Mancunian Morrissey v. The Guardian (Round One)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

There are two things to know about the British newspaper The Guardian. One is that it is comically, even ludicrously far left. The second is that, though militantly secular in all other respects, the newspaper remains a staunch apologist and Defender of the Faith, as long as that faith is Islam.

Morrissey (he goes by a single name), a former singer for the British pop group The Smiths, and Mancunian by birth, wrote the following on his Facebook page the day of the Manchester bombing:

Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.

For what reason will this ever stop?

Theresa May says such attacks “will not break us”, but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, “will not break us” means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa. Sadiq Khan says “London is united with Manchester”, but he does not condemn Islamic State – who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an “extremist”. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?

In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private.

Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.

23 May 2017.

And here is how The Guardian reported on Morrissey’s anguished and angry Facebook remarks:

The Manchester-born singer Morrissey has hit out at politicians for their reaction to the bombing in his hometown that has killed 22 people and hospitalised 59 more.

In his statement, the former Smiths frontman claimed that politicians are safe from attacks, while the rest of the country is left vulnerable. The MP Jo Cox was murdered by a rightwing extremist last June.

That last sentence about the murder of Jo Cox is an attempt by The Guardian reporter to undermine Morrissey’s first claim, by suggesting 1) that politicians are not as safe from attack as Morrissey claims (just look at what happened to Jo Cox); and 2) since Morrissey clearly has in mind the Manchester attack, by a Muslim, The Guardian is quick to divert attention to the “rightwing extremist” who killed Cox, implicitly one among many examples of rightwing violence that might be cited.

A response to The Guardian would note, in the first place, that the murder of Jo Cox was practically a one-off; in the past three decades, the only politicians killed in the U.K., aside from Cox, have been Ian Gow, a sitting MP, in 1990, by the Provisional IRA, and a county councillor, Andrew Pennington, killed in 2000 as he tried to protect an MP who was being attacked — not for political reasons — by a certifiably insane killer.

Morrissey’s point remains: politicians don’t have to worry nearly as much as ordinary citizens about Muslim terrorists attacking them, given their state-supplied security; it is the politicians who have the “close protection officers,” the kind who stopped the Muslim terrorist Khalid Massood when he tried to attack the Palace of Westminster. It is not true — and I think Morrissey would now agree — that “politicians are [completely] safe from attacks” — but Morrissey is certainly right to see them as enjoying much greater security than ordinary Britons. They have guards at work and, if of sufficient rank, round-the-clock security. Theresa May does indeed live in a “bullet-proof bubble” and is unable to grasp how uneasy ordinary citizens now feel about their own security. As to 2), the murder of Jo Cox is the only murder by “rightwing extremists” in the U.K. in at least the last half-century, though The Guardian reporter clearly wants us to believe that there were plenty more where that “rightwing extremist” came from.

Finally, Morrissey’s grievance against those politicians who utter boilerplate banalities, or proffer canned compassion, but refuse to properly identify terrorists as “Muslims,” may also have been prompted by his unstated recognition of what British citizens now have to endure beyond the constant threat of terrorism. It’s the grooming-gangs of Rotherham, and people afraid to report the truth for fear of being labelled “racists.” It’s the Muslim-on-Infidel crimes of every sort, as Muslims help themselves to the Jizyah that they believe they have a perfect right to take. There are the is the gigantic cost of every sort of welfare-state benefit, such as subsidized housing, free medical care, free education, unemployment benefits, family allowances, that Muslims disproportionately receive. And, finally, there is the heightened cost of security — think only of the increased cost to guard airports, bus terminals and buses, trains and stations of the Underground, national monuments, museums, libraries, churches and synagogues, Hindu and Sikh temples, Christian and Jewish schools, concert halls, sports stadiums, beach promenades, everywhere that large crowds gather and offer an inviting target.

Morrissey cited government immigration policy among his complaints saying the prime minister would never change her immigration policy in the light of the attacks. It is believed that the bomber named by police, Salman Abedi, was British-born and from Manchester.

The Guardian’s comment that Salman Abedi was “British-born” is meant to mock Morrissey’s criticism of the government’s immigration policy. The Guardian’s point is clear: changing immigration policy would not have prevented Salman Abedi from attacking, for he was not an immigrant, but born in the U.K. This deliberately misses Morrissey’s point. After all, had Abedi’s parents been prevented from coming to the U.K. from Libya in the first place, there would have been no Salman Abedi born in the U.K. to attack the Ariana Grande concert.

Morrissey is furious that the British government, that is, Theresa May, refuses even to discuss the possibility of changes to her immigration policy. That would mean discussing limits on Muslim immigrants, for it is Muslims who are the ones responsible for the wave of terrorist attacks all over Europe, in the U.K., France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark. The more Muslim immigrants to Europe, the more Muslims will be born in Europe of immigrant parents, and the more of both, of course, the more some of them will become tireless missionaries, in the prisons, on the streets, in the council houses, making converts of those who find that faith a natural psychic fit, for it offers to all, including the confused and the criminal, who are well represented among the converts, an Instant Bruvverhood, a Total Regulation of Life, and a justification for what would otherwise be seen as criminal behavior. The theft of Infidel property can now be justified as proleptic Jizyah. The contempt of some Muslims for Infidel women, resulting in attacks on those who are supposedly, as in Cologne last New Year’s Day, “just asking for it” (by their dress, by their general aspect) can also justify what is, in fact, criminal sexual behavior.

Morrissey wants the U.K.’s leaders to publicly recognize a simple truth that they find so disturbing that they keep trying to avoid discussing: Islam is the cause of Muslim terrorism. No one in British politics, save for those constantly demonized as “far-right,” will point out this obvious fact. Nor another equally obvious fact: the more Muslims – whether immigrants, or children of immigrants, or converts to Islam — the more Muslim terrorists.

Morrissey also appeared to suggest that politicians were afraid to refer to Abedi as an Islamist extremist.

Well, is he right? Are politicians afraid, or not? No political figures in the U.K. who are regarded as respectable (Tommy Robinson, Paul Weston et al having long ago been consigned to the outer darkness as “far-right,” so whatever they say can be ignored) have yet described Abedi “as an Islamist extremist,” or better still, as an “Islamic extremist,” or best of all, simply as a “Muslim terrorist” or even as “a Muslim” tout court. Even now, when it is known that Abedi was a hafiz, that is, someone who has memorized the entire Qur’an, and that in recent months he was wont to chant verses while sitting on the sidewalk, he’s still being referred to only as “an extremist” — only this and nothing more. The mayor of Manchester himself now says that “Abedi was a terrorist, not a Muslim.” Does The Guardian have any examples it can adduce of politicians referring to Abedi as an “Islamist extremist”? No? Why not?

The claim that politically correct leaders routinely refuse to mention Islam when referring to terror attacks carried out by people holding a violent interpretation of the religion is common on the far-right.

This is The Guardian, tendentiously editorializing, as it suggests that the claim by Morrissey that “politically correct leaders routinely refuse to mention Islam” is a common charge on the “far-right.” It’s clear how The Guardian defines “far-right.” It means anyone who is critical of the way the subjects of Muslim terrorists, and Islamic terrorism, and Islam itself, continue to be misrepresented. It means anyone who is critical of Islam, and you are especially “far-right” if your criticism is based on an detailed knowledge of the Qur’an, Hadith, and sira, the texts and teaching of Islam.

Such knowledge makes one especially “far-right.” “Far-right” applies to anyone who refuses to be cowed by those wielding the lexical scimitar “Islamophobic.” It means anyone who is anti-Islam, no matter how far-left in every other respect that person might be. Is the rock musician Morrissey “far-right”? When did he become so? Just the other day, when he said the unsayable on his Facebook page? Are Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq far-right? Did Pim Fortuyn or Theo van Gogh or Oriana Fallaci — all of them well known for having always been on the left — suddenly become “far-right” just as soon as they revealed that they were deeply worried about Islam and the swelling numbers of Believers in Europe? Can The Guardian not recognize that many people who came to some grim conclusions after studying Islam’s texts, and observing Muslim behavior, never were”far-right”? John Quincy Adams, Tocqueville, Bertrand Russell, Winston Churchill come to mind. Were any of them “far-right”? It’s time retire this calumniating label of the mentally lazy, this Homeric epithet mechanically affixed to anyone who refuses to be delighted at Islamic deeds of murderous “martyrdom,” and for some reason insists that the demographic conquest of the advanced civilization of Europe by those who wish for that civilization’s destruction is not a consummation devoutly to be wished.

“In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private,” the singer wrote on his Facebook page. “Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.

“Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?”

Criticising the prime minister, he claimed that “her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues”.

This goes to Theresa May’s remoteness from life as it is now lived in the U.K. by ordinary people.

The musician added: “Also, ‘will not break us’ means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken – thanks all the same, Theresa.”

Morrissey also criticised the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, who he said had failed to condemn the Islamic State group after it claimed responsibility for the attack. A link to the terrorist organisation has not been confirmed by the security services, who are still working to identify whether or not Abedi worked alone or as part of a cell.

The Guardian is offering as an excuse for Sadiq Khan not condemning the Islamic State group — that it was unclear at the time Khan issued a statement about the bombing whether the attacker was linked to the Islamic State group. But Khan issued his statement after the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility; it was that claim of responsibility, that taking ownership of the attack, that should immediately have prompted condemnation of the Islamic State, whether or not it had actually been responsible. Sadiq Khan might easily have issued a statement on these lines: “The Islamic State group ‘claims responsibility’ with its wonted indecency for this latest atrocity by Muslim fanatics. It’s proud of its martyr’s feat, blowing up a bunch of teenagers. The brave muhajideen strike again, this time in Manchester. Our disgust is limitless.”

Here’s what Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, did say:

In a statement released on Tuesday, Khan said: “London stands united with the great city of Manchester today after this barbaric and sickening attack. This was a cowardly act of terrorism that targeted a concert attended by thousands of children and young people.”

Sadiq Khan, a self-described Muslim “moderate,” offers the usual boilerplate (“barbaric and sickening attack,” “cowardly act of terrorism”). He’s no Dick Whittington he, but still he should have the decency to turn again, and now that the identity of the suicide bomber is known, put out another statement, denouncing “this latest atrocity by a Muslim fanatic.” Could he do it? Isn’t it, after all, the truth? What else was Abedi but a “Muslim fanatic”?

Also in line for criticism from Morrissey was the Queen, who he said had received “absurd praise for her ‘strong words’ against the attack, yet she does not cancel today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace – for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press”.

Morrissey’s criticism of the Queen shows the extent of his fury, of his willingness to take on even a much-beloved monarch. It’s impossible to see how The Guardian could fit Morrissey’s remarks on the Queen within any conceivable definition of “far-right.” How upsetting it must be for the biens-pensants to have a rock musician from a famous band now show himself in a take-no-prisoners mood and, mirabile dictu, in the anti-Islam camp.

The Guardian may deplore Morrissey’s remarks, but many others, however, will not only welcome Morrissey’s truth-telling, but hope that now, while he has a suddenly larger audience for his views, thanks in paradoxical but pertinent part to the negative attention given his remarks by The Guardian, he will put that paper on the spot in another Facebook entry.

For this he simply need post a half-dozen Qur’an quotes, with no gloss necessary. There are so many passages from which to choose, both from the 109 “Jihad verses” and others equally unpleasant on such matters as the treatment of blasphemers, and apostates, and women. I wonder if even a single one of those verses has ever been quoted verbatim in the thousands of articles related to Islam that The Guardian has published since 9/11/2001. Perhaps now, in replying to Morrissey’s second Facebook entry, the paper can remedy its oversight.

Here are a few recommendations of Qur’an verses that deserve notice and that Morrissey might post:

Qur’an 2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers;

4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

8:12;“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] …”

8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to strike terror thereby into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”

9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”

9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not practice the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book — until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.”

And then Morrissey could post, under these verses, a simple request to The Guardian:


First published in Jihad Watch.