Londonistan: a follow-up to Fallaci


reacting to cartoons

Interestingly, I had recently been thinking about an article I had read much earlier, in which an interviewee had been lamenting that the London neighbourhood he had grown up in had been transformed into a Muslim enclave where the people were intolerant of anything non-Muslim. I had been wracking my brain trying to remember who, where, what… but to no avail. These things happen when you drink a lot.

My June issue of Vanity Fair arrived yesterday and one of the blurbs on the cover reads “Londonistan: How my teenage home became a terrorist breeding ground, by Christopher Hitchens”. I like Christopher Hitchens. I don’t read him because I think he is fair and objective, I read him because he says what he thinks, he says it well, and he says a lot of it ironically.

Hitchens grew up in Finsbury Park, an area of London now famous worldwide for the Finsbury Park Mosque and Abu Hamza al-Masri, the one-eyed, hook-wielding imam who preached hatred there until being jailed last year. Abu Hamza’s overnight guests at the mosque, according to Hitchens, had included Richard Reid, “in whose honour we now all have to take off our shoes at the airport,” Zacarias Moussaoui, the absent 9/11 hijacker, Ahmed Ressam, who was on his way to blow up LAX for the millennium when he was arrested at the Canadian-US border, and a Tunisian who had planned to suicide bomb the US embassy in Paris. A son and stepson of Abu Hamza were convicted in Yemen of planning terrorist acts. Needless to say, I don’t believe in coincidence, and I don’t think Hitchens does either.

London was first described as “Londonistan”, a name which has stuck, in a sarcastic manner by a French intelligence officer. Steven Simon, a former White House counter-terrorism official, has described the city as “the Star Wars bar scene” – elaborated by Hitchens as “catering promiscuously to all manner of Islamist recruiters and fund-raisers for, and actual practitioners of, holy war.”

Britain has a multi-cultural society, so where did it all go wrong? Hitchens cites a Channel 4 documentary called Undercover Mosque.

And there it all is: foaming, bearded preachers calling for crucifixion of unbelievers, for homosexuals to be thrown off mountaintops, for disobedient and “deficient” women to be beaten into submission, and for Jewish and Indian property and life to be destroyed. “You have to bomb the Indian businesses, and as for the Jews, you kill them physically,” as one sermoniser…so prettily puts it. This stuff is being inculcated in small children—who are also informed that the age of consent should be nine years old, in honour of the prophet Muhammad’s youngest spouse. Again, these were not tin-roof storefront mosques but well-appointed and well-attended places of worship… It’s not just the mosques, either. In West London there is a school…with 650 pupils, funded and run by the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Colin Cook, a British convert to Islam…who taught there for 19 years, teaching materials said that Jews “engage in witchcraft and sorcery and obey Satan,” and incited pupils to list the defects of worthless heresies such as Judaism and Christianity.

Hitchens says that the situation has deteriorated much farther and faster than people realise. And the end of the article, which I found particularly chilling, contains a quote from “a Muslim activist”, Anjem Choudary, who has referred to the events of 9/11 as “magnificent” and who has declared that “Britian belongs to Allah.” When asked if he might not prefer to live in a country that follows Shar’ia law, Choudary answered, “Who says you own Britain anyway?”

It’s a good article, a short one for Vanity Fair. It is online in its entirety here, as is an interview with Christopher Hitchens about the article.

My Oriana Fallaci post is here.




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