Etter 9/11, i november 2001, ba Islamic Society of Britain om at 40 britiske opinionledere skrev under på et løfte – «The Pledge to British Muslims». Dette dokumentet innledet med terroraksjonen og fortsatte med behovet for å promotere religiøs forståelse. Listen var omfattende og inkluderte «work for greater understanding of each other’s faiths and ways of life», fordømmelse av angrep mot «places of worship» (les: moskéer) og ikke minst behovet for å unngå provoserende, inflammatorisk eller diskriminerende språkbruk.

Den tidligere redaktøren av The Telegraph, Charles Moore, var blant de som ble bedt om å underskrive på dette løftet. Men han nølte. Ikke minst fordi han mente det kanskje ikke var så lurt for avisredaktører å love noe som helst. Men det som virkelig fikk ham til å stanse opp, var at dette løftet kun var rettet mot britiske muslimer. Flere tanker meldte seg:

Why, I wondered, should editors, politicians, broadcasters and religious leaders have to make a pledge solely and specifically to Muslims? Didn’t Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus – and even poor, unled atheists and honest doubters – have just as much to fear from religious bigotry and misunderstanding?

And wasn’t there an implication of guilt in demanding such a pledge? What had the «40 key opinion formers» done to Muslims that they should have to make amends?

De konservative, under ledelse av partisekretær Ian Duncan Smith, nektet også å skrive under. Andre var mer enn villige:

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John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, both signed the pledge, to which Tony Blair had already put his name, at yesterday’s launch.

Mr Prescott read a message from Mr Blair describing the religion of Islam as «peaceful and tolerant» and saying that he would not allow it to be equated with the action of terrorists. We must not honour them with a religious justification, or a badge of faith.»

Han er nok ikke like sikker i sin sak idag, den godeste Tony Blair.

De som ikke ville skrive under på det «frivillige» løftet fikk smake de godes harme. Charles Moore skrev:

One notes that the bullying of the non-signers has started. The new Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, has been assailed on the Today programme. The Daily Mirror – which thinks that the Pledge is a «race test», though the word race is not mentioned – calls him «arrogant, ignorant and offensive».

Charles Moore utdypet i 2001 om hvorfor han ikke ville skrive under på løftet.

Denne saken ble igjen aktuell i dag, da Charles Moore skrev i the Telegraph at islamistene kun vil én ting og vi kan ikke gi etter.

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Disse flaggbærerne vil hverken gi opp eller forhandle, sier Charles Moore.

In the early years after September 11 2001, I found myself embroiled in numerous arguments with British politicians, senior police officers and “securocrats” who put forward these fear-based arguments. These atrocities happened in America, they said, because the US was too big and “provocative”: it wouldn’t happen among “our” Muslims. The answer, they went on, was to placate Muslims by praising their peaceful intentions, punishing “Islamophobia” and empowering their “community leaders”, often with government money. They were almost uncritical about Muslim leaders – their denunciations of Jews or homosexuals, their subordination of women, their calls for sharia – so long as they did not perpetrate violence.

Tidene forandrer seg. Britiske politikere er ikke lenger villige til å si at strand-massakren i Tunisia er et resultat av britisk utenrikspolitikk. Det er få som tror at vi kan snakke oss ut av jihad-terror. Det spiller ingen rolle hva vi sier, for det er ikke noe å forhandle om.

…the distinction between violent and non-violent extremism is merely operational. Islamists feel morally free to achieve their aims peacefully or violently, publicly or secretly, whichever suits. They follow a revolutionary doctrine, so there are no moderates. Islamism is declaredly determined to overthrow our way of life.

Charles Moore avslutter:

It is not paranoid to say that there is a deadly enemy within, and not intolerant to want to defeat it.

The Telegraph

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