians still believing it can win over the Muslim Jihadists by engaging in compromise and appeasement. New Zealand is no better.
If Cameron’s speech is anything to go by, through bitter and bloody experience, Britain has moved on from obsequies platitudes and attempts to ‘win over’ their Muslim community to a more combative and confrontational stance.
To put it bluntly, they have had a guts full of Islam and its outworking in society.
Watching Sky News I believe the Australians have too, especially some of their law enforcement officers, their body language says it all. They are just waiting for their politicians to get with the program and to catch up with Cameron and the rest of the civilized world.
Intellectually this is a significant leap for any politician to take. To say ‘We have reached the end of tolerance for the intolerant’ is a tipping point that is unique in the western world.
It remains to be seen if Britain is capable of implementing this new intolerance for the excesses of Islam. One can only hope they are successful, and that our politicians are prepared to learn from Britain’s mistakes.
It’s an issue closely related to Immigration, and easily managed at the boarders. If we want to have David Cameron’s problems then we just need to follow their immigration example.
Despite the evidence, I have little confidence that our leadership is prepared to stray off the multiculturalists reservation in order to protect its citizens.