Usman Khan Anjem Choudary islamist

The Islamists amongst us: rehabilitation or indefinite detention?

“Enough is enough,” said Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the Islamist slaughter of seven innocent people on London Bridge in June 2017. “We must not and cannot pretend that things can continue as they are,” she explained, and she went on to talk of the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism, that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism”. There had been far too much tolerance of extremism, she said, and an antidote was more urgent than ever: “It will only be defeated when we turn people’s minds away from this violence, and make them understand that our values, pluralistic British values, are superior to anything offered by the preachers and supporters of hate.”

Usman Khan, disciple of Anjem Choudary and convicted terrorist, has killed two more people on London Bridge. He was out of prison on licence, wearing a tag so he could be monitored. He had served just half of his time, and the law (as it stood at the time of his sentence) afforded him the luxury of mandatory parole, as it did with Choudary, who was released last year. There is no parole board to persuade or dupe into believing that they have repented of their evil ways: liberty was their statutory right. Despite Theresa May’s overtures of urgency and intolerance of the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism”, Usman Khan was free to attend a Cambridge University conference at London Bridge, where he killed two more innocent people.

As many as 70 convicted terrorists released from prison could now be plotting London Bridge III in their quest to establish the British Caliphate.

How do you “turn people’s minds” away from their evil Wahhabi ideology, when they are persuaded it is the path to righteousness and glory? How do you “make them understand” that our heretical values and blasphemous beliefs are superior to their sacred revelation? How do you teach devout Islamists that “pluralistic British values” are a better way of life and a surer path to salvation than the example of their prophet Mohammed?

How do you open their minds to the possibility that Mohammed was wrong?

How do you teach a Roman Catholic that theirs is not the ‘One True Church’ founded by Jesus Christ, and that the Magisterium errs in matters of faith? How do you teach a Protestant that there is no such thing as a personal relationship with God through Christ, and that the Reformation was a profound mistake? How do you teach Jews that there is not only one God, and that the Law of Moses has been supplanted by a dispensation of grace? How do you teach Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists that enlightenment does not liberate the soul to any kind of nirvana, and that reincarnation is a deceitful bondage?

Would a few years in prison with a mandatory course in “pluralistic British values” really change the theological mind or the spiritual discernment of the devout, pious and zealous soul who is utterly convinced of the justice and righteousness of his sacred mission?

If not, why are politicians, lawyers and the media all currently arguing about what went wrong in the sentencing and ‘rehabilitation’ of Usman Khan, when the root of the Islamist problem is theological, historical and spiritual as well as social and political?

You don’t change hearts and minds with a few years in prison, do you? Doesn’t persecution tend to reinforce religious conviction and inspire a greater sense of unity in divine righteousness? What kuffar programme of Islamist ‘de-radicalisation’ is going to be assuredly effectual against those who believe themselves to be true and faithful Muslims, prepared to die for their devotion to the cause of Mohammed in accordance with the will of Allah to usher in the Caliphate?

Like Theresa May, you may believe Islamism to be “a perversion of Islam and a perversion of the truth”, so how do you educate, indoctrinate or inculcate the Islamist mind into ‘pure’ Islam and unadulterated Islamic truth? In order to encourage ‘moderate’ (/’pure’) Islam, its theology must be clearly defined and its creed codified. Is someone (a government ‘Faith Czar’?) going to nail a liberal-democratic 95 theses to the door of every mosque? Who is going to teach this ‘reformed’ and ‘moderate’ Islam that embraces abortion, homosexuality and same-sex marriage if, as one presumes, this ‘moderate’ Islam must espouse equality, tolerance and mutual respect?

The concept of the Caliphate is as intrinsic to Islamic theology as the New Jerusalem is to Christian eschatology. Certainly, the political foundations and moral precepts of the Caliph are disputed across and within the divergent strains of sharia, but you cannot challenge the variably apprehended values of the Caliphate by enforcing ‘British values’ any more than you can abolish divergent understandings of holiness, justice and mercy from the New Jerusalem. If there is no certain or sure way to rehabilitate the Islamist mind or reform their evil ideology, why are they allowed out of prison on licence, wearing a tag? If a path to restorative justice is not easy to discern, doesn’t that just leave retribution? Shouldn’t the foreign-born Islamists amongst be swiftly repatriated, and those that are home-grown be subject to indefinite detention? Or is enough not really enough?