Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Bavarian Approach

After months of surveillance, German police arrested seven Islamic extremists and raided 31 mosques, homes and offices. The arrests and raids are part of a crack-down on terrorist funding, but the one thing that really struck me was the statement from the Bavarian Interior Minister-

"We'll step up the pressure on Islamist extremists even more and use every possible provision of immigration law to deport as fast as possible those who threaten us or preach hatred."

Europe is often portrayed as being soft on Islamic terrorism but this statement is one that I cannot imagine a British or even American politician uttering right now. In Britain the Conservative Party has made immigration one of the main issues of its election campaign- when introducing the topic Michael Howard said time and again that immigration did not equal racism- but here in the UK that seems to be the way many people feel. After the infamous "rivers of blood" speech made by Enoch Powell back in the sixties, immigration and racism have become intertwined in British politics and to demand tighter border controls and curbs in immigration is somehow seen as being equivalent to racism.

Given the current world situation and the continued threat that Islamic terrorism and culture is to the West, it seems like Powell might have been right after all.

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