The trial of UK Drummer Lee Rigby’s two Islamist killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, has got London mayor Boris Johnson hot under the bouffant. According to his latest column in the Daily Telegraph, he doesn’t think enough is being done to prevent future Islam-invoking murderers from emerging within our midst. And he knows that it’s got something to do with political correctness gone a bit mental.
His principal problem is that there are ‘thousands’ of parents out there with really, really Islamist views. This means that their children are being inculcated with these really, really Islamist views, or, to use the current parlance, ‘radicalised’. But unfortunately – and this is what is twisting Boris’s blood – the authorities lack the clear legal backing to rescue these junior jihadists from their parents before placing them into care. (Quite what is a radicalising view is unclear but, for the sake of Guardian-reading parents, one hopes it amounts to more than thinking Western society is dispiritingly materialistic and that Tony Blair was fond of the odd white lie.)
As Johnson sees it, what is preventing the legislation that would enable social services and, presumably, counter-terrorism officials, to take kids away from parents deemed really, really Islamist is ‘what I am obliged to call political correctness’, that is, ‘an unwillingness to be too judgemental about other cultures’. He goes on: ‘We need to be less phobic of intrusion into the ways of minority groups and less nervous of passing judgment on other cultures. We can have a great, glorious, polychromatic society, but we must be firm to the point of ruthlessness in opposing behaviour that undermines our values. Paedophilia, FGM, Islamic radicalisation…’
It is in that closing three-word-long litany – paedophilia, FGM, Islamic radicalisation – that the core of Johnson’s argument rests: he is trying to equate parents who hold Islamist views, and no doubt propagate these to their kids, with adults who either sexually abuse children or mutilate girls’ genitalia. Hence, as Johnson puts it, he wants ‘Islamic radicalisation’ recognised as a ‘form of child abuse’.
If ‘Islamic radicalisation’ really was ‘a form of child abuse’, then Johnson just might have a point. If holding views many might find disagreeable and relentlessly banging on about them to your own kids really was akin to sexually assaulting them, then, yes, Johnson might well have made an argument to justify the dismantling of thousands of families. As I say, if Islamic radicalisation really was ‘a form of child abuse’.