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Saturday, 17 January 2015

How large is the Islamist Fifth Column?

Nigel Farage may have been chastised for employing the term ‘fifth column’ in a recent Channel 4 News interview when referring to what he termed a ‘tiny minority’ of Muslims in the UK, but his usage of this term was correct: there is a fanatical and violent Islamist fifth column in this country. Moreover, it self-evidently exists in many other European countries, wherever in fact, there are significant Muslim populations, i.e. in every western European state (although for the sake of exactitude I ought to make clear for pedantry’s sake that we should probably exclude Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino from consideration. As for the Vatican, well . . .).  

Before proceeding further, this piece rests upon the premise that Islamists actively identify against their European host societies, as the latter are not, and do not wish to become, Islamic states under the rule of Shariah. Islamists wish to establish the rule of Shariah and can be divided into two types: violent and non-violent. The former are willing to employ terror and revolutionary methods, whereas the latter may be content to use democratic mechanisms, relying upon gradual demographic change to gradually take control of the jurisdictions in which they reside. Both are a threat, with the first group demanding the immediate attention of our security services so as to contain and neutralise any imminent and nascent plots, whereas the second group can be dealt with via a combination of long-term surveillance, the choking off of financial support, and political measures that remove the ideological ‘respect’ accorded to Islam as a religion in this country and the other states of Europe.  

Not all Muslims are Islamists of course, but all Islamists believe in Islam. Hence, the higher the resident Muslim population, the greater the potential internal threat. So, how large is the Muslim population? What is the trajectory that it is set upon? 

The 2011 census recorded a total Muslim population of 2,706,066 in England and Wales, although this of course would not have included either those people who live here illegally, or those whose command of English is so limited as to have rendered them incapable of completing the census return. It is probably safe to assume that the actual number is above 3 million.  

The official statistics show that the Muslim population experienced phenomenal growth between the censuses of 2001 and 2011, for in the first of these years only 1.5 million people in England and Wales self-reported as Muslim. When we turn to the demographic composition of the resident Muslim population compared to people identifying themselves as Christian or as possessing no religion, the differences are pronounced, and suggest that the problems with Islamism that we encounter today are likely to grow and intensify in the future. Even if all immigration from Muslim countries were to cease now, the resident Muslim population would continue its rapid growth both in terms of absolute numbers and as a proportion of the overall population.  

Whereas 26% of Christians and 39% of non-believers were aged between 0 and 24 in 2011, 48% of Muslims fell into this age bracket. In the next age bracket of 25-49, the corresponding figures were a little more evenly balanced at 31%, 42% and 40% respectively, but turning to the retired segment of the population aged 65 and above, the respective figures are radically different, being 22%, 6% and 4%. In age terms alone, the potential for Muslim fertility is thus considerably greater than for either of the other two groups. Moreover, Muslims traditionally have larger families than members of the other groups. It is also worth considering that 53% of Muslims in the 2011 census had been born abroad, although that said, many second and third generation Muslims resident in the UK have turned to Jihadism. Islam therefore remains a physically, as well as a culturally, alien presence in England and Wales, and the sense of ‘grievance’ that is so frequently voiced by its adherents, from whichever of its many different varieties, is intrinsically linked to the desire for power, both cultural and political, in a country in which their culture and values, which they believe to be innately ‘superior’, have to take a subordinate position – for now – to those of the host society.
How might a ‘fifth column’ be defined? What should we consider to be its composite elements, and which pose the greatest danger? At the heart of this fifth column lie violent Islamists. Their numbers are difficult to estimate, but as a starting point, one can take the number who have been involved in the conflict in Iraq and Syria on behalf of ISIS or other Islamist organisations such as Al-Nusra. Intelligence estimates place this at somewhere in the region of 600. A certain proportion of these are unlikely to return from the Middle East, but it is reckoned that several hundred have come back to the UK. These individuals, together with other violent Islamists working on their own domestic plots who have not travelled to Iraq or Syria, could therefore number in the high hundreds or low thousands.

The next element of the fifth column are the sympathisers of the violent Islamists who, although not willing to endanger their own lives, may be willing to aid and abet them in their deeds. This group is likely to be considerably larger, numbering at least in the low thousands. This brings us to the third element, the political Islamists, who could be divided into those who are active members of organisations and supporters of campaigns pursuing an Islamist agenda, and their passive supporters. The first group will contain many more individuals than those currently willing to pursue violent means, with the pool of potential passive supporters being massive, numbering at the very least in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

In October 2014, the Times reported that a Populus poll of 2,000 ‘British’ adults revealed that one in seven had “warm feelings” towards ISIS, with support being at its highest level amongst the under 25s. If one were to extrapolate from these figures to the general population, this would imply that circa 9.2 million adults in our country look upon the Islamist regime in question favourably. Quite clearly, one would correctly think that the majority of those who do so are Muslim. The pool of support for Islamism in the UK is therefore several million strong, including, in all likelihood, the majority of the practising doctrinaire Muslim population. This is the size of the potential fifth column.

In France, it would seem that things are even worse, with their fifth column being larger still. A poll carried out in France in August 2014 reported that 16% of the French population were favourably disposed towards ISIS. How can this be? Do French non-Muslims really have a favourable view of ISIS? If this poll is to believe, over 10 million French citizens possess such views, far higher than the generally accepted figure of 4.7 million for the number of Muslims in France.

I can appreciate that many readers will think that I and others who share my concerns regarding this issue will believe me to be unduly ‘alarmist’, even ‘paranoid’, but committed minorities can, and do, bend the societies in which they live to fit their agendas. Depressingly, the tipping point seems to set in once the committed minority reaches 10% of a given population as one piece of recent research would appear to demonstrate:

‘Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.’

In France, the UK and Germany, we are not that far away from such a tipping point with our Muslim populations. This is why the warnings of Pegida need to be heeded, and the Front National must make headway in France before it is too late (although of late Marine Le Pen has been criticised for being too accommodating to Islam. One prominent FN MEP – Aymeric Chauprade – has released a video in which he declares that France is now at war with some Muslims, but “not Muslims in general.” The video and an accompanying article can be found at the Galliwatch blog). What will we do in the UK? Who wants to return to the Middle Ages? Not me.

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