Like many well-meaning infidels, Cameron took pains to explain to Muslims and everyone else that true Islam is actually kind and gentle: "Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a political ideology supported by a minority." All that ka-boomy diversity is overblown, he thinks.
Islam is a Religion of Peace?!
We are so relieved and reassured. You can read Cameron's speech at the government's Number 10 website: PM's speech at Munich Security Conference.
Naturally, the remarks were newsworthy on both sides of the Atlantic. The New York Times started out well enough, but found it necessary midway through to mischaracterize Enoch Powell's famous 1968 speech as a racist statement which all British politicians must now avoid. (NB: Islam is a religion open to all races, from Jihad Jane to you or me.)
Cameron Criticizes ”Multiculturalism' in Britain,Of course, Powell never used the words "rivers of blood" but quoted the Aeneid when he remarked, "As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood." It's dangerous to be better read in the classics than journalists. Another notable point is Cameron's call for a return to "muscular liberalism" which the Times quoted. Tough liberals - politicians realistic about America's enemies - were once fairly common in this country, like Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. These days, however, the loony pacifism of the far left is the dominant ideology, even though it is often not followed in fact, as shown by pols like Obama who swear to immediately abandon conflicts in progress but don't.
New York Times, February 5, 2011
LONDON - Faced with growing alarm about Islamic militants who have made Britain one of Europe's most active bases for terrorist plots, Prime Minister David Cameron has mounted an attack on the country's decades-old policy of "multiculturalism," saying it has encouraged "segregated communities" where Islamic extremism can thrive.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich on Saturday, Mr. Cameron condemned what he called the "hands-off tolerance" in Britain and other European nations that had encouraged Muslims and other immigrant groups "to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream."
He said that the policy had allowed Islamic militants leeway to radicalize young Muslims, some of whom went on to "the next level" by becoming terrorists, and that Europe could not defeat terrorism "simply by the actions we take outside our borders," with military actions like the war in Afghanistan.
"Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries," he said. "We have to get to the root of the problem."
In what aides described as one of the most important speeches in the nine months since he became prime minister, Mr. Cameron said the multiculturalism policy - one espoused by British governments since the 1960s, based on the principle of the right of all groups in Britain to live by their traditional values - had failed to promote a sense of common identity centered on values of human rights, democracy, social integration and equality before the law.
Similar warnings about multiculturalism have been sounded by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. But, if anything, Mr. Cameron went further. He called on European governments to practice "a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism," and said Britain would no longer give official patronage to Muslim groups that had been "showered with public money despite doing little to combat terrorism." [. . .]
British leaders, particularly from the Conservative Party, which Mr. Cameron leads, have mostly been careful to avoid arguments that might expose them to charges of holding racially tinged views since a notorious speech in 1968 in which Enoch Powell, a leading Conservative, warned of "rivers of blood" if nothing was done to curb Caribbean immigration to Britain.
Cameron's speech naturally got a lot of attention in Britain.
Muslims must embrace our British values, David Cameron says, Daily Telegraph, February 5, 2011The Telegraph also supplied a video for our edification:
Entering the debate on national identity and religious tolerance, the Prime Minister declared an end to "passive toler
ance" of divided communities, and say that members of all faiths must integrate into wider society and accept core values. To be British is to believe in freedom of speech and religion, democracy and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality, he will say. Proclaiming a doctrine of "muscular liberalism", he said that everyone, from ministers to ordinary voters, should actively confront those who hold extremist views.
He warned that groups that fail to promote British values will no longer receive public money or be able to engage with the state. His speech, to an international security conference in Munich, comes after The Daily Telegraph disclosed the extent to which the British intelligence community fears the "unique threat" of terrorist attacks by radicalised British Muslims.
Has the objection of the English people to extreme levels of hostile immigrants to the country finally reached the PM's consciousness? Or perhaps the warnings of the intelligence agencies about an "unstoppable wave of home-grown suicide bombers" has made a dent. Who can say with politicians?