Christopher Hitchens: How did a nation move from cricket and fish-and-chips to burkas and shoe-bombers in a single generation?

In his most recent Vanity Fair piece, Christopher Hitchens returns to Finsbury Park, the neighborhood in which he grew up, and laments how much of it is no longer recognizable.

Returning to the old place after a long absence, I found that it was the scent of Algeria that now predominated along the main thoroughfare of Blackstock Road. This had had a good effect on the quality of the coffee and the spiciness of the grocery stores. But it felt odd, under the gray skies of London, to see women wearing the veil, and even swathed in the chador or the all-enveloping burka. Many of these Algerians, Bangladeshis, and others are also refugees from conflict in their own country. Indeed, they have often been the losers in battles against Middle Eastern and Asian regimes which they regard as insufficiently Islamic. Quite unlike the Irish and the Cypriots, they bring these far-off quarrels along with them. And they also bring a religion which is not ashamed to speak of conquest and violence.

It seems that Britain, London in particular, is slowly disappearing and an Islamic state is taking its place. If that sounds like an exaggeration, read Hitchens’ last paragraph, which is particularly unsettling in what portends for Britain’s future:

It’s impossible to exaggerate how far and how fast this situation has deteriorated. Even at the time of the Satanic Verses affair, as long ago as 1989, Muslim demonstrations may have demanded Rushdie’s death, but they did so, if you like, peacefully. And they confined their lurid rhetorical attacks to Muslims who had become apostate. But at least since the time of the Danish-cartoon furor, threats have been made against non-Muslims as well as ex-Muslims (see photograph), the killing of Shiite Muslim heretics has been applauded and justified, and the general resort to indiscriminate violence has been rationalized in the name of god. Traditional Islamic law says that Muslims who live in non-Muslim societies must obey the law of the majority. But this does not restrain those who now believe that they can proselytize Islam by force, and need not obey kuffar law in the meantime. I find myself haunted by a challenge that was offered on the BBC by a Muslim activist named Anjem Choudary: a man who has praised the 9/11 murders as “magnificent” and proclaimed that “Britain belongs to Allah.” When asked if he might prefer to move to a country which practices Shari’a, he replied: “Who says you own Britain anyway?” A question that will have to be answered one way or another.

Update: Commenter Jeff Blogworthy remarks that Hitchens himself may be somewhat complicit in allowing radical Islam to grow because of his hostility toward Christianity. (To be fair, Hitchens thinks all religion is bad: see this article here.) However, what Hitchens doesn’t realize is that in denouncing Christianity in the same manner as Islam, he’s encouraging the growth of Islam. If Hitchens wants to thwart the growth of Islam, he should support Christianity because a healthy Christian population keeps radical Islam at bay. Rabbi Daniel Lapin, the president of Toward Tradition, understood this as well, which is why he said “America’s Bible belt is Israel’s safety belt.” The reason why radical Islam and antisemitism as a whole doesn’t thrive in the US is because a thriving Christian population works as a counter.

Ask yourself this: why is America the only country that takes fighting Islamofascism so seriously? Because America is a 95% Christian nation, and American Christians are not about to be threatened into rejecting their Christian faith at the threat of violence. This is why Britain, and Europe as a whole, are slowly morphing into Islamic states. Christianity in Europe is dead, allowing Islam to flourish without any push back whatsoever.

Force Majeure
Well, there goes the next hour or so...