The Prime Minister’s ‘Battle of Ideas’

Below is the latest in a series of essays from Nick McAvelly applying formal (or Boolean) logic to statements and arguments made by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Right Honourable David Cameron MP (© EdStock)

The Prime Minister’s ‘Battle of Ideas’

by Nick McAvelly

A lot has happened in France since Ilan Halimi was murdered by a gang of ‘barbarians’.[1] Mohamed Merah, a devout Muslim named after the so-called prophet of Islam, went on a killing spree in 2012, murdering little children in cold blood at a school in Toulouse and shooting French soldiers on the street.[2] A group of Muslims carrying automatic weapons broke into the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015 and murdered twelve people.[3] In Paris last week, Islamic terrorists murdered a hundred and thirty people and injured many more, in what the French are calling an ‘act of war’.[4] It is being reported that some of the Muslims responsible for the most recent act of terrorism in France tortured their victims as they lay dying.[5] A gang of barbarians, indeed.

The A proposition: All S are P

Where the subject term is individuals who are Muslims, and the predicate term is individuals who shot and killed children at a school in Toulouse in March 2012, or attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices and murdered twelve people in January 2015, or carried out the latest terrorist atrocity in the city of Paris, it makes no sense to assert that the A proposition (All S are P) is true.

However, when the subject term is individuals who shot and killed Jewish children at a school in Toulouse in 2012, or murdered French journalists at the Charlie Hebdo offices in January 2015, or participated in the terrorist attack in Paris in November 2015, or murdered a British soldier in the streets of London on 22nd May 2013, or attacked Glasgow Airport in June 2007, or carried out the terrorist attack on the London public transport system in July 2005, and the predicate term is Muslims, then the A proposition (All S are P) is true.

The I proposition: Some S are P

It follows that some Muslims are terrorists. That is to say, where the subject term is Muslims, and the predicate term is terrorists, the I proposition (Some S are P) is true. As the Prime Minister of Great Britain said after the latest terrorist attack in Paris, ‘It doesn’t work to deny any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists, not least because these extremists self-identify themselves as Muslims. There is no point denying that.’[6]

The Prime Minister went on to say, ‘We need to take apart their arguments and demonstrate they are wrong. In doing so we need the continued help of Muslim communities and Muslim scholars. They are playing a powerful role and I commend them for their absolutely essential work. We cannot stand neutral in this battle of ideas.’[7]

So according to the Prime Minister, we are engaged in a battle of ideas. And if we are to prevail, then we must take apart the arguments of Islamic terrorists and demonstrate that they are wrong. However, it is not ‘absolutely essential’ for ‘Muslim communities’ to help us. That is simply not true. Being a Muslim is not a necessary condition of being able to demonstrate that an assertion is false, or that an argument is invalid or fallacious. Anyone can do that.

Let’s take the Prime Minister at his word then. David Cameron is not a Muslim, so when he employs the first person, plural personal pronoun, he may be referring to some Muslims, but he is also referring to non-Muslims like himself. ‘We’ can’t remain neutral in this ‘battle of ideas’, he says. Very well.

If we are going to take apart the arguments of Islamic terrorists and show that they are wrong, then we have to realise that some of the premises that form part of their arguments will be shared with other Muslims. Their reasoning may depart from that shared foundation of basic Islamic principles and go off in strange and violent directions. But when you are at war, you don’t have to kill your enemy in hand to hand combat in order to defeat him. You can destroy his supply lines, you can sink his ships carrying fuel, weapons and troops to the front line. Or you can assassinate his leader. So all of the religious beliefs held by Islamic terrorists will have to be considered fair game in the Prime Minister’s ‘battle of ideas’.

It is settled law that people are protected by human rights legislation, but religious beliefs are not.[8] So any members of ‘Muslim communities’ who think they might possibly experience a transient emotion, a.k.a. ‘feeling offended’, if they ever hear a non-Muslim criticize any of the foundational Islamic principles which they share with Islamic terrorists, will just have to suck it up. People are dying here. That’s not a theoretical possibility either. This is as real as it gets. If ‘Muslim communities’ really want to ‘help’ us, then they can start by demonstrating to the rest of Great Britain that they share our priorities. That means acknowledging that their religious beliefs are open to criticism, the same as everyone else’s.

It is noteworthy that the Prime Minister asked for ‘Muslim communities’ to help us in this ‘battle of ideas’. It would make no sense for the PM to ask specifically for Muslims to help him ‘battle’ against the Islamic terrorists’ ideology, if their ideology had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. In that case, the PM may as well have asked cooks, barbers or car mechanics for help. But he didn’t. The connection between Islamic terrorism and Islamic ideology is once again laid bare. The PM also said that ‘Muslim communities’ would ‘continue’ to help. We can therefore assume that ‘Muslim communities’ have been ‘helping’ in this ‘battle of ideas’ before now. If we switch on the news at any hour of the day or night, then we can see that expecting ‘Muslim communities’ to fight this ‘battle of ideas’ on our behalf has not worked. 9/11 was more than fourteen years ago, and we are at greater risk from Islamic terrorism than ever. It’s high time we started fighting our own battles. If we are going to do that, then we would do well to remember what John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty, which is still one of the classic textbooks on freedom of speech:

‘Wrong opinions and practices gradually yield to fact and argument: but facts and arguments, to produce any effect on the mind, must be brought before it. Very few facts are able to tell their own story, without comments to bring out their meaning.’[9]

‘Nor is it enough that he should hear the arguments of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. That is not the way to do justice to the arguments, or bring them into real contact with his own mind. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them; who defend them in earnest, and do their very utmost for them.’[10]

The Prime Minister has said that ‘we’ must take apart the jihadists’ arguments and show that they are wrong. Therefore, as John Stuart Mill has argued, it is necessary for people who are not Muslims to ‘do their very utmost’ to place the relevant refutations and counter arguments into the public domain, so that all of the religious beliefs held by Islamic terrorists, with no exceptions, are discredited and destroyed.

David Cameron wants a ‘battle of ideas’? Let’s oblige him.


1.   The Affair of the Gang of Barbarians, Wikipedia. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
2.   ‘It was our 9/11’: French president Sarkozy says trauma of Toulouse serial killings was ‘profound’ as 19 suspected Islamists are arrested in dawn raids, Daily Mail, 30th March 2012. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
3.   Rayner, G. Samuel, H. Evans, M. Charlie Hebdo attack: France’s worst terrorist attack in a generation leaves 12 dead, The Telegraph, 7th January 2015. (Accessed 21st November 2015.); Charlie Hebdo attack: The 12 victims of Paris shooting, The Telegraph, 8th January 2015. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
4.   Steafel, E. Mulholland, R. Sabur, R. Malnick, E. Trotman, A. Harley, N. Paris terror attack: Everything we know on Friday afternoon, The Telegraph, 21st November 2015. (Accessed 21st November 2015.); Number Of Paris Attacks Victims Rises To 130, Sky News, 21st November 2015. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
5.   Halkon, R. British survivor of Eagles of Death Metal concert tells how ISIS terrorists ‘tortured wounded victims by slitting their stomachs with knives’, Daily Mirror, 16th November 2015. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
6.   Prime Minister’s statement on Paris attacks and G20 Summit, 17th November 2015. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
7.   ibid. (Accessed 21st November 2015.)
8.   La Rue, F. Promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, UN General Assembly, 67th Session, A/67/357, paragraph 53. (Accessed 22nd November 2015.)
9.   Mill, J. On Liberty, Chapter II, section 7. (Accessed 22nd November 2015.)
10.   ibid., Chapter II, section 23. (Accessed 22nd November 2015.)

27 thoughts on “The Prime Minister’s ‘Battle of Ideas’

  1. It is a futile exercise to raise these issues to Prime Minister David Cameron. He does not deny the nature of Islam because it is ignorant, he denies because it is purposeful, to face and measure how much people are willing to be tolerant even feeling on the skin of the practices that are targets of tolerance. Political succession in Britain did everything to vilify Christianity, and they had great success. They know that Islam is antagonistic to the lifestyle of the majority of the British, but they are using Islam as a way to measure how far they have control of society through indoctrination. If the reaction is negative, then they impose more control and more censorship, and is positive, then keeps the program to promote tolerance of antagonism.

    Islam in Britain is not imposed, contrary to what some postmodern idiots English say of Christianity, when people on internet forums or comment sections give an opinion favorable to the Christian faith, but the tolerance of Islam is imposed on British, and even if they disapprove of the authorities are not willing to allow them to have the same intolerance that have to Christianity towards Islam. It is a circle without end: the mass media and the government promote intolerance to Christianity, and force the British to be tolerant of Islam, and the more they try to express their discontent over government censorship and imposes diversity, multiculturalism for them. At the end it is not Islam that is imposed on them, but Multiculturalism, diversity. Diversity is the only religion imposed on the British anti-Christian.

    • If you check our Cameron’s words at the KJV Bible anniversary speech he gave, and at his Eid speeches, he says repeatedly that he doesn’t know much about religion, and that he isn’t an authority on religion etc. Strange indeed that people take him to be an authority on islam.

      It’s always useful to keep a record of these guys’ own words. And it’s always good to be able to use their own words against them.

    • I don’t agree with your notion of “imposing” Islam by denigrating Christianity.

      The whole point of the exercise is to throw open the public forum of ideas to all arguments. The assumption of Mills is that when both sides are presenting their best arguments, unhampered by authority or restrictions, the side closest to the truth is likely to prevail.

      It therefore makes no difference if all the media pundits, the newscasters and commentators, the public officials are denigrating Christianity and claiming that Islam is moderate. As long as the opponents of Islam are allowed to make their arguments, the truth will come out.

      I repeat: it doesn’t matter if the airwaves are filled with rants against Christianity, Western Civilization and representative government. The important feature is that opponents of those ideas are able to argue freely and are not censored.

      However, what we see is that in Britain, Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, etc, opposition to Islam, unfavorable comments concerning Islam, the connection of Islam to terrorism, are not only censored from the news and the media, but actually criminalized. This is as far from free speech as you can get. In this environment, any speech is toxic. It is as bad to censor denigration of Christianity as to censor criticism of Islam.

      • I understand your point Ronald, but in public life to discuss their own culture, as in European culture and its importance has become taboo, and a crime equally to criticism of Islam. You discuss the terrible aspects of a culture has become a taboo because the debate of ideas they decry it. Christians are homophobic parents for teaching their children that the concept of family which they envision every single day is correct, but Islam is not because Islam is a religion closed and deserves the benefit of the doubt. Say in public that family consists of a man and a woman in the UK is a crime, but Islam says that homosexuals stain the face of the earth is not a crime. Being a Muslim and not adopt the local culture, but go too far to the point of damaging people’s lives is something unusual, according to the politically correct view, because they see this as a extremism that does not represent Islam. Be a Christian and be a conservative even in a closed family environment is being homophobic and extremist. That’s how David Cameron sees things.

        I once was reading a publication of Paul Weston on his Facebook page, there showed its position in favor of the traditional family, something that a politician from a Christian country has an obligation to do and he is aware of Cultural Marxism. Then one of the readers in the comments section said that defense of the traditional family was equivalent to what the Islamic state was doing in Syria, that is, for those people who were born in this liberal and Marxist vision, the traditional family and Christian principles should not be [t]aught, as learned from the BBC and successive British governments that such values ​​are extremists, and they need to reject them, but reject them is the same as rejecting Christianity, and reject Christianity and equip it to extremism is being politically correct. That’s why such a person attempted against the defense of Christian values ​​that Paul Weston issued because it is not open to dialogue, it is politically incorrect to defend Christian values, because they are considered extremists by non-Christians British, but who see in Islam a truly extremist attitude .

        You can even go to a public debate and show step by step that Islam is violent at the heart, but they will not accept your offer, and they will reject it because it is politically incorrect to say that Islam as a whole is violent. Liberals put all that Islam is upon Christianity, namely: misogyny, hatred of homosexuals, subjugation of women, and cultural and racial supremacy and etc. If it shows that Islam is the very thing which the leftist label Christianity without defending it, you’re just making a defense of political correctness because they assimilated a vision that Christianity is so, and how Muslims are ” minorities, “they will automatically come to the conclusion that this Islam being exposed is not the true Islam, but in reality Christianity who promotes these kinds of things.

        • In recent years they do not teach that Islam was a misogynist religion, expansionist and supremacist, they taught that Christianity was like that. They made an inversion of values where the values and Christian morality is almost synonymous with Nazism, to the point that every young person to come out of the institutions leave hating Christianity as a racist supremacist religion. Even though (if they accepted it) they accept the debate and exposure, they will not begin to explain Islam and reject it, they will try to find a peaceful Islam and demonstrate that not every Muslim is so, that is, they will follow the rule of the minority.

          The funny thing is that Europeans have no real value to defend beyond those political correctness has given them.

    • Really, Ronie? It’s all to do with diversity?
      And just what will happen to/with islam, will it just fade away, having done it’s job?
      I don’t think so, islam will be in the driver’s seat! The question is, where will the political ‘elites’ be?

  2. Nobody trusts this [redacted] manly body part. “Oily Dave” the ultimate charlatan promising cures for all…

  3. Here’s an idea. Not to battle with, but to take into battle: We are now paying an ever mounting and enormous price for tolerating Islam. It is taking away our security, our freedom, and in some cases, our loved ones. It is also diverting more and more tax payer money into security concerns and away from regular expenditure such as schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Instead of tolerating this absurd situation and caving in to yet more appeasing concessions to Islam we should levy a maintenance tax on M[uslim]s to help defray the enormous costs to our society of their totalitarian ideology.

  4. Islam panderer Cameron does not want a battle of ideas. He says he does because it sounds good and pacifies the populace.

    If he genuinely wished for said battle, he would lift the ban on Robert Spencer – the man who can undertake the ideas battle and win, calmly, rationally and peacefully. But Cameron won’t. Because he doesn’t.

    • From our perspective, the important thing is that he said it. That is now a matter of public record, and we can use that.

    • I agree with you, Dave doesn’t want a ‘battle of ideas’ because he personally doesn’t have any ammunition. However, from the perspective of the CJ, we have to understand the position we are in. It would have been difficult enough for the West if, right after 9/11, the civilised world got together and started fighting the battle which actually needs to be fought. Instead we were hamstrung by that ridiculous puppet idiot Bush who made his infamous declaration about islam shortly afterwards. The rest of the political parasites joined in the chorus, and here we are today.

      So whenever an opportunity presents itself to speak the truth about islam, we have to take it. This is one such opportunity. In order to avoid prosecution, one could begin a talk, a speech, a letter, a post on a blog, or whatever by saying … ‘As the Prime Minister said immediately after the terrorist attacks in Paris, we are engaged in a battle of ideas. As the Prime Minister said immediately after the terrorist attacks in Paris, we can no longer deny that there is a connection between these terrorist attacks and islam, because as the PM has put it, the terrorists ‘self-identify’ as Muslims. That is to say, they are Muslims. Yes, *some* Muslims really are terrorists.

      As the Prime Minister said himself at an Eid dinner in 2014, he is not a scholar of any religion. And as the PM said, at a King James Bible anniversary speech at Oxford in 2011, he claims no religious authority whatsoever. So we can’t rely on the PM to inform us about this connection between the ongoing terrorist attacks and islamic ideology … we have to investigate this matter ourselves.

      Then, having set things up and made it that much harder for any lefty maniacs in the audience to do us, ESW-style, we can start to say a few things …

  5. “The Prime Minister has said that ‘we’ must take apart the jihadists’ arguments and show that they are wrong.”
    The Prime Minister is fixed on a doomed project. The Prime Minister (informed by advisers employing Islamic deception) has declared that the jihadists are “wrong”: they have perverted, distorted, twisted, misunderstood, and hi-jacked the teachings. He has nailed his colours to the mast, and will lose face if he backs down. He is dangerous. He is steering the ship of state straight for the reef.
    Remember that the Vatican insisted that the sun went round the earth. Galileo was placed under house arrest for espousing the “heretical” view (gained by scientific observation) that the earth goes round the sun. It took more than four hundred years for the Vatican to admit its mistake and apologise.

    Memo to Mr. Cameron
    The jihadists are not wrong: they are doing “exactly what this book says” (Allen West). A look at the Jihad Watch website will explain this on a daily basis. There Robert Spencer takes apart the jihadists’ arguments and shows that they are right.

      • Yes, but they are definitely ‘wrong’ from our perspective. And if we have the PM on record as saying there is a connection between these terrorists and islam itself, then we have an opening that we can use – a chink in their armour, if you like.

        We can quote the PM every time we want to say anything about that rather obvous connection between the motivation of the terrorists and their eventual actions, & make it that bit more difficult for any lefty headspinner to do an ESW on us, and grass us up to the ‘authorities’ for ‘hate speech’. After all, if the Prime Minister has said that we are engaged in a battle of ideas, and the Prime Minister has said there is a connection between these terrorists and islam …

        You will remember when Paul Weston was lifted on the steps of the town hall for saying uncomnplimentary things about islam … the authorities peed their pants when he told them that he was merely reading aloud the words of Winston Churchill.

        This is what I’m driving at here … we need to realise who our true enemy is here and whenever we get the opportunity to use their own words against them, and to make it that much harder for them to come after us, we need to take it.

  6. Islam applied to society does not create diversity it creates a totalitarian, theocratic monoculture. It tolerates only itself. If “lefties” want diversity they need to oppose Islam.

    The argument around the fight against Islamic ideology has already been settled; when the koran was written.

    The koran is (to believers) the direct word of god. It cannot therefore be altered or its commandments deviated from without the accusation of being an apostate, as we all know, punishable by death (as scripturally defined).

    The concept of abrogation – accepted by the planets most valid Islamic scholars means the violent verses, although not recorded in chronological order are to be accepted over the earlier less violent verses.

    Taqiyya has enabled Islam to insinuate itself within our enlightened Western societies by hiding its abhorrent nature and aim of world wide sharia.

    Its like Nazism on steroids. There are no pretty solutions, this has been, is and will only ever be a civilizational fight where there is only one solution. Islam either has to be destroyed utterly, root, branch, twig, leaf or it will destroy the Western Enlightenment and humanities currently progressed state. The longer this problem is left the worse will be the eventual solution.

    These are facts.

    • I don’t believe Islam can be or should be destroyed. It has to be isolated, though, in Islamic countries. We have Muslim citizens. As long as their number remains very small, they can be accorded the full rights of citizens. Once the number reaches a tipping point, though, according Muslims a full voice in government changes the character of the government.

      In Muslim countries, they can follow Islam as they like. The internal dynamics of Muslim law and thought makes it unlikely a Muslim army can confront a modern, non-Muslim army in traditional battle…but, Muslims excel in subversion and assassination. Therefore, Muslims should not be allowed in Western or Western-type countries. But, we should not aggress against Muslims in Muslim countries. Much of the success of the Islamic State can be traced to idiotic destabilization of dictatorships in Muslim countries.

      • RonaldB – Your sentiments are admirable, but I fear that Islam is just too much of a perfect threat to our species to be allowed to exist.

        If we contain it – it will eventually gain the strength to destroy us by gaining nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. If we allow it as we have done, to insinuate itself into our societies it will take over through violence or in a generation or two, our own democratic systems via its demographic jihad.

        There really is no worse retrograde force than Islam.

      • For the life of me I cannot understand why the British allowed these savages into their county in the first places. They knew good and well the unnatural and beastly practices of these hominids. And I cannot understand how any functional government (DE) would invite unlimited numbers of these backwater creatures into a civilized society.

        • That’s an easy one. We are ruled by people who are so remote from the normal democratic majority that they make insane decisions as these decisions will never affect them.

          • I’ve said many a time that your average working class bloke has more of a connection to the truth than these career politicians. After all, if a working class person does not rely on the truth & does not recognise the connection between what people say to them and reality, they will make mistakes and end up with their P45 before the week is out. Consequences – immediate and direct!

            These silver spooners though – they have never had to deal with the truth, with reality, with consequences. They leave everyone else to deal with those nasty, unpleasant, things.

            So long as they’re all right, so long as they are in a position of privilege and power, that’s all that matters to them.

      • RonaldB, I disagree. You do not have muslim citizens, only muslims living in a western country.

        It was ever thus, and every country admitting the islamic horde has become islamic—56 and counting. (soon to include most of Europe if Europeans do not come to their senses and get rid of their traitors. (leaders)

  7. Churchill would have had Cameron shot for treason. Churchill saved England when England was in a desperate position. Cameron destroyed England when England was in a good position.

  8. Lord Owen told us 3 yrs ago that David Cameron had hired Tony Blair as a secret advisor and was protecting him from Chilcot. In a crowded field, it was and remains the biggest ever scandal in UK politics. It means that DC is simply running TBs program long after the British people thought they had got rid of him. It explains Cameron’s lack of action on the most urgent matters of the day.

    The mystery is why the multi-culti maniacs think they will escape the horrors of subjugation, dhimmitude and sharia law. They don’t know what they are dealing with.

    • Dave has given us a window of opportunity to remind people though. We can see this as a chink in the enemy’s armour. We shouldn’t ignore this opportunity, they’re few and far between.

  9. Let’s make this Boolean exercise very simple:
    1. Leaders can start leading by example. If economic refugees are to be given sanctuary they will be housed in leaders’ dwellings first. This includes palaces, castles, plush high-rise offices and five star hotels. When leaders have no more space then progressive activists forfeit their dwellings. When that space runs out then liberal journalists are booted out of their shacks to make space for “refugees.” After that the borders are closed.
    2. When leaders call for war then they lead the charge as they did in the old days. No more nonsense of leaders dining on wine and caviar while watching their countrymen die in their place.
    3. No more intellectualizing this nonsense. There are tens of millions of “moderate” Muslims that want all nonbelievers dead and Sharia Law implemented worldwide. Not a problem. Bring it.

    • Agreed 10x. But it wont happen until a new kind of leader arises like a Cromwell or George Washington who chooses the welfare of the nation over his own. The allowed hypocrisy of leaders is part and parcel of the office. Those who destroyed the divine right of monarchies of Europe were not interested in destroying the king of the hill for reasons of democracy (that was just the public canard), they just wanted power for themselves.

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