issues in Satanism

Why Not? by C. D. Batchelor 1919 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This post is in response to my friend Aleph’s excellent piece on his place in “the Satanic zeitgeist”.

There are many kinds of Satanists, and a number of different types of Satanism discernible nowadays, not to mention a near unlimited number of individual variations (given the minimalist individualism of Satanic philosophy), but it is good for us to look at what has grown, and where we find ourselves in it, 50 odd years on from the proper genesis of modern Satanism, courtesy of Anton LaVey. I consider modern Satanism to have antecedents (notably in Crowley’s Thelema from my point of view), but the emergence of a movement consciously self-identified as “Satanist” dates back to LaVey most clearly*. I look upon this as the emergence of a spiritual stream that actually goes deeper and broader than “what it says on the tin” of LaVey’s Church or Bible.

So without further ado, I’d like to look at Aleph’s points.

Egoism versus egotism versus Altruism

The distinction between egoism and egotism will be seen as academic by many, but I get that the former is a philosophy of self-interest taken as the basis of one’s moral compass, while egotism is the more pejorative or judgemental term, coming somewhere closer to “narcissism” and self-absorption. In this respect Satanism could be seen as an explicitly egoistic philosophy, but I have dealt before with my sense of the potential place of altruism within a Satanic life. We are complex, interdependent, social animals (no matter how selective we might get), and self-interest and a sense of higher or broader fulfilment are not mutually exclusive; there just isn’t a rule on it in Satanism, and you have to come to your own conclusions as to your values. Self-actualisation includes more than food, sex, power and survival, so I would in a sense recommend an intelligent and psychologically literate egoism.

Morality/ethics

I think one of the brilliant things about Satanism is the way it collapses the authority of all external morality (which is one of the reasons why Satanism is inappropriate for children, who need such external structure). What this means in practice is that you have to make enquiry into your own personal ethics. What is pretty incontrovertible for me is that ethical coherence forms a part of our self-actualisation needs, though as a Satanist it is for you to make the judgement on what is coherent and self-actualising. Aleph asks whether there could be an objective morality of any sort, and I think there is no moral form which is objectively true, but there may be moral or ethical principles which hold true for a great divergence of circumstances, and the more this is so, the more basic the principle would be, and the more self-evident and neutral. It is a bit like the question of “rights”, which though it forms a powerful piece of “mental technology”, is in fact a fabrication in any natural terms. As an animal you have no rights, but to survive if you and your circumstances allow. That’s it. But ethics comes into the field of higher self-actualisation and value, and it is good to look into not “good and evil”, but what “the good” means to you. I think it was Aleister Crowley that said that you could look into good and evil and see that they didn’t truly exist, but to act as if  they didn’t exist in practice would ultimately  be degrading for the person themselves. I think it is best to say that morality is subjective and relative, but that ethics is an ongoing enquiry of enormous importance to the individual.

Self-preservation vs self-transformation

It is quite true that an unhealthy attachment to preserving one’s own status quo can form a block to growth and transformation, but on the other hand, transformation needs a stable base upon which to work, growth requires a healthy prior stage to grown from.

Self-preservation and self-transformation are actually complementary processes, though there comes a time when preservation must give way to a kind of death and rebirth to allow growth (as in the end of childhood), and where transformation must slow to bring about a stable new state; not a stagnant one, simply a vigorous and strong one. These are actually alterations in the ratios of ever present factors, for no living stability is based upon actual stasis, and no transformation is without limits and essential tendencies towards form,  if it is to be meaningful.

Aleph here discusses the differences between Satanism and Luciferianism thus: “Satanism is the philosophy that places emphasis on self-preservation, while Luciferianism talks about self-transformation”. But I would replace “self-preservation” with “self-actualisation” as the more integral emphasis of Satanic philosophy, as this is implicit in it, and a better description of a lived life. This of course includes self-preservation as one of its most basic requirements.

I very much agree with the quote attributed by Aleph to Lilith Aquino:

“Glorification of the ego is not enough; it is the COMPLETE psyche, the entire Self or soul, which must be recognized, appreciated, and actualized”

Indeed, it is this sense of the complete psyche and its actualisation that is strongly represented in Thelema with its sense of the True Will, and I feel is implicit within Satanism, though some might deny it.

God and the gods

If there is one area where I have diverged markedly from LaVey’s Satanism it is in being a polytheist, though I would consider agnosticism to be the default optimal position for Satanism, as the truth is we know little, if anything, once we ask and ask and ask of ourselves what it is we mean. Don’t even get me started on how overrated I find the hip new atheism. I was an atheist when I was 14, and it was amazingly cool for me in 1973, but I’m very bored with the “does God exist?” contention.

I consider all kinds of things to exist beyond sensory testing, and if I’m wrong, well it’s been a wild trip. Whether gods and spirits do or do not exist, the universe behaves as if they do for the purposes of magic. If you wish to plug into psychological archetypes or symbols as a way of communicating with or manipulating the forces of both the mind and of Nature, you will get way further, way quicker by sincerely treating those things as real and independent. Further, I’m of the generation of occultists that found no necessary contradiction between a reality being both entity and psychological symbolic reality of force, or indeed intermediate between these perceived states. When it comes to both being and reality, we generally have but one toe dipped in that sea. You won’t swim by deliberating if wetness is real or symbolic.

Hedonism vs eudaimonism

Hedonism: “living and behaving in ways that mean you get as much pleasure out of life as possible, according to the belief that the most important thing in life is to enjoy yourself

Cambridge dictionary

Eudaimonism: “a moral philosophy that defines right action as that which leads to the “well-being” of the individual, thus holding “well-being” as having essential value”

The Basics of Philosophy

Further re hedonism:

All hedonistic theories identify pleasure and pain as the only important elements of whatever phenomena they are designed to describe. 

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Satanism has generally been described as hedonistic, and this may hold in appearance, though even hedonism involves more than physical gratification. Satanism also acknowledges that pleasure and pain are complex experiences that can well wear each others clothes. Satanism generally values pleasurable indulgence, but pleasure can be physical, emotional, mental, and at the level of experience of meaning (and whatever else the human spirit might discover). While Satanism tends to be quite reductive in its value system if you follow LaVey’s “Bible” rigidly, even there it attempts to trace out a limit to pleasures, based upon competing pleasures and their consequences. While this is a little two-dimensional, it is pointing to an intrinsically self-balancing experiential process which has as its implicit goal the pursuance of individual well-being.

What Satanism  doesn’t do is prescribe right action, as that is up to the individual to discover and determine. An action that didn’t lead to your own well-being (ultimately) would be seen not as “wrong”, but as unsuccessful.

Where I find hedonism (in its unrefined forms) substandard is in seemingly missing the value of things like hardship and suffering, in personal development and the gaining of strengths, and what I can only term the development of individual virtues. Discrimination is required, but I see nothing un-satanic about the concept of individual virtue, so long as it is individually arrived at. This does not suggest that suffering should not be avoided, it should where it is meaningless and unworthwhile. But the experience of personally unavoidable suffering, given the complexity of our natures, and the drive for self-actualisation, is something which needs to be honestly engaged with.

Satanism seeks refinement, honesty and subtlety, as well as pleasure, but it will never be a collective morality.

Revenge

“Lex talionis” (the “law of retaliation”, “an eye for an eye” etc) is bandied about quite a bit among modern Satanists, in distinction to “turning the other cheek” or trying to understand your enemies, and I think there are severe limitations to this, though it needs to be put into context.

The literal sense of punching someone for punching you, shooting someone for shooting you, stealing from someone for stealing from you, abusing someone for abusing you, is really not what this is about. What it is saying is the malice of others can expect a response (if that is worthwhile for you, and what you genuinely want) and revenge is not necessarily bad. Sometimes it is meant to hurt. There is no virtue in tolerating crap, not in itself. But it needs to be pointed out that nothing in Satanism will turn out well if it is done unintelligently,  because Satanism is like life. Satanism offers no rule book, only tools for enquiry into self and life.

Again here, we have to look into the question of individual well-being. If you get into a feud that drags your life down, or adversely affects you or your loved ones, then you have acted unskilfully. Fighting back stupidly, or seeking revenge unintelligently, is not Satanic. Letting something go can be entirely more freeing sometimes, and there is nothing wrong with taking the better option for yourself and your loved ones.

Further more, something that really needs to be considered, is that if you need to seek revenge or redress more than as an aberrant occurrence, why are you putting yourself in that situation, and wouldn’t it show more mastery to choose or make a better environment, and better company? Satanists know that peace is built upon strength, so incessant battle in your life is more a sign of weakness, unless it is battle that you enjoy and find well-being in of course, in which case you need to find the right partners for your sport.

Again, one comes to the consideration of well-being and intelligence. I think revenge is overplayed in LaVey’s Satanism, which was in part acting as a stimulating antagonist to both Christianity and the hippie movement of the time. It should not be turned into more than common sense on the whole.

Conclusion

I view Satanism as a modern spiritual current, similar in many ways to the 93 current of Thelema. I view it as having emerged into wider self-consciousness through Anton LaVey’s work, though it is as much a proliferation of his bastard children as it is of his atheistic Church of Satan creed. There may be other elements feeding into this, indeed there are, from Thelema (especially its Typhonian recension), demonology and demonolatry, myth and folklore, the paranormal, decadent and gothic art and literature, and the ripe field of 19th century French occultism. I would add the influence of Austin Osman Spare and Rosaleen Norton for myself. In any case, what we have is a current that has emerged organically, rather than dogmatically. Or you could say it has emerged from the psyche, rather than just theory and teaching (even though it takes in its own forms of the latter).

LaVey’s work has inducted this current in its modern form, even though he seemed at pains to disguise his subtlety and contradiction in a delightful pulp style, and deny the depth of the subject at times. But I do not believe things happen on such a surface level, without currents stirring in the depths of the world of the psyche. He would laugh at that I am sure, and I would smile.

I advise people interested in Satanism to follow their instincts and intuition to find out what has attracted them to this area. Don’t get too hung up on what some will say is the doctrine of Satanism, for the philosophy is so simple, so irreducible, that it is a solvent that cannot be contained in any bottle, no matter how labelled.

* Obviously imaginatively, spiritually and in a literary and artistic sense you could trace all manner of things back into the more distant past.

the return of two party politics?

"earth quake time" by jmettraux (earth quake time) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Guess what? We had an election. And no one won.

Well, actually The Conservative Party won, but not by enough of a margin to form a government by themselves (but they can form one with a party that is agreeable to it, without forming an actual coalition*).

The Labour Party avoided total wipe out, and are treating that as a resounding victory, even though allying themselves with everyone else who might reciprocate would not give them enough seats to form a government combined.  They are even claiming that they are somehow entitled to form a government and unseat the Conservatives, because … well just because. But hey, the constitution is really just a bourgeois technicality to Marxist ambition, so it’s all good.

Meanwhile in Scotland the pro-independence SNP have lost some support, and the Conservatives have had a modest surge, but the totally different picture in Scotland just underlines that it is both a different country, and more complex than anybodies slogans.

It’s a mess for much of the UK, but people are saying this marks the return of a proper two party system, with a genuine opposition. I think what they mean is it marks the end of the technocratic, photogenic politics of smooth talking media actors that all look and sound the same, but that has been so since last year really (in potential). But the return of “two party politics” requires enough of the population to believe in both alternatives, rather than believing in neither.

It’s quite true that Theresa May conducted an awful campaign, while Jeremy Corbyn plugged into a youth vote that (sorry kids) hasn’t yet learnt what leftists come down to. You can’t blame them for swallowing the drivel, when the alternative is portraying itself as a “strong and stable” vampire, but it’s crap, and it really isn’t the shining dawn some people think, nor in fact does it change anything about the issue of Brexit, which is the most momentous issue that faces us, way beyond this decade.

That people opposed the bad policies of the Tories (and they have them) is a very reasonable thing. That people opposed the bad policies of the Labour Party (and they have them too) is also a reasonable thing. That we have more of an opposition, however unhinged, is a healthy thing for a democracy. The bad thing is that it will have given encouragement to Corbyn’s bunch of bright eyed ideologues, Marxist collectivists, feminist hatejobs, identity politicos and luvvie delusionalists (plus the illiberal antidemocratic Lib Dems). The government is weak, the opposition untrustworthy, so the “health” of the situation is pretty questionable.

May’s attitude was way better for Brexit, which will happen in the face of an EU which has no benign intentions towards anyone who wants to oppose it and its unaccountable ambitions. May still needs support in that, and whoever comes after her (however long she is there for) needs to have no illusions about the EU, and what a negotiation with them means.

So my position is to support Theresa May in her pursuance of Brexit, and advise people to not be taken in by ideas of “soft Brexit”, nor the pleas for a lovely friendly approach to negotiating. The unaccountable EU elite is not going to be “friendly”, so don’t kid yourselves.

But two party politics? I don’t think party politics is really even in there for most people. The lid isn’t going back on the rejection, and the rumble will just come back again.

* this would be with the DUP (who I have no love for), an idea which has been described as scandalous by Labour supporters, despite having been something the Labour Party were themselves pursuing in 2010.

a dream for midsummer

Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream. Titania and Bottom - Edwin Henry Landseer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Evolving a path is I think a fascinating and rewarding thing. Construction (or reconstruction) is so mundane, compared to the emergence of something from the pages of books, snatches of poetry, film, dreams, deep desires, and the fount of the subconscious.

We have been trialing our own “black mass” – not the iconoclasm and parody of either Christianity or fashionable beliefs that often characterise a modern black mass, but a more direct communion with Satan, the god of the witches, and the buried treasures of blackened and forgotten deities and demons. It is a lovely experience.

Aside from Walpurgis Night and Halloween, we haven’t paid too much attention to festivals (apart from our birthdays, and enjoying the seasons naturally), but I had a thought. The place of the midwinter solstice is well established for both Christians and neopagans (and to our ancestors according to solar alignments at New Grange and Stone Henge), and has entered our consciousness as the time of the “rebirth” of the Sun, the turning point of darkness to the return of light, the mythical birth of Christ etc. What then of midsummer? It also occurs in alignments of ancient monuments, but the emphasis commonly seems to have been upon winter solstice, although in our modern, hedonistic age Summer Solstice has taken over at Stone Henge as an attractive festival.

If midwinter is the birth of light, midsummer is the yearly genesis of darkness. The very force that matures the year, bringing both fruitfulness and decay, the high heat of late Summer, the glorious and fragrant shedding of Autumn, and on to the barren clarity of Winter, and the rebirth of light. It is a trippy time, silly season, a touch of the fool, milky nights gone almost as soon as they have fully fallen, upon us before we know it, stretching out like a road trip, a vanishing point.

“Birth” would be the wrong term to apply to the dark, for the dark is more mystical than that. Like a walk backwards through time, through Nature, the shuddering calm after orgasm, the lock clicking shut, the expiration of release, the bestial, verdant fuck of the world.

Midsummer, at twilight and midnight, the promise of the Prince of Darkness, the Devil himself, a breeze cool and scented across fields, through woods, and open windows.

 

Borough Market

'The Wheatsheaf' closed pub, Borough market, south London by Andy F [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Beautiful Summer morning in London, sun shining. Last night another terrorist attack, focusing on London Bridge and Borough Market, close to each other, an old and quite atmospheric part of town that nowadays has quite a few restaurants, pubs and bars.

The attackers used a van to hit people on the bridge, then men got out and started knifing people, and then went on to knife people in the Borough Market area, including in restaurants and pubs as I understand. To their great credit people fought them with chairs and glasses and I expect whatever was to hand, and the police shot the terrorists dead. One witness reports the attackers as shouting “this is for Allah”, but it is surely only a matter of time before it is confirmed that the terrorists were Muslim. Message me if they turn out to be atheists, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, Pagans, agnostics or white nationalists, but I won’t be holding my breath. Seven dead, 48 wounded, 21 in critical condition.

As a Londoner can I just say: please don’t light candles, say prayers, hold vigils. Please don’t tell us to “carry on” in the Blitz spirit. Yeah, we’ve been there done that. We did it in the 70s – 90s with the IRA. But that isn’t how you defeat an enemy, and we HAVE an enemy. Islamist ideology has been taught in the Muslim mainstream for decades. Taught in the mainstream. Meanwhile the media and much of the political class want to pussy foot around Islam, as if it can’t be criticised like any other religion or ideology. As Maajid Nawaz has eloquently explained, it is as absurd to claim that violence has nothing to do with Islam as it is to claim that it is everything about Islam. It is about time it was clearly acknowledged that Islamism* is incompatible with liberal democracy, it is inherently political (take a look at the Medina chapters of the Quran if you want to see some of its mainstream underpinning), and it leads right here.

It is farcical for people to say “but Christianity was just as bad”. Christianity in the West has had its teeth (largely) pulled in terms of political power. We went through an “Enlightenment”, and a secular shift in values. Islam and Islamic societies have not done so yet. It is for them to get there, but it took us long enough, with enough trouble along the way, so don’t expect quick results, even if that is where they go eventually. I would be happy to see that happen, but it’s not our job. Our own Muslims are meant to be part of our society (however diverse within its essential cohesion), not a multi-cultural “experiment” of cultural ghettos.

What is our job is preserving what we consider to be of value in our society and our country, and dealing with an enemy that we find in our midst, as is undoubtedly the case now.

So don’t light candles, or send love and positive energy. We’re not “teaching the world to sing”. If you want to wish for something, then wish for the destruction of the religious ideology of Islamism. Wish for the destruction of those who want to hurt us and our loved ones. Fuck “Imagine“.

Don’t let the people who name the problem continue to be silenced. Stop virtue signalling. It only works when someone else is doing all the hard dirty work. We are honestly sick of that shit.

Learn what “Islamism” actually means, for us, and why it wants to kill you.

* It should be clear to any observer that Islamism and Islam are not the same thing, but it would be entirely disingenuous to assert that the former has nothing to do with the latter. Islam explicitly has the makings of Islamism within it, which is why Islamism has had the way prepared for it by mainstream Islam. Individual muslims are not Islam, and must be respected as individuals. A religion is not an individual, and should be completely open to criticism.

ordeal, eroticism and integrity

Magick Pig

It’s quite often recognised that people belonging to sexual minorities of various kinds can go through ordeals and crises in coming into their deeper identity, accepting it, expressing it, and living as the person they are, especially if that identity is taboo.

I’m not so much interested in that kind of ordeal though, where it focuses on a particular kind of categorisation of sexuality, but on the more intensely personal journey that anyone can go through, moving deeply into their experience of the erotic and sexual for themselves; something as unique as one’s fingerprints, yet as archetypal as myth or types of gem stone as it sinks into the depths of being. Come to think of it, it’s also a different sense of identity, a genuine one, as it is so personal, and can’t in any way be politicised, or turned into a “group issue”. This is part of the…

View original post 312 more words

do we live in a Christian culture?

Edward Kelly prophet or seer to Dr Dee - by Thomas Pennant [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Would it be a surprise if I, as a Satanist, said “in considerable part, yes”? Not only that, but that it has what I consider desirable elements.

Let me elaborate.

I consider myself to be liberal in outlook, and in fact I consider Satanism to be essentially liberal in its apolitical world view, albeit Classical Liberal, and with a no tolerance clause on collectivism. Few Satanists would argue that freedom and individualism aren’t pretty irreducible values for Satanists. It’s a description rather than a definition.

While it’s possible to live under any form of society as a Satanist (in principle), I think some will afford greater enjoyment and fulfilment, not to mention a better state of general health. Liberal democracy in principle is a very promising one, and Liberal democracy in the sense we understand it, has grown out of Christian culture historically. Even the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, various “reformations”, and the rise of secularism were all things that grew out of Christianity, sometimes in direct opposition to Christianity, but they are things that arose and developed stably in Christian societies.

This doesn’t mean that they couldn’t grow out of other cultures, or that they only grew out of the Christian elements of our own (every culture has aspects of the preceding one within it in general), but it does make the form of liberal democracy we have in large part a product of Christian culture in this instance.

When we look at societies and cultures we see complex, dynamic systems that have developed over centuries and millennia, not just what that culture says about itself, or intellectual fashion dictates as an acceptable view. We now however have streams within this culture which are insidiously destructive to the dynamic of the society, notably essentially illiberal and collectivist streams of non-self-reflective social and political teaching which have become highly influential in the shaping of our society at the level of social and political management, ironically naming itself “liberal”, and focusing heavily on identity as a kind of moral category.

From the point of view of my own Satanism, let me say there is no such thing as a Satanic society. Satanism is a Left Hand Path philosophy and spirituality, and it cannot form a mainstream. That is not its function, and it is one of the reason’s children cannot be Satanists*. We can enjoy and contribute to society as full members of society, but we will always be in a borderland place in some sense. The Christian is really no more anathema to us than any other social form, in principle at least. The mainstream media at present would be a far better object of a “black mass” than the Church.

But to return to my original question, yes I think we in part live in a Christian culture, but one that has matured to the point of being free to reject itself. Our problem now is that this Christian-derived post-Christianity is decaying into a self-eating, self-hating weakness of moralism and delusion and ineffectiveness. Christianity in its history offers much to be enjoyed, just as the Pagan world it sprang from does. The new Round heads of morality and thought crime, and open borders however, they offer righteous ghosts feasting on dust.

* Not that it would necessarily be bad for the children (though it would be unintelligible for them, and inappropriate), it just can’t be done, as children have a requirement to be able to be immature in a protected environment, and Satanism is about (apart from anything else) reaching maturity and living fully as an adult. We can bring up children, but we just have to bring them up as children, in need of guidance and protection, which includes the kind of external authority which is foreign to adult Satanism.

who’s war is it anyway?

St Ann's Square tributes and memorials, Manchester, May 2017 by Ardfern (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

As you will probably have heard, we have just had another Islamist terrorist attack in the UK, this time more organised and deadly than anything since 7/7, and involving the targeting of children with a suicide bomb.

The thing that is strange about this atrocity is what it throws into relief. Striking children hits a powerful nerve with people. You would expect a great deal of anger, but the official response (in the media at least) seems to have been characterised by concern for the reaction of the public, almost more than by fear of the terrorism, as the latter is met with a kind of resignation. It’s difficult to understand this, until you realise how divorced the media in its “liberalism” from common sense, and concrete realities. It’s laudable that people do not blame whole groups for the actions of a few, but we seem to have a really distorted view of who is threatening who, and exactly who the parties are, their identities, and the meaning of those identities.

Now there is a struggle going on, or two separate struggles that I can see, one being far more developed than the other. But what the liberal consensus seems to worry over is a struggle between the “indigenous” non-muslim population, and the British muslim population. This fits their story and their ideology, as it minimises individual identity and choices in favour of classes and collectives, and it plays on exactly the trigger perceptions of “racism”, “xenophobia” and (most incoherent of all) “Islamophobia”.

This might be the trouble that the media class would feel shame over, but it is not the struggle that I can see. The struggle that I can see is between the liberal* (actually leftist-lite) elite with its influential world view, and the greater mass of people who live the lives, and meet the realities, which that elite would rather ignore. The latter are not the people which TV news crews will most likely seek out to interview. They are more likely to want action to correct what they see as problems, rather than anodyne words that extol “carrying on as normal”. It is as if the problem in the world was force, rather than how it is used; thus practical effectiveness is seen as part of the problem.

Whereas many would see a flawed human nature that we have to be pragmatically reconciled with in order to create a livable life with realistic protections, the “liberal elite” see a need for therapy, as if we were above situations like public violence (which they themselves may of course actually be, in their gated communities). “If everyone were like us, the world would be ok. Why can’t you be like us?”. Terrorists are mentally ill, misguided, loners, etc. Islam is treated as somehow privileged as a touchy ideology, and the muslim community viewed condescendingly as almost honoured guests (which really is insulting) that need special understanding. It’s like the people who behave reasonably are the ones that have to take responsibility. It’s a strangely middle class (in the British sense), self-despising, self-deluding view, but it’s not shared by the great mass of people, who however are left in no doubt that to deviate from this publicly is to be seen as “bigoted”.

The other struggle I see going on, which is far less reported because it is uncomfortable for the liberal elite, is the struggle within Islamic communities to become free of the authoritarian ideologies which not only prepare for radicalization and terror, but destroy countless muslim lives by depriving them of individual choice. This of course doesn’t fall nicely into line with ideas about “racism” and “xenophobia”, let alone “Islamophobia”, in fact the liberal-left have been treacherous in their mistrust of muslim reformers, treating them as “Uncle Tom”s (as our risible London Mayor once called them, along with telling us to just get used to political terror), Islamophobes, and essentially as a kind of “class traitor”. This is a very difficult struggle, because muslim reformers and ex-muslims face real threats from their communities, right up to threat of death.

It’s very strange when it feels like the media, the leftists-liberals, the terrorists, and the Islamic traditionalists seem to be oddly in a defacto sympathetic alliance, while the ordinary majority British people who we are told we should fear for their racism, and those muslims who are trying to get out of the situation of being dominated by a backward and violent ideology, have such obvious common cause.

You might ask who’s war this is? There is, as Maajid Nawaz says, a jihadist insurgency against the West (in fact, against the non-muslim world). “The West” isn’t doing a good job of seeing this clearly. To the point of down playing the very natural anger over the mass murder of children, and telling us that we just have to get used to it. No we don’t, and we shouldn’t.

For everyone’s sake, we mustn’t.

* the word “liberal” really has become misused, to the point where people termed “liberal” are often very illiberal in their views, and exponents of a collectivist identity politics.