Paradoxically, Britain is a victim of its own democratic freedoms and politically correct culture. For decades, the United Kingdom has turned a blind eye to the radicalisation of the country’s Muslim youth in mosques, schools, universities and prisons, not to mention on the streets of its cities where recruiters are free to distribute pamphlets promoting their distorted version of Islam.

Entire areas of the country have emerged as virtual ghettos spawning an ideology rooted in hatred for all things western. Demonstrations calling for the British police to go to hell and demanding that the Queen convert to Islam are accepted as the norm. And when challenged, demonstrators who view democracy as an evil concept argue that under United Kingdom law, free speech is their democratic right. This phenomenon did not occur overnight and blame should be placed on the policies of appeasement adopted by successive British governments, presumably on the basis of ‘leave them alone and they won’t attack us’. That is not only shameless but it has also proven to be a gross miscalculation. It is no mere accident of fate that a Tunisian believed to have been trained by Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in Libya, turned his gun on British tourists relaxing on a beach in Sousse, whilst cheerily strolling past his own countrymen.

And according to a new analysis by the Control Risk Group, scrutinising global security risks, London is now the pre-eminent terrorist target in Western Europe. The government has raised the threat level to ‘severe’ and security services partnered with emergency services are carrying out realistic training exercises in London in order to be prepared. But all of this is too little, too late! It goes without saying that the vast majority of British Muslims are law abiding and most consider Daesh, Al Qaida and their affiliates as heinous organisations, but it only takes a few bad apples to launch major attacks as Britons witnessed first-hand on July 7, 2005, when just four British Muslims bombed London’s transport system.

Magnet for the depraved

The situation is worse now than it was then because the trees on which those bad apples grow are blooming, watered by the lure of a false “caliphate” that drinks from rivers of blood and has shown itself to be triumphant against the world’s mightiest countries pursuing its destruction. The barbarity in which Daesh specialises is a magnet for the depraved, the psychologically disturbed, the no-hopers and the easily brainwashed, weak-minded. It is a cult glorifying death, torture and slavery allowing free rein to individuals with sadistic or masochistic tendencies. When well over 1,600 Britons have joined Daesh in Syria or Iraq with an average of five heading out weekly, estimates acknowledged as conservative, it is beyond time that the UK developed a plan.

Just last week, 12 members of a British family of Bangladeshi origin aged between one and 75 years was reported as missing after travelling to Bangladesh ostensibly on vacation. It so happens that this family, referred to by friends and relatives as “normal” (aren’t they always?), has rejected life in Britain in favour of “a land that is free from corruption and oppression of man-made law ...” according to the family’s statement.

‘An existential threat’

“Yes, all 12 of us — and why should this number be shocking when there are thousands and thousands of Muslims from all corners of the world that are crossing over land and sea everyday to come to the [Daesh]; that are willingly leaving the so-called freedom and democracy that was forced down our throat in the attempt to brainwash Muslims to forget about their powerful and glorious past and now present,” the statement read.

Their action, which to most sane people is incomprehensible, comes on the heels of the departure of three sisters from Bradford who left to join Daesh with their eight children, leaving their husbands heart-broken. Finally the penny has dropped in Number 10. British Prime Minister David Cameron is now referring to Daesh as “an existential threat”. The wonder is that it took so long for this message to trickle through to his consciousness.

He is now vowing a full-spectrum response to the slaughter of Britons in Tunisia. He is calling for Britain to be less tolerant of extremists and is warning that the government is preparing to take a hard-line stance. He says his resolve is “unshakeable” and a full-spectrum response must be launched “at home and abroad” and to that end he is proposing crushing Daesh in Syria.

But can Cameron be taken seriously when, instead of utilising the authority he enjoys as Prime Minister, he is waiting for the approval of lawmakers after parliament reconvenes in September? Former US President George W. Bush famously said: “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a lot easier.”

I would not be surprised if Cameron secretly concurs when democracy’s freedoms have directly contributed to putting his nation at risk.

Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She can be contacted at