It’s official. Rishi Sunak is the new prime minister of Great Britain. He’s a British-born Hindu, whose work before he entered politics was in finance. Almost all of the coverage of his dizzying ascent has focused on his economic policies, his experience at Goldman Sachs and as a hedge fund manager, and his presumed ability to “calm the markets” at a time of “great turbulence.” But what about those who come to Jihad Watch, who want to know not so much about his economic plans as his views on Islam, Muslims, and Israel?
The first thing to note is that Sunak is not just Hindu by descent, but a seriously practicing Hindu. He chose to be sworn in as an MP on a copy of the Bhagavad Gita. He is known to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights. He has also been photographed lighting candles outside No. 10 Downing Street to mark the occasion. As a practicing Hindu, and a well-educated man, he cannot help but know what the Muslim invasion and conquest of much of India meant for its indigenous Hindu inhabitants. The celebrated Indian historian K. S. Lal estimates that under Muslim rule, between 1000 and 1525 A.D., 80 million Hindus were slaughtered by Muslims. And many more Hindus were killed between 1525 and the onset of British rule. Rishi Sunak knows about those killings, and also about the hundreds of millions of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi Muslims who are the descendants of Hindus who converted to Islam not out of conviction, but in order to escape death or dhimmitude.
Can we therefore expect Rishi Sunak to take a dim view of Islam and its demographic inroads in the UK? He has said he will crack down on Islamic terrorism, which “is a significant terror threat” for the UK. He has added that he also plans to scrutinize publicly funded charities which could be promoting “extremist” ideology. Sunak has suggested that one way to fight “Islamist extremism” would be to separate “[Muslim] extremists” from the UK’s regular prison population. It’s something that should have been done long ago, and not just in the UK but throughout the West, once it became clear that imprisoned Muslims had a literally captive audience on whom they could practice their prison da’wah. Too many non-Muslim prisoners have turned to Islam, either out of fear — Muslims constitute the “biggest gang” behind bars — or conviction, the result of constant exposure to those engaged in daw’ah. Thus does the British prison system work to swell the faith’s ranks. And too many laodicean Muslims become “radicalized” while in prison – that is, become more fanatical in their faith — by prison preachers who push them towards “extremism.” Ideally, Sunak will propose keeping the “extremist” Muslims in their own prisons, while lukewarm Muslims will be kept in other prisons, where they will not be radicalized by the “extremists.” Finally, non-Muslims would be held in still other prisons, where no Muslims will be held, and hence there will be little likelihood of conversions.
Sunak said he was “horrified” by the need for security outside Jewish schools, and promised that as prime minister he would increase the government’s financial support for Jewish security organizations such as the Community Security Trust. He promised that “I will do everything to root antisemitism out and protect people who need it.”
Asked at a Conservative Friends of Israel meeting about terrorism from Gaza and the West Bank, he did not offer any of the usual niffnoff about the need to give the Palestinians “hope” as a way to tamp down violence. Instead, he was uncompromising: “You will have my total commitment that I will fight very hard for the security of people in Israel, and that means being tougher and calling out behavior from Palestinians if need be.”
At the same Conservative Friends of Israel hustings this August, Rishi Sunak denounced the charge of “apartheid” flung at Israel, and described the Jewish state as a “shining beacon of hope’ Here is a fuller version of his remarks:
With remarkable frequency it emerges that those who label Israel an apartheid state also deny Israel’s right to exist. It is a claim that stands as an obstacle to peace and the government should be calling it out at the UN and wherever else it is used.
The apartheid claim is not only factually incorrect but quite frankly offensive. Like any nation, Israel is not perfect — but it is a vibrant multi-ethnic democracy with a free press and the rule of law. It stands as a shining beacon of hope in a region of autocracies and religious extremists.
And then he said what is perhaps most important, and reassuring to many of us, that “there is a very strong case” for moving the British Embassy to Jerusalem, which, he added, “is indisputably the historic capital” of the Jewish people.
Out of the frying-pan of Liz Truss, who spoke of moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, into the fire of Rishi Sunak, who says the same, but with even more conviction and feeling. If I were a Palestinian, I’d now be in a Slough of Despond.