She wrote the best selling book, “Londonistan” in 2006 and followed it with, “The World Turned Upside Down: the Global Battle over God, Truth and Power” with the forward written by Broadway and Hollywood screenwriter, David Mamet.
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Phillips began by talking about some of the recent Islamic terrorist activities. She spoke of attack in Copenhagen, as well as an attack on a synagogue. Since the attack in France on Charlie Hebdo people have been speaking out in support of free speech. Eighty world leaders joined arms and marched in Paris saying “Je Suis, Charlie”. The people killed by a terrorist in Copenhagen were attending a meeting supporting free speech. Phillips pointed out these aren’t just an attacks on free speech, they are attacks on religion. And, sadly, although the world leaders spoke about the importance of free speech, their countries wouldn’t publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Phillips said terrorism works.
Salman Rushdie, after writing. “Satanic Verses” had to go into hiding due to threats on his life. He received little support. Many Europeans blamed him for insulting Islam. The message taken is that if you insult Islam you’re to blame for provoking them. The victims become the offenders.
The Egyptian President implored Imams to reform Islam, and Phillips explains there are many Muslims who believe Islam needs reform, but he isn’t being supported by the leaders in the European Union or America. Since WWII European leaders have bent over backwards to make their governments secular. They consider all religions equally dreadful and morally equivalent. They believe nationalism and religion are the causes of wars. They believe if they reach out to enemies in friendship everything will be OK. However, compromise is seen as a sign of weakness by Islamists. If we don’t show strength, it galvanizes Islamists and inspires more violence.
Secular governments fear upsetting Islamic States will cause unrest that will lead to a Holy War and they fear a holy war because they can’t control it. Jews across Europe are in serious danger. They are being told the government can’t protect them and because of that many of them are now fleeing Europe.
Phillips explained that if nationalism and religion were the causes of world wars boundaries between countries needed to be erased and they needed to immigrate people from other cultures. They believed if they mixed it all up people would all sing “Kumbaya” together. That is why they formed the European Union. The EU decides how many immigrants each country gets and from where. The countries have no say. But the result has not been what they expected. People are resentful of having their culture taken from them. They feel demoralized. Why vote if other countries can veto your vote? People feel there is an assault on their values not just on free speech and religion. There is a push back from natural born Europeans but when they protest, the police protect the Muslims not the natural citizens.
She explained how easy it is to radicalize English born Muslims. They are surrounded with sex, drugs and rock and roll and they like it. They participate in it but at the same time they are disgusted by it because it goes against Islam. Imams appeal to that self disgust.
Phillips spoke of her time at the Guardian, which she described as so far Left it was like the NY Times on speed. As she transitioned from Left to Right she said one of her colleagues told her the single most terrifying thing that could happen to her is that she turned into Melanie. She said the Left thinks because they are for the poor and less fortunate, they are “good” and whatever they do is “good” regardless of the consequences. And if they are “good” the Right has to be “bad” and everything they do is “bad”.
The Q&A was quite interesting. There were a number of Muslims in the audience. One talked about insulting Islam. Phillips pointed out that Christianity and Judaism are insulted all the time with impunity. The difference is that Jews and Christians don’t kill anyone for doing it.
She pointed out that in a recent poll 80% of Egyptian Muslims believe the appropriate punishment for leaving the religion is death. 20% of American Muslims support terrorism. And 40% to 60% of English Muslims believe Sharia should be the only law.
When asked what could be done to reverse what is happening, Phillips, explained more and more Muslims want reform and reform needs to happen. The Imams and Muslim leaders need to denounce ISIS, Hamas, Boka Haram, Al Qaeda and the like.
We also need to get out of the UN. There are 57 Muslim countries in the UN. They are the largest voting block. They want to make blasphemy a crime. When most of what comes out of the UN is a detriment to the Western countries, we need to stop supporting it.