Bill Carmichael: Beheading is wake-up call to the world

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IN an act of unspeakable barbarity a terrorist from the Islamic State – apparently a British man judging by his accent – saws off the head of an American journalist with a knife in a sickening stunt that is filmed for posterity.

Back in Britain the black flag of that same Islamic State flutters triumphantly over an East London housing estate, just a few miles from where unarmed soldier Lee Rigby was butchered in the street by two Islamist fanatics.

Elsewhere in the UK synagogues and Jewish businesses are repeatedly attacked and in Manchester pro-Palestinian activists march through the city centre giving the Nazi salute.

If you aren’t connecting the dots here my friends, then I am afraid you are not paying sufficient attention.

We are under attack on many fronts around the world. Our enemies – at home and abroad – are merciless and getting stronger and it is about time that we woke up to the scale of the threat to our lives and liberties.

Islamists, those that want to destroy enlightenment values and establish a new Islamic empire known as the Caliphate, are on the march, and the choice for the West is stark – either defeat them or submit.

Our enemies come in many guises. As al-Qaida they fly passenger jets into tower blocks; as Boko Haram they kidnap schoolgirls and sell them into sexual slavery; as the Islamic State they murder anyone who gets in their way including Christians and even fellow Muslims; as Hamas and Islamic Jihad they fire missiles at civilian targets.

The name changes but the political philosophy of conquest and oppression stays the same – and all those who disagree with them have to be either killed or converted. There is no chance of compromise or accommodation. These people are not interested in negotiation or peaceful coexistence.

At the moment we are in danger of losing by default by not even bothering to turn up for the fight. While Islamists run riot around the world David Cameron reluctantly breaks off his holiday in Cornwall to issue a formulaic condemnation, and US President Barack Obama can hardly be bothered to interrupt his latest golf game.

When the “leader of the free world” has finally perfected his swing perhaps he’ll find the time to come up with another lame hashtag – #pleasedon’tbeheadourboys perhaps?

The UN meanwhile has been typically useless.

I am afraid this isn’t good enough. We need a co-ordinated action by Western democracies and our allies around the world to halt the march of the Islamists using all the financial and military muscle we can muster.

And don’t for a moment think that this is a dispute a long way away they shouldn’t concern us. Around 700 young British Muslims have flocked to volunteer to fight jihad in Syria and Iraq.

Once they are done hacking people’s heads off and murdering children, do you think there is any chance that they can be re-integrated into a peaceful and civilised society? Not a chance. They will be a very real threat to the UK’s security for many years to come.

And although most Muslims are of course peaceable people, it would be wrong to think the support for violent jihad is insignificant. A survey this week from ICM Research found that seven per cent of UK respondents supported the Islamic State. In France the figure was 15 per cent. That is a major problem for the Islamic community and for the rest of us too.

This is an existential threat. The battle is between the head hackers, paedophiles and racists on one side and the supporters of liberty, equality and human rights on the other.

There will only be one winner.

Illogical Galloway

Bradford West MP George Galloway argues that his attempt to ban Israelis from entering Bradford can’t be racist because Israeli is not race.

OK George, but Pakistani isn’t a race either, and by any measure you care to mention Pakistan has a far worse human rights record than the tiny democracy of Israel.

So presumably George would be entirely happy if a town in Yorkshire – let’s say Ilkley for example – decided to institute a ban on all Pakistanis entering the area. What’s sauce for the goose…