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Living in a Backwards World
by David Solway
A new meme or figure of speech has begun to circulate among conservative writers and thinkers with increasing frequency and appositeness—namely, that we are living in a world turned upside down, to cite the title of a major book by Melanie Philips, itself derived from Christopher Hill's study of revolutionary 17th century in England. (The term "world" is used by these writers to refer primarily to the Western sociopolitical domain or provinces thereof.) Almost everywhere we look we see this trope corroborated by extensive empirical testimony, of which I will flag only a few significant instances.
It is a world, as we have just seen, in which respectable and knowledgeable anti-jihadist freedom fighters Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are forbidden entry to the U.K. as disturbers of public order and social peace while avowed terrorists are welcomed into the country and allowed to live handsomely on the public dole. It is in this same benighted nation that anti-Sharia activists Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll of the English Defence League are arrested for entering a Sharia-controlled zone in Tower Hamlets, a borough of London, on their way to Woolwich to honor Drummer Lee Rigby, slaughtered by Islamic terrorists. As reported on The Gates of Vienna website, "the Metropolitan police have now taken on the responsibility of enforcing the borders of these shariah-controlled zones, applying the rules laid down by the Islamic inhabitants."
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