Will our leaders now wake up to the war against the jihadi enemy within?

THE emotions coursing through me writing this in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo atrocity and the three-day terrorisation of Paris are a meld of seething anger, deep sadness and utter revulsion.

Not because eight of the 12 victims in Wednesday’s craven attack on the satirical magazine’s offices were fellow journalists – in fact, I considered much of what they produced offensive – but free speech and humanity, warts and all, were the targets.

The scum, unfit to dignify the title ‘human beings’ and perverting the faith they purported to defend, carried out the massacre with the lethal and clinical precision of Nazi stormtroopers.

They’d clearly recce’d their killing ground well in advance, just as the callous butchers responsible for the Mumbai Massacre did in 2008, and they executed the op like seasoned special forces.

Particularly chilling was the gruesomely slick way one snuffed out the life of a wounded cop – himself a Muslim – lying helpless on the pavement, begging to be spared.

All bore the indelible hallmarks of al-Qaeda, particularly the assault on the kosher deli in eastern Paris, where four hostages were murdered, which was deviously synchronised to throw police into disarray.

So let’s be straight: these full frontal assaults on liberty cannot be passed off by pussyfooting politicos as yet more ‘lone-wolf’ incidents, concocted by fanatical ‘self-starters’.

WORLD GRIEF: This sympathiser in Moscow shares her revulsion at the attack on the French magazine

WORLD GRIEF: This sympathiser in Moscow shares her revulsion at the attack on the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo

Nothing about them was haphazard or shamateur. And the arsenal of death the assassins toted, AK47s and an RPG rocket-launcher, couldn’t have be sourced from Galeries Lafayette or even local gun shops, which proliferate in a hunting-mad country.

No, a complex supply chain, involving cells of smugglers, financiers and armourers, was needed to support these multiple barbarities and it lies somewhere in the heart of France’s five-million strong Muslim community.

Undoubtedly, the peaceable followers of Islam will be just as gut-wrenched by the hideousness of it all as their fellow-countrymen.

But – as demonstrated ad nauseum throughout Western democracies – the question will once again be posed: are Muslim community leaders doing enough in their own backyards and mosques to counter the explosion of extremism?

Secular France has a particularly testy problem with Islam. Yet, in recent times, its liberal elite has bent over backwards to excuse an uptick of attacks – much of them anti-Semitic – as merely the handiwork of maniacs.

Just before Christmas, a shopper was killed and nine wounded when a van deliberately ploughed through a crowded market in Nantes.

A day earlier a man, shouting ‘Allahu Akba’ rammed his car into crowds in Dijon, seriously injuring 13, while in Joueles-Tours an assailant stabbed three police officers, likewise yelling in Arabic, ‘God is the great’.

That same week three drive-by shootings in Paris targeted a synagogue, a kosher restaurant and a Jewish-owned publishing house.

SAVED: A hostage holding a child shows his relief after paramilitary police stormed the kosher deli in eastern Paris

SAVED: A hostage holding a child shows his relief after paramilitary police stormed the kosher deli in eastern Paris and killed the terrorist

And it is a French jihadi, then newly returned from fighting in Syria, who faces trial over last May’s ambush at Brussels’ Jewish Museum, in which three people were shot dead and another critically wounded.

Yet, immediately after the Dijon attack – which the perpetrator dedicated to the ‘children of Palestine’ – France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, called on the public ‘not to draw hasty conclusions since [the car driver’s] motives have not been established.’

And, despite admitting ‘the investigation had barely begun,’ the local public prosecutor quickly claimed, ‘This was not a terrorist act at all.’

In fact, it took the third outrage before Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, conceded, ‘There is, as you know, a terrorist threat to France.’

Had there been any lingering doubt, Paris’s 9/1 carnage has obliterated it, because the bloodletting was all too predictable, regardless of any counter-terrorism failings.

And, in stark contrast to the appeasers who rule us, people – not merely headbanging xenophobes – were already displaying greater awareness of the unpalatable reality confronting them.

Those in the Western street long knew our civilisation is locked in a guerrilla war on our own turf, waged by an enemy within, who cloak themselves in a ruthless interpretation of an eastern faith imported by waves of immigrants, seeking opportunity in better, fairer, freer societies.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has serially failed to slap down the army of 20,000 demonstrators, who meet each week in Dresden – and growing bands of likeminded activists elsewhere in her country – demanding tighter immigration controls.

And Australian Premier Tony Abbott was rightly rapped for downplaying the attack on a Sydney café by a self-style sheikh that left two diners dead.

Even though it was evident the killer, Man Haron Monis – an Iranian, who forced hostages to hold up to the window a black flag, emblazoned with a jihadi slogan – was driven by religious fervour, Abbott insisted, ‘This event was an act of politically-motivated violence.’

Politically motivated? Maybe he also believes the Irish ultra-nationalists of the IRA and the Basque separatists of ETA were inspired by radical Catholicism to commit mayhem. Somehow I think not.

At least in Canada there is no mood for whitewashing Islamic extremism.

SATIRE SURVIVES: David Pope's cartoon in the Canberra Times puts the hideous acts of Paris 9/1 into true perspective

SATIRE SURVIVES: David Pope’s cartoon in the Canberra Times puts the hideous acts of Paris 9/1 into true perspective

After incidents involving Muslim converts killing two soldiers, Canada’s leader, Stephen Harper, didn’t mince words: ‘I have been saying we live in dangerous world and terrorism has been with us for a long time,’ he said.

So what can be done to stem the rising tide of ultra-Islamic ferocity?

For a start we can stop bellyaching that our security establishment scanning emails is a snoopers’ charter, because this is a key bulwark against those out to destroy our society.

And, as the head of Britain’s MI5 pleaded last week, invest more resources in vigilance to minimise opportunities for the merchants of death to claim further victims.

Governments also need to force internet platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, to take down suspect sites. If they don’t, hit them with astronomical fines.

The international community, meanwhile, must enforce its money-laundering pacts with real vigour, choking off cash – mainly from Middle Eastern sympathisers – that’s the lifeblood of jihadism.

A further measure is more scrupulous border checks and denying the right of return to those who join the jihad cause abroad, rendering them stateless.

Finally, to aid pan-community solidarity, those who represent mainstream Muslims – often so quick to rage – should take it upon themselves to organise ‘Not in our name’ marches.

That gesture might, just might, isolate the fanatics and stop them providing ammunition to far-Right parties expanding across Europe, whose racist venom is only likely to make a grave situation even worse.

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Q: Where’s the Arab League in the Middle East mess? A: Leading from the back, as usual

They gather in august conclave, preening princes in sumptuous, flowing robes seated beside elegantly-tailored tyrants and military strongmen, clad in uniforms so adorned with medals, they’re in danger of keeling over.

They pose, ponder and prevaricate – fudging issues appears to be their natural inclination – before ending the charade of unity with a sabre-rattling declaration that is as worthless as the paper it’s scrawled on.

This is the Arab League: 21 nations, covering 13 million square kilometres, ranging from Mauritania, on the Atlantic coast in the far west, to Oman, whose shores are lapped by the Arabian Sea in the extreme east.

Sandwiched in between are the ‘super powers’: Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and – until its suspension two years ago – the odious Al-Assad family fiefdom of Syria, a pariah state even by the Middle East’s appalling standards of disregard for basic human rights.

The League represents over 400 million people, although ‘represents’ is a misnomer, since the overwhelming majority of Arabs have not an iota of democratic influence on whatever their monarchs, dictators or military juntas discuss, decide or do.

The members’ authority within the organisation varies according to its wealth or size of populace. Oil-bejewelled Saudi and the Gulf emirates, for instance, wield enormous political muscle, while Egypt – whose 85 million inhabitants make it the region’s most populated nation – was the crucible of militarism, until the ructions of the Arab Spring/Islamic Winter.

Formed in 1945, the League’s stated aim was to ‘to safeguard members’ independence and sovereignty, to consider in, general ways, how to draw closer the relations between states and co-ordinate collaboration between the Arab countries.’

BELEAGUERED LEAGUE: Member states of the Arab League, though Syria is suspended

BELEAGUERED LEAGUE: Member states of the Arab League, though Syria is suspended

Until this day, these noble goals have achieved little to say the most. And, apart from the largesse heaped by the petroleum realms on their citizens to buy obedience, the League has demonstrated such manifest incompetence, it couldn’t douse a fire in a matchbox.

In short, the League is a travesty of self-interest. It is an exclusive club of despots, whose sole purpose is to retain power, exert disproportionate sway over the oil-buying West – especially in that chamber-pot of irrelevance, the United Nations – and disregard the just aspirations of their peoples.

And Europe, the USA and Russia are – and have been – complicit in helping this disassembly of autocrats to continue and prosper.

First, Britain and France carved up the Middle East into artificial states in the wake of World War One, the British imposing foreign monarchs – think Jordan and Iraq – on disparate clans and tribes, with nothing in common, except perhaps, timeless vendettas and religious animus.

Secondly, with American foreign policy designed to check the power of Russia, the West armed the Arabs to the teeth – as it continues to do, with abiding ignorance and negligence – propping up regimes, whose values are crudely medieval.

And, for all its pretentions to solidarity, the bickering, back-biting League can agree on only one topic: the annihilation of Israel and the legitimate Jewish state’s replacement by a Palestinian entity, with the iffiest historical claims to territory.

Three major wars – in 1948, 1967 and 1973 – ended in ignominy for the Arabs. But, instead of seeing the massive peace dividend from an accommodation with the ‘can-do’ Israelis, too many of the League’s tyrants remain obsessed with maligning it on the world stage, indulging in the crudest anti-Semitism, and funding extremist terror.

For decades, the counterproductive tactic of using the one nation in the neighbourhood, where Arabs enjoy freedoms that are non-existent in Arab countries, was a highly convenient sideshow that worked a treat.

GOING NOWHERE: Arab League members meet - and rarely come up with a solution to problems

LEAGUE OF SELF-INTEREST: Arab leaders meet – and rarely come up with a solution to the Arab world’s problems

The so-called Arab Street was hypnotised and propagandised into believing the Jews were the font of all their ills – poverty, lack of education, joblessness and general deprivation.

Not any longer. The advent of the internet, which even local tyrants can’t suppress, has opened up a window of enlightenment and a kernel of hope is taking root in a desert of human despair.

Repressed people everywhere can read Western opinions that don’t kow-tow to their governments, learn of liberties, of fundamental rights enshrined in laws, of progress and opportunity, not forgetting the benefits, responsibilities and challenges of democracy, warts and all.

So, regardless of whichever brand of Islam, Shia or Sunni, they subscribe to, awareness is growing – as demonstrated in Egypt, Syria and Tunisia – and it is becoming apparent to many Arabs that the reason for their third-class lot is not Israel.

This slither of land the size of the state of New Jersey being populated by a born-again nation with a biblical imperative to be there may be a thorn in Arab pride, but the rapacious lust for power and greed for riches of their masters is the true reason they inhabit a lesser world.

The genie is out of the bottle now and, as Syria’s Assad resorts to unimagined levels of barbarity in a civil war that began as a cri de coeur for democracy, the League’ impotency  is exposed again for its ineptitude and self-interest.

A half-hearted attempt at mediation in 2011 by Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir – himself an alleged war criminal – flopped. So the League resorted to its default setting of wanting the West to sort out the mess by military means, just as it did apropos Mad Dog Gaddafi in Libya.

A resolution passed at a meeting in Cairo last week urged the United Nations and international community to ‘take the deterrent and necessary measures against the culprits of this crime [the gassing of the innocents] that the Syrian regime bears responsibility for.’

The League – too timid and dysfunctional to allow its own forces to get their hands dirty – desperately needs some form of Western intervention, not merely to slap down Assad, but to send a blunt message to his puppet-masters in Iran, where the Armageddon-seeking ayatollahs continue their game-changing quest for nuclear weaponry.

So, as usual, once again the Arab League is doing what it does and does best: leading from the back.

You might be a genius, Prof, but you’re an idiot for falling for the boycott bigots

He’s been variously described as ‘the man who invented time’ and ‘Britain’s most brilliant physicist’, a genius whose academic intellect dwarfs we humble cabbages.

Professor Stephen Hawking’s celebrity has even transcended the dreamy spires of Oxbridge, because he’s risen to be an international icon, made all the more charismatic by crippling disability.

His body contorted by motor neurone disease, the 71-year-old sits in an ultra-high-tech wheelchair, oozing thoughts on the origins of the universe that are broadcast via a robotic voice, laden with a trans-Atlantic accent.

For long he espoused the view that scientific advances – and the exchange of vital information between those at its cutting edge – should be accessible to all, regardless of creed, colour or origin…in essence the noblest sentiments for the betterment of mankind.

Now, for quixotic reasons, Hawking has had a change of heart, perhaps allowing the festering prejudices of others to colour his judgement, though – some argue – these might also be chime with his own resentments.

Because the lodestar of science has allowed himself to become the pin-up boy of the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), a group composed mainly of vengeful, academic Left-whingers, whose goal is the demonization, delegitimisation, and ultimate demise of one country and its people.

That nation isn’t an autocratic monarchy, a fanatically-religious theocracy or tyrannical one-party state where minorities are crushed. On the contrary, it’s a vibrant, liberal democracy, with a free Press, independent judiciary and an oasis of sanity in one of the planet’s craziest neighbourhoods.

Yet, so far as the gobby BDS heavy mob is concerned Israel is the crucible of world ills.  What sticks in their craw is it’s a dynamic, secular, Jewish state – the only one – created from the ashes of the Holocaust by United Nations decree as a homeland for a long-persecuted, dispossessed people, with incontestable rights to the ground their ancestors dwelt upon.

But, ignoring blindingly glaring truths – including Israel’s long search for peace – hysterical BDS bigots dispute its very right to exist and tar it with the accusations of ‘racism’ against Palestinians, likening Israel to South Africa’s repugnant Apartheid regime.

GULLIBLE GENIUS? Professor Stephen Hawking backed boycotters, but without Israeli technology he couldn't function

GULLIBLE GENIUS? Professor Stephen Hawking opted to back anti-Israel  BDS, but without Israeli technology he couldn’t function

Co-incidentally, its seeds were first sewn there, in Durban at the (anything but) 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, which even moved Mary Robinson – a former Irish President, UN human rights chief and partial to the Palestinian cause – to say was infected with ‘a horrible anti-Semitic presence.’

However, BDS didn’t gain traction until a few years later, after the ghastly, Egyptian-born Mona Baker, head of translation studies at the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, sacked two Israelis from a journal she headed, simply because they were Israelis.

From there it flowered among the right-on, far-Left, especially in Britain quirkily, who smugly contend they are such a learned elite, they know everything better than anyone else (except, perhaps, common sense).

Hence, they are happy to fall for seductive Palestinian spin without questioning its lack of validity. And their blunderbuss vilification of all things (and people) Israeli undermines any objective discussion of Israel government policies.

So, conveniently forgetting that 1.5-million Israeli Arabs enjoy more freedoms than their brethren in surrounding Muslim countries, that women have equal rights and aren’t stoned to death for adultery, that gays are not persecuted, that Israel is more culturally diverse than most Western nations, BDS hate-spewers subscribe to Iranian headbanger, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s madness to ‘wipe it off the face of the earth’

Far be it for them, then, to criticise Palestinian terror-mongers for suicide bombing outrages or launching indiscriminate rains of rockets from Gaza, where kids are used as human shields and cuddly Hamas murders opponents. And don’t ever imagine these uber-smart alecs vent their spleen on countries like Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, North Korea, Egypt, Syria and, most particularly, Iran, which richly deserve censure for their appalling human rights violations.

Echoing that other bastion of unfettered prejudice, the UN Human Rights Council – a misnomer in every sense and, until his welcome demise, heavily under the influence of Libyan despot, Muammar Gaddafi – bullying BDS-ers see only one rogue state: Israel, which refuses to cave into Palestinian double-dealing and has the temerity to combat blackmail by terror.

Now, shamefully, Hawking has become a willing dupe of the BDS ship of fools, whose agenda runs exactly counter to all that academic and artistic freedom purports to represent.

UN human rights chief, Mary Robinson said 2001 Durban conference into xenophobia was rife with anti-Semitism

RACISM RIFE: UN human rights chief, Mary Robinson said 2001 Durban conference on xenophobia was infected with ‘a horrible, anti-Semitic presence’

Despite visiting Israel four times, the man who penned the best-selling baffler, A Brief History of Time, signalled his boycott sympathies earlier this month, by reneging on his acceptance of an invitation to attend Israel President, Shimon Peres’s annual conference.

In a lame attempt to justify his volte face, Hawking says his second thoughts were swayed by Palestinian academics, but that’s disingenuous. The fact is he was pressured by purblind BDS-ers – plus the American linguistics expert, Noam Chomsky, an ardent fan of Hezbollah and one-time guest of Hamas – whose tacit solution to the Israel-Palestine issue is a ‘one-nation state’ that doesn’t include ‘a Zionist entity’.

By his gullibility, Hawking has cast a dark cloud over academic integrity and lent his name to a gang of fanatics who judge a scientist only by his or her nationality, not the sum of all the health and wealth-giving breakthroughs they have pioneered.

However, his sad, flawed judgement has only accentuated the merits of Peres’s conference. Titled ‘Facing Tomorrow’, its intention is to address key issues than impact on mankind – from global politics and economics to the environment, education and much more.

Hawking would have been sharing a forum with former US President Bill Clinton, ex-British prime minister, Tony Blair, one-time Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev and an array of prize-winning, fellow academics, politicians and business innovators from every civilised corner of the globe.

Probably also in attendance would be the geniuses who created NurOwn, the very medicine Hawking relies on to stall the progress of his illness, and the people who invented Intel’s Core i7 microchip that powers the awesome technology of his wheelchair-communications system.

Without either, he’d be trapped, wordless and immobilised; a physical and intellectual basket case.

Incidentally, his benefactors are Israelis, who shared their innovations with the world, otherwise nobody’s cellphone and laptop would work.

However, now he’s endorsed the boycotters’ credo of hate, it remains to be seen whether Hawking will surrender the life-enhancing gifts Israel’s scientists have brought him. Because, after all, that’s what BDS is all about.

The faith whose name Brits are too afraid to mention (clue: it isn’t Christianity or Judaism)

Today’s lesson cometh from the first Book of Life and poses the question, ‘If the stranger comes to dwell among us, is it too much to ask he respects us?’

No, don’t worry. I’ve just made that up and not invented some new-age religion. Nor have I come over all pious (although, when I go into my local café, people immediately look heavenwards and cry, ‘Oh G-d, it’s him again’).

Generally, though, I avoid religious debates, since they can easily become fractious. Moreover, my faith, whatever it is or isn’t, is my affair. So I refrain from being judgemental of anyone else’s – providing they don’t step on the toes of mine (or the lack of it).

That said, religions have historical and political aspects that impact on non-believers, too, and however tolerant our modern-day ideals, we are entitled to comment.

So, Francis I, the new People’s Pope, is already facing uncomfortable questions from some quarters.

Why, it’s being asked, didn’t this humble yet resolute man do more to combat the Argentine military junta’s ‘Dirty War’, from 1976 to 1983, when countless thousands disappeared?

And why is his sense of nationalism so ingrained, he refuses to acknowledge the legitimate self-determination of the Falklanders to remain British, as David Cameron reminded him.

JUSTICE HOOKED: Firebrand Islamic preacher, Abu Hamza, ran rings round the UK's legal system for years

JUSTICE HOOKED: Firebrand Islamic preacher, Abu Hamza, ran rings round the UK’s legal system for years

Certainly, Francis has much on his papal plate, not least the child-sex abuse scandals some bishops, cardinals and members of the Curia wilfully kicked under the Vatican carpets.

That, however, is a pastoral matter, albeit with strong morality implications, and not related to pressing religious dilemmas – contraception, abortion, gay marriage and arcane, canonical disputes – that will test His Holiness.

The point is, whether the Catholic Church likes it or not, it is being held to proper account in the court of public opinion.

And Judaism, the precursor of Abrahamic faiths, has never been far from smears – spoken or written – for two millennia. But old-fashioned Jew-bashing has become passé; replacing it is an insidious, nouveau ideology that transposes the word ‘Jew’ for ‘Israel’, which is a handy cloak under which anti-Semites can hide their bile.

Like every democracy, Israel isn’t above criticism; but knock Netanyahu or Peres, not world Jewry any more than you’d rap Anglicanism for what the Coalition does in Britain.

Only a moron would buy into the slanders that, in a world population approaching seven billion, less than 14 million remnants of an ancient nation mainly dispersed by the Romans two thousand years ago, are somehow responsible for all global ills…from deicide and using blood of gentile children to sanctify Passover bread to today’s inane claims Jews caused all wars, capitalism and communism, aided and abetted by international freemasonry (which they apparently also control).

Meantime, that notorious, anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – invented by the Czar’s secret police at the dawn of the 20th Century – remains a best-seller throughout the Muslim world and its outrageous porkies accepted as gospel truth.

So, with massive population shifts from East to West, it’s no coincidence that crimes against Jews have risen exponentially, as blood libels and Holocaust denials spread to modern Europe, like Black Plague pustules. As columnist, Mehdi Hasan, noted in the New Statesman last week, ‘It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamaphobia in every nook and cranny of British public life, yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard.’

Because, along with disdain for Western values, radical Islam transported its hatreds when droves of Muslims came to Europe seeking better lives. Yet, as exemplified by Britain, unlike waves of earlier settlers – Irish navvies, who built the railways and canals, Jewish tailors who clothed our backs, and black Caribbean public sector workers, all of whom recognised integration was the golden key to their children’s futures – fire-breathing Islamists demand the host changed to accommodate their warped distortion of a respected faith.

American academic, Lawrence Krauss, said he was shocked when recently taking part at a debate hosted by an Islamic group at a UK university to find men and women segregated.

The leading physicist and atheist threatened to walk out unless seating was reorganised – only to find himself accused of intolerance by angry members of the audience.

No such problems existed in a similar debate in Australia, he recalled, suggesting Britons were cowed by those eager to protest whenever they felt ‘their cultural norms not being met’.

Krauss said, ‘There is a segment of the Islamic community that is very vocal. But I think the notion that these cultural norms should be carried out within a broader society that not only doesn’t share them, but is free and open, is a very serious problem.’

In other words, raise a whisper of comment – e.g. the satirical Mohammed cartoons – and the hard-liners scream ‘Islamaphobia!’ and heads must roll…which they mean quite literally!

The problem is compounded by the politically correct lobby, usually of the Left persuasion and still wedded to the failed doctrine of ‘multiculturalism,’ which turns a blind eye to the extremists’ jihad against the democratic tenet of free speech.

Which is why Islam is off limits to legitimate debate. And why hate preachers, like Abu Qatada and the hook-clawed Abu Hamza ran rings round the British legal system with relative impunity for years.

BLAME GAME: Lord Ahmed is said to have claimed the 'Jewish-owned' Press were responsible for his jailing

BLAME GAME: Lord Ahmed is said to have claimed the ‘Jewish-owned’ Press were responsible for his jailing for dangerous driving

It’s also why the Labour Party had only now been forced to suspend (again) its first Muslim peer, Lord Ahmed, for allegedly telling a Pakistani TV channel his 2009 conviction for dangerous driving – after a motorist in a parked car was killed by his Jaguar and a flurry of texts, sent and received moments before the crash, were later found on his cellphone – was all a ‘Jewish plot’.

According by The Times, which uncovered the interview, Ahmed fingered the ‘Jewish-owned Press’, for his light-rap, 12-week sentence, of which he served just 16 days.

No doubt this will come as a shock to Rupert Murdoch of News International, the Daily Mail’s Lord Rothermere and the Barclay brothers, owners of Telegraph Media Group, who, hitherto, never realised they were Jewish.

However, even if the accusation proves untrue – unsurprisingly, Ahmed denies it – it doesn’t absolve the outspoken peer from previous excesses.

For instance, in February 2005, Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for a man who calls himself Israel Shamir, but is actually a Swedish arch anti-Semite called Jöran Jermas (Google him, as the noble lord should have done had he been a wiser man).

At the meeting – ‘Jews and the Empire’ – Shamir/Jermas claimed, ‘All the [political] parties are Zionist-infiltrated. Your newspapers belong to Zionists…Jews indeed own, control and edit a big share of mass media, this mainstay of Imperial thinking.’

And, even if Ahmed didn’t embrace the view Jews controlled the Press, he’d sponsored one of the most scurrilous supporters of the slur – and in the Mother of Parliaments, where decent politicians of all persuasions regarded such racist rants as anathema.

In any event, the Pakistan-born baron and property developer became no stranger to controversy.

In 2007, he lambasted Salman Rushdie’s knighthood, claiming the author had ‘blood on his hands.’ And last year Labour suspended the multi-millionaire amid reports he offered a £10M bounty for the capture of Presidents Obama and George W Bush, until an internal inquiry reinstated him.

Anyway, it would muddy the point that here, in the allegedly Free World, there is one religion in our midst we dare not discuss – however peace-loving its believers insist it is – and hold it up to the same, reasonable scrutiny we use to judge Christianity and Judaism.

So game over. Democratic freedom of speech lost.

Time to show true grit and take on the Islamic fanatics, Mr. President

If a PR man was to invent the template for a ‘designer’ US President, Barak Hussein Obama would be it – young, educated, slickly televisual, a snappy dresser, head of a model family, ethnically mixed race and a self-made politico.

In 2008 a majority of Americans bought into that vision and his battle anthem, ‘Change’.

Well, they (and the rest of the world) got change, all right – mostly for the worse. And, but for his Republican challenger Mitt Romney being relentlessly smeared as ‘gaffe-prone’ by the liberal media, Obama would be staring down the barrel of defeat in November, consigned to history’s wastebin as the US’s second worst, post-WW2 leader after the serially incompetent Jimmy Carter.

For, like Carter, he shares common flaws, notably a lack of substance and true grit, which no amount of posturing can paper over.

The peanut farmer from Georgia was undone by his monumental cock-up over the Iran Hostages crisis and ham-handed stewardship of the economy; Obama deserves to fall over his grovelling appeasement to Muslim fanaticism and his lack of economic nous.

It’s worthwhile remembering Carter’s dead hand on the helm of the USA and especially how, for 444 days – from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981 – 52 Americans were held hostage by Islamo-fascists in their embassy in Tehran.

With inept efforts at diplomacy floundering on the rock of hard-line Iranian obduracy, Carter was forced to order a rescue attempt. Codenamed Operation Eagle Caw, on April 24, 1980, it failed abysmally, resulting in the deaths of eight US servicemen.

LOST FOR WORDS: Like Carter, Obama’s forign policy is littered with flaws

Interestingly, the hostages were released just minutes after a new, hawkish president called Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

Now, such are the lost lessons of history, we’re witnessing something approaching a reprise of 31 years ago.

A US President, whose first foreign policy act was to rush to Cairo and offer the hand of friendship to the Muslim world – only to have his palm spat on – continues bumbling and stumbling into an Islamic extremists’ trap he’s too blinkered to see.

The case of the inane movie mocking Mohammad (I take it I can still mention the Prophet by name without provoking more maniacal fury?) made by Christian Copts in California was the fuse that lit explosives begging to be detonate across the Islamic East…and Obama’s response: a cringing telly ad, apologising for the controversial video and insisting it was none of his doing.

As with his witless predecessor Carter, Obama cannot get it through his greying head that the fanatics who have hijacked the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ are ratching up the anti-Western ante now that the bit is between their teeth.

As many commentators (including this one) warned, the kids and cosmopolitan middle-classes who led the demos for an end to tyranny with cries for democracy in Egypt and Tunisia have been blindsided by repressive parties, intent on heralding an ‘Islamic Winter’.

Grasping and repugnant as Mubarak was in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia, they maintained a cold peace with the West, as did the lunatic Gaddafi in Libya, which – with British and French help, subcontracted by the USA – has now disintegrated into factionalist conflict.

In regard to Syria’s civil war, the Americans can’t tell which way is up. We all know the Assads ran the country as a family fiefdom from 1971. But Washington hasn’t a clue who the ‘rebels’ are or to what extent they’re under Al Qaeda’s influence.

Tack onto all this the repeatedly bellicose rants by the Iranians to annihilate Israel and the Jewish state’s understandable impatience at Obama’s dithering after a decade of Tehran’s lies over its nuclear ambitions – the boss of Iran’s atomic programme, Fereydoun Abbasi, recently admitted he gave International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors false information and you can tell how utterly flawed US foreign policy is.

FLOORMAT FLAG: Islamic fanatics desecrate the Stars & Stripes

What the Obama administration doesn’t get (and Romney does) is that as much as Muslim nations crave US hand-outs, especially weapons, they don’t want any Crusader influence over their masses and they’ll attempt to humiliate the West at the drop of a kaffiyeh.

What they also demand is absolute respect towards their unyielding faith – Islam means ‘submission’ and, by their book, that should extend to infidels like us, too. But with them respect is a one-way street: Christians will continue to be reviled in many Muslim states, women will be denigrated, homosexuals persecuted and daily dollops of vicious, anti-Semitic bile will continue to spew from government-controlled media.

So sometime soon (urgently, I hope) during his predicted second term in office – sadly, I think Obama will shade it over Romney – the 44th President must find some balls, stop being the pushover Islamists view him as and tell them a few hard facts about civilised Western values. Because we’ve got plenty to be proud of and he shouldn’t mince his words.

Our ancestors fought long and hard for liberty and the rights we enjoy – freedom of speech, a free Press, a division between church and state, an end to absolute monarchy, just laws that don’t discriminate, an independent judiciary, fair elections, respect for minorities, et al – and it’s time all religious fanatics learned we are not prepared to compromise our principles.

They should also understand we prefer being here, not in the hereafter.

Obama might not like the responsibility of being the world’s most powerful man and has said almost as much. But, if he didn’t want that obligation, he shouldn’t be standing again for office.

He’s stuck with it and we’re likely to be stuck with him for a further four years.

Taking out Osama Bin Laden – said to be at the instigation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his Joint Chiefs of Staff – wasn’t sufficient evidence for Obama to convince the West he’s prepared to get his manicured fingers dirty.

So I urge Mr. President to stop vacillating, concentrate less on reducing his golf handicap and recognise the stark truth: so far as the hard-liners in the Muslim world are concerned, they think he’s a weakling and their attitude is not going to change, only harden.

Meanwhile, the lands of the free demand and deserve a US leader who is brave enough to stand up to them and any likeminded bullies.