They have been burning churches and murdering Christians again in Niger. You’d think that they’d have more immediately pressing concerns than worrying about a cartoon, Niger regularly winning the award for being the worst country anywhere on God’s earth, and the poorest. But nope, it’s kill-a-kuffar time once more. Some 45 churches set alight and at least five people killed and 50 injured.
Everywhere you look in the Islamic world there is outrage and fury and screaming and violence. An anger not occasioned by the vicious executions of 11 people in Paris, but in response to the ‘Je suis Charlie’ stuff, and the magazine’s post-murder edition featuring Mohammed on its front page. The murders did not bother them at all and a substantial majority, by the look of things, will have wholly approved of them. It’s the cartoons which made them go on the rampage, killing people of a different faith.
So next time some jackass of a politician tells you that the Charlie Hebdo attacks were ‘nothing to do with Islam’, or some hand-wringing, PC, public-school broadcaster on the BBC puts it all down to ‘extremists’ — point them in the direction of the millions of people in the Islamic world who rather fervently disagree with that flip and patently delusional diagnosis. If all those people are ‘extremists’, then we need to redefine the word ‘extreme’ so it means something closer to, say, ‘mainstream’ or ‘moderate, consensual centre’. In this, our own vile and incendiary Islamic preachers, such as Anjem Choudary, are much closer to the truth than are our politicians: this is not ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It is all about Islam.
So the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, deserves a bit of credit for his round-robin letter to our country’s mosques, which has succeeded in shoring up the familiar sense of acquired victimhood among British followers of Islam. Pickles suggested that British followers of Islam should ‘prove’ their identification with British values.
I suppose it’s a bit late in the day for that sort of thing — remember, 68 per cent of our Islamic community believe that blasphemers should be punished somehow — but better late than never. Forty years of being told that their cultural practices are every bit as valid as those of the Christian majority, however, has established a mindset which will take some shifting.
And so it has proved — self-appointed Muslim leaders have reacted with the usual mixture of petulance and confected outrage. The letter, they insist, is ‘patronising’. One spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain asked: why no similar letter to Christian church leaders demanding they disassociate themselves from the English Defence League? It is difficult to imagine a more lame or ridiculous riposte.
We have indulged parts of our Muslim community in epic paranoia, victimhood, clamorous obsessions and pre-medieval cultural appurtenances for way too long. And so perhaps it is too late to venture, tentatively, that we got our approach all wrong.
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The Muslims are revolting!