On return from holiday I find the news has been mostly occupied with trivia. Same old, same old.
There is Nick Clegg’s apology for buying student votes with a tuitions fees pledge he never thought he would have to keep. Truly the Lib Dems are the gift that keeps on giving. Then there was the fuss about the government Chief Whip yelling abuse at a policeman. So, some rich Tories think that working class people are ‘plebs,’ this is news? Then there are the Muslims rioting, yet again; as though that were news.
There are three types behind the riots supposedly over the trailer for The Innocence of Muslims, a film which no-one has seen.
There are the politicians such as those in Pakistan who declared yesterday ‘Love the Prophet Mohammed Day.’ They are desperately trying to provide an outlet for the anger of a people suffering under a government outstanding for its corruption, even for a Muslim country. Afraid of the people politicians attempt to shore up their position by appearing as good Muslims and at the same time letting the underclass blow off steam.
Then there are the great mass of fundamentalist Muslims throughout the Middle East and Asia, they are better described in the old-fashioned way as Mohammedens. Led by the nose by their intolerant imams any criticism of Mohammed is denounced as blasphemy, and we can be sure that in their minds it is. They, and even supposedly ‘moderate’ Muslims, do not respect Mohammed as a prophet, as Jews do Moses or Christians do John the Baptist, they revere Mohammed as though he were a god.
Such venting of rage is not a sign of the strength of Muslim feeling, it is a sign of their fear. They rightly perceive that any chink in their monolithic ideology is liable to bring the whole edifice to ruin.
Then there are the dangerous ones, those who manipulate the masses, the hard line Sharia loving Salafists and their ilk. This film had been out for months before the trouble began on September 11th. These people aren’t frustrated film critics who somehow got a little exuberant, they are determined revolutionaries.
To say that the riots were caused by the film is much the same as saying that bonfires cause Guy Fawkes Night. They rioted because they are anti-western, and any excuse would do.
Much more interesting is the reaction of Western leaders. We have been treated to a steam of messages from politicians asking people to tone down criticism of Islam. This in case they riot and start murdering ambassadors, café owners, bystanders and just anyone unfortunate enough to get in their way. In effect they are holding us hostage and saying that if we don’t behave as they wish and abandon our basic freedoms, which include freedom of speech, they will kill any westerner living within their area of influence.
In those countries where Islam is dominant any criticism of the religion is beyond imagining, the penalties are so dire. In the West we have powerful men and women deferring to rampaging mobs bent on burning, looting and murder and asking us to abide by Muslim law. Any ideology which excuses, never mind instigates, arson, riot, rape and murder when it is offended deserves to be mercilessly criticised and ridiculed.
The western world is shuffling into a bondage of its own devising. Cultures are not killed, they commit suicide. It is not the opposition of extremists Muslims trying to impose Sharia which will destroy Western civilisation, it is the readiness of our elites to defer to the sensibilities of thin skinned paranoiacs.
We find ourselves in a situation where the president of the United States, who has sneered at large sections of his own people as “clinging to their guns and religion,’ is telling us in effect that the way to ensure you command his ‘respect’ is to be willing to burn and bomb and kill. Murder a US ambassador and you will get the respectful attention of Western opinion formers and policy makers; make a reasoned argument for biblical principles and you will be ignored or ridiculed as a bigot.