How Britain Made James Foley's Killer

Hundreds of young British Muslims have found their way to ISIS and other extremist groups in the Middle East, including James Foley’s executioner. So how did the United Kingdom allow so many of its own citizens to become radicalized?

08.27.14 9:45 AM ET

The video of James Foley’s execution was shot in HD, edited, and professionally released, designed for sharing. The stoic bravery displayed by Foley, in stills that went around the world, stood in contrast to that of his executioner: lanky, brandishing a knife over a bound man, his face covered in a coward’s mask, sweating under a balaclava in the desert sun.

I didn’t watch the video. But I learned within minutes that the masked jihadi had spouted his vainglorious threats in an English accent—to be precise, a South London one. Americans were shocked by this. Britons were not.

It is all too probable to us that a generation of bitter, warped teenagers and twentysomethings, spoiled and cosseted by a state they despise, have run away, stolen their parents’ credit cards and headed off for mass murder in Syria and Iraq. If true Islam has five pillars, then the fake Islam practiced by this lot has three: computer addiction, welfare dependency, and state-sponsored extremism, spoon-fed to them by well-meaning Britons.

We have seen ourselves as superior to Americans because we are more multicultural. Our neighborhoods are diverse; we don’t routinely arm our police. There are hardly any deaths from gun-related violence, and the Conservative party, unlike the Republicans, who in Eric Cantor lost their only non-Christian member of Congress, is full of Protestants, Catholics, Sikhs, Muslims and Jews. Ferguson would be impossible in Britain—it just would not happen.

All of that is a legitimate matter of pride. Yet we have allowed our pride in our tolerance to go much too far, and the losers are women, girls, other Muslims, and my country’s honor.

Ashamed of the visceral racism shown in the eighties by skinheaded football hooligans who would shout “Go home, Paki” and burn down the houses of Bangladeshi immigrants, Britain, as a society, declared that while we are a Christian country (the Church of England is the established religion) we would not allow Islamophobia to triumph. So far, so good. However, politics and pandering soon stuck their heads in. Muslim immigrants voted Labour. Labour, in turn, paid no mind when Muslim women were denied the vote through a disgusting “postal voting” law that allowed the “head of the household” to vote for their wives and daughters.

Next, Labour established, in law, binding Sharia tribunals that Muslims could attend instead of normal British courts. In opposition, my party, the Conservatives, promised to repeal them. In government, nothing was done. The arguments against this are so obvious and clear cut I blush at having to type them out, but here goes: A Muslim woman in a legal dispute with her Muslim husband (since only Muslims may attend the Sharia Muslim Arbitration Tribunal) is clearly at a massive disadvantage under Sharia law. And its very existence is Islamophobic, if we use that term as discriminating against Muslims, rather than the religion—what “good Muslim woman” could refuse to attend a Muslim Arbitration Tribunal? Given that they exist, how could she insist on a secular court?

So the UK state funds Sharia scholars who tell fathers how best to disinherit their daughters, and tells women to return to domestic violence situations and abusive husbands. Again and again, journalists and TV reporters have gone undercover to show the shocking misogyny of Sharia courts. But the government—a Conservative government that swore blind in opposition it would rid us of this evil, will do nothing, fearing the taunt of racism. And so it is Asian British women who are flung to the wolves.

Nor does the rot stop at Sharia courts. Forced marriage is commonplace, and was only made a crime in June of this year. “Marriage” is a euphemism I disdain here; couples who force their daughters to enter into a fake union are abetting their rape over and over again. The maximum penalty is seven years. Over and over, it is British women and British girls who are sacrificed on the altar of cultural surrender to the internal Sharia state.

“Isolated incidents,” I hear you scoff. They’re not. And the willingness to dump on British women in the name of Sharia law is a rot that runs up and down the length of society. The guidance from the official body that represents British universities, Universities UK, stated that it was acceptable for Muslim societies to force female students to sit away from males if they wanted to attend a speech—guidance that, after a massive social media campaign led by many liberal and secular Muslim women along with their non-Muslim peers, was finally withdrawn.

The Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, commented on that one; he said the guidance was not acceptable. Yet this year, he did not say one word when OFSTED, the education regulator, concluded that it could, in theory, be lawful to allow Muslim state schools to force all female pupils into the veil and to segregate them from boys in the classroom. Why did he not? In the same year, the Law Society—the body, similar to the American Bar Association, which represents UK lawyers—issued guidance as to how best to disinherit women and non-Muslim children under Sharia law in a practice note. Again, the government did nothing.

The then-Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the established Church of England, disgusted a nation when he too endorsed binding Sharia law courts. And Lord Philips, the then-Master of the Rolls, Britain’s most senior judge, did the same thing. In opposition, Dominic Grieve, a Conservative member of Parliament, condemned this. When he became Attorney General, he went along with it blindly, and no amount of exposés printed or broadcast on the anti-woman nature of Sharia courts could protect Muslim women from them.

All of this, of course, is carried on in the age of extreme welfare dependency and of computer addiction. Abu Hamza, the preacher of hate finally extradited to the United States on terror charges, was on welfare, as are many Muslim extremists. The UK subsidizes them, and they preach terror and are permitted to remain because of the Human Rights Act, an invidious, broadly drawn law that a liberal judiciary uses to overturn deportation orders. Meanwhile, disaffected youth, taught that it is fine to discriminate against women and embrace Sharia, play Call of Duty all day and sink into Twitter radicalism.

This is the environment that produced James Foley’s murderer. This is the system that is sending hundreds of young British men to fight for ISIS. I pray that by the time my daughter is old enough to vote, we will have found the strength to stand against the sheer evil of Sharia law, and purged it from British civil life. As for this aspect of today’s Britain, and the Conservative party’s acquiescence to it, I am only glad Margaret Thatcher did not live to see it.