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  • First published on this blog in January, 2016

The presence of Islam in 21st century Britain is no more natural or inevitable than the presence of Sikhism in Chile. It’s worth repeating this fact whenever possible or appropriate. This is because many fake liberals continue to push the argument that Islamophobes such as you or I are somehow unworldly, retrograde, or unrealistic for opposing Muslim settlement in the contemporary West.

Some commentators go even further, saying that far from being a new and foreign element in our society, Islam is a traditional part of Europe, citing irrelevant factors like the antique conurbations of Muslim Sicily, Malta or Andalucía. Islamic influence, they claim, can be found in Europe’s system of law, code of social ethics, philosophy, medicine, architecture and geography. Given that this is so, why shouldn’t Muslim Pakistanis, Turks or Arabs live in present-day Leeds or Stockholm? They are as responsible for the greatness of these places as the natives…right?

No. Not right at all. It is certainly true that Islam’s Andalusian Golden age imparted a great number of ideas to European elites, many of which are now claimed as entirely and originally European. However, such contributions were mostly limited to disciplines of what we would now call ‘academia’ and in-any-case are dwarfed many times over by the influence of European ideas on Muslim civilisation. Do Europeans have the moral right to settle in Muslim countries on that basis? No, of course they don’t. And vice versa.

Leftists like to push the myth of European-Islamic co-development for one reason above all; they think it will normalise the presence of Islam in Europe and erase the memory of a Europe without Islam. For if the Muslim presence in Europe can be made to seem normal, traditional or ancient, objections to it will naturally seem irrational, unreasonable and unrealistic.

Another way the same effect can be achieved is via the media, and especially the screen media. Over Christmas, like most Britons, I found myself slouched in front of the television for extended periods of time. During that time I witnessed an astonishing barrage of British Islamic subject matter. There was the Citizen Khan Christmas special on BBC One (Note: CK is a woefully unfunny Muslim sitcom). There were the quiz shows with a disproportionate number of Muslim contestants, many of whom wore Hijabs or prayer caps. There was Eastenders – perhaps the most popular show in Britain today – with gripping plotlines involving characters called Shabnam, Kush, Tamwar, Masood, Fatima, Kamil and Ali. National (and even more so) local newsreaders and weathermen/girls were disproportionately Muslim. And so on. Over time, this normalises something abnormal; the slow bleed of east into west; the merging of two contraries into a single untenable consensus.

This is new. This is unnatural. And this is not something we should be tolerating.