Back then, very few people said that sort of stuff and if they did, there would be an immediate collective response of ‘racist!’ from almost the entire establishment, the massed bleating of blind sheep tip-toeing towards the edge of a cliff. ‘Raaaacissst, Raaaaacist!’ And sometimes ‘fascist!’ I know this because I used to say the same sort of thing at the time and I still get called a raaaacisst by imbeciles even today, despite the fact that the climate has changed and its now becoming OK to question the benevolence of Islamic ideology in some quarters.
Cummins was certainly not a racist, whatever else he was. He made it clear that his beef was with the ideology, not the people. He explained this by writing: ‘It is the black heart of Islam, not its black face, to which millions object.’ With crushing predictabil-ity, this short sentence was used to prove that he was racist, because he used the phrase ‘black face’. There are some very, very stupid people about — and they usually have their way.
[T]he most interesting point is how times have changed since that hot summer of 2004, when merely to advance the mildest criticism of Islam was to provoke that fearful ovine bleating. The official view of Muslims (as opposed to Islam) has shifted and never mind the bombs and stuff, it is now even OK to attack them for the stupid clothes they wear: Jack Straw did this himself by saying he didn’t like burqas, if you remember — and was commended for ‘opening a debate’ by another intellectually bereft Guardian journalist, Martin Kettle.
In short, while the liberal establishment still cleaves to the view that Islam is fine and dandy, a peaceable religion which cannot, by law, be disrespected, it has turned its guns instead on the people who practise that ideology, the Muslims. There are attempts to proscribe Muslim organisations, bang up Muslims who demonstrate, arrest those who — following the letter and spirit of the Koran — rail against homosexuality — and, pace Jack Straw, attack them for wearing traditional clothing. All the while leaving the root cause of these manifestations — the ideology of Islam — as sacrosanct. It strikes me that Harry Cummins’s view was far more compassionate and considered than that, despite his vehement rhetoric. He was right, and — catastrophically for him — ahead of his time. Perhaps he should compare notes with a certain Ray Honeyford.