Something is rotten in the state of England. A series of recent decisions and proclamations by prestigious English institutions reveals an indifference to its own English way of life and a submission to brazen demands made by domestic Islamic groups which could forever diminish the historic English culture. In addition, British organizations are issuing alarming statements telegraphing an official loathing of America and Israel. In fact, a German author has aptly entitled a recent book warning of the pervasive obsequiousness weakening today’s England and Europe: "Hurray, We are Capitulating."
A highly vocal Islamic group in England is demanding that British public schools reshape entire curricula and school activities to conform to Islamic beliefs and attitudes so that Moslem students feel comfortable. In effect, English schools may begin looking and acting more like Islamic schools than what has been the traditional English one. Infected by political correctness and multiculturalism, many top British officials and its Department of Education seem ready to begin testing the "plan", though it will probably result in the discomfort of the millions of majority students who are not Moslem and impose behaviors that effectively sideline British ways in Britain itself.
Schools may soon be required to have separate swimming for boys and girls and require that girls and boys wear swimsuits covering from the neck to the knee. If such a request had come from the Church of England it would have, for certain, been summarily shot down. Certain sports, such as tennis, alien to many Islamic countries, as well as other recreational activities may soon be prohibited. There will be times set aside for prayer, with designated Islamic prayer rooms and rugs; no meat will be served during the month of Ramadan and pork will be prohibited in school throughout the entire year. There are many more demands.
The bowing of the governing and administrative elites to Islamic demands that elevate Islamic ways over England’s own, in England itself, and the willingness to deprive and disenfranchise England’s youth of their own culture epitomizes the cultural malaise and tendency to national suicide inflicting England and much of the West.
Why is it so difficult for British leaders to assert that they love their own culture and heritage -- that it is best for the country, indeed, it is the country -- and those that reside there must either embrace the culture or stay, for example, in the Islamic lands that will publicly enforce the Muslim way of life they demand to still live by? Why this eagerness in England to discard the primacy of its Anglo culture?
More than other countries, England’s elites subscribe to a multiculturalism claiming all cultures as equal, and are guided by an egalitarianism that is resentful of ascribing special virtues to a specific culture, especially its own.. This foolishness was perhaps tolerable when limited to the university classroom but its consequences are dangerous when setting national policy in an era when Islamists have embarked on a soft-jihad to Moslemize western countries, from within, by demanding parity and often primacy over the host culture. The culture will not stand if no one in England will stand up for it.
England is a particularly easy target for Islamic pickings not only due to a romantic and contrarian fascination among its upper classes of things Arabic but also because of the guilt England feels over its era of Colonialism. Though it brought medicine, education, civilization, Christianity, institutions and organization to the primitive world, England chooses to remember only the flagrancies of Colonialism. Liberalism loves guilt. In expiation, England accuses itself of past racism and thus reflexively yields to those charging it of racism. Islam in England is working the race-card heel effectively.
Too many remain perpetually ashamed of English institutions and missionaries that were part of the Colonial era. Many, therefore, decry their own institutions, religion, and heritage and are proving unwilling to battle for the maintenance of their own culture.
Normally, sober thinking and a balanced sense of history would have relieved Britons of their mea culpas and allowed them to acknowledge that the good they did far outweighed the bad. But they are saddled by a liberal egalitarianism that says that what its culture offered cannot be better than what was already extant in the culture of the colonies. It feels it imposed on others and wants never to impose again, not even in its own country -- accommodating even those in Islam whose goal is to displace Anglo/Christian civilization. No doubt, many in England are afraid of riots, sniping, and being beaten in their streets, and are appeasing. Pacifism and appeasement have surfaced before and have a history in England.
The weakening effects of multiculturalism are manifest even here in the United States as evidenced by the overwhelming majority of Democrats and even some Republicans who voted against English as our official language. This is frightening, since what identifies and binds a culture more than language itself? And we, too, in America have our share of guilt-ridden, hate-America types who consider us an imperialist power and thus not worthy of cultural preservation.
Truth be told, there is a strong identification in England for Arabic and Islamic causes. At the very moment a BBC reporter was being held hostage by jihadists in Gaza, a British union of professors and academics voted to officially ban any cooperative work with Israeli professors and outlaw their appearance at any of its academic conferences. This act of academic apartheid by British scholars against all Jewish scholars from the Jewish state is part of an ongoing effort within many upper-crust circles in English society to isolate, weaken and de-legitimatize Israel, the only democracy and culturally western outpost in the entire Middle East.
The fact that many of the outlawed Jewish professors are themselves leftists who have publicly taken the side of radical Arabs over fellow Israelis has not spared them. Some would describe such an all-inclusive, blanket brush of taint over an entire country as racism. Beyond question, its intent is to cast Israel out from the family of nations and pressure it to do what is contrary to its national safety and survival. This ever increasing sentiment was expressed last year by an official at a diplomatic dinner party in England: “Who cares about that shi--y little country, anyway!”
Not to be outdone in its loathing of Israel, the union of journalists in England recently announced that when covering the Palestinian Arab situation it expects its journalists to portray Arabs as victims and Israelis as occupiers. Just as the British academics seem to have thrown out the western enlightenment rule which champions scientific inquiry over political and racial identity so, too, the journalists there seem to have cast aside the first tenet of their craft, that of objectivity and getting both sides of the story.
Incrementally, many of our cherished and efficacious western modes of operation are being thrown overboard in an attempt to appease Islam or out of an animus against the Jewish state and America. Today Israel is denied basic considerations, but the ultimate victim of these breaches will be our very own western societies, including England.
The English union of journalists have not changed their “Palestinian-ubber-alles” view even though in the past month Palestinian groups in Gaza are outright torturing, butchering and throwing other Moslem opponents off roofs -- something Israel never did -- and denying any form of humanitarian aid to Arabs of the other side.
With nothing in return, Israel gave up the entire Gaza to the Arab population and even removed its own Israeli citizens. It said: "The Palestinian Arabs are now free to govern and make their own state." Left on their own, they have not made a state but created a jihadist hell, with anarchy, terror and conditions that did not prevail while Israel was in charge. Yet, the English union remains blind, with its one-sided story line. It is not blindness, rather unvarnished bias.
Indeed, the British news agency Reuters refuses to call the jihadists terrorists; they are sometimes even referred to as freedom fighters. But caveat emptor: the terrorism against Israel so acceptable today among Britain’s elites is not a free pass for them and will not spare them the terrorists that will be “freedom fighting” on the shores of their Isle in the future.
This fixation against Israel is rooted in the same emotion against America found among many of Britain’s classes. It is a hostility born of cowardice and envy. Because so many in Britain and throughout Europe do not have the courage nor will to battle radical Islam, they deny its threat and go so far as to blame those willing to stand up against it, America and Israel, as propagating a myth and, worse, being the cause of it. They hate those who expose their own cowardice and lack of resolution. They are off the hook for not fighting, for the demon lies not in Islam but with Jewish Israel and conservative Christian America.
And there is, of course, their envy of the wealth creation and energy characteristic of both America and Israel. The British aristocracy never disdained the possession of wealth, rather some of those who found ingenious ways to create it. British wealth that came through inherited land tended to look down on newly-created wealth produced through salesmanship and other “unrefined’ ways, prefering the wealth of lethargy over the wealth of energy. America and Israel are seen as its polar opposite, disdained for their frenetic capitalist activities. British nobility inhere a greater affinity to the wealthy Arab nations who, similarly, posses wealth not because of industriousness and creativity but because they sit atop ancestral land filled with black gold.
The lower classes in England tend to, also, condemn American-style capitalism and fast-paced Israeli entrepreneurship and success. With a few exceptions, Englishmen have voted for the Labor Party and prefer socialism. Remember, Marx never lived in Russia but lived and wrote in England.
This unwillingness by so many to side with the efforts of the demonized Americans and Israelis has resulted in British universities and professors proclaiming, just recently, they will neither help law enforcement nor even bring to its attention suspicious behavior among those on campus who could be part of diabolic Islamic schemes of carnage. This shows how twisted many have become -- startling even for university and professor types who demand protection yet deride the very police and army there to protect them.
None of this augurs well for England. Too many there are choosing the wrong side. It has lost its vitality and nerve -- a usual symptom of socialism. By and large it has never favored Israel and has thus become a magnet for Israel’s enemies. Though never the sponsor of pogroms against Jews, it has generally not liked Jews very much. There are exceptions, of course. But England has now become the favored home of those from the Middle East who hate the Jews.
The British Broadcasting Company last week apologized to Islam for calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel . As things look down the road for Britain, one day the BBC will have to apologize for calling it London and not Londonistan. It was once said that "The sun never sets on the British Empire”. Well, it long ago did and seems now to be setting on the British isle itself.
Rabbi Spero is a radio talk show host, a pulpit rabbi, and president of Caucus for America. He can be reached at www.caucusforamerica.com.