Head of Public Policy Tim Dieppe looks at Hamas-supporting marches in London
It is now one month since the brutal and horrific terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas operatives. Every Saturday since then, around tens of thousands of Muslims have gathered to march through London in protest at what is happening in Gaza.
We can all sympathise with the desperate plight of civilians living in Gaza under the government of Hamas with supplies cut off and fuel intended for hospitals taken for terrorism. While Israel has warned civilians to flee the area and tries hard to avoid targeting civilians, Hamas benefits from the PR if there are civilian casualties and consistently uses civilians as human shields.
The situation is desperate, and the innocent in Gaza need our prayers.
Support for Hamas
While these marches in London are described as ‘pro-Palestinian’, it is clear that the vast majority of protestors are Muslim. Scenes of thousands of Muslim men bowing down in prayer to Allah in Whitehall have gone viral on social media. Calls to “free Palestine” amount to a call for the destruction of Israel in agreement with the aims of Hamas. Other chants have included “There is only one solution,” with the response, “Intifada, revolution.” Huge crowds have made these chants with no-one objecting.
Posters have proclaimed “From London to Gaza, globalise the Intifada”, and “Zionism is the new Nazism,” or “Gaza is a holocaust.” Placards have depicted a Hamas bulldozer crashing through a security fence, and others with a swastika. Some protestors have chanted “Yahud”, the Arabic word for Jew, and “Hamas.” Some demonstrators have had stickers with images of paragliders in reference to the actions of some Hamas fighters. Some have even chanted “England is a terrorist state.” These chants, posters and placards clearly demonstrate support for the aims, and even the methods of Hamas.
Last Monday, Liverpool Street Station was blockaded at rush hour by Muslims chanting antisemitic slogans while the police looked on doing nothing. Their actions were a clear breach of Section 7 of the Public Order Act 2023, but the police had no intention of enforcing that. Other demonstrations attempted to blockade Kings Cross Station, and Charing Cross Station which was forced to close.
An antisemitic slogan used at protests worldwide. Photo taken in Washington
‘Million march’ on Remembrance Day
A group called Friends of Al-Aqsa is now planning to organise a ‘million march’ for Palestine in London on Saturday 11 November which may disrupt Remembrance Day commemorations. Adverts say that buses will be organised from Batley and Dewsbury which are both areas with high Muslim populations. The school teacher in Batley who had to go into hiding after showing cartoons of Mohammad in a lesson on free speech remains in hiding to this day. Batley is a dangerous place to critique Islam. Government ministers have asked police to block the march on Saturday. Met Police has put out a statement politely asking the organisers “to consider postponing” their demonstrations, but so far the leaders have declined to postpone. One wonders whether they lack the confidence to actually ban the marches.
Met Police partiality
The Met Police have been widely criticised for lack of impartiality in its policing. Met Police officers were seen pulling down posters of kidnapped Israeli children in Edgeware. The Police defended their actions by saying that they had to take “reasonable steps to stop issues escalating and to avoid any further increase in community tension.” The problem is that the steps taken to avoid escalation always appear to avoid offending Muslims, while Muslims are not arrested for overt antisemitism.
Last Tuesday, a man was arrested by Met Police for posting a clip on X, formerly Twitter, criticising the widespread display of Palestinian flags in his Bethnal Green neighbourhood using colourful language and asking why these people are in the country. That is not what I would say or how I would express it, but is that really a criminal offence? Yet there were no arrests of Muslims for tearing down posters of kidnapped Israeli children in Leicester Square.
Hamas is a government proscribed terrorist organisation. This means it is a criminal offence to “invite support for” Hamas, or to “express an opinion or believe that is supportive of” Hamas. Yet the police are just not interested in enforcing the law. When it emerged that a Met Police advisor had previously led chants of “from the river to the sea” at a pro-Palestinian rally, the Met were embarrassed. Attiq Malik had also railed against “global censorship by the Zionists”, and was present in the police operations room during protests last month. Met Police quicky cut its ties with him, but one wonders why and how ties were established in the first place?
Separately a mosque chairman who praised the founder of Hamas was found to be advising the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as part of a “security panel” on hate crime. No wonder that ‘hate crimes’ by Muslims in support of Hamas are not being prosecuted.
The Met Police are not operating ‘without fear or favour’. They appear to be both fearful and partial. When Islam is involved, they will just not intervene. Fear of ‘community tensions’ is the justification for partiality.
What this means is that we no longer have equality before the law. Some people are treated differently to others. In other words, we no longer have a free and equal society.
This week, I revisited an article I wrote back in 2016 ahead of the Mayoral election in which Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London. The article was titled Londonistan with Khan, and it exposed some of Khan’s more explicitly Islamic statements and actions. I quoted Daniel Johnson saying: “In policing, Khan is far more likely to attach weight to the ‘sensitivities’ of Muslim community leaders than to put pressure on those communities to eradicate radicalisation.” I wrote that: “Knowing they lack political support, the police are likely to continue in their politically correct ways, with disastrous results. Fear of causing offence will rule.”
With recent events, these words look sadly prophetic.
The sight of 100,000 Muslims marching in London in support of Islamic terrorism has shocked the nation. Specific acts of terrorism can be put down to a few rogue extremists. A march of 100,000 people, however, is coordinated, organised, and cannot be put down to just a few individuals. It is now clear that large numbers of Muslims in this country sympathise with Hamas and are prepared to take to the streets to make their voices heard.
What we have seen in the last few weeks the abject failure of Multiculturalism. I explained in an article in 2018, What’s wrong with multiculturalism? It was always bound to fail. It is based on the false idea of cultural relativism. The fact is that some cultures are objectively better than others. A philosemitic culture is better than an antisemitic culture, for example. This weekend, the culture that commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms will clash with the culture that commemorates acts of terrorism.
What we have also seen is the spectre of Londonistan. A London where the police fear to offend Muslims. Where thousands come to pray to Allah. Where criticising Islamic ideas is not tolerated.
Unless something very significant changes in the Met Police this is where we are heading. What will London look like on 11 November?
What can be done?
I proposed ten policies to deal with the increased influence of Islamism in the UK back in 2016. One of them was to ensure that the police treat all people equally under the law, regardless of religion, background, culture or ethnicity. This means banning Islamist groups like Hizb ut-Tahir, and arresting preachers spewing antisemitic hatred along with all those demonstrators exhibiting support for Hamas.
It has been encouraging to see some commentators espousing a ‘more muscular approach’ to Islamism in the UK. Most notably, the former joint Downing Street Chief of Staff Nick Timothy advocated a register of imams and mosques and closing charities that promote extremist views, as well as banning the burqa in public places and stopping sharia courts. Not many people have been willing to say that we need to address Islam specifically. Even today, the government is said to be considering redefining ‘extremism’ rather than tackling Islam specifically.
Another of my policies was to robustly defend free speech so that people are clearly able to expose the false and discriminatory teachings of Islam without fear of reprisals. Another was to unashamedly identify this nation as a Christian country with laws based on Christian values. These policies are not difficult to do, but they do require moral courage. Moral courage is lacking in our society today because we have largely abandoned the Christian foundations of our agreed moral framework. Until this is recovered, I predict that Islamism will only increase in the UK and the clash of cultures could get very nasty indeed.