“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
– H.L. Mencken
Well, it looks like they finally did it! After years of trying to nail him to the wall, only to be met with a chorus of ‘U Can’t Touch This’, the British state finally succeeded in shivving hate-preachin’ Islamist icon Anjem Choudary last month. The media let forth a collective cheer upon announcement of the news, with columnists from various outlets expressing their elation that the clown prince of the caliphate had finally received his comeuppance. I found myself somewhat entertained by the coverage, particularly the parts which shone a light on the pious propagandist’s party days as Randy “Andy”.
I found myself considerably less amused by the pretext under which he was arrested; according to reports, Choudary, along with co-Islamist Mohammed Rahman, faces a decade-long incarceration for swearing allegiance to desert pirates Daesh (a.k.a. ISIS) and exhorting his YouTube audience to take up arms and sod off to Syria to join them. Understandably, I found it outrageous: They want to lock him up just for that? I expected something approaching material support to invite the retribution of Scotland Yard and the Old Bailey—a bit of funding here, an ironclad terror plot there—but nope!
Instead, I got the story of a bloke dragged before the gavel for being nowt more than a bit of a mouthy cunt.
As such, the torrent of triumphalism gushing through the press left me cold. For every Brendan O’Neill contesting the courts, there were a thousand columnists applauding their crazy measures; even so-called free-speech advocates and classical liberals like Douglas Murray and Maajid Nawaz congratulated Choudary’s capture in a disappointing dissent from form (then again, given how they exempted “Holocaust denial” and “hate speech” from their “defence” of free speech following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, I can’t say I was terribly surprised). And, even keeping in mind her nationalistic sentiments and marked animus towards Islam, I thought Katie Hopkins would’ve known better than to endorse collar-clutching for talking bollocks on the Internet, given her own run-ins with the rozzers; to quote the title of a more recent column of hers: “Big Brother is watching all of us – and YOU could be next”.
Choudary, for all his cancerous caliphatism, groks the disconnect between rhetoric and reality when it comes to freedom of speech in England and the rest of the Western World; as well as entertaining me—and enraging the general public—with calls to claim “Jihad Seeker’s Allowance” (and blocking me for making a perfectly innocent enquiry on Twitter), he posted a series of tweets spotlighting inconsistencies in the official narrative of Western civil liberty (now removed, along with the rest of his account—thanks Twitter!).
And, boy, does the UK justice system seem bent on making an example of its love of civil liberties out of him!
Now, I’m well aware that they and, from the looks of things, most Brits, see his words as belonging to some special category of speechcrime called “incitement”, a magical realm where rhetoric resembles remote control, but even a mulish misanthrope like me finds it hard to believe Man is that much of a machine! Whatever oratory opiates those two murderous Michaels imbibed from Chutiya Choudary, the decision to cleave Lee Rigby to death in the broad daylight of a Woolwich street rests squarely on their shariaphilic shoulders. And as for the whole supposed invocation to die for Daesh, a trip to Syria takes a bit more planning and foresight than a drive down to South London. Sans a painstakingly specified target (I’m looking at you, Spike Lee!), talk of “incitement” sounds like a hollow, unwitting pass of the buck, as well as a sterling example of the soft bigotry of low expectations: Those poor, dumb Muzzies can’t help being so easily led—it’s the nature of the beast!
As things stand, this bloviating bhenchod faces a decade inside for a campaign of slack-jawed slacktivism, reminiscent of that Kony baloney, those pathetic French-flag Facebook filters following the Paris attacks, and the (admittedly hilarious) #DicksOutForHarambe hashtag following the shooting of that silverback at Cincinnati Zoo. For all the furore thrown his way for his jihadist invective, the only triggers Choudary pulls are the emotional ones belonging to his most fervent detractors. Yet, his social media cry of #DicksOutForDaesh has been found absolutely haram by a court of law.
Which makes me wonder: what if Choudary’s caging, like the similarly pathetic burkini ban in France, is meant as a symbolic show of “strength” from an institution ill-equipped to deal with actual Islam-related predations? Just as the burkini ban comes off as a way to take attention away from the French state’s contributions to the migrant crisis and inept anti-terrorism measures, could the overly harsh treatment of Choudary be an overcompensation for the British state’s timorous response to the Machete Michaels or their decades-long cover-up of the now-infamous Rotherham “grooming” gangs? Methinks the Bailey doth protest too much.…
Or perhaps it’s merely another time-tested move in the Trojan Horse long game of plying the populace into laying down their liberties: single out an Acceptable Target saying something “unacceptable” to sling in the slammer. I remember the chorus of cheers back in 2004, when the filth collared ex-BNP bigwig Nick Griffin for “inciting racial hatred”, based on undercover footage of him slamming Islam as a “vicious, wicked faith”(though I don’t recall Islam ever meeting the necessary criteria to be considered a race); now that Islamists outstrip ethnonationalists in the bête noire leagues, if only by a sliver, what better way for the totalitarian humanist overlords of this island state to make the muzzle seem all snug ‘n’ seductive? Looks like the perfect prelude to the implementation of the “Snoopers’ Charter”, conjured up ‘n’ championed by the Wicked Witch of Westminster herself, Theresa May; it’s not like her recent relocation to Number 10’ll exactly be a hurdle to her desire to turn proposal into policy. If they can wheel actual blasphemy laws back in through the gate, anything’s possible!
In light of this encroachment of secular sharia, a bit of civil-libertarian countersignalling might not be such a bad preamble to a more palpable pushback. If imprisonment will inevitably make (more of) an icon out of Anjem, I can think of nothing more haram than to appropriate him for an ideal that both he and the state silencing him (not to mention a sizeable slab of the populace, Muslim and otherwise) clearly find contemptible: #ChoadsOutForChoudary, liberty-lovers?
ADDENDUM (9/9/16): Two days after I published this post, Choudary got five-and-a-half years for his agency-arresting speechcrime. Only half as bad as projected, I guess….