Tony Blairs strategy for the war on Islamism is to mobilize 'moderate Muslims' against 'fundamentalist or Islamist Muslims'. There is a growing consensus in the fact-based community that the existence of 'moderate Muslims' is only theoretical. A moderate Muslim would be an individual who ignored sizeable chunks of the Koran in favour of enlightenment beliefs about the nature of man, and the best structure of a society; one where no religion would hold decisive sway over the machinery of government. They would believe in the primacy of secular law, and would hold as their first allegiance the polity in which they lived, and only secondarily to the strictures and enactments of their religion. They would have the habits of tolerance and rational argumentation, and of obeying the law even when it is difficult to do so.
I know of no sizeable body of Muslims anywhere where these hold true. Britain, my home, is particularly unhappy in this regard. Most Muslims in Britain retain most of the cultural world-view they came here with. Despite us treating incomers like long-lost children, giving them homes, food, money and government jobs, they are increasingly hostile to Britain and to its interests. The youngest generation of Muslims living here are the most committed in their hatred of Britain, and the least enamored of its way of life. But every other nation I can think of with a sizeable Muslim population is similarly situated. The US, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Spain all have this problem. France is the worst case- 10% of its population are young Muslims- France will be lucky not to become part of the Ummah in my lifetime.
From all the available evidence, I would say that the number of moderate Muslims is falling, rapidly. Islamists have found extremely fertile breeding grounds everywhere where Muslims are a minority. In Britain, only 3.6% of the population are Muslim, but you would never believe it given the amount of discussion they provoke, and the amount of money they cost us to protect ourselves from their homicidal children.
Tony Blairs strategy would appear to be based on a fallacy. It makes sense from one angle, in that it keeps the moral high ground with Britain, but then so did Neville Chamberlain's. Mr Blair is a smart man, and knows both the political landscape and what is possible, but I don't think this strategy will be good enough for long.
Another strategy would be removal. Given their small numbers at present, it would be entirely possible to repatriate Muslims to their countries of origin. The Pakistanis would be the first object of this policy, as they seem more receptive to the principles of Islamism than the other ethnic groups that make up the Muslim population. Without their presence, much of the day-to-day workload of MI-5 would be reduced, and we could concentrate on the Somali's, Saudi's and Bangladeshi's, fewer in numbers.
My fear is that Britain has got used to not solving problems, but managing them. We chose not to go hammer and tongs to defeat the IRA, and they are present in Irish politics to this day, poisoning the body politic with their thuggery, organised crime and strong-arm tactics. Instead, we cosied up to them to stop them blowing up all our office blocks. The Islamist threat is different in many ways, but this is an enemy that can be beaten. So far, the cosying up method has born no discernible fruit, and dividing and conquering doesn't seem like its going to work this time either.