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In Spain, where I’ve been living for over a month, I’ve gotten used to the following rule of thumb: if you want to eat, you’ll have to eat pork. Almost everything on the menu of a Spanish restaurant has involved the death of a pig or two. A paella dish will include shredded pieces of chorizo. Sandwiches are stuffed with ham, seasoned sausage or salami. Pizzas have more pork-based toppings than cheese. Even dips for potato chips have pork listed somewhere in the ingredients.

Why is this? One thought that came to me (though this is probably incorrect) was that it could be traced back to Spain’s defence against Islamic conquest in the last millennium. Perhaps, I wondered, the Spanish have sought to insulate themselves from Islam by adopting behaviours offensive to it.

Who knows.

But whether there is any truth in this or not, it is surely important to maintain those practices in our culture which cannot be integrated into any future Islamic system.

If Muslims wanted to convert Spain (and the Spanish) to Islam, the centrality of pork products would prove (as frivolous as it sounds) a genuinely strong line of defence. So much of what makes Spain, Spain, would have to be undone that the process seems destined to failure.

We have our own defences of this kind in England. The lack of Muslim integration in Britain has as much to do with alcohol as it does with Islamophobia. Integration into British culture requires (and has always required) a lot of heavy drinking. You can’t make friends at university without getting rat-faced every now and then. The same is true in the workplace or at parties, at Christmas, New Years and other occasions. This behaviour might support the European view of Englanders as violent, lager-swilling hooligans, but the effect within our own borders has been a positive one.

Although it was later revealed to be a hoax, the idea that British Muslims wanted to ban the cartoon character Peppa Pig is really no trifling matter either. The recently publicised plot was meant satirically (in order to show how crazy we Islamophobes are), but the division they jokingly referenced is real and potentially significant. Un-Islamic artworks (just like Un-Islamic traditions) provide genuine obstacles to the kind of ‘soft conquest’ promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies.

To ensure our survival, the cultural incompatibility between our native way of life and that of Islam must be rigorously maintained. It is important that Christmas and Easter are celebrated nationally, regardless of any ‘offence’ they may cause. It is crucial that Churches and Public houses remain open, and that we oppose the cultural changes diminishing their business. Those public houses with Islamophobic names – ‘the Saracen’s Head’ etc… – should be preserved as a matter of priority. Drinking – even binge-drinking – must retain its central place in our social life. The Full English Breakfast must remain a national dish.

These little, stupid-seeming issues mean more than one might presuppose. A town without a church will soon have a mosque. A town without a pub will soon have a sharia-compliant butcher. A country that becomes halal already has one foot inside the House of Islam.

D, LDN.

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