Peter Hitchens, author of The Abolition of Britain, has now written about what could well be the next stage of Britain’s history: Britain as an Islamic society. He explains how Islam is already filling the spiritual void left by the collapse of Christianity there, and that there is no adequate counterweight to its force in the country now.
Hitchens writes of “an astonishing Channel 4 programme last week – The Last White Kids — showed two English children who live in an entirely Muslim district becoming enthusiastic attenders at the local mosque, wrapping themselves in Islamic draperies and learning the Koran.”
The subjects of the show, “Amie Gallagher, nine, and her sister Ashlene, 12, are all-too-typical children of modern Britain in some ways, daughters of a single-parent household where the father is absent.”
Why does their family situation matter? “In Islam they seem to have found something that would otherwise be missing from their lives. At the mosque there is authority, certainty, even disciplined education in the Arabic language and the Koran.”
That discipline is in contrast to Britain’s current miasma of “sexual chaos, drunkenness, family breakdown and the epidemic use of stupefying drugs. Sooner or later, as in every other era of human history, there will be a revulsion against this licence, a desire to stop the waste, cruelty and misery which these things bring, especially to children.”
But Christianity, Hitchens explains, which brought an end to similar periods in the nation’s history, is too exhausted to do it again. “Its leaders are more concerned about foreign conflict than about domestic misery, and more interested in the sexual tastes of bishops than in trying to regulate the confused sex lives of Britain’s young.”
He paints a riveting picture of Britain in cultural transition. “The Christian churches have all but disappeared from the lives of the British people. The chapels of Wales are gaunt ruins, the great Roman Catholic churches of the industrial North West are often empty and derelict, the Anglicans scuttle about in their hallowed, lovely buildings like mice amid ancient ruins, rarely even beginning to fill spaces designed for multitudes. The choirs and the bells gradually fall silent, the hymns are no longer sung and one by one the doors are locked and places which in some cases have seen worship for centuries become bare museums of a dead faith. . . . When Christianity was part of our culture and its beliefs were handed down in homes and schools, its familiarity kept it strong. Everyone knew Bible stories, hymns and prayers. Now it is at least as alien to many young people as Islam, if not more so because it does not seem to be interested in them.
“But Islam is interested in them. And Islam is growing. More and more British cities have seen the domes and minarets of smart, prominently positioned new mosques rising in their neighbourhoods.
“A large and imposing Islamic centre is now nearing completion in Oxford, one of Christian England’s holiest places. Imagine what would happen if Anglicans sought to build a Christian centre in Qom, Isfahan, Najaf or anywhere on the soil of Saudi Arabia, and wonder what Muslim leaders think of Christian feebleness on such matters.
“Thanks to the immigration of recent decades, Britain has a young, energetic and swelling Muslim population which is increasingly assertive about its faith.”
And with this population has come nasty signs of the presence of radical Islam and the dhimmi impulse: “Official Islam may disapprove of such things but there have even been signs of the Muslim intolerance towards Christianity that is a nasty feature of so many Islamic societies. In the Bradford suburb of Girlington, not far from where the Gallaghers live in Manningham, Asian youths tried to set fire to an Anglican church. Soon afterwards, a Brownie pack leader was attacked in a nearby street by young men who snarled ‘Christian bitch’ at her. . . . If you travel to these areas, you get the sense that Islam, one of the great forces of history, long ago defeated by the armies and navies of a mighty Christian Europe, is once again feeling its strength and finding that it has been able to penetrate what were once the most impregnable fortresses of its great rival.”
The bottom line for Britain’s future: “In a country in the grip of unbelief, those with strong, clear convictions and an uncluttered message have a great advantage over those who offer nothing but choices to the perplexed and cannot seem to make up their minds about anything.”
Some trenchant questions: “If bureaucratic police and feeble justice continue to fail to suppress crime and disorder, will the savage but simple remedies of Sharia law begin to appeal to the British poor, who are already weary of seeing dishonesty triumph everywhere and lawless violence go unchecked?
“Might Islam become respectable among the politically correct middle classes, in a way that Christianity never really can, because Christianity is always associated in this country with the conservative, imperial past?” (Thanks to Little Green Footballs.)