This means that he is ready to attack sharia preaching Muslims in his columns. For instance, in one recent piece he revealed that a group called the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) was attempting to infiltrate the Labour Party. This group has plans to convert Europe into an Islamic state. In its training documents the IFE states:
Our goal is not simply to invite people and give da'wah [call to the faith]. Our goal is to create the True Believer, to then mobilise those believers into an organised force for change who will carry out da'wah, hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad [struggle]. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-Deen [an Islamic social, economic and political order]."
Andrew Gilligan goes on to list other statements by the group:
Or the leaflet where the IFE tells us that it is dedicated to changing the "very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed ... from ignorance to Islam." Or the document where the IFE says it "strives for the establishment of a global society, the Khilafah ... comprised of individuals who live by the principles of ... the Shari'ah." The IFE's "primary work" to create this state, the document goes on, "is in Europe because it is this continent, despite all the furore about its achievements, which has a moral and spiritual vacuum."
But how does Gilligan finish his column? He believes he is standing with the majority of Muslims as true believers in a liberal world view:
My Muslim friends and I believe in a world that is, in Louis MacNeice's fine words, "incorrigibly plural". We see no reason why we should have to be defined by our faith, unless we want to be. Like the poet, we feel the drunkenness of things being various. The cold Islamic supremacists of the IFE are the enemies not just of democracy, but of multiculturalism and pluralism itself.There's a bit of liberal autonomy theory thrown in there: the idea that what matters is that we are self-defining individuals. There's also an endorsement of multiculturalism.
And how does Andrew Gilligan think that multiculturalism is going? Well, he believes that it's going just fine, the evidence supposedly being that people are mixing together (which suggests that he doesn't want pluralism after all, just the breakdown of ethnic identity). He writes:
there are very few areas indeed – particularly in London – where a single ethnic minority or faith group dominates. Even in the most ‘non-white’ places, there is usually a mix of Muslims and Hindus, or Asians and blacks. Far from growing levels of ‘crime and conflict’, race crime in London fell by 10.7 per cent last year.
....Overall racial integration in Britain (as measured by rates of mixed marriage) is among the highest in the Western world. Multiculturalism works.
You have to wonder about liberals when you read stuff like this. Even if he were right, and the different ethnic populations were intermarrying and creating a single hybrid population, how does that lead to greater diversity or pluralism in the world? Surely it just knocks out one of the world's distinctive peoples and replaces it by another less distinctive one.
Anyway, as we know, Gilligan's multicultural London - the one that is "working well" - has now exploded into fire, violence and looting. And, to press this point home to Gilligan, he himself was caught up in the middle of it. He was riding his bike to work, found himself in the middle of a mob, got pushed off and had his bike stolen. He was mugged by a multicultural reality.
Gilligan is a good example of why right liberalism is not enough. He needs to acknowledge that liberalism itself has contributed to the social dysfunction that is clearly growing in all Western countries, so that any solution has to come, at least in part, from preliberal traditions - particularly those relating to family, to morality, and to common forms of identity.