Originally Published by The Sun: 6 June 2017
THERE has been an unrelenting pattern of low-tech terror waged by Islamists.
But beyond candle-lit vigils, hashtags and vows of unity, few have solutions.
To date most leaders have called for beefing up security agencies to better pre-empt attacks. But that is as effective as sticking a plaster on a broken leg.
To get to the root cause Western governments must intervene far sooner.
Although many Brits have heard of jihad, few have heard of dawa.
In theory, dawa is a simple call to Islam. As Islamists practise the concept, however, it is a subversive, indoctrinating precursor to jihad. A process of methodical brainwashing that rejects assimilation and places Muslims in opposition to Western civic ideals.
It is facilitated by funding from the Middle East, local charities and is carried out in mosques, Islamic centres, Muslim schools and even in people’s living rooms.
Its goal is to erode and ultimately destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with Sharia law.
We must no longer turn a blind eye.
Islamism is an ideology incompatible with the values of liberal societies – constitutional democracy, freedom of speech, women’s rights, human rights, sexual freedom and the rule of law.
It was heartening to hear Theresa May on the weekend acknowledge the need for an ideological campaign against radical Islam. And she said this radical ideology “cannot be defeated by military intervention alone”. She is right.
Britain must mount a strategy to counter dawa, just as it countered the ideology of communism in the Cold War.
When Mrs May wins the election her Cabinet must identify and shut down the networks of dawa. She must review Britain’s relations with foreign countries that promote dawa as part of their foreign policy such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey and others.
Immigrants and refugees must be subject to ideological scrutiny. Those who are supportive of Islamism should be refused entry or deported. At any rate they must never be granted citizenship.
Those who settle in migrant-dominated communities, who choose not to adopt British values, must no longer be allowed to go under the radar. This “cocooning” breeds hostility to the host culture.
Perhaps most controversially, Islamic schools must be shut down if they are guilty of indoctrinating extremism.
These necessary policies will no doubt set off alarm bells among progressives.
But as Mrs May rightly said, Britain has been too tolerant of Islamic extremism for too long and some uncomfortable, life-saving solutions must be put in place.
Former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and founded the AHA Foundation. She is author of The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement, and How to Counter It.