David Conway

David Conway is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Westminster-based social policy think-tank Civitas: Institute for the Study of Civil Society.

Apologia for Islamism

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Ever since it underwent decolonization at the end of World War II, the Middle East has proved notoriously volatile politically speaking. Until the attacks of September 11, 2001, the West remained largely unaffected by the convulsions by which at regular intervals one or other of its constituent countries has been periodically shaken since gaining independence. It is against the backdrop of the present chaotic state of so much of the Middle East that Shadi Hamid, a Muslim American of self-proclaimed liberal and democratic proclivities, has written Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle over Islam Is Reshaping the World. He seeks to explain…

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A Quangocrat Offers His Plan

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Trevor Phillips had the following purposes in mind in writing Race and Faith: The Deafening Silence: to identify which cultural practices and attitudes of which of Britain’s minorities are especially detrimental to the body politic, and why; and then to propose, under what he calls “active integration,” a raft of new policies that he believes could encourage Britain’s minorities to discard the attitudes and practices that are problematic. Born in Islington to working class immigrants from British Guiana shortly after their arrival in London, Phillips is a journalist and “quangocrat” (our word for public servants toiling in Britain’s non-governmental organizations) who…

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Brexit Costs Versus Brexit Benefits

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Would Britain gain or lose by leaving the European Union? Is it possible the consequences would be neutral, with the costs and benefits of Brexit cancelling each other out?

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Dave’s Dodgy Deal

Prime Minister David Cameron holds a Q&A session with students at University Campus Suffolk ahead of the EU referendum.  (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/Getty Images)

On Saturday, after what seemed like interminable haggling in Brussels with his European Union counterparts, followed by a specially convened meeting of his cabinet, David Cameron went to the steps of 10 Downing Street and told Britons that a referendum would be put to them in June on whether Britain should stay in or leave the EU.

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The Way of Secrecy

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Within weeks of Germany’s invasion of Poland in September 1939, Pope Pius XII received a request from a group of senior German military officers to join them in a conspiracy to remove the Führer from power and then swiftly end hostilities after staging a coup. The officers let Pius know, however, that they were only prepared to act after first gaining assurances from the Allies that, were they to do so, they and Germany would receive fair treatment in any ensuing peace treaty, unlike how, in their estimation, Germany had been treated at the end of World War One. This is…

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Making Peace among Brothers

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At the start of Not In God’s Name, Jonathan Sacks writes: “Religiously motivated violence must be fought religiously as well as militarily,” and he adds that “this will be one of the defining battles of the twenty-first century.” Few would seem better qualified to rally the support of decent people against religiously motivated extremists. After gaining a double-first in philosophy at Cambridge (under the supervision of Roger Scruton) and a doctorate in ethics, Sacks went on to become an orthodox rabbi, and later served for two decades as Britain’s Chief Rabbi. He did so with such distinction that he was awarded…

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Rain Man as Fall Guy

Recently the trial began in a London court of Thomas Hayes, the first banker, to face criminal charges in connection with the rigging of the London-based international inter-bank lending rate known as LIBOR. This was an apparently quite widespread malpractice within the banking sector for several years both before and after the global financial crisis of 2008. Already several major banks have had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for employees of theirs having been deemed complicit in it. Until last week’s trial opened, no one had faced criminal charges for complicity in this malpractice.   

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Why Did They Kill?

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Almost nightly, our TV screens berate us with images of atrocities in far-flung places perpetrated by the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram. Watching them, it is chastening to reflect that, less than three quarters of a century ago, savagery on an even far larger scale and a more organized basis was rampant throughout Europe, committed at the behest of the democratically elected government of one of that continent’s most civilized and cultured nations. What drove the land of Schiller, Kant, and Mozart to descend to such depths of depravity forms the subject of Dan McMillan’s informative and thought-provoking How Could…

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Assessing Religious Terror

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Since 9/11 numerous books have been written about religiously motivated terror. Many have been vitiated by the excessive keenness of their authors to play down the role of Islam in motivating it or else to exaggerate that of other religions in instigating it. One such author is Mark Juergensmeyer. Widely heralded as an authority on "Christian terrorism", Juergensmeyer has described Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh as a Christian terrorist, without any evidence religion entered into his motives for carrying out the bombing. He has similarly denied that the Muslim faith of the Tsarnev brothers inspired them to carry out the Boston…

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The Yanks Made Us Do It

The central question addressed by Samuel Gregg in his timely ruminations about the Anglosphere is how ready and willing its member nations are to “collectively shape the global order” through collaboration beyond that in which they already engage. His chief contention is that, while the nations of the Anglosphere jointly possess the necessary economic, demographic, and military means to be much more assertive globally, certain key political leaders lack the will to turn it into a more assertive player. Of these reluctant leaders, one is said to be President Obama. “Of all postwar American presidents,” Gregg writes, “Obama seems the least…

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Snubbing the Anglosphere

Samuel Gregg rightly concludes that the political cooperation required for the nations of “the Anglosphere” to act as an effective international bloc rests upon choices by leaders. Cultural ties and longstanding security relationships open possibilities, but pursuing them requires conscious decision. To elaborate on Gregg’s analysis, one would have to consider what presuppositions and concerns…

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Crisis of Identity: Here, There, and in the Canuckosphere

Samuel Gregg’s thoughtful Liberty Forum essay on the prospects for a functional “Anglosphere” leaves me perplexed. He is no Pollyanna on the matter, but to my mind he underestimates some monumental intellectual and practical difficulties confronting statesmen who would try to move the English-speaking peoples from ad hoc cooperation in various areas, animated by real…

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