Better one thousand enemies outside the house than one inside—Arabic proverb.
In 2006 a powerful British leftist gave a speech in Cairo that strongly defended Islam. Commenting on a contemporary controversy in which cartoon drawings of Mohammed had been published in a European newspaper, he said:
The true mark of a civilized society is the respect it pays to minorities and strangers. The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others.
Of course this was to be expected from the head of some NGO [Non-Governmental Organization] or pro-Islamic media lobbyist. But this leftist was Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor, who is being crowned King Charles III of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth countries, or “realms” as they are still called, on Saturday, May 6 [Prince Charles criticizes Danish cartoons, NBC, March 21, 2006].
The cartoon controversy, eagerly fanned by both Muslims and the European media, was over symbols. The Gates of Vienna are equally symbolic—of the failed attempt by Ottoman Muslims to occupy Europe in the 17th century. The battle there in 1683, largely won by Jan Sobieski’s Polish army, marks the farthest incursion Islam made into the continent.
Without an army in the sense usually understood, today’s Muslim hordes are occupying Europe with symbols every bit as potent as the Gates of Vienna.
Last month saw the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is a devout Muslim and he saw to it that Ramadan was celebrated in style. London’s Oxford Street used to be famously lit up at Christmas, although the ceremony was underplayed last year as Christianity is increasingly suppressed in Britain. But that was not the case with the “Ramadan lights” which illuminated neighboring Piccadilly Circus and were all over the media [Sadiq Khan switches on London’s first Ramadan lights in Piccadilly Circus, by Tom Ambrose, The Guardian, March 21, 2023].
Advertisements on London’s famous red buses suggested—or perhaps commanded—that Londoners praise Allah.
Elsewhere in the capital, symbolism was even more evident as every London landmark was occupied and Islamized.
The epicenter of British football (soccer, to Americans) is Wembley Stadium, and this iconic venue hosted “open iftar”—the first daylight meal after Ramadan—and also Sikh Vaisakhi events, the latter doubtless added to avoid accusations of favoritism towards Islam [We’ll be hosting Ramadan open Iftar and Vaisakhi events at Wembley in April 2023, The FA, March 23, 2023] The Sikh community in Britain is famously peaceful, undemanding and generous (all Sikh temples are unlocked at any hour and have food set out for the hungry). Sikh girls also suffered disproportionately at the hands of British Muslim grooming gangs. Other soccer grounds hosted similar events for the end of the Ramadan fast, including Villa Park in the Midlands, a region densely populated with Muslims. This saved them a journey to London. The mountain came to Mohammed.
While football may be a more brutish part of what remains of British culture, three venues more associated with the term were also occupied by Muslims in April.
On the steps of the Royal Albert Hall, over 500 British Muslims and their non-Muslim friends gathered to celebrate an #OpenIftar during the month of Ramadan. https://t.co/jWy2Q9XOBy #Islam #Ramadan2023— About Islam (@AbtIslamNet) April 10, 2023
The Royal Albert Hall, above, home of the famous Proms and its celebration of classical music, The Victoria and Albert Museum,below, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theater all saw a mass of Muslims praying either outside or inside.
The British media, far more leftist even than the American media, made sure the public saw every iftar celebration. This is a country in which Nativity plays are increasingly being banned, COVID having been a perfect pretext for this [Disarray in a manger! by Alastair Lockhart, Mail Online, December 6, 2022]. Not so Islamic red-letter days.
To set the idea of open Muslim prayer into context, it is instructive to compare it with a story of open Christian prayer. Open prayer is not a statutory offence in Britain—except at Hyde Park’s famous Speaker’s Corner, strangely enough, given that this is supposed to be an oasis of free speech. The Royal Parks “does not permit collective acts of worship or other religious observances” in the Royal Parks Estate. But that is now contingent, dependent on which religious adherents happen to be praying. Muslims have taken care to occupy that particular redoubt [ Enforce the rules regarding praying at speakers corner for all religions., Change.org, 2019].
Compare and contrast hordes of Muslims openly praying out loud at London’s most famous landmarks with the story of a Christian woman praying silently [Police tell Catholic woman ‘praying is an offence’ as she is arrested for second time for silently praying in ‘exclusion zone’ outside abortion clinic, by Elly Blake, Daily Mail, March 7, 2023].
And so the Islamic advance continues. There was an iftar service at the British Library. This is supremely ironic as this is one of the world’s greatest book collections, whereas devout Muslims—whose ancestors burnt so many libraries in their history—believe only three books may be read: the Koran, the Hadith, and The Reliance of the Traveler. Nigerian Islamists call themselves Boko Haram, or “books are forbidden.”
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of London is Nelson’s Column. It is common, in older films, to see “establishers” if the action is moving between countries. The Eiffel Tower indicates Paris, the Statue of Liberty the USA and so on. Britain, and particularly its capital, was always represented visually either by the tower of Big Ben or Nelson’s Column. Here is the plinth on which the statue of Britain’s most famous naval commander stands, lit up and with the words Eid Mubarak (the end of Ramadan) projected on the column.
Fantastic scenes from Trafalgar Square as Eid celebrations begin in London and around the world. Sending my warmest wishes to everyone observing—from my family to yours, #EidMubarak. pic.twitter.com/xymqaFyOR1— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) May 12, 2021
The London Eye Ferris wheel is not easy to project on, but the lighting engineers managed a crescent moon.
And Muslim symbolic influence is not confined to England. North of the border, as the English say, Muslim politician Hamza Yousaf, the recently elected Scottish First Minister (although his Scottish National Party is currently embroiled in a corruption crisis) took his oath of allegiance in traditional Islamic dress.
When first inducted into the Scottish Parliament in 2016, he took the oath in both English and Urdu. He recently arranged to meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, effectively to discuss a Scottish referendum on independence or, if you’d rather, the partition of the kingdom.
That kind of thing used to happen when kings had names like Ethelred and Indulf, not Rishi and Hamza. Yousaf is a Muslim, Sunak is a Hindu. This is Great Britain in 2023. The Empire certainly did strike back.
And physical space is not the only medium to be colonized. As pubs close down, forced out of business by COVID lockdowns, mosques—linguistically disguised as “community centers”—sprout like mushrooms. With them, they bring the sound pollution known as the adhan, or Islamic call to prayer. Barack Hussein Obama described it as the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. Personally, I would rather listen to a fat drunk singing My Way in a karaoke bar, but we’ll put that down to cultural difference.
The invasive occupation of sound will be familiar to anyone who has ever sat on a bus or train with someone playing rap music with no headphones, so that all may partake. It is another strand in the Islamic desire to control sensual input, aural this time rather than optical. Once it sounds in English towns, it will not be silenced. Church bells—the most beautiful English sound I have ever heard—most assuredly will.
Visually symbolic occupation—what are now called “optics”—sends a powerful semiotic message. The Germans in Paris in 1940, American GIs raising Old Glory at Iwo Jima, British Paratroopers making Argentinians sit down and shut up at Goose Green, all of these are images that compound entire chapters of history appropriate to a time which Guy Debord called “the society of the spectacle.”
The visual, not the textual, is now the marque for modern media. And European media are absolutely supportive of this succession of images of an occupying force.
Another famous European city celebrates its Muslim population, and applauds the fact that it is “around 200,000 heads and it is still growing.” The city in question has a population of under two million, so this is quite a percentage.
That city may have unfastened its gates, but it still bears the same name it did in 1683—Vienna.
#Ramadan Mubarak! #DYK that the vast majority of Austria's 700,000 Muslims observe the holiday?— Embassy of Austria in the United States (@AustriainUSA) May 16, 2018
📷 The Vienna Islamic Center, located close to @UN_Vienna, is the largest mosque in Austria. It was inaugurated in 1977. pic.twitter.com/pvIN65I7x5
Mark Gullick [Email him] has a PhD in philosophy. Originally from London, he has relocated to Costa Rica. He has also written for TakiMag, New English Review, Counter Currents (including a monthly UNION JACKAL column on general political and cultural topics, Standpoint and The Brazen Head.