Theresa May’s New Approach: More of the Same

“Enough is enough,” she says after the London attacks, but clearly she wants more.

The United Kingdom has just suffered its second major jihad massacre in as many weeks, and Prime Minister Theresa May, facing an unexpectedly tough electoral challenge, is talking tough. “It is time,” she proclaimed, “to say enough is enough….Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values but when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism things need to change.”

Indeed they do. Nothing is clearer at this point than the catastrophic failure of the approach to jihad terrorism that May and her predecessors David Cameron, Gordon Brown, and Tony Blair have pursued since 911. For years, the British government has hounded, stigmatized, and demonized foes of jihad terror, falsely claiming that they represent a “far-right” equivalent to jihad terrorists, and has appeased and accommodated Muslim groups in Britain, many of which were by no stretch of the imagination “moderate,” and allowing numerous jihad preachers to operate without hindrance.

What has been the result? The jihad massacre at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester in May, and Saturday night’s jihad attacks in London. And there is much, much more to come. The British government’s approach has failed so dismally that “when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism things need to change” may be wisest thing Theresa May has ever said, or ever will say, during her tenure as Prime Minister.

One of the chief things that needs to change, if May is really serious about “taking on extremism and terrorism,” is the official denial of the jihad terrorists’ motivating ideology. No one can defeat an enemy that he doesn’t understand, much less one that he refuses to understand, and yet that is the position of the May government (and of the U.S. government as well, although we may hope that this swamp will eventually be drained): jihad terror has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. 

Yet the London attackers were hardly shy about what motivated them. One eyewitness recounted: “They went, ‘This is for Allah,’ and they had a woman on the floor, and they were stabbing her, all three, constantly.” The mother of a young man who was wounded in the attacks said: “He just stepped outside the bar for a second and a man ran up to him and said: ‘This is for my family, this is for Islam’, and stuck a knife straight in him. He’s got a seven-inch scar going from his belly round to his back.”

But Theresa May is convinced that they didn’t do it for Allah or Islam at all. She said that the jihadis were “bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division and promotes sectarianism. It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam. It is an ideology that is a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth.”

“A perversion of Islam.” May didn’t bother to explain how killing non-Muslims was a “perversion” of a religion with a holy book that thrice exhorts believers to kill those who dare to worship others besides Allah (cf. 2:191, 4:89, 9:5), tells them to “strike the necks” of the unbelievers (47:4) and to fight “the People of the Book” (primarily Jews and Christians) “until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued” (9:29). She didn’t elucidate the mysterious process by which Muhammad, who is supposed to be the founder of Islam, ending up holding a “perversion” of it, as he directed his followers to invite unbelievers to accept Islam or pay the jizya, or to go to war with them if they refused both options (Sahih Muslim 4294).

May’s continuing willful ignorance will doom to defeat her effort to change things, if she really attempts one at all. The main thing she needs to change is her mindset, and that of the British political and law enforcement establishment. But the mindset of denial and willful ignorance is deeply entrenched in Britain, such that if she loses the upcoming election, the new Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn, will make her look, of all things, tough on terror.

And so it is likely that in the near future, the British people will look back on the good old days when Islamic jihadis hit Manchester and London within two weeks, and marvel that they waited so long between terror attacks. Jihad mass murder is going to be an increasingly common feature of the British landscape for a considerable period to come, and for that, Britons have no one to thank more than…Theresa May.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.